January 15, 2021
Eden Health District COVID-19 Bulletin
“We’re really in a race now, and this [the new coronavirus variants] only increases our urgency to mass vaccinate the population before additional variants evolve and emerge.”
Dr. Charles Chiu, Director of viral diagnostics at UCSF, 1/14/21
Seniors in Pleasanton retirement community line up for vaccinations
Stoneridge Creek in Pleasanton hosted a vaccination event this week where almost 1,100 residents and employees received their first dosage of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. Turnout was exceptionally high with around 95% of residents opting to take the vaccine.

"We've had a lot of fun with it, we know this is, normally people don't get excited about vaccines, flu vaccine doesn't have the same reaction," Stoneridge Creek Retirement Community's Executive Director Zeke Griffin said on Tuesday.

"It symbolizes more than just getting a vaccine, it's hopefully getting back to normal. We know that doesn't happen tomorrow, that doesn't happen three weeks from now but it's getting closer and this is a legitimate effort to get closer. So people are thrilled. Yesterday it was almost like the Beatles were playing, people were acting like 'I'm going to get into the concert.' There's a lot of excitement," Griffin added.
Typical of vaccination events held throughout the state, participants lined up -- at least six feet apart of course -- to receive their vaccine and then are held for at least 15 minutes afterward for observation.

Griffin described the coronavirus vaccination as being similar to the flu shot, with the only side effect being a slightly sore arm.

By the Numbers
Bay Area: 325,636

California: 2,880,828

U.S.: 23,580,828
Alameda County

Cases: 64,364

Deaths: 768

Test Positivity: 10.9%

Hospitalized Patients: 489

ICU Beds Available: 59
Bay Area: 3,259

California: 32,332

U.S.: 390,649
Contra Costa County

Cases: 50,627

Deaths: 430

Test Positivity: 12.9%

Hospitalized Patients: 276

ICU Beds Available: 35
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
East Bay Times, January 15, 2021
Hours after debuting their respective Covid-19 vaccination appointment offerings on Thursday, two of California’s largest health care providers were inundated with a crush of anxious vaccine seekers, pushing their systems to the breaking point and raising questions about rollout readiness in the state.

Sutter Health’s website crashed, and Kaiser Permanente’s phone line [866-454-8855] warned callers they may face up to four-hour wait times, leaving many of state’s seniors confused and frustrated.

Sutter Health on Thursday morning launched vaccine appointments for Californians at least 75 years old and health care workers. Those eligible to receive their first dose were permitted to make appointments via Sutter’s call center or through the health care provider’s My Health Online portal. But throughout most of the afternoon, many online users couldn’t reach Sutter Health’s website.

Kaiser Permanente, which opened up a limited supply of appointments to Californians 65 and older, health care workers and long-term care patients and staff, faced similar issues with wait times of four hours on its appointment phone line. Kaiser is currently only allowing patients to sign up for appointments via phone but plans to have an online self-service portal in place by next week to give eligible people the opportunity to schedule an appointment online if vaccines are available, according to a statement from the company.

Alameda County Heath Care Services Agency, Press Release, January 14, 2021
As demand for the vaccine continues to exceed supply, Alameda County is balancing shifting priorities We are continuing to vaccinate health care workers eligible for Phase 1a and anticipate starting Phase 1b in the coming weeks. We have more hospitals and health care facilities than surrounding Bay Area counties, and our estimated population for Phase 1a exceeds 145,000 people. 

For those who are age 65 and older and are interested in getting vaccinated, we encourage you to please reach out to your health care provider to see if they have vaccine available at this time. Otherwise, we anticipate being able to start vaccinating this group in the coming weeks. 

County Vaccine Distribution Plans

SF Chronicle, January 14, 2021
Bay Area county officials expressed major frustration this week at how the state has allocated precious vaccines, saying they aren’t receiving enough doses and the supply is unpredictable. Officials say the chaotic system makes it hard to plan how many doses can be administered on a given day, and how much staff is needed to do so. Many counties also say they have the capacity to administer many more doses, if only they could obtain them from the state.

The amount of vaccine that counties gets every week also varies widely. San Francisco received 3,900 doses in the first week of January and then 11,825 the following week. Next week, the county was told it will receive 4,275 doses — a huge drop with no reason given. While the bulk of California’s doses are being given to large health care providers, like Kaiser and Sutter Health, county health departments are also responsible for vaccinating tens of thousands of frontline workers and those without insurance.

East Bay Times, January 15, 2021
Alameda County must release records to this news organization revealing how many people at nursing homes and other long-term congregate care facilities were infected with COVID-19 and how many died, as well as the names of facilities with confirmed cases, a judge has decided. In his ruling, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo also stated that a federal health privacy law known as HIPAA cannot be used to withhold information that isn’t exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act.

Since the pandemic began, public agencies across California have declined to release detailed information about outbreaks, often citing the federal privacy law. While the state of Oregon regularly posts online detailed information about infections in workplaces, for example, only a handful of California counties do the same.
Vaccine & Health News
Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2021
A highly transmissible coronavirus variant that was first identified in the U.K. is spreading rapidly in the U.S. and likely to become the dominant strain circulating domestically in March without measures to slow it, federal health authorities said.
Health officials called Friday for increasing mitigation efforts, like wearing masks and social distancing, to curb the spread of the more contagious variant.

The “B.1.1.7” variant had infected at least 76 people in 12 states as of Jan. 13 and threatens to worsen the pandemic in the U.S. in coming months as daily cases and hospitalizations are already at record levels, the CDC said in a report modeling the potential impact of the variant.

While the new variant doesn’t appear to cause more severe illness, it is more contagious than the currently dominating strain of the coronavirus, the CDC said. That means it could lead to more hospitalizations and deaths by infecting more people overall, the agency said, exacerbating pressures on health-care systems that are already at or near capacity.

SF Chronicle, January 14, 2021
As California struggles to get potentially lifesaving vaccines into as many arms as possible, concern is mounting that the rapid spread of multiple, highly contagious variants of the coronavirus around the world could lead to another, perhaps deadlier surge. So far there is no evidence that any of the more contagious variants are spreading widely in the United States, though at least one — a variant that took off in the United Kingdom — has been identified in a few dozen cases across the country, including in California.

But at some point soon the new U.K. variant — or another mutation of the virus, including one that might evade or partially evade coronavirus vaccines — could get a foothold and lead to a new spike in cases, even as California battles a surge that has caused 5,700 deaths statewide in just the first 14 days of the year.

Nature, January 14, 2021
Most people who catch and recover from COVID-19 are likely to be immune for several months afterwards, a study of more than 20,000 health-care workers in the United Kingdom has found. The study — called SARS-CoV-2 Immunity and Reinfection Evaluation (SIREN) — concluded that immune responses from past infection reduce the risk of catching the virus again by 83% for at least 5 months.

The data suggest that repeat infections are rare — they occurred in fewer than 1% of about 6,600 participants who had already been ill with COVID-19. But the researchers also found that people who become reinfected can carry high levels of the virus in their nose and throat, even when they do not show symptoms. 

“Reinfection is pretty unusual, so that’s good news,” says immunologist John Wherry at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “But you’re not free to run around without a mask.”

The Guardian, January 15, 2021
The Guardian summarizes what family members caring for an infected patient can expect, and how can they keep themselves safe during this time.

The virus is predominantly transmitted through respiratory droplets produced when people cough, talk or sneeze. These can be breathed in, but quickly fall to the floor, so during the early days of infection it pays to keep your distance – ideally [6 feet] or more. If possible, the infected person should wear a face covering, as should other household members.

SF Chronicle, January 15, 2021
The Chronicle explains that a recent positive antibody test does not necessarily mean a person is now immune to the coronavirus and can not infect others.

Kaiser Health News, January 15, 2021
“Masks and social distancing will need to continue into the foreseeable future — until we have some level of herd immunity,” said Dr. Preeti Malani, chief health officer at the University of Michigan.
US and California Data: Last 90 Days
Covid Tracking Project, 1/14/21 (bold lines are 7-day averages)
United States
California News
Mercury News, January 15, 2021
As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on in California, the southern half of the state on Thursday continued to report record numbers of fatalities, while closer to home, Santa Clara County became the first in the Bay Area to record 1,000 lives lost to the virus.

Altogether, counties around the state combined for their third-largest death toll on any single day of the pandemic, with 631 on Thursday, increasing the cumulative total to 32,288, including a record 3,732 just in the past week — an average of more than 530 per day. With Thursday’s tally, California has now recorded its nine deadliest days of the pandemic since New Year’s Eve. The only two days with a higher death toll than Thursday came this past Tuesday and the Friday before that.

Associated Press, January 15, 2021
With demand for the coronavirus vaccine vastly outpacing supply, California’s efforts to methodically plan who gets a vaccine and when are quickly being thrown out the window.

Vaccine providers not adhering to their own schedules or the rules created by the state, which itself angered many local health officials by quickly adding those over 65 to the priority list this week, despite severe vaccine shortages. More than 10 million people are now eligible for vaccines but only about 900,000 have gotten shots.

SF Chronicle, January 14, 2021
As California enters the final stretch of its 10-day sprint to inoculate a million more people against Covid-19, the state is far short of its goal.

To reach the million-vaccine target that Newsom has touted, health officials would have to get about 500,000 more shots into people’s arms by the end of Friday, quadrupling their pace of recent days. California had already administered nearly half a million doses total when the governor set his goal last week, and as of Wednesday, the total stood at 971,829, according to the state Department of Public Health.

Sacramento Bee, January 15, 2021
California state and local government could benefit from billions of dollars in new federal financial support if President-elect Joe Biden can convince Congress to pass a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan he unveiled Thursday.

Biden’s economic relief plan avoids a big aid package for state and local governments to use as they want. Republicans blocked that idea throughout 2020, complaining that the money would too often be spent irresponsibly.

Instead, Biden would designate the aid for specific uses. It’s not clear yet exactly how much California would get from the proposal, but the massive spending plan includes hundreds of billions of dollars in aid for state and local governments, public health departments, and schools, all of which could directly benefit the Golden State.

LA Times, January 15, 2021
If the plan works, anyone eligible for a coronavirus vaccine will be able to drive to Dodger Stadium, roll down their car window and get an injection. About 12,000 people a day will get shots under the ambitious goals for what will probably be one of the country’s largest vaccination sites, set to open Friday at 8 a.m.

As California officials rush to set up vaccination “super sites” at Dodger Stadium, Disneyland and other major landmarks in a bid to improve one of the country’s lowest per-capita vaccination rates, they’re facing even bigger hurdles than in the early days of mass coronavirus testing.

LA Times, January 14, 2021
Covid-19 is continuing to put immense strain on healthcare systems throughout California, pushing some hospitals perilously close to a tipping point where officials may have to decide which patients should receive scarce resources, and which shouldn’t.
This bleak outcome, referred to as crisis care, has yet to occur and is “a last-resort environment,” according to Carmela Coyle, president and chief executive of the California Hospital Association. The risk is real, however — particularly in hard-hit Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley — and Coyle said that all hands were on deck to try to stave off that eventuality.
US News
STAT, January 15, 2021
President-elect Biden has tapped David Kessler, a former Food and Drug Administration chief and a key adviser to his campaign, to lead the president-elect’s version of the Operation Warp Speed vaccine program. Kessler will replace Moncef Slaoui, a former pharmaceutical industry executive tapped by Trump for the job.

Kessler’s duties will have a larger remit than Slaoui’s previous role as chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed, a transition official told STAT. Where Slaoui focused largely on clinical development of vaccines, Kessler will also work on issues like manufacturing, distribution, and safety.

Vox, January 14, 2021
President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled his opening bid on Covid-19 relief and economic recovery: a $1.9 trillion stimulus deal meant to help the United States address the health and economic crises induced by the pandemic.

The proposal, called the American Rescue Plan, is divvied up into three buckets: $400 billion for dealing with the coronavirus, including vaccines and testing; $1 trillion in direct relief to families; and $400 billion in aid to communities and businesses. It includes money for testing, vaccines, and public health workers; $400 a week in extended federal unemployment insurance through September; rental assistance; emergency paid leave; and funding for reopening schools, among other items.
And, as Democrats promised when campaigning in Georgia, Biden’s plan would send out another $1,400 in stimulus checks, bringing the total this year to $2,000.

Washington Post, January 15, 2021
When Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced this week that the federal government would begin releasing coronavirus vaccine doses held in reserve for second shots, no such reserve existed, according to state and federal officials briefed on distribution plans. The Trump administration had already begun shipping out what was available beginning at the end of December, taking second doses directly off the manufacturing line.

Now, health officials across the country who had anticipated their extremely limited vaccine supply as much as doubling beginning next week are confronting the reality that their allocations will remain largely flat, dashing hopes of dramatically expanding access for millions of elderly people and those with high-risk medical conditions. Health officials in some cities and states were informed in recent days about the reality of the situation, while others are still in the dark.

Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2021
Arizona has the highest Covid-19 infection rate in the U.S. and is on the brink of running out of space in crowded hospitals, according to public-health and hospital officials.

“We’re the hottest spot in the U.S. and among the hottest spots in the entire world,” said Keith Frey, chief medical officer for hospital chain Dignity Health’s Arizona division. “If we don’t slow this down over the course of the next days and weeks, then we will be fully into that crisis zone.” Mr. Humble estimated that if current trends continue, the Covid-19 situation in Arizona will in a few weeks be as bad as that in nearby Southern California.

Associated Press, January 15, 2021
As states across the U.S. roll out the Covid-19 vaccine to people 65 and older, senior citizens are scrambling to figure out how to sign up to get their shots. Many states and counties ask people to make appointments online, but glitchy websites, overwhelmed phone lines and a patchwork of fast-changing rules are bedeviling older people who are often less tech-savvy, may live far from vaccination sites and are more likely to not have internet access at all, especially people of color and those who are poor.

Some health officials have been trying to find solutions to ease the confusion and help senior citizens sign up, just as the Trump administration urged states this week to make the nation’s 54 million seniors eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. Some places have found simple ideas work.
CA Education News
LA Times, January 15, 2021
Gov. Newsom has made changes to his plan to reopen schools, including a small decrease in the case rate that would allow elementary students to campus for in-person classes.

Under the new guidance, K-6 schools in counties with a 7-day average of 25 or fewer cases per 100,000 residents would be eligible to begin reopening, down from the 28 cases per 100,000 that the governor had announced in December.
But even that reduced number is significantly lower than the current rates in many California counties, offering diminished hope that schools — particularly in Southern California — can reopen soon. In L.A. County, for example, the adjusted Covid-19 case rate is 77 per 100,000 residents; Orange County, 79; Riverside County, 107; San Bernardino County 103 and San Diego County, 70.

Mercury News, January 15, 2021
California officials Thursday ordered schools statewide to begin reporting new coronavirus cases within 24 hours and their reopening status every two weeks as part of Gov. Newsom’s broader effort to spur a return of kids to the classroom.
That effort marks a change from last summer when the state was encouraging schools to start the new school year in online-only “distance learning” and had no plans to comprehensively track school cases or reopening. Districts and teacher unions have cited a lack of information about school outbreaks and reopenings as a concern. The infection information is to be reported to the state effective immediately and the reopening status starting Jan. 25, but it was unclear how much would be publicly available and when.

LA Times, January 14, 2021
California’s top education officials are struggling with how — or even if — millions of students should take annual standardized tests at home amid ongoing school closures and the hardships of surging Covid-19 rates.

Although members of the state Board of Education voted to move forward this week with complex standardized testing plans, a majority of members said at their Wednesday meeting that they support seeking a federal waiver to skip testing for a second consecutive year because of the many complications, stresses on children and families, security challenges and even the inability of many students to take the test online at home.

EdSource, January 14, 2021
Gov. Newsom announced Thursday the creation of one online spot where school districts can find technical information and resources, and parents can find answers and lodge concerns on reopening schools during the pandemic. It includes a website that will launch later this month that will list Covid outbreaks by school and district and permit parents to file complaints online and through a hotline telephone if their schools are not following safety protocols.

The new New Safe Schools for All Hub, linking to California Department of Public Health guidelines and providing new resources and rationales for the state’s Covid strategies, elaborates on Newsom’s initial Safe Schools for All plan that he announced on Dec. 30. He had promised but not detailed more transparency, data and reassurances to justify his goal of reopening elementary schools in February and March.
US Education News
NY Times, January 14, 2021
It wasn’t until last fall that many parents started to breathe easier, as it became clear that elementary schools, at least, were not cesspools of infection with the coronavirus. But the alarming news of a more contagious version of the virus, first identified in Britain, revived those concerns. Recent research from Public Health England may put those fears to rest.

The variant spreads more easily among children, just as it does among adults. The report estimated that the new variant is about 30% to 50% more contagious than its predecessors — less than the 70% researchers had initially estimated, but high enough that the variant is expected to pummel the United States and other countries, as it did Britain. If community prevalence rises to unmanageable levels — a likely proposition, given the surge in most states — even elementary schools may be forced to close.

Wired, January 15, 2021
Last January, as Covid-19 began to sweep across the globe, one of the surprising silver linings of the fast-moving public health crisis was that kids appeared to largely be left out of it. The earliest data from China and Europe showed that the coronavirus infected children only rarely, and mostly caused mild illness when it did. Over the last 12 months, observational analyses of tens of millions of Covid-19 cases and ginned-up surveillance studies have produced much better (though sometimes conflicting) data. Some of the initial science still stands.

But much of it has evolved into a more nuanced understanding of how frequently young people pick up, spread, and suffer from SARS-CoV-2. And a year into this pandemic, scientists have finally accumulated enough evidence to say a few things for sure.

The first is that children are, as a whole, less susceptible to the worst outcomes of Covid-19 than people over the age of 18. In the US, kids are between four and nine times less likely than adults to be hospitalized with Covid-19, and between nine and 16 times less likely to die, according to CDC data.

“But it still happens,” says Lindsay Thompson, a pediatrician and the vice chair for health outcomes and translational research at the University of Florida. “Children have died. Children are dying.” It’s been happening more often in recent months, as the US’ fumbling, partisan pandemic response failed to arrest the virus’s spread and the rate of Covid-19 cases among children began to rise. Kids might be less likely to suffer the worst ravages of the disease. But when tens of millions of Americans are contracting Covid-19, even a low incidence of bad outcomes quickly starts to add up.

The Conversation, January 14, 2021
We found that schools can reopen for in-person instruction without further spreading Covid-19 in nearby communities if the number of people with the disease is relatively low. But if there are more than 21 cases per 100,000 people, Covid-19 spread may increase.
To reach this conclusion, we used data from September through December 2020 in Michigan and Washington states – both of which allowed districts to decide whether or not to offer in-person schooling at that time – to analyze how these different instructional decisions affect Covid-19 case rates.
Hospital hits milestone, sends 1,000th Covid-19 patient home
Doctors, nurses and staff at Boca Raton Regional Hospital in Florida hit a milestone this month and sent their 1,000th Covid-19 patient home.

The Palm Beach County man seen in a Facebook video posted by the hospital spent weeks in the ICU fighting the same virus that has taken so many lives but left as a survivor.

The patient who enjoyed the honor spent weeks in the ICU fighting the same virus that has taken so many lives but left as a survivor. The day he was discharged, staff members cheered him on, clapping and yelling, “you did it!” as he was wheeled down the hallway, then outside.

The patient's release was a joyous moment, but also a stark reminder of how many people have been affected by the virus and continue to be with cases rising.
“It’s not an easy time but we are handling it and we are doing well, we’re seeing some of the benefits of the treatments over the last several months,” Dr. Sam Fahmy, chief medical officer at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, stated. “We have a lot of pain we’ve dealt with this year but definitely a lot of positive emotions from cases like this one,” he added.

The patient wasn’t available for an interview, but hospital officials said he’s in good spirits and is recovering at home with family.

Source: WPBF TV News
International News
Washington Post, January 15, 2021
One month into the largest mass immunization campaign in Canadian history, joy and relief have given way to exasperation and a smidgen of partisan finger-pointing amid a rollout that critics say has been uneven, bumpy and sluggish. Despite securing more vaccine doses per capita than any other country in the world, it has lagged the United States, Britain, Israel and others in getting shots into arms.

Canada has given at least one dose of a vaccine to 1.11% of its population, according to the University of Oxford’s Our World in Data site. The United States has administered three times as many doses per capita. “The vaccine rollout across our country has lacked speed,” said Nathan Stall, a geriatrician at the Sinai Health System in Toronto. “It has lacked urgency. It has lacked transparency. And it has started to deviate from some of the priority populations … who need it most.”

Washington Post, January 14, 2021
Brazil, hit by the third-most cases in the world, has long seen a vaccine as the only way out. But while wealthier countries have galloped into their vaccination campaigns, Brazil has been stumbling. Mass vaccination still hasn’t begun. Misinformation and vaccine hesitance are rising.

And now, a fresh setback: a vaccine that’s good — but not great. Days after officials here announced that the vaccine produced by the Chinese company Sinovac — and tested on 12,000 Brazilians — was 78% effective in protecting against moderate and severe Covid-19 cases, they clarified this week that its efficacy rate among all cases was only 50.4%. That exceeds the threshold established by the World Health Organization — but only barely.

NY Times, January 15, 2021
Hospitals across the country are stretched to the brink with Covid-19 patients, medical staff are at their breaking point, and the death toll is soaring.

Decisions about who dies and who is given a chance at survival through intensive care grow more challenging by the day. The amount of oxygen being given to severely ill patients has been reduced in a few hospitals to prevent a “catastrophic failure” of overstressed infrastructure. Some institutions are moving Covid-19 patients to hotels to free up beds.

Ambulance crews frequently wait hours to offload patients. And medical workers on the front lines are reporting levels of emotional trauma that outstrip even those of combat veterans.
The number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients in England has risen sharply since Christmas and now dwarfs the spring peak by 70%, with almost 14,000 more patients in hospitals than on April 12.

Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2021
Australia has relied on one of the world’s most aggressive quarantine programs to keep the coronavirus at bay. Now, one leader wants to go further by housing returned travelers in Outback camps far from cities as new Covid-19 variants threaten the country’s success.

The premier of Queensland state wants to repurpose camps designed for resources workers as isolation hubs in remote scrubland where temperatures can top 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It follows an outbreak of a highly contagious coronavirus strain at a quarantine hotel in Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city and the state capital, with a population of about 2.5 million people.

Bloomberg, January 15, 2021
The women of Mexico already faced the worst economic prospects in Latin America. Now the pandemic threatens to sink them even further, aggravating chronic inequality and dragging down the country’s fortunes.

Almost two-thirds of the nation’s job losses during the outbreak fell on women, according to government data. These setbacks are compounded by the government’s failure to support parents during the crisis, while a lack of fiscal stimulus means any economic recovery depends mostly on male-dominated heavy industries that export.
NY Times, January 14, 2021
Since March, at least 400,000 more Americans have died than would have in a normal year, a sign of the broad devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

An analysis of mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows how the pandemic is bringing with it unusual patterns of death, even higher than the official totals of deaths that have been directly linked to the virus. Deaths nationwide were 18 percent higher than normal from March 15, 2020, to Dec. 26, 2020. As Covid-19 cases have spread across the country, the geographic patterns of abnormal mortality statistics have followed. Excess deaths have peaked three times, so far, as have deaths from Covid-19. There are now excess deaths in every state, with surges in states like California, Colorado, Kansas and Ohio fueling record death tolls in recent weeks.

Anna Maria Barry-Jester, California Healthline, January 14, 2021
With relatively little help from the federal government, each state has built its own vaccination rollout plan. In California, where public health is largely a county-level operation, the same departments managing testing and contact tracing for an out-of-control epidemic are leading the effort.

That puts an already beleaguered workforce at the helm of yet another time-consuming undertaking. A lack of resources and limited planning by the federal and state governments have made it that much harder to get operations up and running. “We are flying the plane as we are building it,” said Jason Hoppin, a spokesperson for Santa Cruz County. ”All of these logistical pieces are just a huge puzzle to work out.”

Usha Lee McFarling, STAT, January 15, 2021
Just why did conditions deteriorate so badly in Southern California? And do the overwhelmed hospitals here offer a glimpse of what other regions may soon face as case counts rise steeply and a seemingly more infectious strain takes hold?

Or did the unique and long-standing vulnerabilities of the nation’s second largest city conspire to ignite this current “surge on top of surge” that so many had feared but few predicted would get so bad that residents would be urged to refrain from entering grocery stores and, in some cases, to wear masks even while they are at home. Like the city itself, the answers are complex — and also a bit perplexing.

Russell Contreras, Axios, January 15, 2021
Civil rights leaders and Black sports icons are publicly taking Covid-19 vaccines to encourage African Americans to follow their example as social media misinformation exploits Black distrust of vaccines.

The coronavirus has disproportionately struck Black, Latino, and Native American communities, and health officials are racing to reassure skeptical populations that the vaccines aren't clandestine experiments, but needed measures to tame the pandemic. 
African Americans have been infected with Covid-19 at nearly three times the rate of white Americans, according to the National Urban League. The infection rate for African Americans is 62 per 10,000, compared with 23 per 10,000 for white residents, a report by the group said. Around 40% of Black residents said they would not get the coronavirus vaccine, a December survey found.

Dawn Gilbertson, USA Today, January 15, 2021
Data from Canadian public health authorities show a near daily occurrence of flights where a passenger may have been infected while flying.

From the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March through early January, the Public Health Agency of Canada has identified potential exposure on more than 1,600 international flights and more than 1,400 flights within Canada, for a total of more than 3,000 flights, including nearly 200 in the past two weeks alone.
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 1/14/21
by day as of 1/14/21
Over the last seven days, Alameda County officials have reported 6,845 new coronavirus cases, which amounts to 416 cases per 100,000 residents.
Over the last seven days, Contra Costa County officials have reported 4,792 new coronavirus cases, which amounts to 423 cases per 100,000 residents.
Top 10 Locations of Cases in Alameda County, as of 1/14/21
Oakland: 19,939

Hayward: 10,122

Fremont: 5,630

Eden MAC: 4,469

San Leandro: 3,918

Livermore: 3,289

Union City: 2,972

Berkeley: 2,261

Newark: 2,039

Castro Valley: 1,862
Top 10 Locations of Cases in Contra Costa County, as of 1/15/21
Richmond: 7,961

Antioch: 6,727

Concord: 6,140

Pittsburgh: 5,014

San Pablo: 4,003

Brentwood: 2,630

Oakley: 2,170

Walnut Creek: 2,092

Bay Point: 2,072

San Ramon: 1,535
East Bay Resources

Where to get a Covid-19 Test

Vaccine Distribution Plan

Reopening: List of Businesses and Activities

Food Pantries
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.