Weekly Update - July 16, 2021
Masking Indoors for Everyone is Recommended as a Precaution Against Increased Circulation of COVID-19

As of July 14, Contra Costa’s reported new cases are averaging 93 per day and the daily case rate is now 5.7 per 100,000 and rising.
With a new surge of COVID-19 driving up case rates and hospitalizations across the Bay Area, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) recommends that everyone consider wearing face coverings whenever they enter indoor public spaces, regardless of their vaccination status.
 
This extra precaution is not a requirement, but a healthy choice that Contra Costa and most other Bay Area counties endorse, including Alameda, Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Sonoma, and the City of Berkeley.

In June, the Delta variants comprised 43 percent of all specimens sequenced in California. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that Delta variants are now responsible for 58 percent of new infections across the country.
 
Fully vaccinated people are well-protected from infections and serious illness due to known COVID-19 variants including Delta variants, and vaccinating as many people as possible, as soon as possible, continues to be our best defense against severe COVID-19 infection, and the harm it can do to our region. Vaccines are safe, effective, free, and widely available to everyone 12 and older.
 
Out of an abundance of caution, people are recommended to wear masks indoors in settings like grocery or retail stores, theaters, and family entertainment centers, even if they are fully vaccinated as an added layer of protection for unvaccinated residents. Businesses are urged to adopt universal masking requirements for customers entering indoor areas of their businesses to provide better protection to their employees and customers. Workplaces must comply with Cal/OSHA requirements and fully vaccinated employees are encouraged to wear masks indoors if their employer has not confirmed the vaccination status of those around them.
 
“The Delta variant is spreading quickly, and everyone should take action to protect themselves and others against this potentially deadly virus,” said Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss. For masks to work properly, they need to completely cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of your face and around your nose.
 
Bay Area Health Officers will revisit this recommendation in the coming weeks as they continue to monitor transmission rates, hospitalizations, deaths, and increasing vaccination rates throughout the region. Data can be monitored here.
 
“The highly infectious Delta variant is now the predominant strain in Contra Costa County,” said Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano. “While vaccines remain our best tool against COVID-19, masking in indoor and crowded outdoor settings will help us curb the spread of this latest wave of infection."
 
People are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. People with only one vaccine dose of Pfizer or Moderna are not fully protected. Completion of the vaccine series is necessary to provide full protection.
 
Visit the Contra Costa Health website to learn where you can find a vaccination site near you or call 833-829-2626. If you missed your second dose, please find a vaccination clinic near you.

COVID-19 Rates Continue to Rise in Contra Costa
Contra Costa has seen a consistent rise in Covid-19 cases and transmission across the county. With more than 1,000 new cases over the past two weeks, Contra Costa’s case rate is 5.3 new cases daily per 100,000 people, but recent data shows the case rate among residents who are not fully vaccinated is more than ten times higher than the case rate for vaccinated residents.

The case rate for unvaccinated Contra Costans is 17.7 per 100,000 per day, and while the rate for vaccinated residents is 1.7 per 100,000. As of Thursday morning, 447,641 residents remain unvaccinated. 712,458 residents are fully vaccinated.

The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients is also rising, with 49 patients in county hospitals on Monday, July 12th compared to 21 on June 12th. The county healthcare system is not in danger of becoming overwhelmed, but hospitalizations are rapidly increasing.

Multiple factors may be contributing to the increase in transmission. Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) is now seeing the cases that likely became infected during the first weeks of California’s reopening on June 15th. They now believe the highly infectious Delta variant is the predominant strain in Contra Costa. Over the past month, 56% of the COVID-19 test samples sequenced at our public health lab were Delta.

Vaccination status is determining who gets sick and which communities are impacted most. 60% of new COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks were people in the 20-49 age group. Residents in their 20s have the lowest vaccination rate among our age demographics, other than people younger than 16. Eastern Contra Costa is particularly impacted with Antioch, Oakley, and Pittsburg leading in per-capita case rate over the past 14 days. Those cities also have the lowest vaccination rates – Antioch (50.6% fully vaccinated), Oakley (50.2%), Pittsburg (53.8%). CCHS is continuing outreach efforts to improve vaccination rates in hardest-hit communities.

CCHS encourages everyone ages 12 and older to get vaccinated. The mobile vaccine team will visit your workplace or organization within the county to vaccinate groups of five or more. Scheduling can be online or by calling 833-829-2626.

Getting vaccinated remains the best protection against COVID-19. They’re safe, free, and effective. Recent data shows that the COVID vaccines protect well against all variants. 
COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2021-22 School Year
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated its COVID-19 health guidance for the state’s K-12 schools this week. Contra Costa County will align its own health guidance with the State’s.

Some key aspects include:
  • Masking: Students are required to mask indoors regardless of vaccination status; adults are required to mask when sharing indoor spaces with students. Masks are optional outdoors for all in K-12 school settings.
  • Distancing: Minimum distancing in classrooms is not required. However, schools should maximize physical distance as much as possible while eating.
  • Ventilation: For indoor spaces, ventilation should be optimized.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) updated its nonbinding K-12 school guidance last week, emphasizing the importance of in-person learning and indicating that fully vaccinated students do not need to wear masks in the classroom.

The new CDC guidance also recommends student desks be spaced three feet apart. California, however, previously eliminated distancing requirements after facing legal action from a parent group.
  • Many parents and school administrators have said that distancing requirements in classrooms would prevent a return to full in-person learning. 
  • Research shows the risk of transmission among children wearing masks is very low, even with reduced spacing between desks.

CDPH will continue to assess conditions on an ongoing basis and will determine no later than November 1, 2021, whether to update mask requirements or recommendations.

To read the full updated guidance click on CDPH schools guidance.
Final Weekend of Free COVID-19 Vaccines at
Local School Campuses
No appointment is necessary, but appointments are also available through the county’s scheduling page or by calling 1-833-829-2626.

People younger than 18 need permission from a parent – send in the consent form for your child, located here, or come in person, especially if you need a vaccine too!

More information about coronavirus and vaccines is available at cchealth.org/coronavirus and, for Kaiser Permanente members, at kp.org.

Final School Campus Vaccine Clinic This Weekend
The following school-based vaccine clinic is currently scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

  • July 16-17: San Ramon Valley High School (Danville)
I-680 Contra Costa Express Lanes Begin Tolling on August 20th
Students Can Receive Two Months of Free Rides
On County Connection
Pass2Class offers free bus passes to Contra Costa students at the beginning of the school year to encourage the use of bus transportation to and from school. Pass2Class reduces traffic congestion and air pollution by reducing the number of cars being driven to school. Up to two months of rides are being offered for the 2021/2022 school year to help students as they return to in-person learning.

Passes are available while supplies last. Learn more by clicking on Apply Now in the image above or at 511 Contra Costa..
What is the Truth Act Forum?
In 2017, the Transparent Review of Unjust Transfers and Holds (TRUTH) Act, or Assembly Bill (AB) 2792, went into effect in California. The legislation requires all law enforcement agencies in the state to follow specific protocols regarding undocumented immigrants and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Law enforcement agencies now must provide detainees a written consent form that explains the purpose of the interview; must clarify that an interview is voluntary; afford a detainee the ability to decline an interview; and also must notify the detainee of the intent of the agency to comply with ICE requests, among other stipulations.

The bill also requires local governing bodies, to hold at least one public community forum the following year where a local law enforcement agency has provided ICE access to an individual during the previous year. The purpose of the forum is to provide information to the public about ICE’s access to individuals and to take public comment.  

At the Contra Costa County TRUTH Act Forum on July 27 Contra Costa County residents will hear from the Sheriff’s Office about civil immigration enforcement activities in 2020. The public will also have an opportunity to make public comments. Simultaneous Spanish interpretation will be provided. Participation will be available by phone, email, or Zoom. To watch online, visit https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/, or tune into CCTV either on Channel 99 (AT&T U-Verse), Comcast Channel 27, or Wave Channel 32.

Send written public comments to TRUTHAct@cob.cccounty.us, or by mail to:
Clerk of the Board of Supervisors
1025 Escobar Street
1st Floor
Martinez. CA 94553
For more information on the TRUTH Act, contact my office at 925-957-8860.
Public Safety Power Shutoffs
GET ALERTS ON YOUR CELL PHONE

The Community Warning System can alert residents and businesses within Contra Costa County that are impacted by, or are in danger of being impacted by an emergency.

The CWS message will include basic information about the incident and what specific protective actions (shelter in place, lockdown, evacuate, avoid the area, etc.) are necessary to protect life and health.

CWS is generally not used for traffic notifications or other non-life threatening incidents.
Contra Costa County Library Increases Hours at 17 Libraries
Contra Costa County Library increased their open hours at 17 community libraries on July 1, 2021. Nine libraries have increased hours thanks to funding from city partners. The County has also increased the number of base hours it funds at each library from 35 to 40, allowing for an increase in hours at eight libraries. In total, libraries will be open an additional 121 hours per week, 16.5 hours more per week than before the pandemic began. 

For the complete list of library locations and hours, click here

Visit ccclib.org to sign up for a library card and get connected to books and resources. For questions about Library services and programming or account information, contact the Library via online Chat, email ask@library.cccounty.us or text questions to (925) 290-7627. 
BART Starts Limited Late Night Service for
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
BART will run interim limited late night service after regular BART service ends at 9pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The limited late night service aims to give late night workers and patrons enjoying San Francisco nightlife more options to return home. 

BART will run four trains departing from either Embarcadero or Civic Center at 11:30pm serving eight stops in San Francisco and the East Bay: Civic Center and 16th Street Mission in San Francisco along with Daly City and West Oakland, MacArthur, Pleasant Hill, El Cerrito del Norte, and Bay Fair stations in the East Bay.
The limited late-night service will be available on the nights of July 15-17, July 22-24 and July 29-31. The service will be replaced on Monday, August 2, when BART extends its operating hours to midnight on weekdays and Saturdays. The limited late night plan was announced after BART determined it can accomplish this late night option as it readies staff for the much more robust schedule change on August 2.

The limited late night service will be in addition to the special service for A's night games and the limited service provided for Giants' night games.
Caltrans Advisory: NB SR-242 Concord Full
Highway Closures this Weekend
Caltrans has scheduled a second weekend of full highway closures on Northbound State Route 242 (SR-242) in Concord.

During these closures, Caltrans will complete major roadway rehabilitation work on northbound SR-242. A first weekend of work was completed on Mon., July 12.

Northbound SR-242 is scheduled to be closed starting today, July 16 at 10:00 p.m. until Monday, July 19 at 10:00 a.m.

During these closures, northbound SR-242 will be closed between the SR-242/I-680 separation and the Concord Avenue onramp in Concord.

The eastbound Concord Avenue loop on ramp to northbound SR-242 will also be closed during the 60-hour weekend closure. A local detour will be posted. The westbound Concord Avenue diagonal on ramp to northbound SR-242 will not be affected by these closures.

Northbound SR-242 Detour Route

During the Northbound SR-242 closures, motorists heading eastbound towards Pittsburg and Antioch are advised to use Northbound I-680 to connect with Eastbound State Route 4 (SR-4).

Local traffic is advised to use alternate routes including Monument Boulevard, Willow Pass Road and Concord Avenue. Motorists should watch for detour signs and expect weekend traffic delays on Willow Pass Road, Monument Boulevard and Concord Avenue.

Project Webpage: https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-4/d4-projects/d4-concord-242-rehabilitation. For 24/7 traffic updates, please visit 511.org: https://twitter.com/511SFBay. For real-time information, please visit Caltrans QuickMap: http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov. Or follow Caltrans on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/CaltransD4.
Contra Costa Animal Services/PetHub Partnership
21st Century Pet Identification
Contra Costa Animal Services (CCAS) is excited to announce that they have partnered with PetHub to ensure lost pets in Contra Costa County find their way home as quickly as possible.

Beginning July 1, 2021, CCAS began issuing new PetHub tags for all new license applications and renewals. If you cannot wait until your renewal date to get you an updated tag – don’t worry, they are also accepting replacement license applications.  

PetHub’s system links a physical ID tag to an animal’s online profile that can be accessed through an encrypted connection by anyone with a mobile device, whether a smartphone or standard cellular phone. That profile can be updated free of charge at PetHub.com to allow the owner to list emergency contact information, including that of anyone who helps care for the animal, such as spouses, pet sitters, veterinarians, and other family and friends.

Optional upgrades include “found pet” alerts, GPS notifications, and a way to broadcast a missing pet’s profile to local shelters and businesses (think “Amber alert,” but for pets).

This is a powerful new tool that CCAS is providing to pet parents in Contra Costa County that will support their goal of getting pets back to their families more quickly and reducing the number of lost pets coming into the shelter.

For more information on licensing Click Here.
Visit the CCAS Website.
Middle and High School Youth Submit Art and Poetry
Winners will be announced by 8/23/21. Youth are invited to submit photos of their original art or poetry that shares what’s good in their lives that helps them stay substance free.  
Prizes will be awarded for both the art and poetry contests
1st Place $100         2nd Place $75         3rd Place $50
Danville and Alamo Summer Concerts, Movies and
Other Activities in the Park
Experience a great family film under the stars at the Town Green in Danville, but not before participating in some creative crafts and activities.

Moonlight Movies - Danville Town Green, 420 Front St.
Fridays, July 16 & 30, 2021
Friday, July 16: The Lion King
Friday, July 30: Onward

Crafts & activities start at 6:30 pm;
Movie starts at 8:15 pm
Town Green, Danville
Admission is FREE
For more details and other great activities, go to the Danville Summer Activity Guide.

In Alamo, enjoy great live music, family movies, and the open spaces of Livorna Park to create a memorable summertime experience. You won’t want to miss these movie classics and a trio of talented bands, so pull up a chair or a blanket and enjoy the summer evening.
 
Alamo Movies Under the Stars - Livorna Park at Livorna Road & Miranda Ave.
8:15 pm
Friday, July 23 Toy Story 4

Alamo Summer Concert - Livorna Park at Livorna Road & Miranda Ave.
Select Fridays in July 2021
6:30 – 8:30pm

July 16 • The Sun Kings
July 30 • Fog City Swampers
Livorna Park, Alamo

Admission is FREE
For more information visit ContraCosta.CA.gov.
Wildfire Risk to Communities Website
Wildfire Risk to Communities is a free, easy-to-use website with interactive maps, charts, and data to help communities in the United States understand, explore, and reduce wildfire risk. Maps and data are available at the community, county, and state levels. Wildfire Risk to Communities is a project of the USDA Forest Service, under the direction of Congress in the 2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 1625, Section 210).

On the website, wildfirerisk.org, you can see information that allows you to understand risk, explore risk (including an easy-to-use mapping tool); and, learn about ways to reduce risk.
Measure X Community Advisory Board Seeks Public Input
Measure X, Contra Costa’s new countywide, half-cent sales tax, is expected to raise $112 million for the new fiscal year that begins July 1.

The Measure X Community Advisory Board was formed to identify unmet community needs and recommend spending priorities to the county Board of Supervisors. 

The Advisory Board meets at 5:00 pm every Wednesday via Zoom: https://cccounty-us.zoom.us/j/81176769191

Each meeting features a panel of presenters who have expertise in the need or issue being discussed. Panel members include county staff, community-based organizations, and residents.

Community members are welcome to provide public comments verbally after each panel presentation. Comments can also be submitted in writing to Lisa.Driscoll@cao.cccounty.us. If you submit written testimony by noon on Friday prior to the following week’s meeting, it will be included in the agenda packet that is published for Advisory Board members and the public.

Schedule of issues and needs to be discussed:

July 21 - Immigration, racial equity across systems
July 28 - Library, arts & culture, agriculture, environment, transportation
August 4 - Develop draft priorities & recommendations
August 11 - Finalize recommendations to submit to Board of Supervisors
District 2 Volunteer Opportunities
Now is a great time to consider ways you might want to give back to your community. 2020 saw our advisory bodies pivot to virtual meetings, which is continuing well into 2021. The benefit of these meeting platforms is that more people are able to participate than ever before.

If you are interested in participating in government, then perhaps one of these volunteer opportunities are of interest to you:

Alamo Police Services Advisory Committee (CSA P-2B/APSAC)
Alternate Seat
To advise the Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff's Department on the needs of the Alamo/Danville community for police services.

County Service Area P-5 Citizen Advisory Committee (Roundhill Residents only. one alternate seat available)

The P-5 Committee advises the Board of Supervisors on the needs of the Alamo community for extended police services for Roundhill.

In-Home Support Services Public Authority Advisory Committee (IHSS) https://ehsd.org/elderly-disabled/public-authority/ihss-public-authority-advisory-committee/

Find out more information about volunteering for an advisory body here co.contra-costa.ca.us/3418. To apply online go to www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/.