January 13, 2021
Eden Health District COVID-19 Bulletin

Boxes provide goodies to underserved youth
Balance Boxes is a national youth-led program that provides students in low-income communities with educational and enjoyable activities. The effort started during the beginning of lockdown due to Covid-19; in nine months of operation, the organization has delivered more than 4,750 boxes in the U.S. and overseas.

Each box is created with a designated theme to ensure the boxes can be made to the child’s liking. Boxes always include books (picture or chapter books), educational games, or school supplies.
Each box is also equipped with an easy-to-make meal and kid-friendly snacks to keep the child engaged in the activity.

One of the unique factors of Balance Boxes is that each of the families is provided with information to register their child for free, one-to-one virtual tutoring.
The local chapter, based in Livermore, has delivered boxes to shelters such as Shepherd's Gate in the past and will be delivering more in late January. Three Foothill High School students are involved, and have received more than $6,500 in in-kind contributions from various companies, as well as grants.

By the Numbers
Bay Area: 316,439

California: 2,800,130

U.S.: 22,901,264
Alameda County

Cases: 62,642

Deaths: 763

Test Positivity: 11.1%

Hospitalized Patients: 468

ICU Beds Available: 61
Bay Area: 3,148

California: 31,163

U.S.: 382,120
Contra Costa County

Cases: 49,082

Deaths: 395

Test Positivity: 13.2%

Hospitalized Patients: 270

ICU Beds Available: 27
Bay Area ICU Capacity: 4.7%

Sources: Johns Hopkins UniversitySF Chronicle, and dashboards for California and Alameda and Contra Costa Counties
Test positivity is based on a 14-day average. Hospitalized patients refers to patients with confirmed and suspected Covid-19.
Bay Area News
SF Chronicle, January 13, 2021
Even as the coronavirus surge continued to severely strain hospitals, signs of hope appeared statewide and in the Bay Area Tuesday. The regional stay-at-home order for the greater Sacramento area was lifted, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced, as case rates stabilized and intensive care unit projections eased.

Across the state, hospital admissions decreased from 3,500 per day to 2,500 per day for the past two days — the “biggest signal” that the surge is beginning to flatten, state health secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said during a news conference Tuesday.

In San Francisco, while infection numbers remain worrisome, the growth rate is not nearly as high as it was after Thanksgiving, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said Tuesday. [Coronavirus cases rose by 70% after Thanksgiving and have risen by 28% since Christmas and New Year’s.]

Stay-at-home restrictions in San Francisco will likely remain at least through the end of January, according to Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax. (The state also extended its regional stay-at-home order for the Bay Area on Tuesday.) 

ICU capacity in the Bay Area region — which includes Santa Cruz and Monterey counties as well as the core nine-county area — rose on Tuesday, from less than 1% to a still worrying 4.7%, state officials said Tuesday. The greater Sacramento area also remained tight, at 9.4% availability, but projected improvements allowed the stay-home order to be lifted.

The Northern California region’s hospitals slipped below 20% ICU capacity for the first time, with just 17.6% beds available. In Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley region, ICU capacity remained at 0%, meaning they are reliant on ad-hoc surge facilities.
City website, January 12, 2021
The City of Hayward successfully launched and sustained multiple initiatives to protect and sustain Hayward residents and businesses in response to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. This remarkable work is summarized in a short video produced by the city.

Mercury News, January 21, 2021
The Christmas Day coronavirus outbreak at Kaiser Permanente San Jose continued to spread Tuesday — and hospital workers aren’t the only ones getting sick. For the first time, 15 patients on Tuesday were added to the growing list of people infected after an employee traipsing through the emergency department in an inflatable tree costume Dec. 25 may have been a super spreader, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department announced.

The tally of positive Covid-19 cases also spiked among Kaiser employees to 77 on Tuesday, up from 60 last week, the county said. One worker, a receptionist, died a week or so after Christmas, although Kaiser hasn’t said exactly when.

SF Chronicle, January 13, 2021
The flu typically kills tens of thousands of Americans and can account for hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations during the winter season. But this year, it’s fizzled almost entirely in the Bay Area — a stroke of fortune needed as coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths surge uncontrolled statewide.

What is far and away the likeliest explanation, experts say, is that the pandemic public health measures of masking and social distancing are extremely effective for preventing the spread of influenza and RSV — even more than for the spread of the coronavirus.

Vaccine & Health News
County Vaccine Distribution Plans

Contra Costa Health Services website, January 13, 2021
Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) is opening up eligibility for vaccinations for county residents who are 75 years and older. CCHS is working quickly open community vaccine clinics and a new call center, so seniors who are now eligible can make an appointment over the next few weeks with more appointments opening as capacity increases. But the county is not waiting to open up vaccination appointments now for vulnerable seniors – residents who are 75 or older can use an online form to sign up to book an appointment today.

STAT, January 13, 2021
As health authorities across the country struggle to get Covid-19 vaccination programs up and running, outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar threw a new wrench into the works on Tuesday, telling states to expand priority access to tens of millions of additional people immediately.

But it will be several months before there is enough vaccine available to meet that kind of demand. The move all but ensures the current narrative around the vaccine rollout — it’s too slow — will shift, but not in a positive direction: The incoming Biden administration will likely face a groundswell of complaints about long lines, failed efforts to find vaccine supplies, and an inequitable distribution system as it tries to live up to its promise of seeing 100 million vaccine doses administered in the new president’s first 100 days in office.

Azar’s new instructions put 152 million people — about half of the adult population of the country — at the front of the vaccine line. But Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. effort to fast-track the development and distribution of vaccine, currently estimates it will take until the end of March before it has 200 million doses to distribute. Even if those doses can be manufactured and shipped seamlessly, that’s only enough for 100 million people, given that the currently authorized vaccines require two doses each.

East Bay Times, January 21, 2021
As Bay Area residents eagerly wait for coronavirus vaccines to become widely available, some health care workers with access to the shots are choosing to hold off on getting inoculated — at least for now. It’s unclear exactly how many people who have had the opportunity to get the vaccine have chosen to pass. According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 29% of health care workers say they are probably not going to get vaccinated — a higher figure than the 27% of the overall population that is hesitant to get vaccinated. Overall, the survey found the main reasons people are hesitant included concerns about side effects, a lack of trust in the government to make sure the vaccine is safe and effective, and concerns that the vaccine is too new.

NY Times, January 12, 2021
As cases of the coronavirus continue to surge on a global scale, some of the nation’s most prominent people have begun to double up on masks — a move that researchers say is increasingly being backed up by data.

Double-masking isn’t necessary for everyone. But for people with thin or flimsy face coverings, “if you combine multiple layers, you start achieving pretty high efficiencies” of blocking viruses from exiting and entering the airway, said Linsey Marr, an expert in virus transmission at Virginia Tech and an author on a recent commentary laying out the science behind mask-wearing.

The best masks remain N95s, which are designed with ultrahigh filtration efficiency. But they remain in short supply for health workers, who need them to safely treat patients.
Layering two less specialized masks on top of each other can provide comparable protection. Dr. Marr recommended wearing face-hugging cloth masks over surgical masks, which tend to be made with more filter-friendly materials but fit more loosely.
US and California Data: Last 90 Days
Covid Tracking Project, 1/12/21 (bold lines are 7-day averages)
United States
California News
SF Chronicle, January 12, 2021
Gov. Newsom is taking heat from all sides over California’s program, which is among the slowest in the nation. The governor has promised to deliver 1 million new doses by this weekend, but it’s not clear how that will happen.
California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said Tuesday he would announce within the next day how the new federal guidelines for people 65 and up will work here. California’s vaccine rollout prioritizes health care workers and nursing home residents but has left many health care providers scrambling to find people outside of that group to take extra doses of the perishable vaccine.

Sacramento Bee, January 12, 2021
Gov. Newsom announced Tuesday afternoon that the 13-county greater Sacramento region has been released from its month-long Covid-19 shutdown order, the result of new data that show hospitals likely will not be as crowded with Covid-19 patients in the coming weeks.

“We’re seeing stabilization in ICUs and positivity rates,” Newsom said in a social media post at 4:30 p.m. “Greater Sacramento is coming out of the regional stay-at-home and going back to purple tier effective today.
“We must continue to wear a mask and stay home as much as possible. There is a light at the end of this tunnel.”

LA Times, January 13, 2021
As parts of Northern California began to see the first guarded signs of progress Tuesday in the battle against the winter coronavirus surge, communities in hard-hit Southern California were bracing for more cases to swarm hospitals already overwhelmed as Covid-19 continues to rise.

The post-Christmas surge is still slamming Los Angeles and surrounding counties. The spread is increasing again as people infected during holiday events test positive. Officials expect that will lead to more hospitalizations, but how much remains a critical question because medical infrastructure is already at the breaking point. Any new spike in infections, officials warn, will trigger a resulting wave of new patients requiring professional care — creating an unsustainable strain on already overtaxed hospitals and intensive care units.

County website, January 12, 2021
Orange County now is allowing residents 65 and older to receive the coronavirus vaccine, in a significant expansion of access to the vaccine. The decision followed new CDC guidance Tuesday. “My aim is to reduce hospitalizations and deaths as rapidly as possible, and we must prioritize our vaccine allocation to protect the most vulnerable in our community, ” said a statement from health officer Dr. Clayton Chau.

LA Times, January 13, 2021
Despite repeated assurances that corrections officials have made progress in controlling spread of the coronavirus, California prisons are in the midst of a deadly surge. At least 46 inmates have died from Covid-19 since Dec. 25, along with two staff members. They include one of America’s most prolific serial killers, Samuel Little, and Officer George Solis, a husband and father of two who died on Christmas Day.
US News
Associated Press, January 13, 2021
Coronavirus deaths in the U.S. hit another one-day high at over 4,300 with the country’s attention focused largely on the fallout from the deadly uprising at the Capitol. The nation’s overall death toll from Covid-19 has eclipsed 380,000, according to Johns Hopkins University, and is closing in fast on the number of Americans killed in World War II, or about 407,000. Confirmed infections have topped 22.8 million. The U.S. recorded 4,327 deaths on Tuesday by Johns Hopkins’ count. Arizona and California have been among the hardest-hit states.

STAT, January 13, 2021
President-elect Biden will address growing concerns about new, more transmissible coronavirus variants as he lays out his plans to speed up the sluggish U.S. vaccine rollout in a press conference this week. Biden was briefed on the variant that first appeared in the United Kingdom, known as B.1.1.7, soon after his Covid-19 advisory board convened an emergency meeting on Christmas Eve to discuss the new strains and the threat they posed.

Kaiser Health News, January 13, 2021
The initial rollout of vaccines — aimed at health care workers and nursing home residents — has been uneven at best because of a lack of a federal strategy on how it should work, with states, hospitals, nursing homes and pharmacies often making decisions on their own about who gets vaccinated and when.

In some hospitals, administrators and other personnel who have no contact with patients or face no risk at work from the virus are getting shots, while patients — and even front-line staff — who are at heightened risk for Covid complications are being passed by. Some administrators who have been working remotely throughout the pandemic have been vaccinated, especially at hospitals that decided to allocate doses by age group rather than exposure risk.

NY Times, January 12, 2021
One by one, connections are being severed as coronavirus tears through ranks of Native American elders, inflicting an incalculable toll on bonds of language and tradition that flow from older generations to the young.
“It’s like we’re having a cultural book-burning,” said Jason Salsman, a spokesman for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in eastern Oklahoma, whose grandparents contracted the virus but survived. “We’re losing a historical record, encyclopedias. One day soon, there won’t be anybody to pass this knowledge down.”

The loss of tribal elders has swelled into a cultural crisis as the pandemic has killed American Indians and Alaska Natives at nearly twice the rate of white people, deepening what critics call the deadly toll of a tattered health system and generations of harm and broken promises by the U.S. government.

In the Bubble Podcast, January 13, 2021
Incoming CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky gives her first major interview. Dr. Rochelle discusses the challenges she faces in this epic role and her priorities for the CDC.
CA Education News
CalMatters, January 12, 2021
After a meeting Monday with top advisers of Gov. Newsom’s administration, superintendents of two of the largest school districts in California said nothing had changed: Their districts won’t pursue $2 billion in state funding in return for committing by Feb. 1 to send younger students back to school when Covid infection rates fall.

Reaching an agreement in under three weeks with employee unions on the conditions for a safe return to in-person instruction, Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner said after the meeting, is “not possible.” On Tuesday, the district escalated the dispute, voting unanimously in closed session to sue Newsom over the reopening plan. “Right now people in Los Angeles are hunkered down,” Beutner said. “We don’t think it’s possible, even appropriate, to have conversations with stakeholders about what school might look like at some hypothetical future date.”

Mercury News, January 13, 2021
De La Salle High’s Justin Alumbaugh and Serra’s Patrick Walsh aren’t used to seeing time run out for their ultra successful football teams. Yet they’re just like every other coach these days, with Covid-19 protocols threatening to further delay a season that isn’t even promised.
While the California Department of Public Health had targeted Jan. 25 as the earliest possible start to high school sports, the agency also said it would reassess the situation by Jan. 4.

That deadline came and went last week, triggering fear of perhaps a longer wait for athletics while Bay Area counties remain under stay-at-home orders. That’s why Walsh and Alumbaugh, in conjunction with the Walsh-created “Golden State HS Football Coaches Community,” are leading an all-out blitz to deliver a message to both state and county health officials. They’re armed with data showing it will be safe for kids to return to the courts and fields during the pandemic.

SF Chronicle, January 12, 2021
San Francisco officials are hatching a plan to raise a huge sum over 5 years — possibly more than $2 billion — for city schools to address the academic and emotional damage done by the pandemic, and also prove that with enough cash, a public education can look and feel a lot more like a private one.
The fundraising effort would align with a new, temporary commission tasked with coming up with a way to address the learning loss and other issues related to the pandemic as well as long-term plans for a first-class public education, one that incorporates tutoring, art, music and family services.
US & International Education News
CNBC, January 13, 2021
The science around the link between children and the spread of the coronavirus is still evolving, but a growing body of evidence suggests that kids attending school do play an important role in community transmission.

The issue comes as the resurgent spread of Covid-19 has prompted most of Europe to adopt the strictest level of public health measures, with many countries in the region shutting schools as part of a broader plan to curb infection rates and alleviate the strain on already stressed health facilities. A study by researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich determined that Switzerland’s decision to shut schools last March was responsible for cutting mobility by 21.6%.
The study, published Sunday and not yet been peer-reviewed, found school closures ranked third in reducing mobility nationwide — and therefore Covid transmission.

Chalkbeat, January 12, 2021
In New York, Texas, and a slice of the rest of the country where data is available, teachers and other staff where school buildings are open have higher Covid infection rates than their surrounding communities.

Critically, the data does not show whether teachers caught the virus in schools, or offer definitive answers about the risks of school reopening. It’s possible the results reflect more widespread testing among teachers, and the evidence that remote teachers have lower infection rates is mixed. But the latest data complicates our understanding of the risks of school reopening. “The fact that the staff rates are growing at a faster rate than the community rates is something we should be paying attention to,” said Emily Oster, the Brown University researcher who spearheaded the analysis and collection of this data.

Oaklahomian, January 13, 2021
Going forward, schools with a mask requirement and Covid-19 safety protocols will not have to quarantine students and teachers exposed to the virus. The Oklahoma State Department of Health and Gov. Kevin Stitt announced the new guidelines in a news conference Tuesday. Students and staff wouldn’t have to quarantine for two weeks unless they show symptoms of illness, as long as their exposure to the virus was in a classroom environment where everyone was wearing a mask and distancing. The policy does not apply if the exposure occurred during an after-school activity, such as sports. Stitt said missing school would do greater harm to students academically and mentally.
Ellen DeGeneres' Covid-19 experience
Ellen DeGeneres was backstage at "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" when she learned she had tested positive for Covid-19, she revealed Wednesday in her first episode back after contracting the virus last month.

"Obviously there are a lot of negative things going on, so I wanted to talk about something positive: my Covid test," said DeGeneres in a clip from the episode, addressing a virtual audience that was originally supposed to attend the show she canceled in December after receiving a positive test.

DeGeneres, 62, was backstage in hair and makeup when her assistant walked in and told her she had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. "And then everyone around me ran away. It's funny, people just really get scared. They ran and some have not come back since," she joked, adding that she "left the studio immediately" and the show's safety team reached out to everyone she had been in contact with.

The comedian returned home to quarantine. DeGeneres slept for 16 hours each the first 3 days due to the virus and required painkillers, muscle relaxers and steroids after waking up one morning with back spasms.
DeGeneres said she didn't know back pain was a symptom of Covid-19, but had spoken to several others who endured similar experiences.

"It felt like I cracked a rib," she recalled. "You know how I make you laugh so hard that your ribs hurt? That's what it was like for me. Now I know how you feel."
She's "all clear" and feeling "fine now. . . . The weird thing is I still don't know where I got it," she said. "I wear a mask, I washed my hands, I only licked three or four door handles, so it's a mystery how that would happen. ... I know a lot of people out there are struggling with this illness. My heart goes out to all of them. As always, I hope the show will give you some joy (and) brighten your day."

Source: USA Today
International News
NY Times, January 13, 2021
Scientists in Brazil have downgraded the efficacy of a Chinese coronavirus vaccine that they hailed as a major triumph last week, diminishing hopes for a shot that could be quickly produced and easily distributed to help the developing world.

Officials at the Butantan Institute in São Paulo said on Tuesday that a trial conducted in Brazil showed that the CoronaVac vaccine, manufactured by the Beijing-based company Sinovac, had an efficacy rate just over 50 percent. That rate, slightly above the benchmark that the World Health Organization has said would make a vaccine effective for general use, was far below the 78 percent level announced last week. At least 10 countries have ordered more than 380 million doses of the Sinovac inoculation, CoronaVac, though regulatory agencies have yet to fully approve it.

CNN, January 13, 2021
When Ireland came out of a strict six-week lockdown in December it had one of the lowest levels of Covid-19 cases in Europe. Since then, the situation has dramatically unraveled.
The country recorded the highest infection rate in the world last week, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication based at the University of Oxford.

Ireland's medical experts, politicians and members of the public are now all debating what went wrong. The seasonality of the virus, the presence of the more transmissible UK variant, and households mixing over the holidays all contributed to the surge, according to a spokesperson from Prime Minister Micheál Martin's office.

In response, Ireland shut restaurants, pubs serving food and some shops on Christmas Eve and has since further tightened its lockdown measures -- including closing non-essential construction sites, schools, and childcare services.

Reuters, January 13, 2021
Governments across Europe announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns and curbs on Wednesday amid fears of a fast-spreading variant first detected in Britain, with vaccinations not expected to help much until the spring. Vaccines are being rolled out across the continent, but not as quickly as many countries had wished, and the effects are not expected until inoculations are widespread among the population.

Italy will extend its Covid-19 state of emergency to the end of April, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said as infections show no sign of abating. Switzerland announced tighter measures to tackle new variants of the Covid-19 virus and extended the closure of restaurants, cultural and sport sites by five weeks to run until the end of February. Germany is also likely to have to extend Covid-19 curbs into February, Health Minister Jens Spahn said, stressing the need to further reduce contacts to fend off the more infectious variant first identified in Britain.

The Guardian, January 13, 2021
Job vacancies are booming in New Zealand since the country contained an outbreak of the coronavirus with a hard lockdown in early 2020. The country’s biggest job advertising site, Seek, has reported a 19% national growth in jobs advertised in the final quarter of 2020, and the number of job ads on the website has bounced back to nearly pre-pandemic levels.

The sectors posting the most vacancies included IT and communications, manufacturing, transport & logistics and trades & services. Jobs in customer-facing roles have taken the hardest hit. The news follows a surprise economic recovery for the country, with finance minister Grant Robertson in December reporting the economy grew 14% in the third quarter of 2020. “

CNN, January 13, 2021
A large proportion of doctors and nurses have been traumatized by working in intensive care during the coronavirus pandemic in the UK, a new study reveals, with almost half reporting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety or depression, and some feeling they would be better off dead. The news came as UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said authorities are considering putting recovering Covid-19 patients into hotels as a "backup plan," such is the intense pressure being placed on hospitals by the latest surge in infections.

LA Times, January 13, 2021
More than 500 new cases have been found since Jan. 2 in Hebei, the industrial province surrounding Beijing, sparking a “wartime mode” response from Chinese authorities fearful of the virus spreading before the upcoming Spring Festival, when hundreds of millions of Chinese crisscross the country to go home each year. About 18 million residents of Hebei’s capital, Shijiazhuang, and the nearby city of Xingtai have been forbidden to leave, with public transportation halted, mass testing underway and stay-at-home orders enforced in the strictest lockdown since Wuhan was sequestered in early 2020.

Associated Press, January 13, 2021
Indonesian President Joko Widodo received the first shot of a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine Wednesday after the government authorized it for emergency use and began efforts to vaccinate millions of people across the vast archipelago in one of the world’s most populous countries.

Indonesia’s vaccination program is the first large-scale use outside of China of the Sinovac Biotech Ltd. vaccine. It poses massive challenges in a country whose thousands of islands stretch across an area about as wide as the continental United States and where transportation and infrastructure are limited in many places.
Lisa Krieger, East Bay Times, January 13, 2021
Through the icy hollows of West Virginia, members of the Army National Guard are driving precious doses of Covid-19 vaccines to the state’s independent pharmacies. So far six of every 100 residents have received the vaccine, making this poor and rural state the nation’s leader at getting shots in arms.

Halfway across the country, South Dakota has taken a very different yet equally effective approach: Divvying up its 66 vast and windswept counties among its major healthcare plans, it tasked each plan with vaccinating every resident in its assigned counties, using well-established courier services.

In contrast, the tech-savvy, populous and economic powerhouse of California has given only 2 doses per 100 residents, even though it has received roughly the same amount of vaccine, per capita, as those other states. The Golden State, with a larger, more fragmented and decentralized healthcare system, is relying on an ambitious but complex tiered priority system. Residents complain of poor messaging and confusion about who is eligible, saying they don’t know when, how and where to go for vaccination.

Editorial, Mercury News, January 13, 2021
Gov. Newsom’s rollout of coronavirus vaccine distribution in California has been disappointing. There have been computer glitches. Shortages of people to administer the vaccines. Sudden discoveries about the time it takes to administer each individual dose. All predictable. All remedied by better planning.

What there hasn’t been is a vaccine supply shortage. California has distributed only 28% of the doses received, placing it 44th worst of 50 states. Only 2% of the California population has received a shot. Nearly a month into this, that doesn’t cut it.
It’s time for Newsom to be proactive rather than reactive, as he has been with his Covid orders. Unlike the testing-capacity fiasco, the vaccine distribution snags cannot be blamed on the federal government. Money is not the issue; the state has plenty. The Newsom administration has had months to plan for this critical moment. Yet, other states are doing much better.

Apoorva Mandavilli, NY Times, January 12, 2021
As millions are inoculated against the coronavirus, and the pandemic’s end finally seems to glimmer into view, scientists are envisioning what a post-vaccine world might look like — and what they see is comforting.

The coronavirus is here to stay, but once most adults are immune — following natural infection or vaccination — the virus will be no more of a threat than the common cold, according to a study published in the journal Science on Tuesday. The virus is a grim menace now because it is an unfamiliar pathogen that can overwhelm the adult immune system, which has not been trained to fight it. That will no longer be the case once everyone has been exposed to either the virus or vaccine.

Julia Belluz, Vox, January 13, 2021
Doctors have been warning for months that, even though they’re better at saving the lives of critically ill Covid-19 patients, those gains will fade if hospitals become overwhelmed like they did in the early days of the pandemic.

With coronavirus deaths now soaring in the US and several other countries, this prediction may be playing out: The crush of new Covid-19 hospital patients is probably leading to more deaths.
When intensive care units go from zero beds occupied to every bed full, patients have a 92% increased risk of death from Covid-19, according to a pre-print published Wednesday on MedRxiv. (The paper has to be peer-reviewed.)

That means that when hospitals are pushed to maximum ICU capacity, the worst-case scenario is a near doubling of the risk of death for severely sick patients, the study found. For instance, a 40-year-old in a full intensive care unit would have the same risk of death as a 51-year-old, the study’s authors — researchers at UK institutions including Imperial College London, University College London, and the Wellcome Trust — estimated.

Zeynep Tufekci and Jeremy Howard, The Atlantic, January 13, 2021
If you’re like most Americans, there’s a good chance you’re going to wear a cloth mask today. Doing so makes sense. It remains the official recommendation in the United States, and it is something we’ve both advocated since the beginning of the pandemic. Both of us wrote articles as far back as March urging people to wear homemade cloth masks. We’re also the authors (along with 17 other experts) of a paper titled “An Evidence Review of Face Masks Against Covid,” which was just published in peer-reviewed form in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But it’s past time for better solutions to be available to the public.

We’d hoped that by 2021 supply chains would have ramped up enough to ensure that everyone had better masks. Cloth masks, especially homemade ones, were supposed to be a stopgap measure. Why are so many of us still wearing them? Tragically, America is swamped with fraudulent medical-grade masks, some of which are only 1 percent effective. Many masks do not have labels clearly indicating their manufacturer. 

Not all countries have this problem. Taiwan massively scaled up its manufacturing of masks at the start of 2020, such that by April every citizen received a fresh supply of high-quality masks each week, and the distribution system was regulated by the government. Taiwan’s COVID-19 death rate per capita is more than 1,000 times lower than that in the U.S. Singapore is on at least its fourth round of distributing free, reusable, multilayer masks with filters to everyone—even kids, who get kid-size ones. In Germany, Bavaria has just announced that it will be requiring higher-grade masks. If all of these places can do this, why can’t we?
We are proud to partner with the East Bay Community Foundation in publishing this bulletin. Through donations to its Covid-19 Response Fund, the EBCF provides grants to East Bay nonprofit organizations delivering essential services to those most impacted by the economic fallout from the pandemic.
East Bay Focus
by day as of 1/12/21
by day as of 1/12/21
Over the last seven days, Alameda County officials have reported 6,605 new coronavirus cases, which amounts to 402 cases per 100,000 residents.
Over the last seven days, Contra Costa County officials have reported 5,226 new coronavirus cases, which amounts to 461 cases per 100,000 residents.
Top 10 Locations of Cases in Alameda County, as of 1/12/21
Oakland: 19,334

Hayward: 9,796

Fremont: 5,498

Eden MAC: 4,195

San Leandro: 3,812

Livermore: 3,200

Union City: 2,899

Berkeley: 2,206

Newark: 1,970

Castro Valley: 1,808
Top 10 Locations of Cases in Contra Costa County, as of 1/13/21
Richmond: 7,796

Antioch: 6,516

Concord: 5,947

Pittsburgh: 4,862

San Pablo: 3,875

Brentwood: 2,539

Oakley: 2,074

Bay Point: 2,018

Walnut Creek: 2,016

San Ramon: 1,490
East Bay Resources

Where to get a Covid-19 Test

Vaccine Distribution Plan

Reopening: List of Businesses and Activities

Food Pantries
Summary of California Vaccine Distribution Plan Updated 1/11/21
California Department of Public Health has expanded its definition of health care workers. It now includes community health care workers, public health field staff members, and people who work at primary care clinics, specialty clinics and dental clinics, as well as lab workers and pharmacy staff.

The state aims to immunize 1 million people within the next 10 days, state epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan said. If extra vaccines remain or doses are on the verge of expiring, people who work in education, child care, emergency services and food agriculture will also be eligible, the state said.

At his press briefing on Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state hopes to have 1 million additional people vaccinated against the coronavirus this week. Thus far, of nearly 2.5 million doses distributed in the state, 783,476 shots have been administered as of Sunday.

California remains in Phase 1A of its vaccine distribution plan. As shown in the image below from a January 7, 2021 update by Contra Costa Health Services, vaccination of persons age 75 and older - the first tier of Phase 1B - has not commenced.
Tier 1 of Phase 1B also includes workers in education and child care; emergency services workers (fire, police and corrections officials); and workers in food and agriculture, including grocery store workers.

Tier 2 of Phase 1B includes anyone 65 and older; workers in transportation/logistics; industrial, residential, & commercial sheltering facilities /services; critical manufacturing; incarcerated individuals; and persons that are homeless.

It is unclear when Phase 1B of the vaccine rollout will start, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "Some Bay Area counties estimate it will begin in late January or early February. Others do not have a projected timeline. Counties and hospitals are largely still vaccinating people in Phase 1a, who are health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities."

Phase 1C comes next. As explained by the East Bay Times, there is "no estimated start date yet to vaccinate this group but officials aim to offer everyone in this phase at least one dose of vaccine by late April or early May."

The Phase 1C group includes anyone age 50 or older and anyone age 16 to 49 at high risk due to disability or underlying medical conditions and/or disability (cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart conditions, organ transplant, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking and type 2 diabetes mellitus).
Mask On Eden Area
Working in collaboration with the Alameda County Public Health Department, the Cities of Hayward and San Leandro, and the Castro Valley and Eden Area Municipal Advisory Councils, the District has printed “Mask On” posters for each city and community in the Eden Health District area. The posters are free and intended for businesses, health clinics, schools, churches, public agencies and nonprofit organizations to display in their entrances.

“Wearing masks in public or any gatherings, including events with friends and extended families, is essential for slowing the spread of the virus,” stated Eden Health District Director Pam Russo. “While we are seeing signs of progress in California, Alameda County remains a Covid-19 'hot spot' in the Bay Area. Please wear a mask to protect yourself while protecting others.”
The public is welcome to download and print or share “Mask On” posters from the District’s website. Posters are available in English, Spanish and Chinese languages.

Posters may also be retrieved during business hours from the lobby of the Eden Health District office building located at 20400 Lake Chabot Road, Castro Valley. Posters for the City of Hayward are also available from the Hayward Chamber of Commerce located at 22561 Main Street, Hayward.
Eden Area Food Pantries
We have posted information on food pantries and food services in the cities of Hayward and San Leandro and unincorporated Alameda County including Castro Valley and San Lorenzo. You can access the information here on our website. Alameda County has also released an interactive map listing food distributions and other social services. 
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The Eden Health District Board of Directors are Mariellen Faria, Chair, Pam Russo, Vice Chair, Roxann Lewis, Treasurer, Gordon Galvan and Varsha Chauhan. The Chief Executive Officer is Mark Friedman.

The Eden Health District is committed to ensuring that policy makers and community members receive accurate and timely information to help make the best policy and personal choices to meet and overcome the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. We publish the Bulletin on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, unless the day falls on a public holiday.

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We welcome your feedback on our bulletin. Please contact editor Stephen Cassidy.