October 30, 2020
Eden Health District COVID-19 Bulletin
“We are having some of the largest outbreaks that we’ve had during the entire pandemic. . . .And of course, we’re going into the fall and winter, which will, of course, make things very, very difficult."
Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, 10/30/20

“If the people of San Francisco continue to do what they’re doing, it wouldn’t get bad. But what we know about the rise of Covid in the community is exponential, not linear. ... Basically when things go south, they go south very fast.”
UCSF infectious disease expert Peter Chin-Hong, 10/29/20
Car wash turns into tunnel of terror in San Jose
Many businesses are getting creative to capitalize on the Halloween spirit during the pandemic, including a car wash in San Jose that’s been transformed for a good cause.

With virtually every haunted house closed this year, the Extreme Express Car Wash is turning into the Tunnel of Terror.

“It’s actually nice, because of the pandemic we can actually be out here doing something with the kids,” said Mayra Villalobos of San Jose.

She went through the wash twice with her kids Wednesday, a socially distant, touch-free way to be scared complete with professional creepy characters and slow dripping red soap.

“A lot of people come in not knowing anything, and then they come back in an hour with a car full of buddies, friends, and kids, because they’re like we’ve got to show this,” said car wash owner Robert Gallaher.

It’s the third year they’ve put on a show, but this year, it’s one of the few ways to enjoy Halloween out and about. “We upped our game a little bit for this, knowing this could be popular,” said Gallaher.

The Tunnel of Terror runs through Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. The cost is $20; $5 dollars of every wash goes to St. Jude’s Children's Research Hospital.

Source: NBC Bay Area
By the Numbers
Alameda County: 23,636

Contra Costa County: 19,086

Bay Area: 117,253

California: 924,259

U.S.: 8,990,196
Alameda County: 463

Contra Costa County: 246

Bay Area: 1,776

California: 17,575

U.S.: 229,141
Bay Area News
Alameda County Public Health Press Release, October 29, 2020
Starting Saturday, October 31 through November 2 the County of Alameda will offer free Covid-19 testing at the Oakland Coliseum. You do not need a doctor’s note or insurance and you will not be asked about immigration status. Covid-19 testing will be available for children 4 and older and adults from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, October 31 through Monday, November 2. Appointments can be made at https://ac.fulgentgenetics.com/ Flu shots will be available on November 3 from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm. Drive-through and walk-up vaccinations are available, and no appointment is needed.

East Bay Express, October 28, 2020
Data compiled by Alameda County health officials show that the coronavirus has hit predominantly low-income communities of color in East Oakland harder than any other place in the Bay Area. Maps that track infections in the 94601, 94621 and 94603 zip codes—starting in the Meadow Brook and Oak Tree neighborhoods and running south down the Interstate 880 corridor to the Coliseum and Brookfield—show a deep shade of blue that inspires none of the optimism one might hope for in a consequential election season.     

But how many people have died from coronavirus in East Oakland? That’s a tricky question, as the county’s COVID-19 dashboard doesn’t list locations for deaths, but instead simply tracks them over time.  

A public records request filed by the East Bay Express found that as of Tuesday, 65 people had been killed by the virus in the three East Oakland zip codes where infection has run rampant, accounting for 14 percent of the county’s total Covid-19 deaths. But that figure is disproportionate to the population of these zip codes, which represent just 7 percent of all of Alameda County residents.      

Contra Costa Health Services Press Release, October 29, 2020
Contra Costa County health officials are amending the county social distancing order to align with the state guidance for that tier, which allows gatherings of up to 25 people and three households. At the same time, health officials are advising caution because of the potential for a surge of cases in the coming weeks that could move the county back into a more restrictive tier.
“Gatherings where people from multiple households are together for a prolonged period of time, especially indoors, and settings where people remove their masks to eat and drink, pose a high risk for spreading COVID-19,” said County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano.

SF Chronicle, October 29, 2020
One measure of San Francisco’s sustained success in suppressing the coronavirus pandemic has recently stood out: The city’s positive coronavirus test rate is just 0.8%, according to California’s latest official data. It’s the lowest rate of the 20 most populous cities across the U.S. and the only one to dip below 1%. San Francisco is the nation’s second-densest city after New York, yet in addition to its low positive test rate it also has the lowest Covid-19 death rate among the 20 most populous cities. A coordinated effort among city health officials and local experts has been cited as a key to keeping the pandemic from spiraling out of control.

Despite San Francisco’s success in keeping the coronavirus spread under control, the Bay Area is experiencing a new uptick in cases in the past weeks. And San Francisco’s 7-day average positive test rate appears likely to inch above 1% in the days to come. Experts are concerned about Halloween and the upcoming holiday season as temperatures cool and people gather to celebrate.

Associated Press, October 29, 2020
San Francisco is reopening more businesses this week, thanks to low coronavirus case numbers that have allowed the city to move into California’s most permissive tier. It means more people can go back to offices, dine indoors and visit museums. But businesses and those residents who haven’t joined an exodus out of the city are wondering when san Francisco’s once-vibrant economy may bounce back.

As the coronavirus pandemic transforms the workplace, legions of tech workers have left, able to work remotely from anywhere. Families have fled for roomy suburban homes. The exodus has pushed rents in the prohibitively expensive city to their lowest in years. Tourists are scarce, and the famed cable cars sit idle. Bay Area Rapid Transit ridership is down nearly 90%.

Mercury News, October 29, 2020
San Jose and San Francisco could be big losers, with the wider adoption of remote work causing a flood of migration away from metropolises, researchers say. Migration rates are expected to be three to four times higher than normal in the coming years as more companies allow employees to work from home. The highest share of movers will be leaving expensive cities for lower-cost cities, and rural communities, a survey by Santa Clara-based Upwork found.

SF Chronicle, October 29, 2020
The first known case in the Bay Area of a dual coronavirus-influenza infection was confirmed Thursday in Solano County, prompting health officials to urge residents to hurry up and get flu shots and double down on social distancing and mask wearing. Bela Matyas, the Solano County health officer, said the victim is older than 20, works in the “health care realm” and appears to have recovered from the co-infection.  
Health News
NY Times, October 29, 2020
As the virus continued its rampage over the summer and fall, infecting nearly 8.5 million Americans, survival rates, even of seriously ill patients, appeared to be improving. At one New York hospital system where 30 percent of coronavirus patients died in March, the death rate had dropped to 3 percent by the end of June.

Though the virus has been changing slowly as it spreads, and some have speculated that it has become more easily transmissible, most scientists say there is no solid evidence that it has become either less virulent, or more virulent. As elderly people sheltered inside and took precautions to avoid infection, however, more of the hospitalized patients were younger adults, who were generally healthier and more resilient. By the end of August, the average patient was under 40.

Were the lower death rates simply a function of the demographic changes, or a reflection of real progress and medical advances in treatment that blunted the impact of the new pathogen?

Researchers at NYU Langone Health who zeroed in on this question, analyzing the outcomes of more than 5,000 patients hospitalized at the system's three hospitals from March through August, concluded the improvement was real, not just a function of changing demographics. Even when they controlled for differences in the patients’ age, sex, race, underlying health problems and severity of Covid symptoms — like blood oxygen levels at admission — they found that death rates had dropped significantly, to 7.6 percent in August, down from 25.6 percent in March.

“This is still a high death rate, much higher than we see for flu or other respiratory diseases,” said Dr. Leora Horwitz, director of NYU Langone’s Center for Healthcare Innovation & Delivery Science and senior author of the paper in Journal of Hospital Medicine. “I don’t want to pretend this is benign. But it definitely is something that has given me hope.”

STAT, October 29, 2020
Pauses in clinical trials to investigate potential safety issues, a slower-than-expected rate of infections among participants in at least one of the trials, and signals that an expert panel advising the Food and Drug Administration may not be comfortable recommending use of vaccines on very limited safety and efficacy data appear to be adding up to a slippage in the estimates of when vaccine will be ready to be deployed.

Asked Wednesday about when he expects the FDA will greenlight use of the first vaccines, Anthony Fauci moved the administration’s stated goalpost. “Could be January, could be later. We don’t know,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an online interview with JAMA editor Howard Bauchner.

SF Chronicle, October 29, 2020
A nationwide trial of synthetic antibodies similar to those President Trump touted as “a cure” for the coronavirus was halted this week after it was found to be ineffective, forcing Bay Area researchers to focus on other potential treatments.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, October 30, 2020
All attendees at a retreat for high school students were required to provide documentation of negative coronavirus infection. At the retreat, students and counselors were not required to wear masks or social distance, and students mixed freely. Classes were held in outdoor pavilions with approximately 20 students per class seated less than 6 feet apart at tables. Teachers wore masks during class and were socially distanced from students at all times. One student who tested negative for Covid one week prior to a retreat was actually infected and this resulted in 116 other persons (76% of the students and staff at the retreat) becoming infected.
El Pais, October 29, 2020
The risk of contagion is highest in indoor spaces but can be reduced by applying all available measures to combat infection via aerosols. Here is an overview of the likelihood of infection in three everyday scenarios, based on the safety measures used and the length of exposure.
In this episode, Dr. Osterholm and host Chris Dall discuss surging case numbers across the US and many parts of the world, the shortage trifecta and the challenges it brings, and steps people can take to stay as safe as possible until we reach the light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel
US and California Data: Full Range
Covid Tracking Project, 10/29/20 (bold lines are 7-day averages)
United States
U.S. New Peak Cases
NY Times, October 30, 2020
California News
East Bay Times, October 30, 2020
Last week, LA County reported a significant number of backlogged test results, leading to a spike in the seven-day average. But a week later, the county is still averaging about 46% more cases per day than it was two weeks ago. In the Bay Area, there were about 33% more cases reported this Thursday than the previous one, which resulted in about a 3.5% bump in the daily average from the previous day. At about 554 per day, the region is averaging about 23.5% more cases now than it was two weeks ago.

And while at no point in October has more than 60 of every 1 million Californians been hospitalized with COVID-19 — its longest stretch with the least strain on its medical system — the number of patients hospitalized Wednesday, in the latest data available from the California Department of Public Health, was the highest it has been in the month of October — 2,358, a 5% increase from two weeks ago and the most actively receiving care since Sept. 30.

LA Times, October 29, 2020
There were new alarming signs that Covid-19 was spreading again in Los Angeles County, with officials announcing the highest 1-day increase in cases not connected to a reporting backlog since August. The county reported 1,745 new cases Thursday as well as 19 new deaths. It’s the latest evidence that after declining for several months, the novel coronavirus may be on the rise again in L.A. County and other parts of Southern California.

If the region does see another spike like the one it experienced during the summer, it would threaten efforts to reopen schools and businesses. Already, Southern California has fallen behind the Bay Area when it comes to slowing the infection rate, allowing places such as San Francisco and Silicon Valley to reopen more quickly.

LA Times, October 29, 2020
The number of Covid-19 infections in Orange County may be nearly eight times higher than previously thought, a new antibody study suggests.
The screening, a collaborative effort between UC Irvine and the O.C. Health Care Agency, demonstrates that the coronavirus may be far more widespread — though less deadly — than official numbers indicate. “Our study demonstrates that, while a significant number of O.C. residents were already exposed and developed antibodies to Covid-19, much of the county still remains vulnerable to the virus. For researchers, there is a lot more work to be done.”

SF Chronicle, October 29, 2020
Solano County could slide backward into California’s most restrictive reopening tier as soon as next week — a first for any county in the Bay Area, where coronavirus restrictions in many places continued to loosen this week. Several “huge, inappropriate gatherings” by county residents in recent weeks are largely to blame, said Solano County Health Officer Dr. Bela Matyas. They include a funeral attended by more than 300 people, plus a wedding, a christening and an event at a private ranch attended by dozens not practicing precautions such as social distancing, he said.

Solano’s predicament underscores the precarious state of the pandemic in many counties, especially smaller places where even a few outbreaks can have an outsize impact. Solano County has about half a million residents, and its neighbor Napa County, with about 140,000 residents, may also be moved to a more restrictive tier next week in part due to several large gatherings, public health officials said.

SF Chronicle, October 29, 2020
Californians who are 70 years or older will be able to renew their driver’s licenses online or by mail beginning Dec. 6, bypassing the need to visit a Department of Motor Vehicles office during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday that temporarily waives a California law requiring drivers who are 70 years or older to visit a DMV office in person to renew their licenses. The order will remain in effect for the duration of California's state of emergency or until modified, the DMV said.

Orange County Register, October 29, 2020
California workers filed fewer first-time claims for unemployment benefits during the most recent reporting week — yet those claims accounted for one-fifth of all the jobless claims filed in the U.S., federal officials reported Thursday. Layoffs continue to hound California workers to a much greater degree than the rest of the nation in the wake of wide-ranging business shutdowns ordered by state and local government agencies to combat the coronavirus. 

LA Times, October 30, 2020
When California’s theme parks closed in March, employees of Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and other parks were left in limbo, displaced from jobs through no fault of their own, with no idea when, or if, they will be called back. The ax is about to fall on tens of thousands of Disney workers. Walt Disney Co. plans to lay off 28,000 people across its theme parks, products and experience divisions, with about 10,000 of those layoffs hitting the Disneyland Resort parks, hotels and stores in Anaheim, according to company sources. Notifications for those layoffs are expected to reach workers via email by Sunday.
US News
NY Times, October 30, 2020
The outlook for the pandemic continues to worsen, and many areas of the United States are experiencing their worst weeks yet. The country reported a record of more than 500,000 new coronavirus cases in the past week. It’s not just a few areas driving the surge, as was the case early on. Half of U.S. counties saw new cases peak during the past month. Almost a third saw a record in the past week.

Reuters, October 30, 2020
A record surge of coronavirus cases in the U.S. is pushing hospitals to the brink of capacity and killing up to 1,000 people a day, the latest figures show. The U.S. broke its single-day record for new coronavirus infections on Thursday, reporting at least 91,248 new cases, as 21 states reported their highest daily number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients since the pandemic started, according to a Reuters tally of publicly reported data.

More than 1,000 people died of the virus on Thursday, marking the third time in October that milestone has been passed in a single day. The number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients has risen over 50% in October to 46,000, the highest since mid-August.

Associated Press, October 30, 2020
A multi-state coronavirus surge in the countdown to Election Day has exposed a clear split between President Trump’s bullish embrace of a return to normalcy and urgent public warnings from the government’s top health officials. It’s the opposite of what usually happens in a public health crisis, because political leaders tend to repeat and amplify the recommendations of their health experts, not short-circuit them. The President and the health officials appear to be moving farther apart since White House chief of staff Mark Meadows declared last Sunday “we’re not going to control the pandemic.”

NY Times, October 29, 2020
As the nation heads into what public health experts are calling a “dark winter” of coronavirus illness and death, public health experts are coalescing around Biden call for a “national mask mandate,” even as they concede such an effort would require much more than the stroke of a presidential pen. Over the past week, a string of prominent public health experts — notably Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease specialist, and Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former commissioner of the FDA under President Trump — have said it is time to seriously consider a national mandate to curb the spread of the virus.

Politico, October 29, 2020
A new phase of the economic crisis is looming: potentially massive defaults by jobless Americans on consumer loans as the chances for more federal relief this year diminish. Generous unemployment benefits and stimulus checks given out earlier this year helped many people weather the early months of the crisis — with some even managing to increase their savings. But that support has faded and some of it will run dry by the end of the year. JPMorgan Chase Institute found that in August alone, typical unemployed families spent two-thirds of the additional rainy day funds that they’d built up over the previous four months.

Vox, October 29, 2020
An alert from the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said on Wednesday that there is an imminent threat of ransomware attacks on American hospitals and health care providers. Ransomware is malware that locks up a system’s computers and data until a ransom is paid. The alert didn’t specify who the agencies thought might be responsible for the attacks, but HHS has said in the past that the ransomware associated with the current threat is linked to Russian criminal groups.

Bloomberg, October 30, 2020
It doesn’t get much more rural than Big Horn County, population 13,300, which encompasses the Northern Cheyenne and part of the Crow Indian reservations; wheat, barley and sugar beet fields; cattle ranches and some coal mining. Hardin is so small that it’s just now forming a police force, but a staggering 1,376 people have tested positive in Big Horn County — about one case for every 10 residents, one of the highest rates in America. Big Horn has reported 38 deaths, 16 in October.

USA Today, October 30, 2020
Wisconsin is on track to run out of beds in the intensive care unit and, more importantly, the nurses to staff them, in as little as two weeks if the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 does not drop. On Tuesday, when the state reported a record 5,200 positive cases, only 187 of the state's 1,469 intensive care unit beds were available. Of the patients in ICUs, 319 were being treated for Covid-19.

Associated Press, October 29, 2020
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and health officials said Thursday the state may soon need to implement crisis care protocols as hospitals reach a breaking point amid a record coronavirus surge.
Understaffing and a shortage of ICU beds could soon force Utah hospitals to shift to the protocols that dictate how patients will be treated when the system is overloaded.
CA Education News
NBC Bay Area, October 29, 2020
Middle and high schools in Alameda County have been cleared to reopen in-person classes once they complete a Covid-19 health and safety reopening plan, county officials said Wednesday.
Nov. 9 is the earliest date those campuses will be allowed to reopen, but the decision and timing of when to reopen rests with each school and school district, the county said. Schools are not required to reopen.

"Some schools will need more time and should open classrooms only when they and their school communities are prepared to do so," Dr. Nicholas Moss, Alameda County's Interim Health Officer, said in a statement.

East Bay Times, October 30, 2020
The EBAL’s 12 schools span across two counties, Alameda and Contra Costa, that have separate health departments and, up until this week, were in different tiers in the state’s color-coded economic reopening plan. Contra Costa on Tuesday joined Alameda in the second-to-least-restrictive orange tier.

“Ultimately, every school district functions on their own and then single (high) school districts like Dublin, De La Salle and Carondelet are making determinations," stated EBAL Commissioner Leo Lopoz. "Some coaches and schools are doing things that some are not. So probably it’ll be on an individual sport-by-sport and school-by-school basis. And then, I don’t think there’s any way around it, but the counties determine our guidelines and (influence) every decision.”

EdSource, October 29, 2020
California school districts are showing a clear momentum toward re-opening for some version of in-person instruction.That’s according to an EdSource survey of the 58 county offices of education. In the nation’s largest school system, serving nearly 6.2 million public school students, plus another half million or so in private or parochial schools, children are learning through a patchwork of instructional strategies that continue to be shaped in profound ways by the coronavirus pandemic, the survey shows.

US Education News
EdSource, October 30, 2020
Because SAT/ACT scores are optional or totally off the table during the pandemic, many colleges say that the personal and academic information presented in applicants’ essays will loom somewhat larger than in the past.
That, in turn, is making some students double down on their essay compositions, often trying to distinguish their pandemic experiences from others stuck in online education and lockdown. In some cases, anxiety is heightened because they are not able to talk face-to-face with counselors and can’t visit drop-in writing centers.

American Prospect, October 28, 2020
In late August, Laura Garabedian, a professor of population medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Rebecca Haffajee, a health policy researcher at RAND, co-authored an op-ed in USA Today on the limitations of existing studies that had suggested children could transmit less Covid-19 than adults. In a joint interview, Garabedian and Haffajee said that in places where schools quickly test, contact-trace, and impose measures like mask-wearing, upgraded ventilation, and social distancing, reopenings seem to be working.

But they acknowledged that not all communities have the resources to put those mitigation strategies in place, and they wonder what will happen in places where community rates rise, and contact tracing becomes overwhelmed. The researchers said we also have no clear idea of what would result if schools were again doing in-person learning at full capacity, which is happening in few places in the U.S.

Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2020
Perhaps the best example of how coronavirus can immediately threaten aspirations is the unfolding outbreak at Wisconsin. On Wednesday, the university announced it would pause all football workouts for seven days after 12 individuals—six athletes and six coaches—tested positive for Covid-19 in the past five days. The football team’s game Saturday at Nebraska is canceled, rather than postponed, wiping a game off the Badgers’ schedule.

Couple celebrates 70th wedding anniversary after overcoming Covid-19
A Pittsburgh-area couple celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary after they both beat Covid-19.

Steve and Marie Orlando, ages 92 and 89, respectively, were married on Sept. 2, 1950, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, just one year after meeting when Steve played on the same sandlot football team as Marie's brother.

When they wed, Marie had graduated from high school the prior year and Steve had just ended two years of duty in the U.S. Army.

The couple, who settled in a Pittsburgh suburb, had plans to celebrate their 70th anniversary this year with their 6 children, 15 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren, but the coronavirus pandemic threw off their plans.

The Orlandos, who live close to four of their children, isolated themselves in the home they've shared for more than 30 years beginning in March, when the pandemic began to spread in the U.S.

"We were stuck in the house," Marie said. "Our daughters would go shopping for us and cook for us and leave things [at the door]."
When Marie had to go in the hospital in July for a heart valve replacement surgery, one of the Orlandos' daughters, Janet Bartley, went with her. They later both tested positive for coronavirus, along with Steve and Bartley's family.

"It was our worst fear that they would get it," Bartley said. "And then we all did."
Steve was hospitalized for two days due to dehydration but otherwise all family members, including Marie, had mild symptoms and were able to recover, a miracle given the Orlandos' age, according to the family.

"Thank God we got through it for our age," said Marie. "I just feel sorry for a lot of people our age who didn’t make it."
Because they were still recovering from the virus, the Orlandos had to wait until more than one month after their anniversary to celebrate. The Orlandos say their long-lasting love comes down to good family and good health.

International News
Bloomberg, October 29, 2020
France and Germany are going back into lockdown, while coronavirus cases in the U.S. surging to new highs, but at the other end of the world Taiwan has achieved a different kind of record -- more than 200 days without a locally transmitted case.

Its last local case came on April 12; there has been no second wave. On Friday, it reached 201 days without a local case. What did this island of 23 million people do right?

Experts say closing borders early and tightly regulating travel have gone a long way toward fighting the virus. Other factors include rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and widespread mask wearing. Further, Taiwan’s deadly experience with SARS has scared people into compliance.

France24, October 30, 2020
France's 65 million people were largely confined to their homes from Friday amid a surge in Covid-19 cases that has threatened to overwhelm French hospitals. The nationwide lockdown will be initially enforced until December 1, though health experts have warned a longer clampdown may be necessary.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said people will be allowed outside for just one hour of exercise per day and no farther than one kilometre from their homes. For every outing, they will have to carry a document justifying their presence outside or risk a fine of €135.

Reuters, October 30, 2020
Covid-19 infections are rising so persistently in the United Kingdom that unless something can be done to reduce infections, the “reasonable worst case” scenario of 80,000 dead could be exceeded, scientists said on Friday. Britain has recorded more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases a day on average over the last week, but the government has resisted a new national lockdown even as France and Germany reintroduce country-wide restrictions.

Bloomberg, October 30, 2020
The European nation that protected its population better than any other from Covid-19 at the start of the global pandemic is now trying to do one better -- by testing almost its entire population for the virus. Slovakia, a country of 5.5 million people on the European Union’s eastern border, is preparing to launch a two-stage process using cheap antibody tests to help stop the resurgence in new cases that’s sweeping across the continent.

The two-day program will start on Saturday at 7 a.m. and be repeated a week later. Anyone who doesn’t take part must show proof of a negative test to be able to move around in public. In the weekend pilot, about 5,600 people, or 4%, were positive and were put into quarantine. The true rate may be as much as three times higher, however, as the test fails to catch the virus when people haven’t developed an immune response.

Associated Press, October 30, 2020
Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebration this weekend won’t be the same in a year so marked by death, in a country where more than 90,000 people have died of Covid-19. Many of those had to be cremated rather than buried, and even for those with gravesides to visit, the pandemic has forced authorities in most parts of Mexico to close cemeteries to prevent the traditional Nov. 1-2 observances when entire families clean and decorate tombs, cover them with orange marigolds, light candles and chat with their deceased relatives, perhaps over a glass of their favorite beverage. This year, the cemeteries will be quiet. 
STAT, October 30, 2020
Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, is particularly helpful at cutting through the noise and explaining what’s happening with Covid-19. In an interview, Dr. Jha states:

“I think a few things are driving this [surge]. One is it is starting to get a little bit colder; the virus is a little bit more efficient as a spreader in cold air. But more importantly, people are spending more time indoors. There’s a certain amount of pandemic fatigue that has set in because we’ve been at this for a long time. And I think people are getting tired of not seeing family and friends and so we’re letting our guard down. And, you know, this far into the pandemic, there’s still a lot of confusion and misinformation about what the right things to do are, whether to masks work or not. They do.”

Charlotte Ryan and Naomi Kresge, Bloomberg, October 29, 2020
How safe is it to fly? This remains a troubling question. The hopes of airlines for a rebound in travel after an initial collapse ran up against a resurgence of the coronavirus around the world in late 2020. Would-be passengers continue to worry about being stuck in a cabin for an extended time with possibly infectious strangers. The evidence shows the risks aren’t negligible.

Amy Joyce and Ellen McCarthy, Washington Post, October 30, 2020
In September alone more than 860,000 women dropped out of the workforce, compared to just over 200,000 men. An analysis by the National Women’s Law Center found that women left the labor force at four times the rate of men in September, just as schools came back in session. The unemployment rate for all U.S. women was 7.7% in September. And it’s worse for women of color: 11% of Latina women were unemployed that month, as were 11.1% of Black women — more than double the pre-pandemic rates.

Women make up high percentages of workers in hard-hit industries such as hospitality, child care and travel. Societal forces are proving to be as crushing as economic ones. Despite what girls of the ’80s and ’90s were promised, women in 2020 are still expected to shoulder a majority of household duties, including taking care of children and aging parents. Without day cares and in-person education, what was previously an untenable situation has become impossible.

NY Times, October 28, 2020
Pandemic conditions are at cross currents with normal adolescent development,” said Lisa Damour, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and the author of The New York Times Adolescence column. The most powerful forces driving development for middle and high schoolers are increased independence over time, along with being with one’s peers, Dr. Damour said, and the virus curtails both of those things.

survey of over 1,500 teens, collected between May and July of this year by the Institute for Family Studies and the Wheatley Institution, found that, “The percentage of teens who were depressed or lonely was actually lower than in 2018, and the percentage who were unhappy or dissatisfied with life was only slightly higher.” The study’s authors suggest that the reason for the improvement in mood was that teens were sleeping more in quarantine, and also that a majority — 68 percent — said that they felt closer to their families.

Food insecurity was associated with the largest difference in depression. “Among teens who worried that their families would not have enough to eat, 33 percent were depressed, versus 14 percent of teens who were not worried about having enough food,” according to the study. 
East Bay Focus
Alameda County
Moderate (Orange)
  • 3.3 Adjusted case rate of new Covid-19 positive cases per day per 100,000 residents
  • 1.6% Positivity rate
  • 2.6% Health equity metric
Contra Costa County
Moderate (Orange)
  • 3.7 Adjusted case rate of new Covid-19 positive cases per day per 100,000 residents
  • 1.9% Positivity rate
  • 3.9% 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 10/29/20
by day as of 10/29/20
Over the last seven days, Alameda County officials have confirmed 635 new cases, which amounts to 39 cases per 100,000 residents.
Over the last seven days, Contra Costa County officials have confirmed 568 new cases, which amounts to 50 cases per 100,000 residents.
Top 10 Locations of Cases in Alameda County, as of 10/29/20. Alameda County does not publish cases per 100,000 in the last 14 days by city.
Oakland: 9,117

Hayward: 3,493

Fremont: 1,643

Eden MAC: 1,515

San Leandro: 1,310

Livermore: 1,009

Union City: 910

Berkeley: 772

Newark: 632

Castro Valley: 615
Top 10 Locations of Cases in Contra Costa County plus (in parentheses) cases per 100,000 in last 14 days, as of 10/30/20
Richmond: 3,593 (94)

Concord: 2,529 (87)

Antioch: 2,517 (84)

Pittsburgh: 2,129 (136)

San Pablo: 1,627 (271)

Bay Point: 985 (128)

Brentwood: 747 (77)

Walnut Creek: 670 (41)

Oakley: 593 (78)

San Ramon: 434 (47)
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.
Contra Costa Health Services
Detailed information can be found here.
How to Have Fun Safely for Halloween
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.