October 23, 2020
Eden Health District COVID-19 Bulletin
“We think the key point here is that there’s a huge winter surge coming. [At this point, the wave isn’t fully preventable, but] “expanding mask use is one of the easy wins for the U.S."
Christopher Murray, Director of the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 10/23/20
Community Responds to Support Mother and Child left homeless
Shelby Hughes was a single mom living a happy life with her four-year-old son Callen, until the pandemic hit. She lost her two jobs and then the state Employment Development Department (EDD) cut off her benefits with no explanation.

"I started losing everything one by one," she told ABC 7 News. Hughes and her son began living in their car. In response to TV coverage, offers of help came pouring in.

Karen Wilmot-Causey in Vallejo offered a job. "I have work available and if it's a matter of daycare, I would not be above wanting to sit with her son," she said. "It brought back a lot of memories of when I was a single mom."

Bonnie Holland of Half Moon Bay offered assistance. "My husband and I looked at our budget and we can afford to give her $1,000."

Patti O'Brien in Oakley offered a room in her home, which has a pool in the yard. "It was heartbreaking," O'Brien said. "She can come here with her son, and I have a pool -- and I saw he wanted to swim and I thought, oh my gosh."
And then there's Janelle Hendrickson in Redlands. "I put myself in her situation and it was just one of those things that you do what you have to do to help another mom," she said. She started a GoFundMe campaign on Hughes's behalf. "If it makes a difference, and she gets a home, that's great. You just want babies to be safe." It raised $58,000.

"First of all I want to be able to say thank you to everybody," Hughes said after the outpouring of support. "And how much you're going to change my son's life. I could never thank you enough."

And then Shelby Hughes finally got her unemployment benefits. At least most of them. The EDD payments from last spring suddenly popped into her account.

"I don't know, it's all so surreal to me," Hughes said. "Words could never describe how much peace it's giving my heart right now."

Source: ABC 7 News
By the Numbers
Alameda County: 23,001

Contra Costa County: 18,523

Bay Area: 113,443

California: 893,947

U.S.: 8,458,554
Alameda County: 456

Contra Costa County: 241

Bay Area: 1,730

California: 17,268

U.S.: 223,602
Bay Area News
Press Release, October 21, 2020
The Alameda County Public Health Department announced that the following activities may start today, October 23rd:

• Indoor family entertainment centers may open activities that are naturally socially distanced, like bowling alleys and climbing walls, up to 25% capacity

• 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 movie theaters up to 25% capacity or less than 100 people per screen, whichever is less

• Expansion of indoor retail and malls up to 50% of capacity and permitting limited food courts

• Expansion of indoor gyms and fitness centers up to 25% of capacity, but indoor pools are not permitted to open

• Expansion of outdoor non-contact fitness classes up to 20 people including the instructor

• Expansion of wedding and funeral services up to 25% of venue capacity or 100 people, whichever is less

Businesses must implement and residents must comply with the County's Covid-19 safety measures.

City Website, October 21, 2020
Consistent with the latest public health orders, City parks and playgrounds have re-opened. Due to current fire danger, however, Chabot Park will remain closed until weather conditions improve. Where feasible, the City will install soap/sanitizer dispensers, though park visitors should come prepared with their own soap or sanitizer as supplies are often limited. 

SF Chronicle, October 23, 2020
As the pandemic sows misery and desperation, as social unrest grips the nation and on the cusp of a divisive, frantic presidential election, an increasing number of Californians appear to be assuaging a sense of insecurity by buying guns, research suggests. Bay Area gun store owners and employees interviewed by The Chronicle confirmed that gun sales are booming — up as much as 500%, according to Todd Richardson of Richardson Tactical in Hayward. “Comparing year over year sales, it feels like it’s Christmas all year. That’s how much demand there is for firearms,” said an employee at Elite Armory in Castro Valley.

According to a recent report from UC Davis School of Medicine researchers, 110,000 Californians have purchased firearms because of the pandemic and that nearly half — 47,000 — are new gun owners. Many said the pandemic increased their concerns they’d become victims of violence. It also found that 55,000 gun owners prefer to keep them at the ready, not locked in a gun safe or other secure location as recommended by safety experts.

Mercury News, October 22, 2020
Santa Clara County health officials are on the hot seat after promptly rejecting new state rules allowing some fans to attend pro football, soccer and other outdoor sporting events. The county is home to some of the only California outdoor stadiums that could potentially welcome back sports fans under the state’s new guidance — the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium, and Earthquakes Stadium, home of San Jose’s Major League Soccer team.

Supervisors at Tuesday’s board meeting criticized what they called a “rush” decision to keep fans out of outdoor stadiums, which came an hour and a half after the state revised its stadium guidance,

In response, County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody told the supervisors that the state’s announcement on fans in stadiums — which applies only to counties with no more than moderate coronavirus outbreaks — came as a “surprise.” But she defended the decision not to go along. “It’s in my judgment not safe for our community, especially now when we still have so many businesses and so many activities that have not been able to resume,” Cody told the board. “We’re staring down what could be a really rugged winter.”
Health News
STAT, October 23, 2020
There are serious signs the Food and Drug Administration is getting cold feet over the notion of issuing emergency use authorizations to allow for the widespread early deployment of Covid-19 vaccines. Instead, it appears the agency may be exploring the idea of using expanded access — a more limiting program that is typically used for investigational drugs — in the early days of Covid vaccine rollouts.

Washington Post, October 21, 2020
In a matter of weeks, one of the most closely watched human experiments in history will start to report results, with early data on prospective coronavirus vaccines possibly coming this month or next from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and biotechnology company Moderna. Drug companies, working closely with the U.S. government and fueled by an infusion of more than $10 billion of taxpayer money, have developedtested and scaled up a half-dozen potential vaccines at unprecedented speed.

STAT, October 23, 2020
New numbers, published Friday, bolster what scientists have long been saying: That doing away with social distancing measures could entail vast numbers of deaths, and that widespread mask-wearing in public could save tens of thousands of lives. The paper projects that there could be some half a million Covid-19-related deaths in the U.S. by the end of February, and that some 130,000 of those tragedies might be forestalled with universal mask use.

Washington Post, October 22, 2020
Although studies continue to show that the novecoronavirus can be detected on contaminated objects after days or weeks, a consensus has emerged among scientists that the virus is rarely transmitted through contact with tainted surfaces and that it’s safe to stop taking such extreme measures as quarantining your mail and wiping down your groceries. The advice mirrors what the CDC states on its “How Covid-19 Spreads” web page that “spread from touching surfaces is not thought to be a common way” the virus is transmitted.

NY Times, October 22, 2020
The FDA has formally approved remdesivir as the first drug to treat Covid-19, a move that indicated the government’s confidence in its safe and effective use for hospitalized patients. The FDA said the drug had been approved for adults and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older who require hospitalization for Covid-19.

The FDA had granted remdesivir emergency authorization in May after a trial by the National Institutes of Health found that it modestly reduced the recovery time in hospitalized patients. President Trump received the antiviral drug after he began showing symptoms earlier this month. The drug does not prevent death from Covid-19.

STAT, October 22, 2020
Infusing hospitalized Covid-19 patients with blood plasma from people who recovered from the disease had no effect on whether patients got sicker or died, according to the first completed randomized trial of the treatments. The study, published Thursday in BMJ, could re-energize the debate over whether blood plasma is an effective treatment for the disease.

Washington Post, October 21, 2020
For most of 2020, La Crosse’s nursing homes had lost no one to covid-19. In recent weeks, the county has recorded 19 deaths, most of them in long-term care facilities. Everyone who died was over 60. Fifteen of the victims were 80 or older. The spike offers a vivid illustration of the perils of pushing a herd-immunity strategy, as infections among younger people can fuel broader community outbreaks that ultimately kill some of the most vulnerable residents.
US and California Data: Full Range
Covid Tracking Project, 10/23/20 (bold lines are 7-day averages)
United States
California News
East Bay Times, October 23, 2020
The number of Covid-19 cases in California spiked Thursday, but it was fueled by a significant backlog of tests reported in the nation’s largest county. In total, the 6,359 new cases were, far and away, the most reported in California a single day since Aug. 31, but more than half of those came in Los Angeles County, where there was an estimated backlog of 2,000 cases, county health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said.

However, even subtracting LA County, California’s average daily cases ticked up 5.5% on Thursday alone. Altogether, the new cases Thursday resulted in a 15.1% increase to the seven-day average of new cases in 24 hours, raising it to about 3,630 per day — its highest point since Sept. 9.

In the Bay Area, the daily average of cases remained about flat from the day before but has increased about 10.5% since this time last week. In Alameda County, the cumulative case count crossed 23,000 Thursday, and in San Francisco, it reached 12,000. Each locale has reported more cases in the past week than the previous one. In San Francisco, the daily average is up 17.9% from a week ago to about 35 cases per day, while in Alameda County, it has increased 46% in that time to about 90 per day.

CalMatters, October 23, 2020
As Covid-19 cases surge alarmingly around the nation, California is in its own zone. And it’s a better place than it was. Fourteen states, including Kansas and North Dakota, recently set records for the number of patients needing to be hospitalized, but California’s hospitalizations have declined. So, too, have the state’s daily confirmed new case counts, dropping from July and August peaks of more than 12,000 to a 14-day rolling average of 3,280 as of Oct. 21. 

California “holds a lesson for all of us,” Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, recently tweeted, praising “strong leadership” from Gov. Newsom and the state’s health and human services chief, Dr. Mark Ghaly. Jha credited the state’s “huge boost” in testing and county-by-county “micro-targeting” as “smart policies” that have helped control the virus. California has averaged nearly 124,000 Covid-19 tests each day for the past two weeks.

Mercury News, October 22, 2020
Unemployment claims in California fell to their lowest levels since coronavirus-linked business shutdowns began in March, a Thursday report showed, marking a key milestone on the recovery path for the state’s feeble job market.

California workers filed 158,900 first-time unemployment claims last week, down about 17,200 from the prior week, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday. The decline comes as business shutdowns ease, and the employment picture could further improve in coming weeks.
Still, even with the decline in claims, California faces slow job growth, lagging the nation in recovering jobs lost during the pandemic. In September, the unemployment rate was 11% in California, far higher than the U.S. jobless rate of 7.9%.

LA Times, October 22, 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a big toll on California’s creative economy, causing the loss of an estimated 284,000 jobs in fashion, entertainment, digital media and arts institutions, according to a new report. Counting indirect job losses as well, the state shed an estimated 678,000 positions from February through August, independent research firm Beacon Economics concluded in a study for the Otis College of Art and Design. The job declines cost an estimated $58.4 billion in lost labor income and shrank the state’s total economic output by $160.7 billion during the 6-month period, the Otis report said.

LA Times, October 22, 2020
An evangelical megachurch in Los Angeles that has defied L.A. County public health orders and held indoor worship services for the last several weeks has been struck with an outbreak of the coronavirus, public health officials confirmed Thursday. Grace Community Church in Sun Valley has seen three confirmed cases, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Officials are investigating the outbreak and said they will work closely with the church to help limit transmission of the coronavirus in the church, which has an estimated attendance of 7,000. 

LA Times, October 22, 2020
Officials in Yolo County are taking California’s coronavirus restrictions a step further by placing a hard limit on socially distant gatherings. A new health order issued Wednesday said celebrations and get-togethers must be capped at 16 people.

Yolo County, which is primarily rural but includes the university town of Davis and parts of Greater Sacramento, enacted the new rules in an effort to avoid sliding back into the purple tier of the state’s color-coded reopening system, which indicates the highest widespread risk of local infection. It has been in the red tier, the second-most restrictive coronavirus category, since Sept. 29.

Orange County Register, October 22, 2020
The pandemic’s shuttering of Disneyland has cost the Southern California economy $3 billion already and will cost it another $2 billion through March 2021 if the theme park remains closed, according to a Cal State Fullerton forecast. Anil Puri, director of the university’s Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting, says the school’s economists made those estimates based on work sponsored by Disneyland a year ago.

Disneyland and the California theme park industry are in a heated battle with Gov. Newsom over how and when the attractions, closed since spring, can reopen. New health guidelines issued Tuesday suggest most park reopenings won’t occur until next year — if not next summer.
US News
CNN, October 23, 2020
Thursday was the first day with more than 70,000 new US Covid-19 cases in three months, and the hospitalization rate is soaring, new data reveal. 32 states reported rising Covid-19 infections, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Thursday was the highest day for new infections since July 24 and the day with the fourth highest total ever.

Deaths are also creeping upward, with 856 on Thursday, Johns Hopkins says. The 7-day average of deaths continues to climb and is up to 763. That is the highest level of average weekly deaths in a month. In White House coronavirus task force reports obtained by CNN this week, officials say there are "early signs of deterioration in the Sun Belt and continued deterioration in the Midwest and across the Northern States." More state leaders have sounded the alarm on increasing infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

NY Times, October 23, 2020
More than 41,000 people are currently hospitalized with the coronavirus in the United States, a 40% rise in the past month, and cooler weather that pushes more people indoors is threatening to expand the outbreak still more. At least 14 states saw more people hospitalized for the virus on a day in the past week than on any other day in the pandemic, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Seven more states are nearing their peaks.

The nation has seen more people hospitalized at earlier points — during an onslaught of cases in New York City in April and in the Sun Belt in July — but the sharply rising numbers now are deeply worrisome, in part, because they are testing the limits of smaller hospital systems. Patients are now spread more broadly across the country, with troubling hot spots from North Dakota to Kentucky. More people than ever are falling critically ill in rural areas, particularly in the Midwest and the Mountain West, where they must rely on hospitals that may have only a handful of beds. And experts worry that the growing numbers in need of hospital care will only get worse if cases continue to mount.

Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2020
Montana and other Rocky Mountain states are the latest region to get swept up by a surge in Covid-19 cases, which are nearing or at peak levels in Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. New patients have left hospital beds in short supply, and state officials have renewed efforts to slow the spread. So far, deaths from Covid-19 haven’t risen significantly across the region, but the wave of cases likely foreshadows an uptick similar to other outbreaks across the U.S., public-health officials said.

CNN, October 23, 2020
As the US enters what experts say will be another Covid-19 surge, a federal judge ruled two Colorado churches don't have to limit how many worshippers come in and don't have to require them to wear face coverings.

Colorado set guidelines earlier this year for places of worship that include ensuring all attendees wear face coverings. Guidelines from the CDC say places of worship should "encourage use of masks among staff and congregants." And as the virus now runs rampant across many US communities, experts have said face coverings and social distancing remain the country's most powerful tools against Covid-19 ahead of a vaccine.

But following a lawsuit against state and federal officials, Judge Daniel D. Domenico sided with the churches and found the state's restrictions violate the Constitution. The judge said that while the state may have made the decisions in good faith, "the Constitution does not allow the State to tell a congregation how large it can be when comparable secular gatherings are not so limited, or to tell a congregation that its reason for wishing to remove facial coverings is less important than a restaurant's or spa's," according to court documents.

CNN, October 22, 2020
Southwest Airlines is about to sell every seat on board its flights. The news that the airline will no longer limit the number of seats sold comes on the heels of Southwest announcing a $1.2 billion third quarter loss because of the pandemic. In a Thursday earnings report, Southwest announced it will no longer limit capacity on flights starting December 1. The change marks an end to Southwest's pandemic policy and allows it the opportunity to fill planes through the typically busy holiday travel season.

Kaiser Health News, October 23, 2020
As many employers, with the strong encouragement of the Trump administration, move to bring employees back, a growing number of workers are resisting what they feel are unsafe, unhealthy conditions. In recent months, a few states have passed laws specifically aimed at protecting workers who face Covid-related safety risks and retaliation for speaking up about them. Some states, like New Jersey, have whistleblower protection laws already. But advocates say stronger federal protections are needed.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Labor, is responsible for enforcing 23 federal whistleblower statutes that protect workers from retaliation if they report workplace safety violations, among other problems. But according to a new analysis, the agency isn’t up to the task. The National Employment Law Project, a workers’ advocacy and research group, found that of 1,744 Covid-related retaliation complaints filed with OSHA between April and mid-August, 20% were docketed for investigation and 2% were resolved. More than half were dismissed or closed without investigation.

The Hill, October 23, 2020
An Idaho county health board on Thursday voted to overturn a mandatory mask mandate just one day after the area’s main hospital reported that it was at 99 percent capacity amid the coronavirus pandemic. The board struck down the mandate in a 4-3 decision Thursday, with the county now recommending residents wear masks without imposing fines for noncompliance. 
CA Education News
San Leandro Times, October 23, 2020
Public Schools in Castro Valley and San Leandro say now is not the time to move boldly back into the classroom. The boards of both districts last week put off even announcing when students would come back, despite grades 5 and younger being cleared for in-person instruction.

The San Leandro Unified School District Board of Education revealed the results of its Family Survey. With 2,820 responses of approximately 5,600 households, more than half of those responding said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the distance learning program, the amount of time that teachers dedicated themselves to the program, and the ability of their students to stay on top of coursework. The majority said stress and anxiety about the pandemic have contributed to fears of returning to class. Some 54 percent said they were unlikely to send their students to in-person instruction any time soon.

San Leandro Superintendent Michael McLaughlin said the board will take up the discussion at its Nov. 10 meeting.

Castro Valley’s school board voted on October 14 to postpone its decision on distance learning and its timeline for reopening until its first meeting scheduled for January 13. The board cited its work with the Alameda County Public Health Department and noted that teachers and staff have been working to provide the best possible instruction during distance learning.

SF Gate, October 22, 2020
Marin Catholic High School suspended hybrid learning for 2 weeks after several sources shared concern over student sleepovers and at least one large party. Principal Chris Valdez said in a statement posted online that he assumes most families are respecting county health guidelines, but the school can't tolerate behavior that puts the faculty, staff and other students at increased risk of Covid transmission or exposure.

LA Times, October 22, 2020
County officials have made it easier for elementary schools to reopen for their youngest students under waivers, dropping a requirement for schools to provide a letter of support from employee unions as part of the application. The decision streamlines the application process and could potentially reopen classrooms to thousands of children, but it’s likely to raise concerns among teachers and other employees about possible exposure to health risks.

The move came a day after county Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced that all schools in L.A. county are now allowed to bring on campus up to 25% of a school’s enrollment to serve students with special needs, especially students with disabilities or students who are learning English.

Combined, the two moves could potentially open the schoolhouse doors for hundreds of thousands of students — the county has about 1.5 million K-12 students. General operations for all students are not permitted because the county remains in the state’s worst, or purple, tier for reopening, which signifies widespread community transmission of the coronavirus.
US Education News
NY Times, October 22, 2020
Months into the school year, school reopenings across the United States remain a patchwork of plans: in-person, remote and hybrid; masked and not; socially distanced and not. But amid this jumble, one clear pattern is emerging.

So far, schools do not seem to be stoking community transmission of the coronavirus, according to data emerging from random testing in the United States and Britain. Elementary schools especially seem to seed remarkably few infections. The evidence is far from conclusive, and much of the research has been tarnished by flaws in data collection and analysis. School reopenings are very much a work in progress. Still, many experts are encouraged by the results to date.

ABC News, October 21, 2020
All in-person learning for Boston Public School students has been suspended after health officials found that the citywide Covid-19 positivity rate jumped significantly in the past week. Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said in a letter sent on Wednesday to school district employees that all in-person learning activities are to cease starting on Thursday due to an alarming jump in new coronavirus cases citywide.

EdSource, October 23, 2020
As schools inch closer to reopening campuses, medical experts are warning that the spread of the coronavirus will be inevitable and schools need to prepare.

Recent studies have shown that while children infected with the coronavirus are less likely to have symptoms, they often carry larger viral loads and can be “super spreaders,” passing the virus to each other, their families and teachers. And without widespread testing and contact tracing, identifying children who are infected is nearly impossible because most are asymptomatic, doctors said.

NY Times, October 23, 2020
More than 214,000 coronavirus cases have been identified at U.S. colleges this year, according to a New York Times survey that showed universities continuing to struggle to control major outbreaks. More than 35,000 cases of those cases have been identified since early October.

Though some colleges moved all their fall classes online, many campuses remained open even as positive tests accumulated by the hundreds or thousands. Of more than 1,700 institutions surveyed by The Times, more than 50 reported at least 1,000 cases over the course of the pandemic. More than 375 colleges have reported at least 100 cases. The 214,000 cases at colleges account for 2.5% of all known cases in the United States. And that figure is an undercount because some colleges have refused to provide any case data or have stopped giving updates.

The virus has disrupted every sector of higher education, forcing quarantines and canceling plans at schools large and small, public and private.
At 12, She’s a Covid ‘Long Hauler’
In early March, when coronavirus testing was still scarce, Maggie Flannery, a Manhattan sixth-grader, and both her parents fell ill with the symptoms of Covid-19. After three weeks, her parents recovered. Maggie also seemed to get better, but only briefly before suffering a relapse that left her debilitated.

“It felt like an elephant sitting on my chest,” Maggie said. “It was hard to take a deep breath, I was nauseous all the time, I didn’t want to eat, I was very light-headed when I stood up or even just lying down.” She also experienced joint pain and severe fatigue.

At first, specialists suggested Maggie’s symptoms might be psychological, in part because she showed no sign of heart or lung damage. She also tested negative for both the coronavirus itself and for antibodies to it. But viral tests taken long after the initial infection are generally negative, and antibody tests are frequently inaccurate.

“They didn’t know anything about ‘long-Covid’ at that point,” said Amy Wilson, Maggie’s mother. “They said it was anxiety. I was pretty sure that wasn’t true.”

Maggie’s pediatrician, Dr. Amy DeMattia, has since confirmed the Covid-19 diagnosis, based on the child’s clinical history and the fact that both her parents tested positive for coronavirus antibodies.

More than seven months into the coronavirus pandemic, it has become increasingly apparent that many patients with both severe and mild illness do not fully recover.

Weeks and months after exposure, these Covid “long-haulers,” as they have been called, continue experiencing a range of symptoms, including exhaustion, dizziness, shortness of breath and cognitive impairments. Children are generally at significantly less risk than older people for serious complications and death from Covid-19, but the long-term impacts of infection on them, if any, have been especially unclear.
Although doctors recognize that a small number of children have suffered a rare inflammatory syndrome shortly after infection, there is little reliable information about how many who get Covid-19 have prolonged complaints like Maggie Flannery. That could change as the proportion of children who are infected rises.

To manage her condition, Maggie, who is 12, must limit her activities. Although she has been able to attend socially distanced in-person classes at her small private school on the Upper West Side, she no longer walks the 15 blocks there and back. She has trouble concentrating, so homework takes a lot longer. She has stopped attending online ballet classes. Before the pandemic, she went to four ballet classes a week.

“Some days are a lot better than others,” said Maggie. “If I do too much on the good days, I feel a lot worse on the next day or next couple of days, and some days I can’t do anything if it’s a bad day.” She has felt a slight improvement over time, she said.

Because of the perception that Covid-19 is rare in kids, Dr. Melissa Trovato of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, said parents might not associate a mild illness and subsequent effects, like a loss of energy, with the coronavirus.

“It might take more time for family to pick up on it,” Trovato said. “From a pediatric perspective there probably is more that we’re going to find out, as more children” with “prolonged symptoms come forward and get seen.”

Source: NY Times
International News
SF Gate, October 21, 2020
As other European countries struggled with coronavirus outbreaks earlier this year, the disease barely touched the Czech Republic. For a few months, the nation of 10.7 million was a shining outlier in a world ravaged by the pandemic. Headlines exclaimed that the Czechs had “beaten” COVID-19. They don’t anymore. In March, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis ordered that masks be worn outside of the home all the time. That was before even the World Health Organization got around to telling people to wear face coverings. Medical masks were in short supply and reserved for health care workers, so people began sewing their own cloth face coverings. The Czechs didn’t like wearing masks any more than anyone else, but they did it.

Coronavirus cases peaked at 408 in mid-March, but the curve was flattened, and on June 30, the nation recorded no new Covid-19 deaths. A giant open-air dinner for 2,000 people with no masks or social distancing celebrated the milestone. The Czechs declared victory and gradually eased restrictions. For the most part, masks were packed away. They were required only public transit and in a few other specific settings.

Today, there are more new Covid-19 cases per million people reported in the Czech Republic than in any other major country in the world. A record 11,984 new cases were reported Tuesday, smashing the previous record of 11,104 set only Friday. 

LA Times, October 23, 2020
Watching West Africa fight the Ebola virus seemed, to many Americans, like following a dystopian sci-fi series: nerve-racking and episodic, but at the end of the day, unrelatable. Just wash your hands, for goodness’ sake.

But with the arrival of the coronavirus in the United States, it’s become clear that it was all the previous viruses’ weaknesses — not America’s strength — that allowed the world’s most powerful nation to stave off a widespread contagion until now. Americans still gather in hordes at Orange County beaches, Midwest rallies, and even the White House lawn, hugging one another and refusing to wear masks. The battle against the novel coronavirus has been a slow, humiliating depiction of how America has lost its capacity to commit to the sort of collective action required to confront contagion.

As a result, the U.S. outbreak alone has killed 20 times the number of people who died in West Africa’s Ebola epidemic — and counting. And while sub-Saharan Africa still faces the scourge of Covid-19, the people who make up its diverse nations, bustling capitals and remote villages have shown their resilience before. Their past journeys provide a blueprint for the battle: how a minor outbreak evolves into a devastating epidemic, and how each individual’s decision to become part of the solution is, ultimately, the only way out.

Several African countries declared a state of emergency with only a single case; they screened every last airline passenger and formed early task forces with former Ebola officials to obtain test kits, design contact tracing teams and develop coherent public messages. Many of their techniques came from training led by the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which, on home soil, has proved strikingly ineffectual.

NY Times, October 22, 2020
The British government’s handling of the pandemic has been in turns hesitant, halting, confused and contradictory — with policy deliberations taking place behind closed doors and limited engagement with the people and places bearing the brunt of the orders. Over time, that has generated confusion and distrust, along with signs of growing resistance to the diktats from Westminster. And if there was one place that was not going to suffer quietly, local people say, it was Liverpool.

A new system of coronavirus rules that divides England into three tiers, with corresponding restrictions, depending on the seriousness of coronavirus infection rates. While the main aim was to reduce social contact, the government also hoped the system would allow schools to stay open and protect the economy as much as possible. The overarching imperative was to avoid a repetition of the full national lockdown that sent the economy into free fall earlier this year. Instead, the system has left many frustrated and confused, even as they acknowledge the gravity of the worsening health situation in Liverpool.

Washington Post, October 23, 2020
As the United States and Europe grapple with fresh surges in coronavirus cases, the outbreak in India is slowing for the first time since the pandemic began. Epidemiologists and doctors say the virus is in retreat — at least for now — in this country of more than 1.3 billion people. After seven straight months in which cases increased relentlessly, culminating in a devastating September surge, the number of new infections per day in India dropped sharply in October.

Bloomberg, October 23, 2020
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the number of people in Spain who have contracted coronavirus since the start of the pandemic likely exceeds 3 million, some three times higher than official data would suggest. The much steeper figure is based on serology tests, which measure the antibody response, Sanchez said Friday in Madrid, reiterating an appeal for national unity and for citizens to restrict movement and social contact. At the same time, he indicated that curbs would not be tightened in a way that causes unnecessary damage to the economy.

The Guardian, October 22, 2020
The world’s limited progress in tackling child poverty over recent years could be destroyed by the coronavirus pandemic, the UN and World Bank have warned. “Slow-paced, unequally distributed” progress meant one in six children were living in poverty even before the pandemic, according to a joint study.
Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, October 22, 2020
The United States is sleepwalking into what could become the largest coronavirus outbreak of the pandemic so far. In the past week alone, as voters prepare to go to the ballot box, about one in every 1,000 Americans has tested positive for the virus, and about two in every 100,000 Americans have died of it. Today, the United States reported 73,103 new cases, the third-highest single-day total since the pandemic began, according to the Covid Tracking Project at The Atlantic.

This third surge is far more geographically dispersed than what the country saw in the spring or summer: The virus can now be found in every kind of American community, from tiny farm towns to affluent suburbs to bustling border cities. This is the first of the American surges with no clear epicenter: From North Carolina to North Dakota, and Colorado to Connecticut, more Americans are contracting Covid-19.

What’s happening now might be best understood as three smaller types of outbreaks: the rural explosion, the swing-state surge, and the fatigue creep.

Nicole Carroll, USA Today, October 23, 2020
In pandemic stories, you'll read this phrase, "Covid, which disproportionally impacts communities of color,.... " But this tragic fact deserves far more than a clause. We set out to trace the root causes. What systems, policies or decisions created such risk? 

Reporters detailed the redlining that clustered Black families around a chemical plant in Louisiana. The poor working conditions that led to outbreaks among Latinos in California's Imperial Valley. The chronic and historic neglect that created anemic Native American healthcare systems in New Mexico. 

The discrimination and language barriers that stop Asian Americans from getting tested or seeking help in San Francisco. The housing segregation that forced many Black families into cramped apartments, multigenerational homes and housing projects in New Jersey. What they found: Systemic racism was the common preexisting condition. 

NPR, October 22, 2020
The Food and Drug Administration is preparing for the eventual rollout of one or more Covid-19 vaccines — by identifying the concerns that some people have about taking such a vaccine.

At a meeting Thursday of experts advising the FDA on Covid-19 vaccines, the concerns of front-line workers and people of color were read aloud verbatim, highlighting the crucial project of communicating the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine in an environment of deep political distrust.

Eleanor Mueller, Politico, October 23, 2020
The coronavirus recession is forcing a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. workforce, triggering permanent job losses at an extraordinary rate and forcing millions of Americans to seek employment in entirely different industries.

Just two-thirds of Americans were working for the same employer in September as they were in February, with the rest either landing new jobs or unemployed, according to the Real-Time Population Survey, a collaboration between researchers at Arizona State University and Virginia Commonwealth University. 

Brookings Institution researchers paint an even grimmer long-term picture, estimating that 42% of jobs lost due to Covid-19 will eventually be gone for good. Incomes are also dropping, indicating that many of these workers are transitioning into lower-paying jobs. More than 25% of U.S. workers earned less in September than they did in February, according to the Population Survey.

Katherine Eban, Vanity Fair, October 22, 2020
Since almost the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the president has openly lobbied for a vaccine to claim as a political victory. Increasingly, eyewitnesses say, doctors, researchers, and the embattled head of the Food and Drug Administration have worked behind the scenes to Trump-proof the process.

Dr. Stephen Hahn, the mild-mannered former chief medical executive of the MD Anderson Cancer Center, had little previous government experience before his swearing-in as FDA commissioner last December, a month after the first cases of Covid-19 were detected in Wuhan, China. 

An emergency approval of one of the vaccines being developed to treat Covid-19, under a massive and secretive government effort known as Operation Warp Speed, will easily be one of the most consequential public health decisions in American history. The FDA’s scientific determinations, as to whether a vaccine is safe and effective enough to give to millions of healthy Americans, are dicey enough. But Hahn, like so many top federal health officials, seemed to have found himself in a tightening Trumpian vise.

Tony Bijak, housing and development reporter, Sacramento Bee, October 23, 2020
Hundreds of thousands of Californians have left the state in the last few years. Last year alone, nearly 200,000 more people left the state than moved in. Most likely did it for economic reasons. The cost of living, particularly housing, is now far higher in California than almost anywhere else in the United States.

But a turbulent 2020 has added new motivations for migration. Amid coronavirus shutdowns, wildfires, street protests and a tense election-year political environment, some say California’s “charm” has finally worn too thin.
East Bay Focus
Alameda County
Moderate (Orange)
  • 2.9 Adjusted case rate of new Covid-19 positive cases per day per 100,000 residents
  • 1.6% Positivity rate
  • 2.7% Health equity metric
Contra Costa County
Substantial (Red)
  • 3.8 Adjusted case rate of new Covid-19 positive cases per day per 100,000 residents
  • 1.9% Positivity rate
  • 3.0% 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 10/22/20
by day as of 10/22/20
Over the last seven days, Alameda County officials have confirmed 631 new cases, which amounts to 38 cases per 100,000 residents.
Over the last seven days, Contra Costa County officials have confirmed 468 new cases, which amounts to 41 cases per 100,000 residents.
Top 10 Locations of Cases in Alameda County, as of 10/22/20. Alameda County does not publish cases per 100,000 in the last 14 days by city.
Oakland: 8,929

Hayward: 3,398

Fremont: 1,579

Eden MAC: 1,469

San Leandro: 1,271

Livermore: 989

Union City: 872

Berkeley: 741

Newark: 613

Castro Valley: 598
Top 10 Locations of Cases in Contra Costa County plus (in parentheses) cases per 100,000 in last 14 days, as of 10/23/20
Richmond: 3,521 (116)

Concord: 2,473 (89)

Antioch: 2,441 (87)

Pittsburgh: 2,075 (162)

San Pablo: 1,585 (191)

Bay Point: 960 (119)

Brentwood: 715 (77)

Walnut Creek: 653 (49)

Oakley: 565 (99)

San Ramon: 406 (39)
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. 
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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