May 6, 2020
Eden Health District COVID-19 Bulletin
"I n California, more than 6,000 health care workers have been diagnosed with the virus. And for every one of those health care workers, there are many more who were tested because they had symptoms and are frightened and staying at home. We need more testing, more isolation, more treatment and more support ."
Sasha Cuttler, RN, San Francisco Department of Public Health, SF Chronicle , 5/6/20
By the Numbers
Alameda County: 1,813

Contra Costa County: 969

California: 58,790

U.S.: 1,212,123
Alameda County: 66

Contra Costa County: 29

California: 2,379

U.S.: 71,526
County Dashboards: Alameda & Contra Costa
For Bay Area case and death trends visit the SF Chronicle coronavirus tracker .
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.
Bay Area News
SF Chronicle, May 6, 2020
Across the Bay Area, coronavirus cases and deaths have reached a stubborn plateau after seven weeks of sheltering in place, and public health leaders in most counties say they are committed to a slow reopening of the economy, even as the state prepares to relax some restrictions and a handful of local businesses are pushing for a quicker recovery. The Bay Area approached 9,000 cases on Tuesday, and last week the region saw a small uptick in the number of new cases from the previous week. Death reports have been slightly, but steadily, dropping week to week. But in individual counties, the pace of the outbreak has been undulating.

“It’s understandable that people are getting a little frustrated. I think it’s because we’ve hit this plateau,” said Stephen Shortell, former dean of the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley. “People get restless, and they see on TV and social media what’s happening in other states that are opening. They need to be reminded: We’re not as bad off in California because we’ve had patience, discipline and leadership. We need to keep on trucking for a little bit longer.”

East Bay Times, May 6, 2020
Track, trace and test has long been part of the toolkit of local health departments in California. By identifying and isolating close contacts of infected individuals, officials have been able to stop the spread of diseases such as measles and tuberculosis. But in the early days of the pandemic, they lacked the manpower to catch every case, especially in Santa Clara, which was hit early and hard. “Contact tracing is a foundation of public health work” said Dr. Nicholas Moss, acting director of Alameda County’s Public Health Department, which has expanded its staff of contact tracers from seven to 60 and plans to grow to 300.

East Bay Times, May 5, 2020
Oakland is ready to start moving homeless residents at risk of contracting COVID-19 into dozens of new trailers set up on a vacant lot next to the Coliseum, Mayor Libby Schaaf said Tuesday. The 67 trailers, part of a new city program dubbed Operation HomeBase, will house up to 134 people who do not have the virus, but who are particularly vulnerable to developing severe symptoms if infected. They were  delivered to the city a month ago  as part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s effort to deploy more than 1,300 trailers around the state to house the homeless during the pandemic.

East Bay Citizen, May 5, 2020
With the state and county’s shelter in place extended through the end this month, Alameda’s long-running and popular Fourth of July parade is canceled, city officials announced on Tuesday night.

Note : El Cerrito has canceled its annual 4th of July gathering and One World Festival. Earlier, San Leandro cancelled its annual Cherry Festival held each June.

Jon Jacobo, Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, 48 Hills, May 5, 2020
Numbers matter. Inequity, by definition, means a lack of fairness or justice. Inequity in practice means 84% of the hospital beds in San Francisco General Hospital for Covid-19 are taken by Latinos, despite making up only 15% of San Francisco’s population.

East Bay Times, May 5, 2020
Bay Area single family homes sales fell nearly 10 percent in March, but eager buyers continued to push prices. Median sale prices in the region increased 1.5 percent, led by a year-over-year gain in Alameda County of 5.1 percent. The median sale price for a single family home in seven Bay Area counties was $899,800.
Health News
STAT, May 6, 2020
Vaccines to prevent Covid-19 infection are hurtling through development at speeds never before seen. But mounting promises that some vaccine may be available for emergency use as early as the autumn are fueling expectations that are simply unrealistic, experts warn. Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy, is worried people aren’t preparing for the possibility of a fall wave of infections, which some experts fear will be bigger than what we’ve seen so far, because they expect a vaccine will be at hand.

NY Times, May 5, 2020
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, most infected children have not developed serious respiratory failure of the kind that has afflicted adults. But in recent weeks, a new syndrome with mysterious symptoms that include enlarged coronary arteries has cropped up among children in Long Island, New York City and other hot spots around the country , in an indication that the risk to children may be greater than anticipated. None of the children are known to have died, and many have responded well to treatment.

NY Times, May 5, 2020
Fewer children seem to get infected by the coronavirus than adults, but do they pass the virus on to adults and continue the chain of transmission? Two new studies offer compelling evidence that children can transmit the virus. Neither proved it, but the evidence was strong enough to suggest that schools should be kept closed for now, many epidemiologists who were not involved in the research said.
STAT, May 5, 2020
When pathogens cause illness, our immune system kicks into high gear. As these cells go on the offensive, other parts of the immune system store away information and learn as much as they can about the pathogen. This process helps to build immunity as explained in the video from the online medical journal STAT.

Seattle Times, May 5, 2020
The use of nonmedical masks can reduce transmission of the virus by people who have it but aren’t experiencing symptoms. Masks are most effective when worn consistently and properly in order to avoid contaminating the hands or face of the user. Here’s how to protect yourself and others when wearing a mask.
Celebrating Nurses: Thank you
Today, May 6th, is National Nurses Day. "The Eden Health District offers its deepest appreciation to all nurses locally and nationwide for your dedication and determination in treating and caring for your patients including those taken ill by Covid-19," stated Roxann Lewis, Eden Health District Director and retired ultrasound and nuclear medicine technologist.

Through short video interviews , the San Francisco Chronicle highlights several Bay Area nurses who are heroically battling the pandemic every day, often at great personal peril. As of May 4, 2020, the California Department of Public Health reports that there have 6,167 confirmed positive cases of coronavirus in health care workers and 33 deaths statewide.
California News
Mercury News, May 5, 2020
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday sharply criticized two Northern California counties that have defied his health guidelines and begun to re-open restaurant dining rooms, gyms, hair salons and shopping malls. “They are making a big mistake. They are putting their public at risk,” Newsom said of Yuba and Sutter counties. “They are putting our progress at risk. These are exceptions. The overwhelming majority of Californians are playing by the rules and doing the right thing.” Despite his criticism of the two counties, Newsom did not indicate whether there will be any state enforcement of his shelter-in-place rules or other consequences for local communities that violate his orders.

LA Times, May 6, 2020
Businesses in California may start opening again as soon as Friday. State and local officials are working to hash out exactly what that will mean for reopened businesses, but the basic principles are familiar enough by now: Staff and customers must wear masks; the number of people allowed in an establishment must be reduced to allow for six-foot spacing when possible; anything that people touch needs to be disinfected, frequently.

Cal Matters, May 5, 2020
On March 26, as the coronavirus pandemic was mounting and governors across America scrambled to secure medical supplies, the state of California wired almost a half-billion dollars to a company that had been in business for just three days. The recipient: Blue Flame Medical LLC, a Delaware-based company headed by two Republican operatives who jumped into the medical supply business on March 23. The pair, Mike Gula and John Thomas had vowed,  in their words , to help “fight Covid-19 with the industry’s broadest product selection from hundreds of suppliers.” Within hours of the enormous wire transfer, the deal was dead and California was clawing its money back, $456.9 million, nearly half of what the Legislature had allocated for the state’s pandemic response.
U.S. News
USA Today, May 6, 2020
Less than a day after signaling the White House task force on coronavirus would be disbanded, President  Trump said Wednesday  the group will "continue on indefinitely" and shift focus to reopening and manufacturing vaccines. Trump's latest thinking on the task force, created in January to coordinate the response to the virus, came a day after Vice President Pence and other officials said the group's work would be transferred to federal agencies as soon as this month. The idea drew fire from some critics who said it was too soon to disband the group.

Bloomberg, May 5, 2020
President Donald Trump launched headlong into his push to reopen the country, saying Americans should begin returning to their everyday lives even if it leads to more sickness and death from the pandemic. Trump, speaking in Phoenix during his first trip outside Washington in more than a month, said he’s preparing for “phase two” of the U.S. response to the coronavirus. That will include disbanding the White House task force of public health experts, including Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, that have steered the government response to the outbreak so far. Speaking separately in an ABC News interview, Trump said, “There’ll be more death, that the virus will pass, with or without a vaccine. And I think we’re doing very well on the vaccines but, with or without a vaccine, it’s going to pass, and we’re going to be back to normal.”

Seattle Times, May 5, 2020
Starbucks plans to reopen 85% of its U.S. coffee shops by the end of this week, with an emphasis on mobile ordering, contactless pickup and cashless payments, as more cities and states ease lockdown restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. The company’s mobile app, which is already used by roughly 20 million customers, will include new options for voice ordering and curbside pickup, Chief Executive Kevin Johnson wrote in a letter to customers Monday.
A Pandemic Partnership
With the closure of much of the food service industry, farms have painfully watched spring crops spoil; at the same time, food banks have not been able to keep up with demand by people desperate for provisions. A recent partnership between local farms and food banks is a welcome development.

Farms in Salinas are now sending excess crops, including strawberries and broccoli, to the Alameda County Community Food Bank . Recognizing that the need for food will not decrease any time soon, the partnership has no end date. Source: East Bay Times
International News
Reuters, May 6, 2020
A genetic analysis of samples from more than 7,500 people infected with COVID-19 suggests the new coronavirus spread quickly around the world late last year and is adapting to its human hosts, scientists said on Wednesday. A study by French scientists published earlier this week found a man there was infected with COVID-19 as early as Dec. 27, nearly a month before France confirmed its first cases. The World Health Organization said the French case was “not surprising” and urged countries to investigate any other early suspicious cases.

The Atlantic, May 6, 2020
Seven weeks ago, South Korea and the U.S. had the same number of virus deaths. Today, South Korea has fewer than 300, and the U.S. has more than 70,000. Juxtaposing the South Korean response with the American tragedy, some commentators have chalked up the difference to an ancient culture of docile collectivism and Confucianism across the Pacific. This observation isn’t just racist. It also exoticizes Korea’s success and makes it seem like the inevitable result of millennia of cultural accretion, rather than something the U.S., or any other country, can learn from right now. The truth is that the Korean government and its citizens did something simple, admirable, and all too rare: They suffered from history, and they learned from it.

The Guardian, May 6, 2020
Baseball  fans will be let back into Taiwanese stadiums this week as the government begins relaxing some controls implemented to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Taiwan has been relatively successful at controlling the virus, with 439 cases to date and six deaths, and 100 active infections, thanks to early prevention and detection efforts. The island has never gone into total lockdown, though the government has promoted social distancing and face masks.

Wall Street Journal, May 6, 2020
German authorities, unlike those in Italy and Spain, gave all factories the option to stay open through the pandemic. More than 80% of them did so. As the U.S. and other parts of Europe move to reopen their industries, some are looking to Germany for lessons on how to do so as safely as possible. Among them: Businesses implemented strict safety rules early on. Managers involved unions and employees in safety planning. Regional governments moved quickly to test and trace chains of infection. And strong ties to China, where many German firms have operations, gave companies a jump on planning.
NY Times, May 6, 2020
The number of newly reported coronavirus cases in US has started declining moderately from the peak in early April. Remove the regions around Detroit and New Orleans, other cities with large outbreaks in early April, and the national trend is clearer: After a brief plateau, cases in America continue to climb.

Ed Yong, science writer, The Atlantic, May 6, 2020
There’s no clear evidence that the pandemic virus has evolved into significantly different forms, and there probably won’t be for months. While influenza is notable for mutating quickly. Coronaviruses, which, to be clear, belong to a completely separate family from influenza viruses, change at   a tenth of the speed . The new one, SARS-CoV-2, is no exception.

Editorial, Seattle Times, May 4, 2020
Health scientists have  found  in several  studies  that even homemade masks provide some protection. They help limit the particle dispersion from coughs, sneezes and exhalations. Because COVID-19 can seemingly be spread by people who never experience symptoms, all people who are able, sick or strong, should wear masks in public.

Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2020
Early in March, the world’s cruise-ship operators had ample evidence to believe their fleet of luxury liners were incubators for the new coronavirus. Yet they continued to fill cruise ships with passengers, endangering those aboard and helping spread Covid-19 to the U.S. and around the globe, a Wall Street Journal investigation found. All told, the Journal found that the cruise industry launched voyages on more than 100 ships on or after March 4, the day of the first confirmed Covid-19 death of a passenger from a cruise stopping in the U.S., a marker of the pandemic’s long reach.
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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.

Please share our bulletin with your contacts. If you would like to submit feedback or stories on the local response to the pandemic, please contact bulletin editor Stephen Cassidy at . And if you are operating a local food bank and would like your organization profiled in our nonprofit spotlight, please contact us.

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The Eden Health District Board of Directors are Gordon Galvan, Chair, Mariellen Faria, Vice Chair, Charles Gilcrest, Secretary, Roxann Lewis and Pam Russo. The Chief Executive Officer is Mark Friedman.