January 6, 2021
Eden Health District COVID-19 Bulletin
“We’re no longer a wave or surge, or surge upon a surge. We really are in the middle of a viral tsunami.”
Robert Kim-Farley, epidemiologist, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, 1/6/21

“I’m trying to hold on to the hope that the vaccines represent. As flawed as the rollout has been, at the very least it is hope. It feels like we’re at the bottom of the well looking up at a very distant light.”
Angela Rasmussen, virologist, Georgetown Center for Global Health Science and Security, 1/6/21
Oakland activist pushes for educational equity during Covid-19
With part of her childhood spent growing up in a San Francisco housing project, Lakisha Young had the chance to attend good schools and experience the power of education to “open doors to a different kind of life.”

As a mother of three children in the Oakland schools, Young’s experience fueled her desire to help low-income students in the district have similar access to a good education and go to college. Her efforts became imperative after the Covid-19 pandemic closed schools, and many Black and Latino students were left at a serious disadvantage.

Young is co-founder and CEO of The Oakland Reach, a parent-led advocacy group that was established in 2016. The Reach garnered national attention for its “City-Wide Virtual Hub,” which kicked off in June with an online summer academic and enrichment program for low-income K-8 students.

As the Hub launched a second phase when school resumed remotely in the fall, the Reach joined Los Angeles parents in a lawsuit against the state for failing to provide “basic educational equality” as schools continue distance learning.
In a recent interview, Young noted, “When Covid-19 hit, you had the school district and the teachers at the bargaining table, figuring out how many hours they would be teaching online. The thing we want to see is parents at the bargaining table. Some of our teachers also didn’t have good internet access and computers. We had to purchase those for them as well, so they could teach in the new normal. The Hub focuses on ensuring families receive high-quality remote instruction.”

When ask about how this pandemic has presented opportunities to make real improvements in education, Young replied: “In-person instruction wasn’t that great prior to Covid. Less than 30 percent of Black and Brown students in the district were reading on grade level. When it’s time to go back to classes, we have to make sure our families have something worth going back to.”
She said, “These issues are not new issues, but we have a new opportunity to do something.”

Source: Mercury News
By the Numbers
Bay Area: 284,025

California: 2,499,311

U.S.: 21,201,638
Alameda County

Cases: 56,432

Deaths: 656

Adjusted Cases per Day: 22.5

Test Positivity: 9.2%

Hospitalized Patients: 493

ICU Beds Available: 71
Bay Area: 2,716

California: 27,531

U.S.: 359,593
Contra Costa County

Cases: 43,661

Deaths: 355

Adjusted Cases per Day: 39.7

Test Positivity: 11.1%

Hospitalized Patients: 284

ICU Beds Available: 36
Bay Area ICU Capacity: 7.4%

Sources: Johns Hopkins UniversitySF Chronicle, and dashboards for California and Alameda and Contra Costa Counties
Adjusted cases per day is per 100,000 residents. Test positivity is based on a 14-day average. Hospitalized patients refers to patients with confirmed and suspected Covid-19.
Bay Area News
Mercury News, January 6, 2021
Residents of long term care homes were supposed to be first in line to receive a precious COVID-19 vaccination, through an innovative federal partnership. But so far the vaccine rollout for the state’s most vulnerable population has resulted mostly in frustration — and now some counties are offering vaccinations to nursing homes and assisted living facilities from their limited supply rather than continue to wait for the federal vaccination program.

Using vaccine doses provided by Contra Costa County, John Muir Health on Wednesday will vaccinate people at Byron Park in Walnut Creek, following last week’s shots given to residents and employees of another facility, Viamonte, which had expected to rely on the federal program. And this week, staff and residents of Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, one of the largest skilled nursing facilities in the state, received their shots from San Francisco Department of Public Health.

“The feds screwed this up,” said Michael Wasserman, a geriatrician and former president of the California Association for Long Term Care Medicine who has been critical of the federal plan, which is supposed to operate by supplying vaccine directly to CVS and Walgreens for senior homes.

It is difficult, however, to get a comprehensive picture of what is happening with the federal program in California. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not respond to a request for information, and a CVS spokesperson insisted the company began performing vaccinations in California nursing homes on Dec. 28. But the Bay Area News Group spoke with just one facility — the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living — that said it is currently receiving vaccinations from CVS.

Berkeleyside, January 5, 2021
Alameda County will request a year-long delay to its federally mandated count of homeless residents because of coronavirus safety concerns.
Counties across the U.S. are required to conduct “point-in-time” counts of unhoused residents every two years in January in order to receive federal homeless assistance funds. Groups of volunteers patrol the streets on a single night, tallying the number of homeless people they see and reporting data that are used not only to secure the federal funding, but to inform countless policy and resourcing decisions on the local and state levels as well.

Berkeleyside, January 5, 2021
The Berkeley Public Health Department has vaccinated nearly 500 frontline healthcare workers since the Covid-19 vaccine was approved in December, and hundreds more doses are in the process of being distributed at local hospitals and senior care facilities.

The city has received 1,100 doses of the Moderna vaccine to date in addition to the 975 Pfizer doses Alta Bates received in December, according to Lisa Warhuus, director of the Health, Housing and Community Services Department. She described the rollout as an “unprecedented” work in progress during Mayor Jesse Arreguín’s first virtual town hall of the year on Monday evening.

Vaccines at skilled nursing and long-term care facilities in Berkeley are being administered through a federal partnership with Walgreens and CVS pharmacies. The five skilled nursing facilities in the city are Elmwood, Chaparral, Kyakameena, Berkeley Pines and Ashby Care Center. Silverado is the only long-term care facility. 

Warhuus said Berkeley has received word from the state that three facilities will begin receiving vaccines this week. She did not specify which facilities are receiving the vaccine first but said the state notifies the city a few days in advance. Additional locations will likely receive the vaccine soon.

Mercury News, January 6, 2021
The coronavirus outbreak at Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center after a well-meaning staff member pranced through the Emergency Department in an air-powered tree costume on Christmas Day swelled to 60 cases Tuesday, according to Kaiser.

That’s up 16 from the 44 infected employees originally reported by Kaiser over the weekend, which included the death of a hospital reception clerk. In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Kaiser said all 60 cases involved employees who were in the ER on Christmas Day. In addition, doctors have contacted 70 patients who were treated and discharged from the ER on the holiday and Covid tests are being “made available” to them.
Vaccine & Health News
STAT, January 6, 2021
Twenty-nine people in the United States have developed anaphylaxis after being vaccinated against Covid-19 since the vaccine rollout began, health officials reported Wednesday, with cases occurring after vaccination using both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the allergic reactions do not change its recommendations on who can be vaccinated against Covid-19, with senior officials stressing that the risk of severe illness and death from the disease still outweighs the risk of developing anaphylaxis after vaccination. An early assessment by CDC scientists suggested anaphylaxis occurred at a rate of about 11.1 cases per 1 million vaccine doses in the first week and a half of the vaccine program.

“Of course, we all would hope that any vaccine would have zero adverse events. But even at 11 cases per million doses administered, it’s a very safe vaccine,” said Nancy Messonnier, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “We’re in the setting of 2,000 Covid deaths per day. … I would say it’s still a good value proposition for someone to get vaccinated.”

NY Times, January 6, 2021
With no robust system to identify genetic variations of the coronavirus, experts warn that the United States is woefully ill-equipped to track a dangerous new mutant, leaving health officials blind as they try to combat the grave threat.

The variant, which is now surging in Britain and burdening its hospitals with new cases, is rare for now in the United States. But it has the potential to explode in the next few weeks, putting new pressures on American hospitals, some of which are already near the breaking point.

The United States has no large-scale, nationwide system for checking coronavirus genomes for new mutations, including the ones carried by the new variant. About 1.4 million people test positive for the virus each week, but researchers are only doing genome sequencing — a method that can definitively spot the new variant — on fewer than 3,000 of those weekly samples. And that work is done by a patchwork of academic, state and commercial laboratories.

Science, January 5, 2021
For Covid-19 researchers, the new year brings a strong sense of déjà vu. As in early 2020, the world is anxiously watching a virus spread in one country and trying to parse the risk for everyone else. This time it is not a completely new threat, but a rapidly spreading variant of SARS-CoV-2. In southeastern England, where the B.1.1.7 variant first caught scientists’ attention last month, it has quickly replaced other variants, and it may be the harbinger of a new, particularly perilous phase of the pandemic.

Science, January 6, 2021
Comment by Dr. Eric Topol on study: "After covid-19 infections, most people have a durable and robust immune response lasting at least 8 months."

NY Times, January 6, 2021
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health and the drugmaker Moderna are analyzing vaccine research data to see if they can double the supply of the company’s coronavirus vaccine by cutting doses in half, a move that would help alleviate vaccine shortages as the country surpassed more than 21 million virus cases. The research, which also involves scientists from Operation Warp Speed, the government’s vaccine initiative, could take about two months, Dr. John Mascola, the director of the Vaccine Research Center at the NIH, stated.

CNBC, January 6, 2021
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Wednesday urged states against “micromanaging” their allotted coronavirus vaccine doses, saying it’s better to get the shots out as quickly as possible even if they haven’t been able to vaccinate all of their health-care workers.

“There is no reason that states need to complete, say vaccinating all health-care providers, before opening vaccinations to older Americans or other especially vulnerable populations,” Azar told reporters during a press briefing.
US and California Data: Last 90 Days
Covid Tracking Project, 1/5/21 (bold lines are 7-day averages)
United States
California News
LA Times, January 6, 2021
Hospitals across Los Angeles County were fighting a losing fight Tuesday to stay ahead of the coronavirus surge as the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients topped 8,000 and the countywide coronavirus death toll rose by nearly 1,300 in the last week.

L.A. County hit another distressing milestone, surpassing 11,000 deaths Tuesday since the beginning of the pandemic. Officials warned that conditions will only worsen in coming weeks as people infected during the holidays become sick and need medical care. Over the past week, L.A. County averaged 183 Covid-19 deaths a day — the equivalent of one every eight minutes — and 13,500 new coronavirus infections, a count expected to grow with the reopening of testing sites after the holidays. The county’s cumulative coronavirus case count now tops 841,000.

Hospital staffing remains stressed across the county, and officials have warned that the quality of care is being compromised. Over three-quarters of the patients in ICUs have Covid-19.
All hospitals are experiencing a large number of staff members unable to work because they are under isolation or quarantine, Dr. Christina Ghaly, the L.A. County director of health services, told the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Associated Press, January 6, 2021
Hospitals in California are so swamped by the coronavirus pandemic that the state has ordered those with room to accept patients from others that are out of intensive care beds.

The public health order issued Tuesday night could result in patients being shipped to Northern California from Southern California and the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, where 14 counties were immediately ordered to delay nonessential “and non-life threatening” surgeries in order to provide beds. The order, which will last at least three weeks, also applies to any county where ICU capacity to treat Covid-19 patients is bottoming out.

The order could be a bellwether for California, where officials have warned that some hospitals may have to start rationing care if an expected post-holiday surge in Covid-19 cases overwhelms the health care system.

LA Times, January 5, 2021
Promising to help small businesses and unemployed Californians hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, Gov. Newsom on Tuesday previewed a $4.5-billion stimulus program that includes a variety of grants and tax incentives, many of which would require swift legislative approval to take effect.

The proposal also includes money earmarked for low-income residents to purchase zero-emission vehicles and for more charging and fueling stations to be built across the state, seeking to pair an economic incentive with progress on California’s ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals.
Newsom’s plan includes $575 million for small businesses, allocated in grants of up to $25,000 for the state’s smallest companies that are struggling as a result of the pandemic-induced recession.

LA Times, January 5, 2021
In the latest revelation of potential criminal fraud involving California jobless benefits, an analysis has found that more than $42 million in claims went to out-of-state prison and jail inmates, giving more clarity to what officials now estimate could be $4 billion in scammed coronavirus relief funds. A large number of Florida inmates, including a man sentenced to 20 years for second-degree murder, are among the thousands of out-of-state prisoners who have allegedly received California pandemic unemployment benefits.

SF Chronicle, January 5, 2021
Airbnb is imposing a new requirement on travelers throughout California to explain why they are booking rentals through the service during stay-at-home orders. The move follows a 5-day shutdown of new reservations in the Lake Tahoe area by the San Francisco company last week.

KQED, January 5, 2021
Tribal resorts and casinos in California operate under federal law on federally protected sovereign land known as rancherias – so they're not required to comply with orders issued by Gov. Newsom or county officials.

LA Times, January 6, 2021
Los Angeles County’s vaccine distribution effort hit a rocky patch this week, as officials administering Moderna shots at pop-up sites allowed some people who are not healthcare workers to skip the line and get immunized weeks or months before they are eligible.

Crowds of desperate people seeking early access to the vaccine led to longer lines and headaches for workers at four sites run by the city of Los Angeles set up to provide doses exclusively for healthcare employees.
But at one South L.A. vaccination site, a Times reporter watched as about 100 people were admitted for immunizations without showing proof that they worked in the healthcare industry. One woman said she received the vaccine at Hansen Dam Recreation Area in Pacoima even after telling workers she was not a healthcare employee.
US News
Washington Post, January 6, 2021
The United States has entered the new year with record numbers of Americans hospitalized with the coronavirus, straining a health-care system bracing for a post-holidays surge that has the potential to further stress hospitals.
More than 131,000 covid-19 patients were hospitalized nationwide as of Tuesday, eclipsing the record set in the last week of 2020. Facilities across the West and South are especially burdened.

Arizona now has the nation’s highest rate of coronavirus hospitalizations. In the Atlanta area, nearly every major hospital is almost full, prompting state officials to reopen a field hospital for the third time.

The optimism that came with new vaccines and a new year is colliding with a grim reality: The United States has reached the worst stage of the pandemic to date, with the deadly results of holiday gatherings yet to arrive. Vaccine distribution is also off to a slow start, with at least 4.6 million inoculated, far short of the 20 million the Trump administration vowed to vaccinate by the end of 2020.

CNN, January 6, 2021
The US reported its highest daily Covid-19 death count ever Tuesday -- a grim milestone that comes as state leaders work urgently to combat a slow pace of vaccinations. More than 3,770 American deaths were reported in one day -- more than two dozen above the country's previous record, set less than a week ago. As numbers climb, governors are now taking new measures to get the distributed vaccines into arms faster, including mobilizing National Guard members and training more volunteers to administer vaccines.

The Guardian, January 6, 2021
Conspiracy theories and misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine are still spreading on Facebook and Instagram, more than a month after Facebook pledged it would take them down.

Under pressure to contain an avalanche of falsehoods, Facebook announced on in December that it would ban debunked claims about the safety and efficacy of vaccines now being distributed worldwide. The company said it removed more than 12 million pieces of content from Facebook and Instagram between March and October, and that it worked with fact checkers to place labels on 167 million more pieces of content over the same period.

Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2021
The percentage of Covid-19 tests returning positive results has significantly increased in a number of states in recent days, raising concerns among health officials who see it as a sign that the virus is spreading more broadly and accelerating in communities. Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Pennsylvania and South Dakota all have seven-day average positivity rates above 40%, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Reuters, January 6, 2021
A UPS outbreak is among dozens of cases identified by Reuters where OSHA largely disregarded workers who reported lax pandemic safety practices, according to agency records. Reuters identified 106 U.S. workplaces where employees complained of slipshod pandemic safety practices around the time of outbreaks - and regulators either never inspected the facilities or, in some cases, waited months to do so, according to the OSHA records.

The agency never inspected 70 of those workplaces, where at least 4,500 workers were infected by the coronavirus and 26 died after contracting Covid-19, according to the Reuters analysis.

NBC News, January 6, 2021
In the two weeks since Florida’s governor said the Covid-19 vaccine would be available to residents 65 and over, the vaccination registration process has been inconsistent across county lines, causing chaos, confusion and disappointment among its senior population and their relatives.

The registration process has been disparate and inconsistent: Websites have crashed; hospital phone lines are jammed; and scams have convinced people to pay for nonexistent vaccination slots. In some places, elderly people camped out overnight in hopes of receiving a vaccine.

Bloomberg, January 5, 2021
Coronavirus cases in the South are rising quickly and account for a larger portion of the U.S. total than anywhere else. The region saw 82,074 new cases on average this week, about 20,000 more than the Midwest’s peak in November. In Alabama, more than 45% of tests over the past two weeks came back positive. Most Southern states saw average cases climbing Monday compared with the week prior. Tennessee and South Carolina stood out in the Census-defined region with the worst new case rates over the past seven days, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mercury News, January 6, 2021
The DxTerity Covid-19 Saliva at-Home Collection Kit, which received an emergency use authorization last month from the FDA, appears to be the only at-home coronavirus test for sale on Amazon. The kits aren’t new, but DxTerity says its version is the first at-home saliva test to receive this FDA authorization for symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. On sale for $110, DxTerity’s kit includes an empty tube for saliva to be sent to a Los Angeles-based lab with prepaid shipping, and the turnaround time for results is between 24 to 72 hours after the sample is received, according to the kit’s description on Amazon.
CA Education News
Washington Post, January 6, 2021
The superintendents of seven of California’s largest school districts on Wednesday blasted Gov. Newsom’s new school reopening plan, saying that it fails to address key factors keeping schools closed and does nothing to end the disproportionate impact the coronavirus pandemic is inflicting on low-income communities of color. The letter sent Wednesday to Newsom makes clear that the superintendents don’t think the state is doing enough to reduce covid-19 rates in low-income communities and that the governor’s intention to initially give $450 per student to schools with in-person learning could wind up helping wealthier communities and punishing poorer ones.

EdSource, January 4, 2021
Gov. Newsom believes it is safe to bring students back to school, starting with the earliest grades, if health and safety practices are implemented and followed.
Districts that participate will receive additional funding: a base amount of $450 per student, plus an additional amount per student based on the number of high needs students (low income students, English learners, foster and homeless children) in their district, as defined by the Local Control Funding Formula. Gov. Newsom said that the extra amount could be as much as $250 per student in addition to the base amount.

Only schools in counties with fewer than 28 positive coronavirus cases per 100,000 population can participate. As of Jan. 1, that means most schools won’t be able to participate, as only 11 counties out of 58 in the state have infection rates of less than 28. This only applies to children in grades K through 6, plus transitional kindergarten.

Mercury News, January 4, 2021
Expanded summer school for K-12 students may be one positive outcome of the pandemic that has otherwise contributed to varying levels of learning loss among students across the state.
Without providing details, Gov. Gavin Newsom indicated that he will be including funds in the budget he will present to the Legislature in January that might allow schools to effectively extend the school year into the summer, as a crucial way to help make up for the learning loss that many students have suffered during the pandemic.
US & International Education News
NY Times, January 6, 2021
New York City’s rising virus numbers are once again forcing high-stakes decisions about whether to keep schools open, leaving students, parents and educators with newfound uncertainty.

Concerns have intensified in recent days, as the United Federation of Teachers warned the city that it believed all schools should close if the positivity rate reached a certain threshold. But in a repeat of a battle that has played out frequently over the few months, the mayor’s office has said it is determined to keep schools open.

Mr. de Blasio has said the roughly 190,000 children in lower grades and those with complex disabilities who are back in classrooms should have the option to stay there, even as positivity rates top 9 percent citywide and individual school buildings are closing at an accelerating rate because of positive test results among staff or students.

Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2021
Colleges and universities across the country scrambled last summer to create, then re-create, opening plans for the fall term. That left families struggling to coordinate travel or abide by state quarantine orders; plans sometimes changed days or weeks after tuition payments came due. Now some schools’ spring-semester intentions are unraveling.

Since mid-December, the University of Colorado Boulder, Old Dominion University and more than a dozen other schools have updated their academic calendars or planned mode of instruction in light of the continuing health crisis.

The Guardian, January 6, 2021
GCSE and A-level exams in England are to be scrapped this year in favor of assessed grades, and primary school SATs cancelled, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has told MPs, saying that after last year’s exams debacle the government would “put our trust in teachers, rather than algorithms." Williamson faced condemnation for the decision to close English schools on Monday night, after millions of students had returned for one day after Christmas.
“It’s worth it,” A Covid survivor speaks out after getting the vaccine
Esther Bond of Lincoln, Nebraska, took a sigh of relief with her coworkers as they recently received the Pfizer vaccine. She works at a nursing home where she says Covid has separated residents from their families since the very beginning.

“I get emotional about it, you know, so it’s a big stepping point to making a change for ourselves and residents and everyone in the world in the nation, you know,” said Bond. “So, we were excited. We’re stoked.”

Back in November, she and seven family members caught the virus. Her older brother is still fighting in the hospital. “He’s been now here for 2 months and he’s on a ventilator,” said Bond. “He’s currently stable."
“I am a mother and nurse myself and my goal is to keep everyone protected and safe,” said Bond. “I have watched my healthy 31-year-old brother go from ranching and golfing to be in the hospital for two months, 63 days now, and be on a ventilator…. It can happen to any of us and I say it’s worth it, getting the vaccine.

Source: KLKN TV
International News
The Guardian, January 6, 2021
The Pacific is home to the world’s largest cluster of Covid-free nations. In the distant archipelago of the Cook Islands, coronavirus has been a specter that never emerged from the shadows.

Across the Pacific, keeping the virus out has required, essentially, keeping borders resolutely shut. Tonga has stopped almost all movement in and out of the kingdom, and has avoided the virus, as has Kiribati, Niue, Nauru and Tuvalu.

Enforced isolation helps. Two of the only places on earth not connected by aviation - the airstrip-less islands of Tokelau (a New Zealand dependency) and Pitcairn Island (a British territory) - are also Covid-free.

But the counter-narrative has been all too starkly apparent. French Polynesia re-opened its borders and abandoned quarantine in July, in order to reignite a stalled tourism-dependent economy. At that stage, the French territory had just 62 confirmed cases: it now has more than 15,000, and 91 deaths. But staying shut has come at its own price. Covid-19 shutdowns have devastated already fragile economies across the Pacific, especially those dependent on tourism.

LA Times, January 6, 2021
After years of modest success slowing high fertility rates that have exacerbated the country’s stifling poverty, the Philippines is expected to face a baby boom at a time when its meager healthcare system is stretched thin by the coronavirus.

The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns disrupted access to family planning, which researchers at the University of the Philippines Population Institute and the United Nations Population Fund estimate increased unintended pregnancies among females ages 15 to 49 by more than 40% to 2.5 million.

The Philippines’ Commission on Population and Development said the nation of 108.7 million is on pace to record its highest birth rate since 2012, the year a landmark reproductive health law was passed mandating access to family planning in a country where contraception has traditionally been met with opposition, particularly from the powerful Philippine Catholic Church.

Reuters, January 6, 2021
The critical-care wards of major hospitals in Peru and Bolivia stand at or near collapse after end-of-year holidays, reflecting wider regional public health capacity concerns as much of Latin America struggles to secure adequate Covid-19 vaccine supplies.

While infection counts remain below last year’s peak, depleted resources, weary medical workers and a recent rush of severe cases are taxing already ailing healthcare systems from Chile to Mexico, officials say.

In Bolivia, long lines of patients seeking tests snaked along the street outside a hospital complex in the Andean city of La Paz, prompting fears of worsening contagion amid the chaos. Cases in Bolivia have spiked in the past two weeks, with an average of 1,153 infections reported daily, around 68% of the country’s July peak, according to a Reuters analysis of official data. La Paz and Santa Cruz, two of the country’s largest cities, have been especially hard hit.

Bloomberg, January 6, 2021
Hospitals in Zimbabwe are reeling from a renewed surge in the coronavirus, with a shortage of beds and equipment threatening to overwhelm the public health system.

The Health Ministry on Tuesday reported a record 1,365 new cases of Covid-19 and 34 deaths, bringing the cumulative number of infections to 17,194 with 418 fatalities. Authorities at the weekend imposed a 30-day strict lockdown, closing all the country’s land borders and shuttering gyms, restaurants and bars. “The strain on the hospitals comes from our limited bed capacity,” Norman Matara, the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights, said by phone. Even “a small increase in cases puts pressure” on the healthcare system, he said.
Mary Van Beusekom, CIDRAP News, January 5, 2021
An estimated 14.3% of the US population had antibodies against Covid-19 by mid-November 2020, suggesting that that the virus has infected vastly more people than reported—but still not enough to come close to the proportion needed for herd immunity, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.

After adjusting for underreporting using validated multipliers, the analysis revealed an estimated median 46,910,006 infections with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19; 28,122,752 symptomatic infections; 956,174 hospitalizations; and 304,915 deaths from April to mid-November.

According to those numbers, 14.3% of Americans had been infected with the novel coronavirus by November 15, 8.6% had symptomatic infections, with an infection-hospitalization ratio of 2.0% and a case-fatality ratio for people with symptoms of 1.1%.

"The US population remains a long way from herd immunity even with millions of new infections each week," the researchers wrote. "The number of estimated Covid-19 deaths is also remarkably more than the reported deaths in the US through November 15, 2020, supporting the conclusion that approximately 35% of Covid-19 deaths are not reported."

Menachem Fromer, Sarah Poole, and Robert M. Califf, STAT, January 6, 2021
Despite significant uncertainty, there is still a wide range of promising scenarios in which we could beat back the Covid-19 pandemic. Conceptually, this is aligned with the “Swiss cheese model” of defense against the pandemic that virologist Ian Mackay has put forward. The right combination of interventions and tools could return us to work and school much faster if we use them all optimally.

A key question is this: What is the definition of an acceptable rate of suppression of viral transmission that would lead to safe return to work and school? Based on our experience, when the fraction of the population infected at a given time is 1% or less, the situation is manageable and acceptable. Suppressing infection even further requires escalating levels of resource allocation and has a dramatic adverse effect on economic and educational activity.

ABC News, January 5, 2021
Dr. Peter Hotez, Co-Director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital, and other experts say while the federal government should have taken ownership of vaccination efforts from the beginning, there are changes that could speed up the pace and meet the goal of vaccinating the vast majority of the population needed to stop the spread of the virus through herd immunity. He said vaccinating millions of people in a matter of months requires more infrastructure than sending people to their local hospital or pharmacies, but the federal government can help states and cities open mass vaccination sites able to administer more vaccines every day.

Patrick Thomas, Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2021
It is spring 2020, Covid-19 is exploding world-wide, and you are leading a pharmaceutical company seen as behind rivals in finding a vaccine. Should you accept government money, and the strings attached with it, to try to catch up?

Scenarios like that are already being studied by first-year M.B.A. students at Harvard University and other business schools around the country. The courses are aimed at analyzing management decisions—good and bad—made during the pandemic and gleaning what lessons can be taught, given the benefit of hindsight.

Harvard Business School professor Willy Shih’s technology and operations-management class—taught online and in person on the school’s Boston campus—considered how the company could offset the costs of clinical trials and ramping up manufacturing by accepting funding from Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. government’s coronavirus vaccine program.
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 1/5/21
by day as of 1/5/21
Over the last seven days, Alameda County officials have reported 5,245 new coronavirus cases, which amounts to 319 cases per 100,000 residents.
Over the last seven days, Contra Costa County officials have reported 3,832 new coronavirus cases, which amounts to 338 cases per 100,000 residents.
Top 10 Locations of Cases in Alameda County, as of 1/5/21.
Oakland: 17,456

Hayward: 8,673

Fremont: 4,887

Eden MAC: 3,813

San Leandro: 3,469

Livermore: 2,873

Union City: 2,530

Berkeley: 1,854

Newark: 1,720

Castro Valley: 1,625
Top 10 Locations of Cases in Contra Costa County, as of 1/6/21
Richmond: 7,101

Antioch: 5,719

Concord: 5,257

Pittsburgh: 4,238

San Pablo: 3,513

Brentwood: 2,245

Bay Point: 1,798

Oakley: 1,783

Walnut Creek: 1,759

San Ramon: 1,341
East Bay Resources

Where to get a Covid-19 Test

Vaccine Distribution Process

Reopening: List of Businesses and Activities

Food Pantries
Alameda County Vaccine Distribution Plan
Alameda County is at the beginning of its distribution of the Pfizer and Moderna Covid19 vaccines in accordance with California and U.S. recommendations, which are evolving. The vaccines will be administered to the community in four phases.
As explained in an Alameda County Public Health Department slide presentation dated December 28, 2020, the timing through each phase depends on vaccine supply and demand. The county has some discretion within phases, but cannot skip phases or go out of order.
The county is at the currently in Phase 1a, distribution to health care workers and long term care facility residents. Phase 1a, in turn, contains three tiers:

  • Tier 1: Acute care, psychiatric and correctional facility hospital staff • Staff and residents of skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and similar settings for older or medically vulnerable individuals • Paramedics, EMTs and others providing emergency medical services • Dialysis centers

  • Tier 2: Intermediate Care Facility staff & residents • Home Health Care/In-Home Supportive Services • Community Health Workers/Promotoras • Public Health Field Staff (including Testing Site Staff) • Primary Care Clinics, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Centers, Correctional Facility Clinics & Urgent Care Clinics

  • Tier 3: Specialty Clinics • Laboratory Workers • Dental/Oral Health Clinics • Pharmacy Staff (non-Hospital)

Vaccination of individuals in Tiers 1 and 2 has commenced. Vaccination of Tier 3 individuals has not yet started. As the county completes Phase 1, it plans to broadly distribute the vaccines through all venues and partners, including hospitals, health care clinics, private practice medical providers, pharmacies and community based points of distribution.

The answers to the following questions are provided on page 5 of the county slide presentation:

Whom qualifies as an essential worker to receive a vaccine in Phase 1b?
The state Drafting Guidelines Workgroup is developing California-specific guidance for the allocation of vaccines to an estimated 6 million essential workers. Workers will be prioritized by occupational exposure, equity, societal impact, and economic impact. Currently discussed, but not finalized priorities, include workers in the fields of education, emergency services and food and agriculture. Note that Phase 1b also includes people age 75 and over.

What are the high-risk conditions that qualify persons to receive a vaccine in Phase 1c?
• Cancer • Chronic kidney disease • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) • Heart conditions • Solid organ transplant • Obesity (BMI>40 kg/m2) • Pregnancy • Sickle cell disease • Smoking • Type 2 diabetes mellitus • Adults >50 yo, congregate/overcrowded settings

For the Contra Costa County vaccine distribution plan (updated December 30, 2020) click here.
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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