October 14, 2020
Eden Health District COVID-19 Bulletin
“This is the fall/winter surge that everyone was worried about. And now it’s happening. And it’s happening especially in the northern Midwest, and the Northern states are getting hit very hard — Wisconsin, Montana, the Dakotas. But it’s going to be nationally soon enough."
Dr. Pater Hotez, Dean of the Baylor College of Medicine’s National School of Tropical Medicine, 10/14/20
Closing in on 100, retired Lafayette hairdresser plans to be around for coronavirus vaccine
Living to 100, which used to be remarkable before a whole lot of people decided to do it, is something that happens if you hang around long enough. It’s happening to a Lafayette woman, who is as surprised as anyone about it.

“I do wonder why I’m still here,” said Norma Ratto. “I have no answer to that question. None whatsoever.”

Perhaps exercising has something to do with it, Ratto acknowledged. Every afternoon in her living room, Ratto does 20 leg lifts, all while firmly grasping her walker to make sure she returns safely to the ground after each one. “Seven, eight, nine, 10,” Ratto said, before switching legs. “You have to keep moving. You can’t just sit. You’ll get stale.”

Ratto, a retired Oakland hair salon owner, will join the centenarian club on Oct. 24. She doesn’t credit her longevity to anything but dumb luck. It’s not the mushroom risotto she favors. It’s not the glass of Champagne she takes from time to time. It’s not the invigorating John Wayne movies she enjoys watching on her big-screen TV. It’s not the laptop computer that she trained herself to use. “I suppose,” she said, “I’m just patient.”

When Ratto was born, the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 was just ending. Fast-forward 100 years, she said, and here we go again.
“It’s a goofy world,” she said. “Every country in the world has got this virus but we’ve got it worse than anyone. Our president won’t wear a mask. Why is that?”

Being patient, Ratto said, doesn’t mean sitting still. When she isn’t doing leg lifts, she likes to visit the supermarket and Costco. She buys sensibly. At Costco, they sell large quantities to folks who are in it for the long haul. For a centenarian, she said, it may not be the correct shopping strategy.

On her birthday, she plans to stay home and watch John Wayne. No party, no balloons. Her daughter, Judi, said she had planned to invite friends to drive by her mother’s house and to have her stand out front and wave. No thanks, said Ratto.

What will be worth celebrating, Ratto said, is the vaccine that will bring an end to the coronavirus pandemic. She plans to be around for that. She’s looking forward to getting one of the first shots. “I’m waiting,” she said. “It’s not that hard being patient. I don’t have a lot else to do.”

Source: SF Chronicle
By the Numbers
Alameda County: 22,325

Contra Costa County: 17,866

Bay Area: 109,466

California: 863,469

U.S.: 7,895,758
Alameda County: 442

Contra Costa County: 233

Bay Area: 1,655

California: 16,727

U.S.: 216,469
Bay Area News
Mercury News, October 14, 2020
South Bay restaurants could start serving diners indoors and movie theaters could welcome back limited audiences this week after Santa Clara County advanced to a looser tier of coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday.
Alameda County will move more slowly to reopen those businesses, but it too has now graduated to the “orange” tier of the state’s Covid reopening plan, which indicates spread of the deadly illness in the county is at “moderate” levels.

Alameda County officials are saying the soonest they could allow indoor dining and other gatherings will be in nearly two weeks, on Oct. 26. The county on Tuesday began allowing elementary schools that had submitted reopening plans to resume in-person classes. And officials said they could permit certain outdoor activities, such as reopening playgrounds, on Friday.

Alameda County Health Services Agency, October 13, 2020
The State allows counties in the Orange Tier to open additional sectors with restrictions, while emphasizing that Local Health Officers may take a more measured approach. With reopening across California and rising COVID-19 rates in other parts of the United States, Alameda County must continue to proceed slowly to avoid another surge in cases. As of today, there are no Orange Tier activities permitted in Alameda County. 

Alameda County is preparing to update the local Health Officer Orders to permit additional activities during the week of October 26. These activities are currently allowed by the State for counties in the Red Tier and will include:

• Indoor dining up to 25% capacity or less than 100 people, whichever is less • Indoor worship services up to 25% capacity or less than 100 people, whichever is less
• Indoor theaters up to 25% capacity or less than 100 people, whichever is less • Expansion of indoor retail and malls at up to 50% of capacity and permitting limited food courts

“If we see spikes in COVID-19 cases and a rise in hospitalizations, we will take action to limit the spread and protect public health including resuming restrictions if needed,” Dr. Nicholas Moss, Alameda County’s interim health officer.

SF Chronicle, October 13, 2020
All nine Bay Area counties met the state’s new health equity metric for economic reopening Tuesday, the California Department of Public Health said. The metric aims to ensure that counties are tracking and addressing high transmission rates in disadvantaged communities.

It is one of three indicators California is using to determine when counties may advance reopening and roll back shelter-in-place restrictions, according to the state’s color-coded, tiered system for assessment. In order to meet the equity metric, the test positivity rate in counties’ most disadvantaged communities must meet the test positivity threshold for the less restrictive tier. Contra Costa, San Mateo, San Francisco and Sonoma counties fell short of meeting the metric last week.

SF Chronicle, October 14, 2020
This week, the U.S. has reported the highest number of new coronavirus cases since August, with hotspots emerging in several Midwestern states. But the Bay Area hasn’t seen the same trend, with new cases far below the level seen during the summer peak, and hospitalizations near the lowest levels since tracking began.

Health reporter Erin Allday explains, "What we're seeing is our efforts of locking things down again, after we peaked during the summer surge, instituted a lot of restrictions. Not quite sheltering in place again, but pretty restrictive. And we're seeing that pay off now."

SF Chronicle, October 13, 2020
According to the September rent report from listings website Realtor.com, San Francisco’s rental prices experienced the steepest declines in the nation year-over-year in all three of its categories: studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom. Changes in remote work policies during the coronavirus pandemic are driving the trend toward falling rents in expensive urban areas across the nation, especially in tech-heavy rental markets like the Bay Area.

Berkeleyside, October 13, 2020
After the second month in a row in which daily Covid-19 case rates and test positivity rates have decreased, the city of Berkeley and Alameda County are now able to plan the phased opening of additional activities under state guidelines, according to a city of Berkeley press release. Elementary schools, gyms and indoor museums already have the ability to open with restrictions in place, the press release added.

Mercury News, October 13, 2020
Stubborn unemployment, a lengthening health crisis and California’s high housing costs are putting unsustainable pressure on the state’s most vulnerable homeowners and renters. More than 1 in 5 California residents surveyed said they lacked confidence they would be able to make rent or mortgage last month, according to new research by the UC Berkeley Terner Center. Half the renters in San Francisco and the East Bay said in an August U.S. Census survey that they had lost income during the pandemic, with about 1 in 10 of all renters and homeowners falling behind on payments — a blow felt hardest in Black, Latinx and Asian communities.
Health News
STAT, October 13, 2020
It could be two weeks until there is news on a paused trial of Eli Lilly’s closely watched monoclonal antibody treatment for Covid-19.
The National Institutes of Health said late Tuesday that it paused the trial because one of the two groups in the study — one had received the antibody, the other a placebo — was doing better than the other. Both groups also received remdesivir, a Covid-19 treatment from Gilead Sciences. 

The NIH said the trial’s independent data and safety monitoring board, or DSMB, noted Tuesday morning that the study had reached a “predefined boundary for safety” after five days of treatment, meaning that there was an overall difference between the two patient groups. The agency, however, did not indicate whether it was the treatment group or the placebo group that may have crossed a safety threshold.

NY Times, October 13, 2020
Reports of reinfection with the coronavirus evoke a nightmarish future: Repeat bouts of illness, impotent vaccines, unrelenting lockdowns — a pandemic without an end.

A case study published on Monday, about a 25-year-old man in Nevada, has stoked those fears anew. The man, who was not named, became sicker the second time that he was infected with the virus, a pattern the immune system is supposed to prevent.
But these cases make the news precisely because they are rare, experts said: More than 38 million people worldwide have been infected with the coronavirus, and as of Monday, fewer than five of those cases have been confirmed by scientists to be reinfections. “That’s tiny — it’s like a microliter-sized drop in the bucket, compared to the number of cases that have happened all over the world,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University in New York.

USA Today, October 14, 2020
Pediatricians and public health experts predict a potentially dramatic increase in childhood obesity this year as months of pandemic eating, closed schools, stalled sports and public space restrictions extend indefinitely.
About one in seven children have met the criteria for childhood obesity since 2016, when the federal National Survey of Children's Health changed its methodology, a report out Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found. While the percentage of children considered obese declined slightly in the last 10 years, it is expected to jump in 2020.

NPR, October 13, 2020
During this pandemic, people in the United States are currently dying at rates unparalleled elsewhere in the world. A new report in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that over the last 5 months per capita deaths in the U.S., both from Covid-19 and other causes have been far greater than in 18 other high-income countries.

The study looks at per capita death rates in 2020 in 18 countries with populations larger than 5 million people and per capita gross domestic product levels above $25,000 per year. It breaks out deaths attributed to Covid-19, but also examines how total deaths in the U.S. are higher than normal this year.

Washington Post, October 13, 2020
Maverick scientists who call for allowing the coronavirus to spread freely at “natural” rates among healthy young people while keeping most aspects of the economy up and running have found an audience inside the White House and at least one state capitol.

The scientists met last week with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist who has emerged as an influential adviser to President Trump on the pandemic. A senior administration official told reporters in a background briefing call Monday that the proposed strategy — which has been denounced by other infectious-disease experts and has been called “fringe” and “dangerous” by National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins — supports what has been Trump’s policy for months.

Washington Post, October 14, 2020
At this point in the pandemic, Americans have largely accepted that returning to life pre-2020 is not likely to happen any time soon. But that hasn’t stopped many from trying to reestablish a sense of normalcy by maintaining social connections while still being mindful of the public health guidelines intended to slow the spread of the deadly virus.

One method that has gained popularity in recent months is forming a pandemic pod or bubble. Also known as a “quaranteam,” the strategy has been adopted by a number of families — especially those with young children — and close-knit friend groups. It requires people in the pod to follow strict safety protocols, such as mask-wearing and social distancing, when they are in public or interacting with others outside the group.

Nature, October 14, 2020
Vaccines, which incite the immune system to fight off invaders, often perform poorly in older people. The best strategy for quelling the pandemic might fail in exactly the group that needs it most. Scientists hope drugs that rejuvenate the immune system will help.
US and California Data
Source: Covid Tracking Project, 10/13/20 (bold lines are 7-day averages)
United States
California News
Mercury News, October 13, 2020
California ranks between Oregon (57.2) and Washington (53.3) in cases per capita over the past week. Only Hawaii (47.2), New Hampshire (38.8), Maine (15.4) and Vermont (9.5) reported lower rates of cases per-capita than the trifecta of West Coast states. Nationally, the per-capita rate was about 107.7.

California reported the second highest number of total cases in the past week, behind only Texas. However, they are also the country’s two most populous states. The third state, Wisconsin, reported about 85% of the total cases in California, despite a population about 15% of the size. New outbreaks across the Midwest have sent the national curve back on an upward trajectory.

CalMatters, October 13, 2020
Even after a reversal and call for more individual stimulus checks, small business loans and an airline bailout, a national stimulus deal has yet to materialize ahead of several looming political deadlines.

California workers and small businesses are trying to stop the financial bleeding before rent moratoriums and an emergency Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for contract workers are set to expire this winter. The state’s public schools, courts, parks and civil servants are already feeling the fallout after $11 billion in budget cuts and delayed payments took effect this summer, which lawmakers in Sacramento had hoped to reverse by Oct. 15 with funds from a new federal stimulus deal.

LA Daily News, October 13, 2020
Los Angeles County found itself slipping further away from reopening additional business sectors on Tuesday, coming to terms with a coronavirus case rate that is still too high to warrant a green light from the state to move forward with scaled-back restrictions for more businesses and public venues.

Meanwhile, county leaders are faced with an interesting paradox: In order for the county to allow more businesses to open up, people must lock down further and limit their social interactions. If that effort is successful, more sectors can reopen, invariably meaning cases will increase, some officials fear.

SF Chronicle, October 13, 2020
Small business owners are frustrated with the constant uncertainty that looms over them, along with the fear of having to close their doors if their county does not meet the equity metric in the future.

“I absolutely agree that resources need to be directed to communities with disproportionately high case rates — there is no question about that,” Danielle Rabkin, owner of CrossFit Golden Gate, said. “But not at the expense of small businesses anymore. There has got to be a better way.”

The equity metric appears to pit the needs of two communities — both devastated by the coronavirus pandemic — against one another. On one hand, the plan helps counties focus resources on the Black, Latino and Pacific Islander communities getting sicker and dying at significantly higher rates. And, on the other hand, this well-meaning initiative may stall businesses from at last opening their doors fully, pushing many into further economic chaos.
US News
CNN, October 14, 2020
Small gatherings are becoming a growing source of Covid-19 spread, a leading health expert said, as at least 36 states are now reporting increased cases of the virus and hospitalizations are on the rise nationwide.

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx echoed Redfield's warning last week, urging Americans not to let their guard down during the holidays by gathering with close friends and family who they think may be virus-free. That's especially important to keep in mind as college students begin returning home. Experts have warned that young students, who often show mild or no symptoms at all, can contribute to a household spread of the virus, by infecting their parents who may then go on to infect other parts of their home and community.

Reuters, October 14, 2020
New analysis from the Economic Innovation Group studying economic patterns across roughly 25,000 zip codes showed that from 2000 through 2018, already prosperous areas pulled further ahead, capturing disproportionate shares of the jobs created and the new businesses that were formed.

For 5,000 or so “distressed” zip codes it was by contrast a period of lost opportunity as they fell further behind, with the number of jobs declining even deep into the recovery, and those that remained more concentrated in industries and occupations likely to have been disrupted by the pandemic.
Economists analyzing the U.S. path to recovery are worried that inside national measures of economic growth lie deepening divisions between industries and people as some sectors recover fast, while employment in the leisure and hospitality industry, for example, remains 20% below where it was in February.

NY Times, October 14, 2020
By some measure, all politics is virus politics in 2020, and the federal government’s handling of Covid-19 has become an explosive issue in the presidential race, which has been further complicated by President Trump’s own hospitalization for the virus.

Yet around the nation, there are local and state races in which the pandemic has also taken an outsize role. In some cases, the virus has been the reason for running; in others, handling of the pandemic has become the defining issue, eclipsing ordinary matters of taxes and services. The virus — and the government’s response to it — has inspired parents, hair salon owners and others to run for the first time, turned sleepy races into competitive matches and injected a level of unpredictability and rancor into normally tranquil down-ballot contests.

Politico, October 14, 2020
Reporters interviewed a wide range of health researchers, public officials and academic experts to ask them which states were standouts in their management of the pandemic. What we heard repeatedly were lessons culled from a handful of states that others could follow.

We’ve distilled their insights into three categories that represent the greatest challenges states are facing: fighting the virus, managing the economic fallout and reopening schools. The top runners:
·     Vermont: Few states have a record as unblemished as Vermont.
·     Washington: Shows larger urban centers can mount an effective defense against the virus with rapid coordination and an early focus on vulnerable populations.
·     Michigan: Closing racial disparities.
CA Education News
LA Times, October 13, 2020
Coronavirus-forced school closures have fueled an unprecedented run on tutors that takes in the gamut of circumstances — including students who need academic help and those seeking to maintain their high-achieving status. But for every parent who can pay for private tutoring, there are others who can’t, fueling a surge of start-up volunteer tutoring groups.

The demand is evident at pricey firms — which can charge $25 to more than $100 an hour. A+ Tutoring, a San Fernando Valley-based tutoring company, has seen a 70% jump in web traffic since March, company owner Roman Slavinsky said.

Sacramento Bee, October 13, 2020
Citing concerns that the coronavirus pandemic will still be out of control months from now, the unions representing teachers in three Sacramento County school districts are urging county school leaders and superintendents to keep campuses closed until at least January. In a letter to Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools Dave Gordon and their districts’ respective superintendents, the teachers unions at Sacramento City Unified, Natomas Unified and Twin Rivers said allowing some schools to reopen before others “deepens inequality” in low income neighborhoods where coronavirus infection rates are high. Those three districts serve a combined 95,000 students.

EdSource, October 13, 2020
Many California school districts offered a variety of training over the summer to prepare teachers for distance learning in the fall, but some struggled to offer enough to meet the needs of all teachers, leaving many to find training on their own. In many places, training focused only on teleconferencing tools like Zoom and educational platforms like Google Classroom. In other districts teachers were largely on their own to convert lessons from in-person to virtual, according to a recent EdSource survey.

85% of the 67 California school superintendents who answered a survey question on the topic said their districts were offering distance learning instruction. About 40% of the districts offered 9 to 16 hours of training, roughly a third offered 5 to 8 hours of training and 16% offered 1 to 4 hours. Less than 10% of the school districts offered more than 16 hours of training for teachers.
US & International Education News
CNN, October 12, 2020
Many remember the widely shared photos of crowded hallways as school started in Paulding County, Georgia, that were followed by cases of coronavirus and hundreds of students and staff in quarantine. But for the majority of schools that have opened their doors, infection rates and case counts have not skyrocketed as much as medical professionals, teachers, and parents feared.

These are some of the stressed stories of the pandemic-hit school year so far -- but it's impossible to know how widespread the experiences are because there is no national tracking of what happens when children and staff return to schools. And without that tracking, health and education experts say, there's no way to come up with best practices to restart schools, educate children most effectively and open up their parents to commit to their work lives.

USA Today, October 13, 2020
Scores of universities and colleges have upended spring schedules as the coronavirus infection rate in the U.S. shows no sign of slowing.
After a rocky start to the fall, uncertainty over the next few months of the pandemic has pushed universities coast to coast to overhaul in-person learning, spring break and graduation.

There is not a clear consensus on learning styles for the spring semester.
But a growing number of colleges have delayed their start times, either by a week, a month or, in the case of Middlebury College in Vermont, two months. The college plans to start its spring semester March 1.

Washington Post, October 13, 2020
With winter on its way and coronavirus guidelines advising teachers to keep classroom windows open, students across Northern Europe are preparing for the chill by packing blankets in their school bags and layering up in warm clothing.

There is increasingly a consensus among experts that good ventilation is one of the best ways to prevent the virus from spreading. Anthony Costello, a former director at the World Health Organization, said last month that children “can survive a bit of cold, and they’re going to have to, because ventilation is so important.”
Man who dismissed Covid-19 and then survived it says he is an example for doubters
For months, Tony Green was skeptical that the threat of Covid-19 was real. Then he hosted a small family gathering in June.

All six people -- Green, his partner and their parents -- at the weekend event got sick, eight more people in their families tested positive, bringing the total to 14.
Green, who lives in Texas, ended up in the hospital and doctors saved him from a having a stroke, he said. He was better in a few days.

His father-in-law was hospitalized and seemed to be getting better. But he turned very ill, very quickly and he stayed a ventilator for six weeks. He didn't survive. “He was just gone. It's like the world swallowed him up. We could only have 10 people at the funeral, and I didn't make that list," he wrote.

One of the secondary Covid cases was his father-in-law's mother. She also died in the hospital.

Green carries guilt for hosting the get-together.
"The feeling that I have is kind of like what, I would say, a drunk driver would have if they killed their family," Green said. "It was unintentional. This was my home. This is where it happened. So, you know there is a sense of responsibility."

Green said would tell people who are preparing for Thanksgiving or Christmas to approach family time with care. "Take a little bit of extra precaution," he said, recommending events be held outside if possible or in spacious place. But "if you're nervous about it, I don't say to don't be afraid of it, I think that you've got a reason to be afraid of it. I think maybe you should bow out this year."

Source: CNN
International News
Wall Street Journal, October 14, 2020
Europe’s fight to contain a second wave of the coronavirus has reached a tipping point. Months after authorities flattened the curve of coronavirus infections across Europe by imposing some of the Western world’s toughest restrictions on millions of people, the virus has crept back onto the Continent. Hospitals are filling up. Bars and cafes are closing down.

This week, Europe overtook the U.S. in a key metric that tracks the virus’s spread while accounting for differences in population size. The 27 countries of the European Union and the U.K. recorded 78,000 cases a day on average over a seven-day period ending on Oct. 12, or 152 cases for every million residents. The U.S. recorded 49,000 a day on average over the same period, about 150 for every million residents.

That is the first time Europe has outpaced the U.S. since the virus’s peak in the spring, when the disease was spreading largely undetected because of countries’ limited testing capacity. Europe has now reached a critical mass of new cases similar to what the U.S. faced in late June when infections skyrocketed from Florida to California.

Europe continues to trail the U.S. in average daily deaths per capita. Over the same seven-day period, the U.S. recorded an average of 2 deaths a day per million residents, double the European average.

NY Times, October 14, 2020
Northern Ireland’s first minister said a four-week lockdown would start Friday. With a population of about 1.8 million, the country reported an average of 900 new daily coronavirus cases this week.

The Guardian, October 14, 2020
Iran, the crucible of coronavirus in the Middle East, smashed two grim records this week, reporting its largest number of deaths in a single 24 hours since the outbreak started in March, and the largest number of new infections.

Iranian health officials openly admit Iran is deep into its third, and biggest, wave of the disease, and evidence suggests an exhausted and impoverished country is struggling to cope as trust in government diminishes, sanctions weaken the economy and hospitals report overcrowded intensive care units.

Mohammad Reza Zafarghandi, the state-appointed head of the Iranian Medical Association, has alleged that officials ignored warnings from health experts, and said that the medical staff in Iran were exhausted. The disease seems to be spreading most in the context of the family, but bakeries, schools and restaurants are also accused of frequently flouting the rules.

Associated Press, October 14, 2020
Even before the pandemic, Israel had one of the largest income gaps and poverty rates among developed economies, with a few high earners, mostly in the lucrative high-tech sector, while many Israelis barely get by as civil servants, in service industries or as small business owners.

Those gaps have widened as the second nationwide lockdown, imposed last month, dealt a new blow to an economy already hit hard by the first round of restrictions. The fallout from the pandemic has also deepened long-simmering divisions among Israeli Jews, pitting a largely secular majority against a powerful ultra-Orthodox minority.

Kelly Bjorklund and Andrew Ewing, Time, October 14, 2020
The Swedish Covid-19 experiment of not implementing early and strong measures to safeguard the population has been hotly debated around the world, but at this point we can predict it is almost certain to result in a net failure in terms of death and suffering. 

study published Oct. 12 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which pointed out that, of the countries the researchers investigated, Sweden and the U.S. essentially make up a category of two: they are the only countries with high overall mortality rates that have failed to rapidly reduce those numbers as the pandemic has progressed.

Yet the architects of the Swedish plan are selling it as a success to the rest of the world. And officials in other countries, including at the top level of the U.S. government, are discussing the strategy as one to emulate—despite the reality that doing so will almost certainly increase the rates of death and misery.
Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, October 13, 2020
One of American culture’s most cherished traditions is for a mix of young and old people from different households to sit close together and share food in a poorly ventilated space without masks on for an extended period of time. It’s called Thanksgiving.

This year, the holiday season is laced with danger. Individually, Americans have been tempted over and over during the pandemic to violate public-health experts’ recommendations, whether by the celebration of a family milestone or just a drink at a bar. But the holiday
season represents a different, more collective sort of temptation that’s likely stronger than any of the ones that came before it.

That said, when I asked Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, whether it’s safe to travel, he said that although the collective risks of holiday travel are large—it could make the pandemic worse overall—the risks for any given individual traveler can be reduced. “With caution, it can be done,” he advised, but if you’re unsure, err on the side of not going.

If you do decide to go somewhere, Morse told me, there are a number of precautions you can take that, combined, could reduce the risks of getting or spreading the virus. (But ramping up the caution or just skipping the trip would be a good idea if you or your loved ones are particularly vulnerable to the disease.)

  • Consider visiting at an off-peak time — that is, not right around a holiday, when lots of other people might be traveling as well.

  • Plan a smaller gathering than usual. The fewer people from different households, the better. (The number of attendees can be more important than the length of the visit: It’s not clear that shortening a visit marginally—say, from three days to two or from two weeks to one—will reduce risk in a predictable, linear way.)

  • Drive if it’s feasible. If you’re traveling a distance that’s drivable in a day, driving is probably safer than flying. For longer distances, the risks for each mode are probably pretty similar, so flying would be okay. If you do fly, you don’t need to purchase any special, heavy-duty type of mask—a comfortable, well-fitted cloth mask will suffice.

  • Keep an eye on case counts. If they’re particularly high in the place where you’re leaving or headed, think about rescheduling or canceling the trip.

  • Get tested. Each family member should be tested before and after the trip (though this might not be possible if demand for tests spikes around the holidays). If the test comes back positive or if you’re feeling sick, bail on the trip.

  • It’s okay to stay with your family. For longer visits, if your loved ones have the space, it’s probably safer to stay with them than in a hotel.

  • Follow the basic guidelines that apply the rest of the year. Even if you’re willing to take on some extra risk to see your loved ones for the holidays, you should continue to wear a mask in public, wash your hands frequently, stay at least six feet from others, avoid touching your face, and socialize outdoors whenever possible. Masking and keeping distance from loved ones you’re staying with is “safest, but may make the whole thing untenable for some,” Morse said. He offered “a middle course: distancing, good ventilation, all the precautions except masks, [which] would [still] be riskier, but might be more comfortable.”

Emily Swanson and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press, October 13, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has thrust many Americans into the role of caring for an older or disabled loved one for the first time, a new poll finds. And caregivers on the whole say they’re encountering unexpected risks and demands as a result of the virus, requiring greater time and effort. Still, they’re more worried about the relatives and friends they are helping than about themselves.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll finds that 17% of Americans say they are providing ongoing caregiving, part of an informal volunteer corps. About 1 in 10 caregivers has begun since the virus outbreak, and about half of those say they are providing care specifically because of the pandemic.
East Bay Focus
Alameda County
Moderate (Orange)
  • 2.9 Adjusted case rate of new Covid-19 positive cases per day per 100,000 residents
  • 1.5% Positivity rate
  • 3.2% Health equity metric
Contra Costa County
Substantial (Red)
  • 4.3 Adjusted case rate of new Covid-19 positive cases per day per 100,000 residents
  • 2.4% Positivity rate
  • 4.9% Healthy equity metric
All California counties are assigned to a tier based on its test positivity and adjusted case rate. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier. The state updates the tier data every Tuesday.
by day as of 10/13/20
by day as of 10/13/20
Over the last seven days, Alameda County officials have confirmed 472 new cases, which amounts to 29 cases per 100,000 residents.
Over the last seven days, Contra Costa County officials have confirmed 469 new cases, which amounts to 41 cases per 100,000 residents.
Top 10 Locations of Cases in Alameda County, as of 10/13/20. Alameda County does not publish cases per 100,000 in the last 14 days by city.
Oakland: 8,713

Hayward: 3,263

Fremont: 1,496

Eden MAC: 1,421

San Leandro: 1,215

Livermore: 968

Union City: 831

Newark: 598

Castro Valley: 581

Pleasanton: 477
Top 10 Locations of Cases in Contra Costa County plus (in parentheses) cases per 100,000 in last 14 days, as of 10/14/20
Richmond: 3,421 (150)

Concord: 2,389 (108)

Antioch: 2,378 (109)

Pittsburgh: 1,997 (140)

San Pablo: 1,521 (223)

Bay Point: 933 (247)

Brentwood: 683 (74)

Walnut Creek: 634 (41)

Oakley: 544 (78)

San Ramon: 376 (41)
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.
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. 
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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.