Weekly Update - March 18, 2021
Contra Costa Health to Expand Vaccine Eligibility to
Residents Ages 50+ Next Week
Thanks to supplemental vaccine allocations from the federal government, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) expects to expand eligibility to all county residents aged 50+ (even if they don’t have underlying health conditions) early next week. They will be sending out a press release with the date of eligibility. At that point, those 50+ can request an appointment here.
Vaccine Eligibility Expanded to Several New Groups this Week
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) added a number of new groups to its eligibility list for the COVID-19 vaccine, effective March 15:

  • Public transit/airport and commercial airlines employees
  • Individuals who reside or work in a high risk congregate residential setting, such as an incarceration/detention facility, homeless shelter, or behavioral health facility
  • All people experiencing homelessness, who are at risk of transitioning into congregate settings at short notice

In addition to those mentioned above, Californians between the ages of 16-64 with serious underlying health conditions can receive the vaccine, including:

  • Cancer, current with weakened immune system
  • Chronic kidney disease, stage 4 or above
  • Chronic pulmonary disease, oxygen dependent
  • Down syndrome
  • Solid-organ transplant, leading to a weakened immune system
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies (but not hypertension)
  • Severe obesity (Body Mass Index ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus with hemoglobin A1c level greater than 7.5%

Health systems such as Kaiser are expected to directly outreach to qualifying members. CCRMC & Health Centers has launched a texting campaign to invite about 7,000 patients with qualifying pre-existing conditions to make appointments at CCRMC’s vaccination sites.
Scheduling Your Vaccine Appointment
Vaccination appointments are currently prioritized for residents who are 65 or older. CCHS recommends that eligible residents who have other health insurance also seek appointments from their own healthcare providers.

There are several ways to find a vaccine appointment.
At this point in time, there is no wrong door. Sign up everywhere you can and when you get an appointment, cancel your requests elsewhere.

1. Register with the State of California at myturn.ca.gov to be notified when you are eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccination.

2. Make an appointment with Contra Costa County.
Vaccine Appointments for Residents 65-74

3. Make an Appointment at a Partner site.
Healthcare systems, pharmacies and other providers have different eligibility requirements for COVID-19 vaccinations. You can find information about each of these providers by scrolling down on the CCHS Vaccine page: coronavirus.cchealth.org/get-vaccinated

Vaccine Site Map
Bay Area Health Officers Issue a Statement
Endorsing All Three COVID Vaccines
County-run vaccination clinics have begun offering the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine, the third COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use in the U.S. All three vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing COVID-19 infection, and at preventing serious illness from COVID-19 infection.
The J&J vaccine has the added benefits of requiring only one dose to provide its full benefit, and requiring refrigerated storage but not the sub-zero temperatures required by the other two vaccines.

The vaccines have each been studied in slightly different patient populations and at different time periods. The rates of community transmission and presence or absence of different Covid-19 variants varied between each study, so it is difficult to clearly state which vaccine provide the best protection at this current point in the worldwide pandemic.

CCHS is unable to offer patients a choice between vaccines at their appointments – the vaccine they have on the day of your appointment is the only one available.

To learn more go to get vaccinated.
Up-To-Date Vaccine Data
Vaccine Location Data
Help Your Neighbor Program
If you know someone who is eligible for a COVID-19 immunization appointment right now, but may need a little help, please make that offer. Even if you cannot yet make an appointment for yourself, you can help someone you know – and the whole community.
This web page has information that eligible county residents need to make a COVID-19 immunization appointment with Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) or its community partners.

Hope & Healing - Remembering Those Lost in
Contra Costa County
March 22nd marks one year since Contra Costa lost its first resident to COVID-19. Over the coming year, that tragedy was to repeat itself more than 700 times, each time claiming a beloved soul and leaving an ever-widening hole in our community. On this night of hope and healing, we pause as a county, as cities, and as individuals to remember those we’ve lost, to comfort those left behind, and to collectively heal and begin the process of moving forward.

Remembrances, words of hope, testimonials, and musical tributes will be played throughout the 30-minute memorial event. This evening of Hope & Healing will culminate with a telecast of city centers throughout Contra Costa County emerging from the dark and lighting their city centers in a glow of golden light.

The ceremony is being held Monday, March 22, from 8 - 8:30 p.m. and will be telecast over CCTV throughout Contra Costa County and simultaneously staged at city centers throughout the county.

Use this link to share the event on your social media: https://youtu.be/83jaK-gznSY.
How Far is Contra Costa from The Orange Tier?
It is difficult to predict when Contra Costa will qualify for the orange tier of the blueprint, even if COVID-19 transmission continues to recede in the community. The State requires counties to remain in a new tier for at least three weeks after changing tiers. We are still in our first week in the Red Tier. Once a County qualifies for the next lower tier, they must remain there for at least two consecutive weeks before moving into it.

To reach the Orange Tier, Contra Costa’s must reach these milestones in its COVID-19 transmission data:

  • The adjusted daily case rate must fall below 4.0 We are currently at 5.9.
  • The positivity rate for COVID-19 tests in the county falls below 5%. We are currently at 2.2%.
  • The positivity rate for tests in the health equity quartile is less than 5.2%. We are currently at 4.0%  

The state also plans to relax the case-rate requirement for entering the orange tier from 4.0 cases per-capita daily to 6.0 cases per-capita daily, once it reaches a statewide goal of vaccinating 4 million residents in pre-identified low-income areas.

Go to tier assignments to learn more.
County Tier Metrics
First Cases of U.K. COVID Variant Detected in Contra Costa
Laboratory results have revealed the first two known cases of the highly infectious U.K. variant (B.1.117) in Contra Costa County. The B.1.117 variant, dubbed the U.K. variant because it is believed to have originated in the United Kingdom, is more contagious than others and possibly more deadly.

Initial studies suggest the three COVID vaccines in the United State provide strong protection against the U.K. variant and others.

While these are the first confirmed cases of the U.K. variant in Contra Costa, Dr. Chris Farnitano, the county's health officer, said there are likely many more in the community that have not been detected.

The South African variant, another COVID variant of concern, has yet to be detected in Contra Costa, although Dr. Farnitano said we should assume it also circulating in California.

The presence of the U.K. variants were discovered as part of laboratory surveillance work during the pandemic. One local person infected with the U.K. variant began displaying common COVID-19 symptoms such as cough and muscles aches and was able to isolate at home. The other Contra Costa resident reported having multiple symptoms, including runny nose, cough, headache and loss of smell and taste.

For Contra Costa data and COVID-19 health information, visit cchealth.org/coronavirus.
CA COVID-19 Rent Relief
CA COVID-19 Rent Relief will help income-eligible households pay rent and utilities, both for past due and future payments. The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 provides funding to support the program and tenant (renter) protection laws signed by Governor Newsom.

Click here if you're a Landlord Click here if you're a Renter.

For additional information, to find a Local Partner Network organization near you, or for eligibility and application help, call our CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Call Center: 833-430-2122.
Taking Steps to Welcome The Public Back Inside Our Libraries
Contra Costa County Library is planning to welcome the public back into library facilities later this Spring. The target date is next month, on Monday, April 26. The services that will be available with some new rules are outlined below: 

  • Computer use for no more than one hour 
  • Reference and account help 
  • Holds pick up 
  • Check out and Returns 
  • Browsing 
  • Copies 
  • Printing 
Anyone who violates the current health order may be asked to leave.  

The following will not be available to patrons: 
  • Chairs and tables for reading and studying 
  • Study Rooms 
  • Meeting Rooms 
  • In-person events 
The following safety protocols will be in place: 
  • Customers over the age of 2 are required to wear a mask or face covering 
  • Social distancing reminders will be placed throughout the library 
  • Building capacity will be limited based on color tier (Purple: 25% capacity; Red: 50% capacity; Orange: 100% capacity) 
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at entrances 
  • Sanitizing wipes available for customers to sanitize shared surfaces 
  • Seating only available at selected public computers to encourage social distancing 
  • Toys and high touch play items are removed  
Fence Work on the Iron Horse Trail in Danville
A contractor for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District will perform fence construction operations along the Iron Horse Trail, between Love Lane and Del Amigo Road, in Danville. The work continues through Friday, April 16, 2021, barring unforeseen circumstances. Work is occurring between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, weather permitting. Trail users may experience delays due to this work and should consider alternative routes during this period. Current social distancing protocol will be observed.
This is a cooperative project between Contra Costa County Public Works and the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. It supports improvements being made at the San Ramon Valley High School campus.
Contra Costa County Juvenile Justice Commission
Seeks Members
Are you interested in being involved in your community by providing citizen oversight for youth who are caught up in the juvenile justice system or placed in congregate care (i.e., group homes)? Joining the all-volunteer Contra Costa County Justice Commission is a rewarding opportunity for you to make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth!

The Commission reports to the Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court for the county and makes recommendations to the Probation Department related to public policy regarding in-custody and at-risk youth. Our primary responsibility is to provide citizen oversight of the juvenile justice system, which includes inspecting juvenile hall, police departments holding youth, and group homes in the county.

The Commission meets the first Wednesday of each month at 6 PM at the Walnut Creek Superior Court, Department 38, 640 Ygnacio Valley Boulevard, Walnut Creek, CA. Feel free to come and observe the public meetings.

To read the full description go to JJC general information

Applications are always accepted for Commissioner vacancies. To apply, please visit Juvenile-Justice-Commission. Following a successful interview with members of the Commission, qualified candidates will be reviewed by the Presiding Juvenile Court Judge for an appointment to the Commission.
Save the Date! Cesar Chavez Virtual Celebration
District 2 Volunteer Opportunities

Now is a great time to consider ways you might want to give back to your community. 2020 saw our advisory bodies pivot to virtual meeting, which will likely continue well into 2021. The benefit of these meeting platforms is that more people are able to participate than ever before.

If you are interested in participating in government, then perhaps one of these volunteer opportunities are of interest to you:

Alamo Police Services Advisory Committee (CSA P-2B/APSAC)
To advise the Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff's Department on the needs of the Alamo/Danville community for police services.

Assessment Appeals Board - co.contra-costa.ca.us/2924/Assessment-Appeals
Alternate Seat Available
The Assessment Appeals Board conducts impartial hearings on property assessment disputes between taxpayers and the county assessor. Based on the evidence presented at these hearings, the appeals board determines the value of the disputed property or determines other matters of property tax assessment within the board’s jurisdiction.

County Service Area P-5 Citizen Advisory Committee (Roundhill Residents only)
The P-5 Committee advises the Board of Supervisors on the needs of the Alamo community for extended police services for Roundhill.

In-Home Support Services Public Authority Advisory Committee (IHSS) https://ehsd.org/elderly-disabled/public-authority/ihss-public-authority-advisory-committee/
Find out more information about volunteering for an advisory body here co.contra-costa.ca.us/3418 . To apply online go to www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/.