November 25, 2020
Eden Health District COVID-19 Bulletin
“We are truly in the midst of a surge here in California. I can’t put my finger on the exact source of transmission. The truth is, because of the way people gather, any activity that allows us to take our guard down is going to become a potential transmission risk.”
California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, 11/24/20

“Keep the indoor gatherings as small as you possibly can. We all know how difficult that is because this is such a beautiful, traditional holiday. But by making that sacrifice you are going to prevent infections.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, 11/25/20
South Bay teen helps encourage young students through distance learning
When the Bay Area began to shelter in place, Andrew Lu and several friends brainstormed how to encourage younger kids to keep wanting to learn.

“I’m someone who really enjoys learning, and this would be a missed opportunity if we didn’t do something like that,” said Lu, a senior at The Harker School in San Jose.

Lu and his friends came up with YAPA Kids. The San Jose-based nonprofit stands for Youth Academic Programs Association.

With Lu as co-founder and co-president, more than 3,000 students are taking its virtual classes in all 50 states and 10 countries. The free classes are intended to supplement to the education provided by elementary and middle schools.
“We really thought that would be an opportunity where we could continue to inspire that academic curiosity with the students, even in this online platform, because there’s so many people dedicated and wanting to volunteer,” Lu explained.

From music-writing to math, more than 400 volunteers teach dozens of subjects to elementary and middle school students. Each class has no more than 10 students.

Source: KPIX 5 News
By the Numbers
Alameda County: 27,857*

Contra Costa County: 23,381

Bay Area: 142,865

California: 1,147,392

U.S.: 12,715,888
Alameda County: 499*

Contra Costa County: 260

Bay Area: 1,933

California: 18,873

U.S.: 261,223
*As of 11/22/20, the most recent date for case data on Alameda County dashboard.
Bay Area News
Berkeleyside, November 23, 2020
More than 1,000 unhoused people in Alameda County have been living in hotel rooms converted into Covid-19 shelters, but the future of this program is in question. Leases are expiring and there may not be enough money to extend the contracts for all of the hotels currently in use. The possibility that the program will be scaled back comes just as the weather is getting colder and virus cases are surging.

Officials are scrambling to move hotel residents into permanent housing, including brand-new complexes opening up with state relief money. But advocates fear that the progress made by the hotel program could be reversed if funding runs out before the more than 1,200 people currently living in hotels get placed in housing.
As of November 23, 2020, 149 patients with confirmed or suspected cases of Covid-19 are hospitalized in Alameda County, including 26 patients in ICU. The low point of hospitalizations in Alameda County in the Fall occurred on October 16, 2020. On that date, 95 patients were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 in the county. The peak number of hospitalizations in Alameda County occurred on July 23, 2020, when 283 patients with confirmed and suspected Covid-19 were hospitalized.
Expanded Covid-19 Testing in Cherryland
A new, free community testing center operated by La Familia has opened at the Eden United Church of Christ, 21455 Birch Street, Hayward. Covid-19 testing is offered on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. La Familia has also expanded the hours of testing at its Cherryland testing center located at 20095 Mission Boulevard in Hayward. Testing will be provided from 9 a.m to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The center welcomes walk-in visits. Both centers will be closed for Thanksgiving. Further information can be found on Alameda County's Covid-19 testing webpage.

SF Chronicle, November 24, 2020
San Francisco did not move into the most restrictive purple tier of California’s economic reopening plan as expected on Tuesday. But public health officials said coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are climbing dramatically and they expect to land there later in the week.

Average daily cases have shot up more than 60% since the start of the month, from 73 to 118, although San Francisco’s numbers are still lower than many parts of the state and country. “We are at a critical moment,” Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said during a Tuesday briefing.
“We cannot let the virus get so far ahead of us or we will never catch up.”

  • SF avoids purple tier - for now, Mission Local, November 24, 2020. Though high case rates are starting to appear in higher income neighborhoods during the citywide surge, many of the new cases continue to plague low-income and underserved communities, specifically in the southeast sector and the Latinx community. 

SF Chronicle, November 25, 2020
Panic buying, that relic from the early days of pandemic anxiety, has returned for its second round, and department and grocery stores in the Bay Area are feeling it most. They say the phenomenon set in a few weeks ago, as the Bay Area started to see a new surge in coronavirus cases, and has intensified with California’s new overnight curfew for counties in the purple reopening tier.

In some ways, the impulse to panic buy in March made sense, said Utpal Dholakia, a professor of marketing at Rice University. In a piece he wrote for Psychology Today, he made the argument that it could even be viewed as rational consumer behavior. People weren’t prepared for anything like the pandemic, and it was a tangible way to exert control over their anxieties. Many were also concerned that stores wouldn’t be able to keep up with the demand for essential items.

But now, he says, it makes virtually no sense. People have a better grasp of what they need and don’t need, and stores have adapted to make sure products aren’t selling out. But people still are, he said, because the impulse follows a kind of behavioral script: It’s what we did last time things got this bad, so we should do it again.
Health News
Wall Street Journal, November 24, 2020
The CDC may soon shorten the length of time it recommends that a person self-quarantine after potential exposure to the coronavirus, hoping that such a step will encourage more people to comply, a top agency official said. CDC officials are finalizing recommendations for a new quarantine period that would likely be between seven and 10 days and include a test to ensure a person is negative for Covid-19, said Henry Walke, the agency’s incident manager for Covid-19 response.

NPR, November 24, 2020
Top officials from Operation Warp Speed, the government's program to fast-track the development and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, announced they've allocated 6.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to states based on their total populations.
Once a COVID-19 vaccine is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, allocations will be made based on the total number of adults in the state. "We wanted to keep this simple," Alex Azar, secretary of Health and Human Services, said at a media briefing Tuesday. "We thought it would be the fairest approach, and the most consistent."

The allocation-by-population policy is a departure from earlier distribution plans, and it downplays the role of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The independent vaccine advisory group for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has proposed allocations based on high-risk groups. The CDC advisory committee had previously been central to the government's vaccine distribution plans.

Science, November 25, 2020
AstraZeneca and Oxford reported on 22 November in separate press releases that an interim analysis of trials in the United Kingdom and Brazil found an “average efficacy” of 70%. Both studies gave volunteers a “prime” first dose and a booster shot at least 1 month later.

But the U.K. study compared two different doses for the prime, whereas the Brazilian study only looked at one dose and enrolled people across a wider range of ages. Efficacy ranged from 62% to 90% depending on the strategy. “There are a number of variables that we need to understand, and what has been the role of each one of them in achieving the differences in efficacy,” says Moncef Slaoui, chief scientist of the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed, which has invested heavily in the vaccine, including in an ongoing efficacy trial.

Nature, November 24, 2020
Large clinical trials of four vaccine candidates are showing remarkable promise, with three exceeding 90% efficacy — an unexpectedly high rate — according to results released so far. None reported worrying safety signals and one has shown promise in older adults, a demographic that is particularly vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 but which sometimes responds less well to vaccines.

But there is still a vast amount of work for researchers and clinicians to do. First, they need to determine how well the vaccines work in people who are at high risk of Covid-19, including older individuals, people with obesity and those with diabetes. Second, it isn’t clear how well some of the vaccines protect against severe Covid-19. Third, it is also not clear to what extent the vaccines prevent those who have been vaccinated from passing the virus on to others.

NY Times, November 24, 2020
As the coronavirus swept across the world, it picked up random alterations to its genetic sequence. Like meaningless typos in a script, most of those mutations made no difference in how the virus behaved. But one mutation near the beginning of the pandemic did make a difference, multiple new findings suggest, helping the virus spread more easily from person to person and making the pandemic harder to stop.

For months, scientists have been fiercely debating why. Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory argued in May that the variant had probably evolved the ability to infect people more efficiently. Many were skeptical, arguing that the variant may have been simply lucky, appearing more often by chance in large epidemics, like Northern Italy’s, that seeded outbreaks elsewhere.

But a host of new research — including close genetic analysis of outbreaks and lab work with hamsters and human lung tissue — has supported the view that the mutated virus did in fact have a distinct advantage, infecting people more easily than the original variant detected in Wuhan, China.

Kaiser Health News, November 24, 2020
Researchers are concerned that nurses working in a rapidly changing crisis like the pandemic — with problems ranging from staff shortages that curtail their time with patients to enforcing visitation policies that upset families — can develop a psychological response called “moral injury.” That injury occurs, they say, when nurses feel stymied by their inability to provide the level of care they believe patients require.
US and California Data: Last 90 Days
Covid Tracking Project, 11/24/20 (bold lines are 7-day averages)
United States
Over the last seven days, California has averaged 13,349 cases per day, a 109.7% increase from two weeks ago. Roughly 5.9% of tests this past week have come back positive. Source: LA Times
California News
East Bay Times, November 25, 2020
California has recorded more new cases of Covid-19 in the past 48 hours than any other two-day period of the pandemic, after another day of widespread infections detected across the state.

On Tuesday, county health departments combined to report 16,730 new cases of the virus — more than any other day prior to Monday, when the state reported a record 20,000-plus new cases — plus an additional 110 lives lost due to Covid-19, according to data compiled by this news organization.

The average number of new daily cases each day is at an all-time high — 13,338 per day over the past week — and more Californians have perished from Covid-19 in the past week — 519, or an average of about 77 per day — than any other since the end of September. Compared to two weeks ago, California’s average daily case count has soared by 110%, and its daily death toll has increased by 64%.

In another worrisome trend, more Californians are hospitalized with Covid-19 than at any point since Aug. 6, and the state added more new patients in the past 24 hours than any previous day of the pandemic, according to the latest data from the California Department of Public Health. Total active hospitalizations had increased by 385 — 7% in a single day — to 5,844, as of Monday — a 90% increase in patients from two weeks ago.

Mercury News, November 25, 2020
California moved more counties to tighter restrictions on business and activities Tuesday after the state set new records of daily infections amid a relentless autumn surge that has left health officials pleading with people to avoid Thanksgiving gatherings outside their households this week.

Seven counties moved to higher-tier restrictions in the state’s four-color reopening scheme: Colusa, Humboldt, Del Norte and Lassen bumped up to the highest purple tier for widespread infections, Calaveras to the red tier for substantial cases, and Alpine and Mariposa to the orange tier for moderate spread. No counties remain in the yellow tier for minimal transmission.

Statewide, 45 of 58 counties that are home to 95% of Californians now are under the purple-tier restrictions, including most of the Bay Area, with retailers limited to 25% capacity and indoor activity banned at gyms, theaters, museums and worship places.

LA Times, November 25, 2020
New restrictions are looking increasingly likely as daily coronavirus infections spike to unprecedented levels, increasing stress on hospitals amid concern more people will be infected during the Thanksgiving holiday. But it also appears that a new stay-at-home order that had been suggested as a possibility last week would fall far short of the one imposed during the first months of the pandemic in the spring.

“We are not completely shutting down everything,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis. “Nonessential businesses will be very much open; gyms will be open outdoors; zoos will be open; hair salons; mini-golf and go-karts will be open with reduced capacity,” supervisor Janice Hahn said.

The proposed directives are all designed to keep people in their homes as much as possible, reduce capacity at sites where people from different households interact with each other, and curtail some nonessential activities.

LA Times, November 24, 2020
When the coronavirus began its death march through the economy last spring, Congress’ $2.2-trillion CARES Act buoyed California’s small businesses with billions of dollars in loans and grants. But rescue efforts are now faltering as the pandemic reaches catastrophic new heights. After months of partisan wrangling and the presidential election of Joe Biden, Congress remains in a stalemate over new stimulus funding for struggling entrepreneurs, unemployed workers and strapped state and local governments.

Without an influx of new federal aid, tens of thousands of California’s 5 million small enterprises face a bleak winter of government restrictions, dwindling customers and closures amid a slowing economic recovery. Many may not survive.

SF Chronicle, November 24, 2020
California could start administering coronavirus vaccines to as many as 2.4 million of the state’s highest-priority health care workers in early December, Gov. Newsom said Monday. The state is making vaccine distribution plans around the estimated assumption that the first vaccines will be authorized by the FDA in early December. That first approval will likely be for the vaccine made by Pfizer and German firm BioNTech, followed by the vaccine made by Moderna. Federal health officials have said states will begin receiving doses within 24 hours after the first vaccine receives FDA authorization.
US News
CNN, November 25, 2020
More than 2,100 Covid-19 deaths were reported in the US on Tuesday -- making it the highest one-day coronavirus death toll the country has reported since early May.

When cases and hospitalizations began to surge weeks ago, officials predicted deaths would soon follow. Daily new cases haven't dipped below 100,000 in three weeks. And for the 15th consecutive day, the US beat its own hospitalization record, with now more than 88,000 Covid-19 patients in hospitals nationwide on Tuesday, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

The coming weeks are likely to get worse, before a possible vaccine can begin to offer some relief. But just how much worse things will get depends on the mitigation steps taken across the country -- as well as the kinds of celebrations Americans will opt to host over the coming days, experts say.

The Guardian, November 25, 2020
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the lead public health expert on the White House coronavirus task force and a leading official to every president since Ronald Reagan, said “that’s my final plea” before tomorrow’s traditional dinner celebrations.

“The sacrifice now could save lives and illness and make the future much brighter as we get through this, because we are going to get through this. Vaccines are right on the horizon,” Fauci said. There are three vaccines, “maybe more”, coming on stream that are “highly efficacious” and people should have faith in a process of approval that is “transparent and independent”. “We could crush this outbreak the way we did with smallpox, polio and measles,” Fauci added.

STAT, November 25, 2020
Doctors and nurses say that they feel better prepared to deal with the coronavirus than in the spring, when so little was known about it. Because it was hit so hard in the first wave, New Jersey’s per capita death rate remains the highest in the country.
But the recent numbers are discouraging.

On Sunday, New Jersey reported 3,968 new cases of the coronavirus, more than double the 1,743 new cases reported on Nov. 1. And the state’s hospitalization rates have tripled in the past month, from 732 on Oct. 17 to 2,446 on Nov. 17. While they are far short of the 8,000 who were hospitalized in April, as the days shorten, the temperature drops, flu season deepens, and the holidays loom, many depleted frontline workers are preparing for another season of difficulty.

NPR, November 25, 2020
Some 12 million people are expected to lose unemployment benefits the day after Christmas, and moratoriums on evictions and student debt payments are set to expire at the end of the year. Yet Congress has been unable to reach a compromise that would alleviate that economic hardship. Despite months of on-and-off negotiations, Republicans and Democrats haven't agreed on the terms of another Covid-19 relief bill. A question for Biden and his team is whether they should be encouraging Democrats to move quickly, to deliver aid faster, even if that means accepting a smaller deal.

CNN, November 24, 2020
Nearly a third of the nurses who've died of coronavirus in the US are Filipino, even though Filipino nurses make up just 4% of the nursing population nationwide. A recent report from the largest nurses' union in the country revealed the disproportionate number of deaths. It's a jarring statistic researchers are working to understand and a tragedy families across the US and around the world are living with.

One possible factor: the places where Filipino nurses are more likely to work. "The major finding...was that Philippine-trained nurses were disproportionately in the ICUs, the emergency rooms, in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, compared to White, US-trained nurses. They were therefore much more exposed to Covid-19," says Jennifer Nazareno, the co-founder and co-director of the Philippine Health Initiative for Research, Service, and Training at Brown University's School of Public Health.

The Guardian, November 25, 2020
Millions of Americans must rely on charity to put Thanksgiving dinner on the table this year, as hunger surges amid a devastating spiraling of the Covid-19 pandemic which the Trump administration has failed to get under control.

In what is traditionally a season of celebration, less than half of US households with children feel “very confident” about having enough money to afford the food needed over the next month, according to the US Census Bureau’s latest pandemic survey. A staggering 5.6m households struggled to put enough food on the table in the past week. Families of color are suffering disproportionately with 27% of black and 23% of Latino respondents with children reported not having enough to eat sometimes or often over the past week – compared with 12% of white people.
CA Education News
CalMatters, November 25, 2020
To the alarm of school district officials, immunization rates have plummeted in California during the pandemic. In May the California Department of Public Health rang the alarm about falling immunization rates statewide, reporting that the number of children who were vaccinated in the month of April fell by more than 40%, compared to the same month the previous year. State officials have not yet compiled data for this school year.

Although most students in California are currently learning at home via distance learning, they will have to be immunized before attending schools for in-person instruction. School districts are boosting their efforts to make sure that happens, including handing out 244 free Thanksgiving turkeys to families who brought students to a vaccination clinic.

State immunization law requires documentation of vaccines when students enter child care, transitional kindergarten/kindergarten or seventh grade, or when transferring into schools or child care from out of state or out of the country. Children must be immunized against 10 serious communicable diseases, including polio, chickenpox and Hepatitis B.

San Diego Union-Tribune, November 24, 2020
UC San Diego says it detected traces of the novel coronavirus in five areas of campus over the weekend after it greatly expanded its search for the pathogen in waste water samples drawn from dozens of buildings. The positive tests could involve as many as 14 residential halls and two laundries. But school officials also said Tuesday the findings also could represent only a small number of sites and very few infections.

The university issued a statement Tuesday that says that anyone who used bathrooms in the 14 dorms and two laundry rooms between 11 a.m. Sunday and 1 p.m. on Monday should get tested for Covid-19.

LA Times, November 24, 2020
A year ago, a mother and a daughter taught in classrooms one room apart at Bushnell Way Elementary School in Highland Park — Mrs. Carter with 4-year-olds, Ms. Tai in a mixed group of children ages 4 and 5. Many of the felt puppets and linking cubes they shared there are the same ones Karen Carter used when her daughter was a student in her classroom. Out of respect for her mother’s long tenure, Tai Carter goes by Ms. Tai at school.

Now, the pair teach their pint-size students from home, keeping L.A.'s youngest learners engaged online even as kindergarten enrollment has plummeted and online attendance has slumped.

Ms. Tai and Mrs. Carter have a strength most kindergarten teachers don’t: each other. Mrs. Carter has been at Bushnell Way longer than any other teacher — so long she now regularly instructs the children of her former students — while Ms. Tai is “by far the youngest” on staff. Together, they’ve got all the expertise of a 57-year-old veteran educator combined with the technological savvy of a 27-year-old digital native.

Loren J. Blanchard and Martinrex Kedziora, CalMatters, November 25, 2020
Throughout October and November, hundreds of thousands of high school seniors from every part of the state take the first step toward realizing their academic and professional goals by applying to a California State University campus. In this new Covid-19 reality, too many students will have to navigate the transition between K-12 and higher education virtually, and largely on their own.

Moving to distance learning to protect the safety of our children, school employees and communities was the right thing to do. But Covid-19 is also exacerbating long-standing opportunity gaps, further highlighting the social, economic and public health disparities impacting students throughout the state and nation.
US & International Education News
NY Times, November 24, 2020
At many colleges and universities, from underfunded institutions to top-tier private colleges, many students have found themselves unable to meet basic needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Financial insecurity, previously accelerated by rising tuition costs and living expenses, has become even more acute because of the closure of campuses, loss of jobs and slashing of budgets.

In response, across the country, students have created mutual aid networks: raising and redistributing tens of thousands of dollars to help their peers cover housing, medical costs, food and other essentials. Generally, students send in requests for small amounts of money, and network organizers will send them the funds using payment apps like Venmo.

“The pandemic has obviously exacerbated a lot of the inequalities that exist on college campuses,” said Neha Tallapragada, 19, a sophomore who helped start an aid network at Rice University. “That’s really been a painful experience for a lot of students. Students have been laid off from their jobs, or they’ve had to take on new responsibilities because of losses in family income, perhaps due to Covid-related layoffs.”

Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2020
The NCAA has signaled what’s ahead. It delayed the basketball season’s start. It announced a plan to hold the entire 68-team men’s tournament in a modified “bubble” in the Indianapolis area rather than at sites around the country. (The women’s tournament also might concentrate at one location, but final plans aren’t known.)

The NCAA also slashed in half the minimum number of games required for tournament consideration. Teams are now eligible for March Madness if they play as few as 13 games. Even that might be a stretch. The eight-member Ivy League dropped out entirely, having canceled winter 2020-21 sports.

State and local health experts have warned of the dangers of playing a close-contact sport like basketball indoors, where the airborne coronavirus spreads more easily. Add to those conditions college basketball teams’ frequent travel, and it’s little surprise that virus complications have already scratched games involving top men’s programs. Even efforts to make play safer are hitting snags. 

Wall Street Journal, November 24, 2020
Remote learning during the pandemic has been painful, even for children with the best computers and broadband. Imagine trying to do it all on a cheap cellphone with a 2G connection.

India has more than 300 million people enrolled in schools. Around half of the student body are children in primary and preschool and a most of them have been learning from home since March. India’s underfunded education system can’t cope with study from home, education experts say. Most families don’t have the multiple devices and internet connections needed to allow e-learning.

Leana Wen, columnist, Washington Post, November 24, 2020
With much of the United States engulfed in exponential virus spread and many hospitals already overwhelmed, most schools should close and stay closed through the winter.

About 1.5 percent of Americans are currently infected with coronavirus. In some areas, in a room of 20 people, there is a nearly 1-in-4 chance that someone has covid-19. The high rates of community spread impact children as well; the American Academy of Pediatrics reported on Tuesday that nearly 1.2 million children have been diagnosed with covid-19, constituting nearly 12 percent of total infections. During the last week for which data are available, the week ending Nov. 19, there were more than 144,000 new cases of covid-19 in children, by far the highest weekly increase since the pandemic began.
Covid-19 survivor urges others to have safe holiday
Waco, Texas, resident Eddie Rosado is also known as DJ Magnum. "I’m a DJ at clubs, bars and restaurants. Of course, less bars now and more restaurants with the new rules," Rosado said.

Rosado is one of the 12,000 people in his county who have recovered from Covid-19. With just days until Thanksgiving, he hopes people take extreme safety precautions.

"I feel like some of the top experts are out there telling us the same thing. You can kind of pick apart what you want but at the end of the day wash your hands, wear your masks and then go about your day in the safe way,” Rosado said. "Now is a uniquely dangerous time to meet with anyone outside your household. I’m concerned. I’m deeply worried that for some families getting together for a meal could be fatal."
Knowing and understanding how contagious this virus can be, Rosado had to make the tough decision not to spend the holidays with his 90-year old grandmother.

"Some of these sacrifices are deep and it sucks because we can’t see our family,” Rosado said. “We've all been tested, but out of an abundance of caution we have to skip out on Thanksgiving.

Source: KCEN TV
The worst-hit nations in Europe (on a cases per capita basis) are making a rapid recovery.
International News
Washington Post, November 25, 2020
Leaders in France and Britain on Tuesday announced tentative easing of lockdown restrictions heading into the Christmas holiday season while acknowledging that the coronavirus was far from under control.

The decision to reopen shops, resume indoor entertainment and allow limited holiday gatherings appeared to rub up against a consensus among scientists, who have underscored the risks of indoor socializing and have warned of the danger in lifting restrictions too rapidly. But many European leaders seem reluctant to keep their economies closed or to stand in the way of family members seeing each other after a year marked by long periods of strict confinement measures and social isolation.

Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2020
Europe seemed to have Covid-19 under control this summer, enough so that authorities let residents travel more freely among the region’s countries again. Then tourists flew home from vacations with the pathogen, seeding fresh outbreaks.

As Americans enter a period of peak travel among their states starting with Thanksgiving, new discoveries about how Europe’s second coronavirus wave spread provide an object lesson. Many European regions had made such gains against Covid-19 as to be cited as models. Those gains proved fragile: Unanticipated pockets of infection on the continent and a rush to relax rules allowed it to surge across Europe again.

Much of Europe’s new wave can now be traced to outbreaks among agricultural workers living in cramped conditions in Spain’s Catalonia and Aragón regions, according to researchers from Switzerland and Spain. It spread to nearby cities and across Spain, then home with tourists.

Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2020
With three Western vaccines showing promising effectiveness and a coalition of international health agencies gaining traction, there is cautious optimism in the world’s poorest countries as they scramble to secure some doses.

Europe and America have reserved enough Covid-19 vaccine doses to inoculate their entire populations, claiming the shots before they are even manufactured and squeezing supply for other countries. Meanwhile, China has mainly allocated its vaccines for its own 1.4 billion citizens, outside of a few thousand people in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

That has left many governments in Africa, Latin America and South Asia dependent on a small cluster of international and nongovernmental health agencies based in Switzerland, particularly the World Health Organization, and GAVI, a Geneva-based organization that stockpiles vaccines. Collectively, those agencies hope to vaccinate at best 20% of the population of the world’s 92 poorest countries by the end of next year, primarily health-care workers, the elderly and those with other diseases that make Covid-19 more deadly.

Mexico Daily News, November 24, 2020
Mexico is the worst country to be in during the coronavirus pandemic, according to an analysis conducted by the Bloomberg news agency.

Using 10 different indicators including growth in coronavirus cases, Covid-19 mortality, testing capacity and the vaccine supply agreements governments have reached, Bloomberg graded 53 countries with economies larger than US $200 billion to determine where the virus has been handled most effectively with the least amount of disruption to business and society.

Mexico ranked 53rd with a “Covid resilience” score of just 37.6 out of 100.
Mexico was graded particularly poorly for its Covid-19 fatality rate over the past month (8.6 deaths per 100 cases, according to Bloomberg), positivity rate (62.3%) and “lockdown severity” (the federal government never enforced a strict lockdown).
Amy Graff, SF Gate, November 24, 2020
Health officials are pleading with Californians to skip the usual Thanksgiving gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but what if people don't follow safety measures issued by health officials?

"The curve is literally straight up," said UC Berkeley infectious disease expert Dr. John Swartzberg of the current rise in cases and the potential for an escalation. "It looks like 90 degrees. Astounding. It’s just going to go up faster. It can’t go up any straighter. It’s just going to accelerate faster."

"Our actions now will dictate what happens this winter," said San Francisco Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax at a Friday press conference. "Do not gather, especially inside. People who test negative can still harbor the virus if they’re early in their infection. That’s why people who are exposed should quarantine for two weeks."

Editorial Board, Mercury News, November 24, 2020
With the absence of any leadership from President Trump, and with Gov. Newsom’s bumbling and timidity, it’s time for Bay Area leaders to pave the way, much as they did at the onset of the pandemic.

It seems that it’s not a question of if a shelter-in-place order will be necessary, it’s only a matter of when. And the sooner health officials act, the better the chances of flattening the curve, sparing our hospitals from being overwhelmed, and saving lives. Clearly, no one wants to shut down much of the economy. And we’ve learned more about the virus since the spring. But the fundamentals have not changed.

We’ve already demonstrated that we can flatten the curve by sheltering. This fall, Europe showed again that the strategy works. Now — as cases, infection rates and deaths are all rising quickly, and hospitals are starting to fill — is the time to get ahead of this. The longer we wait, the bigger the problem will become, the harder it will be to control the virus.

NPR, November 24, 2020
Face masks have become a potent symbol of the political polarization over the coronavirus in the United States. The division shows up in polling. Gallup found that while a clear majority of Americans say they're "highly likely" to wear masks in public indoor spaces, Republicans are less likely to do so. As the president-elect prepares to take office in January, he's already talking to governors about trying to implement a national mask mandate, or as close to it as possible.

Dr. Mark Morocco, LA Times, November 23, 2020
In emergency rooms and intensive care units across the country, frontline nurses, respiratory therapists and doctors like me have been in danger every day for eight months. Smothered in PPE, we’re doused in coronavirus every day while we take care of the very sick, the worried well and the dying. Some of the dead aren’t patients; some are colleagues, friends and our own families.

We are furious and we are exhausted. And now we face again the flooding of our hospitals. We’re tired of seeing patients who got the virus after their kid’s “limited” birthday party or because they went out to a restaurant dinner with “close friends” or flew to a celebration in a state “that didn’t have much Covid.” It didn’t have to be this way.

Lucy Jones, Washington Post, November 24, 2020
We’re hearing a lot about pandemic fatigue, shutdown rebellions and pervasive resentment. In the same way we think that the obesity epidemic can be fixed by people just eating less, we’re blaming people for not having the character or willpower to just wear masks and self-isolate.

Instead of blaming the victims, we should try to understand why people behave the way they do. Well-meaning and intelligent people struggle to understand the hazards they face and weigh appropriate action. But even as we recognize the difficulty, we need to use our rational minds to tell our gut to behave. Stay away from your family during the holidays so everyone will still be alive in the spring.
East Bay Focus
Alameda County
Widespread (Purple)
  • 7.1 Adjusted case rate of new Covid-19 cases per day per 100,000 residents
  • 2.8% Positivity rate
Contra Costa County
Widespread (Purple)
  • 9.7 Adjusted case rate of new Covid-19 cases per day per 100,000 residents
  • 3.7% Positivity rate
by day as of 11/24/20
by day as of 11/24/20
Over the last seven days, Alameda County officials have reported 1,396 new coronavirus cases, which amounts to 85 cases per 100,000 residents.
Over the last seven days, Contra Costa County officials have reported 1,516 new coronavirus cases, which amounts to 134 cases per 100,000 residents.
Top 10 Locations of Cases in Alameda County, as of 11/22/20. Alameda County does not publish cases per 100,000 in the last 14 days by city.
Oakland: 10,273

Hayward: 4,168

Fremont: 2,061

Eden MAC: 1,799

San Leandro: 1,566

Livermore: 1,226

Union City: 1,109

Berkeley: 1,105

Newark: 763

Castro Valley: 751
Top 10 Locations of Cases in Contra Costa County plus (in parentheses) cases per 100,000 in last 14 days, as of 11/25/20
Richmond: 4,243 (349)

Concord: 2,983 (164)

Antioch: 3,061 (280)

Pittsburgh: 2,481 (245)

San Pablo: 1,945 (570)

Bay Point: 1,107 (331)

Brentwood: 984 (215)

Walnut Creek: 863 (141)

Oakley: 765 (238)

San Ramon: 618 (119)
East Bay Resources

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.
Holiday Celebration Guidance
CDC website, November 19, 2020
The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with people in your household. If you do plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside your household, the CDC offers steps to make your celebration safer.

Contra Costa Health Services website
Embracing gratefulness, connection, resiliency and hope are more important than ever, as is protecting the ones you care about and are thankful for. As you plan for and enjoy the holidays, Contra Costa Health Services provides guidance on how to keep yourself and others safe while enjoying traditions.
In their November 19, 2020, podcast, Dr. Michael Osterholm and host Chris Dall discuss the exponential growth of cases in the US and elsewhere, more promising news regarding vaccines and the obstacles that remain, the impact of surging cases on healthcare workers, and an opportunity to help out with the Frontline Families Fund.
Purple (Widespread) Tier Restrictions Summarized
All Bay Area counties are in the state's Purple (Widespread) Tier for activity and business reopening, with the exceptions of Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo Counties that are in the Red (Substantial) Tier.

Below is a list of the restrictions for counties in the Purple Tier. Please view on a desktop or laptop computer. Source: California Dept. of Public Health

For East Bay specific reopening guidance, see

Outdoor playgrounds

Hair salons & Barbarshops

All Retail

Shopping Centers

Museums, Zoos & Aquariums

Places of Worship

Movie Theaters

Hotels & Lodging

Gyms & Fitness Centers



Bars & Breweries (where no meal provided)


Professional Sports

Amusement Parks
Outdoor only with modifications, maximum 3 households

Open with modifications

Open indoors with modifications

Open indoors with modifications, maximum 25% capacity

Open indoors with modifications, maximum 25% capacity, common areas and food courts closed

Outdoor only with modifications

Outdoor only with modifications

Outdoor only with modifications

Open with modifications

Outdoor only with modifications

Outdoor only with modifications

Outdoor only with modifications



Open without live audiences

New California Mask Order Summarized
All Californians are now required to wear face coverings whenever they’re outside their homes, with a few exceptions. Source: California Dept. of Public Health
Residents must cover their faces unless they are:

  • in a car alone or solely with members of their own household.

  • working in an office or in a room alone.

  • actively eating or drinking provided that they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet away from persons who are not members of the same household or residence.

  • outdoors and maintaining at least 6 feet of social distancing from others not in their household. Such persons must have a face covering with them at all times and must put it on if they are within 6 feet of others who are not in their household.

  • obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service.

  • workers who are required to wear respiratory protection.

  • specifically exempted from wearing face coverings by other state guidance.
Californians are only exempt from the order if they:

• are younger than age 2.

• have a disability or medical/mental health condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering.

• are hearing-impaired or are communicating with someone who is.


The new state mandate doesn’t specify any particular kind of face covering — all that’s required is that the nose and mouth are covered. “A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels,” the state says.

Monday’s mandate replaces the one issued in June, which had required Californians to wear face coverings only in specified settings that were considered high risk, such as when shopping, taking public transportation or seeking medical care.
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.
Public Education Covid-19 Flyers
Contra Costa County Health Services has recently published highly informative flyers addressing the risks of becoming infected in certain settings and activities.
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. 
Your feedback is welcome. Please share the Bulletin.
The Eden Health District Board of Directors are Gordon Galvan, Chair, Mariellen Faria, Vice Chair, Roxann Lewis, Pam Russo and Thomas Lorentzen. 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.

Each bulletin includes a summary of the top health, Bay Area, California, national, education and international news on the pandemic plus links to a diverse range of commentary and analysis. We publish the Bulletin on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, unless the day fall on a public holiday.

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