Public Health - Emergency Medical Services - Behavioral Health - Environmental Health
Homeless Care & Coordination - HealthPAC - Center for Healthy Schools & Communities
Week of March 21
Alameda County Health Care Services Agency Update
Please share with your networks
As spring brings a change in weather and many colorful blossoms, please stay vigilant in managing COVID risk. Get vaccinated and boosted; wear a high-quality mask, well-fitted mask in indoor public spaces; gather with others outdoors and improve indoor ventilation; stay home when sick, test regardless of vaccination status, and test if exposed regardless of vaccination status; and quarantine if not up-to-date on vaccines. Covid-19 is still around us and vaccines are proven to be effective at stopping preventing or reducing the severity of this disease. It's important to know the difference between being fully vaccinated versus up-to-date on vaccination.  Fully vaccinated means you've had two doses of an mRNA vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of J&J. If someone finished their primary series of an mRNA vaccine two months ago, they are up to date.  Up to date means that they have been boosted IF they are booster eligible. If someone finished their primary series of an mRNA vaccine six months prior and is not boosted, they are NOT up-to-date.  J&J recipients require a booster at two months.

As Alameda County continues monitoring COVID-19 levels in the county's wastewater, publicly available data shows no evidence of substantial increases in COVID-19 infections. It's important to note that the surveillance data monitors the northern area of Alameda County, including Berkeley and portions of Contra Costa County, and both are separate health jurisdictions. 

The state is lifting the guidance for indoor mega-events effective April 1. Alameda County will continue to align with the state and move from vaccine verification or proof of negative test in these settings to strong recommendations. 
We appreciate your time and support in helping us maintain a safe and healthy Alameda County. Help us distribute this information to others by sharing this newsletter.
Public Health Accreditation
Our Public Health Department is now accredited with the Public Health Accreditation Board. Accreditation measures the Department's performance against a set of nationally recognized, practice-focused, and evidenced-based standards. This achievement reflects the hard work and countless hours of preparation by the Department, supported by staff across our Agency. Achieving accreditation is a significant accomplishment at the national level and a solid external validation of our efforts to protect health and promote equity.
Therapeutics Drugs Available to Prevent and Treat COVID-19
Therapeutic drugs available to prevent and treat COVID-19 in high-risk patients to help prevent hospitalization and death. Evusheld is a preventative treatment available in Alameda County and other treatments for COVID-19 include antivirals (oral and intravenous) and COVID monoclonal antibodies. If residents test positive for COVID-19, they should contact a health professional right away to determine if they are eligible for treatment, even if symptoms are mild.  Visit the COVID-19 public therapeutic website to identify locations of publicly available drugs like Evusheld (monoclonal antibody), Molnupiravir (antiviral), and Paxlovid (antiviral). Don’t delay, test soon and treat early. For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s fact sheet and the federal test to treat fact shee for guidance. 
Epidemic Data Points (7-day lag)
  • 6.8 cases per 100,000 residents per day - total population
  • 5.8 cases per 100,000 residents per day - fully vaccinated
  • 13.0 cases per 100,000 residents per day - unvaccinated
  • 94 hospitalized
  • 12 in ICU
Please visit our dashboard for more data on COVID-19.
Antigen vs PCR Testing
Testing continues to be a critical strategy to manage the spread of COVID-19 and to keep residents and their loved ones healthy. Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order two sets of four free at-home tests and onsite testing available at medical provider and retail pharmacies. Alameda County remains focused on community testing sites serving priority zip codes.
  • Results in as little as 15 minutes.
  • Good for checking infection status frequently.
  • Available for home use.
  • May miss some early infections when low levels of virus are present. Read instructions carefully and test twice if recommended.
  • Most accurate test type, even in early infection.
  • Results can take 24-72 hours.
  • Will miss infections that happen between getting tested and getting results.
  • Results can come back positive for weeks, due to the detection of old virus particles.
Isolation and Quarantine Guidance
Alameda County continues to require isolation and quarantine. Local requirements are based on CDC and State isolation and quarantine guidance which remains in place. The CDC and the state have already modified their recommendations over time to be less restrictive and we may see more such modifications in the future. 
Vaccine Locations and Resources for COVID Safety
Vaccines are available throughout the week and some locations offer weekend hours for people unable to get away during the week:

Find vaccine and testing locations including West Oakland, or make an appointment by visiting our website. Additional resources on our COVID-19 website include a ventilation interactive tool, guidance for isolation and quarantine, mask and face coverings, workplace recovery, and community resources.
Human Rights Visionary - Cesar Chavez
In observance of Cesar Chavez Day, our Agency (HCSA) honors the life and legacy of the late civil rights leader. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Cesar Chavez successfully fought to improve workers’ rights for tens of thousands of farmworkers and founded the National Farm Workers Association (later named United Farm Workers).   We continue to be inspired by his leadership and commitment to fight for social justice and equitable solutions. HCSA’s mission is to achieve health equity by working in partnership to provide high-quality services, foster safe and healthy communities, and promote fair and inclusive opportunities for all residents. HCSA’s programs and services forge pathways so all Alameda County residents, including the underserved, have a safety net to achieve healthy and fulfilling lives.   

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community…Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.” – Cesar E. Chavez 
Beyond COVID: Prioritizing Mental Health
The pandemic has had dramatic impacts on the mental well-being of our community over the last two years. Public health interventions to slow the spread of the virus resulted in isolation and may have exacerbated existing mental health challenges. It's clear that COVID-19 became as much a mental health pandemic as one of the infectious disease. “Beyond COVID: Prioritizing Our Mental Health” is a timely and lively podcast conversation between our Behavioral Health Director Dr. Karyn Tribble and Dr. Noha Aboelata, a community partner and CEO at Roots Community Health Center. We hope you'll find the discussion on COVID’s impacts helpful along with wellness and how to move forward.