December 4, 2020
Eden Health District COVID-19 Bulletin
“On the first day I’m inaugurated, I’m going to ask the public for 100 days to mask. Just 100 days to mask — not forever, just 100 days. And I think we’ll see a significant reduction” in the virus.
President-elect Joe Biden, 12/3/20
Girl Scout troop book drive yields hundreds of books for Richmond school
Lincoln Elementary in Richmond has a small, modest little library that is getting a major donation from a surprising source.

Kensington Girl Scout Troop 30643 is in the middle of their book drive, collecting hundreds of books from all across town. Troop Leader Melinda Pilling says in these uncertain times, the girls just want to help those less fortunate.

“Since kids have less access now to school libraries and their classroom libraries that it would be nice to provide books to kids to read at home,” said Pilling.

The books are mostly for Richmond’s Lincoln Elementary School, packaged in clear plastic bags. Girl Scout Guinevere Troxell says some of the books also come with treats. “They come with candy canes, bouncy balls and other stuff,” said the busy scout.
Lincoln Elementary Principal Taylor Parham said the book donation is greatly appreciated. “This has been an extremely challenging year,” she said. Parham explained some books will be handed out to families for free, others used in classrooms, and the rest blended into the school library.

“This Girl Scout troop came to us and said, we want to provide for you,” said Parham. “It just gives me a deep sense of gratitude for everything they’ve done for us.”

Source: KPIX TV News
By the Numbers
Bay Area: 159,896

California: 1,288,840

U.S.: 14,249,105
Alameda County

Cases: 30,980

Deaths: 522

Test Positivity: 4.8%

Hospitalized Patients: 255

ICU Beds Available: 91
Bay Area: 2,006

California: 19,622

U.S.: 272,693
Contra Costa County

Cases: 25,768

Deaths: 262

Test Positivity: 6.1%

Hospitalized Patients: 136

ICU Beds Available: 35
Test positivity is based on a 14-day average. Hospitalized patients refers to patients with confirmed and suspected Covid-19.
California's Regional Stay At Home Order
Yesterday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new stay at home order - linked to ICU bed capacity within 5 separate regions - to attempt to prevent the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in California from overwhelming hospitals. Here answers to common questions about the order:

What triggers the new stay-at-home order?
The order goes into effect within 24 hours in regions with less than 15% ICU availability. If and until this occurs, each county within the region is governed by the state four tier, color-code restrictions, called "Blueprint for a Safer Economy."

How long does the order last?
The order will remain in effect for at least 3 weeks and, after that period, will be lifted when a region’s projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15%. This will be assessed on a weekly basis after the initial 3 week period.

What counties fall within each region?

  • Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma

  • Northern California: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity
  • Greater Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba
  • San Joaquin Valley: Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne
  • Southern California: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura

What is the current ICU capacity in each regions
As of December 3, 2020, the ICU capacity was:

  • Bay Area: 25.30%

  • Northern California: 18.60%
  • Greater Sacramento: 22.20%
  • San Joaquin Valley: 19.70%
  • Southern California: 20.60%

When is the order effective?
The new order will take effect on Saturday, December 5, 2020. The earliest any region could see closures would be on Sunday. As reported in the Los Angeles Times, four of the regions are expected to have less than 15% of ICU capacity by early December — Southern California, the San Joaquin Valley, the Greater Sacramento area and rural Northern California. The Bay Area is expected to hit that threshold in mid- to late December.

What does the order prohibit?
The order prohibits gatherings of any size, non essential travel, closes operations except for critical infrastructure and retail, and requires 100% masking and physical distancing. Specifically, the following activities and businesses must close:

  • Indoor and outdoor playgrounds
  • Indoor recreational facilities and live audience sports
  • Hair salons, barbershops, nail salons and other personal care services
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums
  • Movie theaters, family entertainment centers, amusement parks
  • Wineries, bars, breweries, and distilleries

What is allowed under the order?
The order allows access to critical services and outdoor activities to preserve physical and mental health. For example, you may leave your home to obtain healthcare at medical and dental offices, work at any business or other entity that is allowed to open, to engage in worship and protest activities consistent with public health directives, to patronize local businesses, or to care for friends or family members who require assistance.

You may also leave your home with or without a specific destination in mind (for example, to walk your dog, to engage in physical recreation, or simply to get some fresh air) as long as you wear a mask, maintain physical distancing and comply with any other applicable public health directives.

The following activities and business may operate with additional restrictions and 100% masking and physical distancing:

  • Outdoor areas like beaches, parks and hiking trails: overnight stays at campgrounds will not be permitted.

  • Recreational facilities: Allow outdoor operation only without any food, drink or alcohol sales.

  • Retail: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems. 

  • Shopping centers: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.

  • Hotels and lodging: Open only for critical infrastructure support only.

  • Restaurants: Only for take-out, pick-up, or delivery.

  • Offices: Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible. Medical and dental offices remain open.

  • Places of worship and political expression: Outdoor services only.

  • Entertainment production including professional sports: Allow operation without live audiences. Additionally, testing protocol and “bubbles” are highly encouraged.

Counties have the option of imposing stricter rules than the state's.

What are critical infrastructure sectors?
These are sectors of the economy determined to be critical to protect the health and well-being of Californians. The list is lengthy, including workers in healthcare, food, agriculture, energy, utilities, transportation, communications, government operations, manufacturing, financial services and the entertainment industry.

How does the order impact schools?
The order does not modify existing state guidance for K-12 schools. Child care, pre-kindergarten and K-12 schools already open for in-person learning may remain open with masking and social distancing protocols.

What are the restrictions on travel?
In November, California issued a travel advisory that urged against nonessential out-of state trips and asked people to quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country.

Under the new regional stay at home order, when triggered, the state is asking people to stay at home and not mix and move around. The order prohibits hotel use for tourism, leisure and other nonessential reasons, like nonessential travel, whether it be a vacation or a road trip to see family or friends.

Travel to access (or work at) critical services is permitted.

How does the new order relate to the state's March lockdown?
As reported by the Mercury News, the March stay-home order applied to all California residents, rather than regionally. It was of indefinite duration, and was modified in May with a multi-stage reopening plan, which was replaced in August with the color-coded “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.” The March order did not exempt schools or churches or allow non-essential retail to remain open at limited capacity.

Why was the new order issued?
The new order comes two weeks after Newsom announced a limited, nearly statewide curfew designed to curtail the nighttime movements of Californians in counties where the virus was widespread (purple tier).

As reported in the East Bay Times, Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s Health and Human Services Secretary, admitted yesterday that the curfew hadn’t been as effective as desired — which was part of the reason state officials progressed to a more restrictive order. The curfew led to “slight reductions” in nighttime movement but “nothing too significant,” Ghaly said.
Bay Area News
SF Chronicle, December 3, 2020
Alameda County officials said Thursday they may impose the state’s new strict coronavirus stay-at-home order even before the county’s available ICU beds dwindle down to the state’s threshold of 15% of capacity. The county had 33% of its total intensive-care unit beds available as of Thursday — and 71.3% availability of mechanical ventilators, according to county public health data last updated on Wednesday.

No Bay Area counties were impacted on Thursday. However, Alameda County officials issued a press release stating that “If this situation worsens, we may need to enact the State’s Stay-at-Home restrictions before the Bay Area region meets the threshold in order to protect ICU bed availability and save lives.” Officials also said Alameda County's own hospitals could be impacted if neighboring counties’ hospitalizations rise because county hospitals “provide aid to overwhelmed hospital systems elsewhere.”

SF Chronicle, December 3, 2020
In March, county officials moved homeless people into hotels amid fears of a coronavirus outbreak. Nearly 1,500 people have stayed in county hotels since then and, currently, 1,122 people are staying in eight hotels throughout the county. The process to close some of the hotels has already begun and will continue through February.

The county is working to identify housing placements for everyone now in the hotels, said Kerry Abbott, director of the county’s Office of Homeless Care and Coordination. Some of those housed are staying at one of the two hotels the county owns — the 104-room Comfort Inn, and Days Hotel by Wyndham, which has 150 rooms, both on Edes Avenue in Oakland. The county also plans to keep one hotel open as a shelter for Covid-positive people through next June.

SF Chronicle, December 3, 2020
A growing number of citizens and health care officials are accusing Bay Area hospitals and medical centers of failing to provide timely coronavirus testing during the nation’s largest uptick in Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began almost a year ago. Long wait times have been reported at major health care providers like Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health as the disease spreads wildly and California counties take drastic action to halt surging case loads.

Contra Costa Heath Services Website
On December 1st, Contra Costa County submitted its initial plan to the state for distributing Covid-19 vaccines once they become available. The document provides an overview of plans for distribution, stakeholder engagement, identification of critical populations, and reporting and monitoring. At first there will be a limited supply of the vaccine. Those in high-risk groups, such as healthcare workers and nursing home residents, will be first in line to get immunized.
Health News
CalMatters, December 3, 2020
Californians will likely see the first doses of Pfizer’s new Covid-19 vaccine arrive between Dec. 12 and 15, Gov. Gavin Newsom said today as he unveiled the state’s distribution plans for its initial allotment of 327,000 doses.

The coveted first batch is reserved for health care workers directly caring for Covid-19 patients in hospitals, including psychiatric and prison hospitals, residents and staff in long-term care facilities, paramedics and other emergency medical responders, and workers in dialysis centers, according to priorities set by state and federal health officials. Others also could be prioritized for early doses depending on their risk levels, including home health care workers, laboratory employees, pharmacy staff and workers in community clinics.

NY Times, December 3, 2020
The New York Times has created an interactive tool to calculate the number of people who will need a vaccine in each state and county — and where you might fit in that line.

Reuters, December 4, 2020
The U.S. government’s first shipment of millions of coronavirus vaccine doses to be divided among states and federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, will fall far short of protecting high priority groups such as healthcare workers, a Reuters analysis has found.

The first shipment is expected to cover inoculations of 3.2 million people, nowhere near enough for the 21 million U.S. healthcare workers. The subsequent two weekly vaccine distributions could cover 7 to 10 million people a week, provided a second vaccine - from Moderna Inc - is authorized early in the second half of December, and Pfizer meets its distribution estimates, according to data provided by Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the companies. Federal officials have not disclosed exactly how many doses will be in later shipments.

NY Times, December 4, 2020
There is an urgent need to address long-term symptoms of the coronavirus, leading public health officials said this week, warning that hundreds of thousands of Americans and millions of people worldwide might experience lingering problems that could impede their ability to work and function normally.

In a two-day meeting Thursday and Friday, the federal government’s first workshop dedicated to long-term Covid-19, public health officials, medical researchers and patients said the condition needed to be recognized as a syndrome, given a name and taken seriously by doctors. “This is a phenomenon that is really quite real and quite extensive,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said at the conference on Thursday. While the number of people affected is still unknown, he said, if long-term symptoms afflict even a small proportion of the millions of people infected with the coronavirus, it is “going to represent a significant public health issue.”
US and California Data: Last 90 Days
Covid Tracking Project, 12/3/20 (bold lines are 7-day averages)
United States
In their December 3, 2020, podcast, Dr. Michael Osterholm and host Chris Dall discuss the status of Covid-19 in the US post-Thanksgiving, recommendations for how vaccine distribution should be prioritized, potential timelines for vaccine distribution, shortening quarantine, and how to talk to children about the pandemic.
California News
Mercury News, December 4, 2020
California’s 7-day daily average of new Covid-19 cases exploded to another record high Thursday, and the state reported triple-digit fatalities from the virus for the third consecutive day.

An average of more than 16,700 cases per day have been reported around the state over the past week, after county health departments reported another 21,228 on Thursday, according to data compiled by this news organization. At about 16,768 per day, California is averaging more cases now than it had reported on any day prior to last week. On Thursday, the state tallied at least 20,000 cases for the third time in the past two weeks; the total Thursday was second only to the record 21,511 reported on Monday.

The death toll in California grew by at least a hundred for the third straight day, reaching a cumulative total of 19,589. The 146 new victims of the virus were the state’s most in a single day since the end of September; more Californians have perished in the past week — a total of 556, or an average of about 79 per day — than any other 7-day period since about the same time.

LA Times, December 4, 2020
Officials have contingency plans of opening up additional facilities if hospitals become overwhelmed, something developed by the first Covid-19 surge this past spring. But conditions have changed in significant ways since then that could make staffing an issue.

For one thing, the spring surge was more limited in scope, with some parts of California — and the nation — being hit harder than others. That allowed more room for shifting resources and bringing in medical professionals from areas that could spare them. The current surge is not only larger than the spring one but also much more widespread, leaving fewer areas with nurses and doctors to spare.

Moreover, some patients avoided emergency rooms and optional medical appointments in the spring, fearful of being infected. Fewer people are staying away now, and that is taxing hospitals as they see an influx of Covid-19 patients. Hospitals can limit nonessential outpatient care, cancel nonessential surgeries and more quickly discharge patients who could be cared for in rehabilitation hospitals and care facilities.

Associated Press, December 4, 2020
Lawyers for a church with more than 160 congregations across California said they would seek an immediate court order allowing indoor worship after the Supreme Court told a lower federal court to reexamine state coronavirus restrictions on church services. The apparent victory for Pasadena-based Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry follows a recent high court ruling in favor of churches and synagogues in New York.

Sacramento Bee, December 3, 2020
Faced with dramatically rising Covid-19 hospitalizations, Gov. Newsom announced on Thursday the state will open the emergency field hospital at the Sleep Train Arena practice facility building in Sacramento’s Natomas area. Opening day will be Wednesday, Dec. 9, he said, with the first 20 beds available. The facility, set up in the summer, will be the first of 11 state urgency temporary field facilities that have been waiting in warm-up status since then.

Sacramento Bee, December 3, 2020
California is closing state government offices in response to the stay-at-home order Gov. Newsom issued Thursday, according to an email sent to state departments. With some exceptions, state offices will close Monday and remain closed for three weeks.

The Guardian, December 3, 2020
California’s agricultural workers have contracted Covid-19 at nearly 3 times the rate of other residents in the state, a new study has found, laying bare the risks facing those who keep a $50 billion industry afloat.

Epidemiologists already knew that this primarily Latino workforce was disproportionately affected by the virus, with Latino individuals experiencing five to seven times the risk of Covid-19 mortality relative to white individuals in the US. But a study from UC Berkeley, published Wednesday, is the first to explore the prevalence of infection rates among the workforce putting food on tables across America. Key findings include that 13% of workers tested over a 5-month period tested positive. Comparatively, just 5% of all Californians tested came back positive. The study also found that 1 in 5 of the workers tested were antibody positive, meaning they had been infected some time before.

SF Chronicle, December 4, 2020
35-year-old Clifford Meyer has watched a coronavirus outbreak explode at Substance Abuse Treatment Facility in Kings County, where he is incarcerated, feeling helpless to protect himself. But recently he decided to say something — and ended up in handcuffs.

Meyer approached an officers’ station and complained that he didn’t want to be housed with a potentially contagious person. That’s when he was handcuffed. A state official confirmed there was a confrontation with Meyer but rebutted the prisoner’s account, saying that Meyer became aggressive with staff who were trying to move prisoners according to established protocols. “They’re forcing us to live with others who have contracted the virus,” said inmate Lyle Crook, 54, who has served 31 years of a life sentence. “All of us have been exposed.”
US News
The Guardian, December 4, 2020
The US set three grim coronavirus records on Thursday, as it recorded the highest daily number of coronavirus deaths, the highest number of new cases, and the number of people admitted to hospital with Covid exceeded 100,000 for the second day in a row.

In an interview with Newsweek, Fauci warned that the worst was yet to come in the US. “I think January is going to be terrible because you’re going to have the Thanksgiving surge super-imposed upon the Christmas surge,” Fauci said. “So it’s entirely conceivable that January could be the worst.”

Axios, December 4, 2020
Daily coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday, when roughly 2,800 people died from the virus. Caseloads and hospitalizations continue to rise, and deaths are spiking in states all across the country. The states with the highest death tolls from the virus, adjusted for population, are still the ones that were hit hard by the first wave of infections in the spring. New York saw 38.9 deaths per 1 million people in April, followed by New Jersey (37.5) and Connecticut (33.4). But more states are now catching up to those totals. North and South Dakota, which saw surges in the fall, recorded 24.1 and 30.4 daily deaths in November — the fourth and fifth highest state peaks to date.

Kaiser Health News, December 4, 2020
As states and cities around the country enact curfews on bars and restaurants to limit the spread of Covid-19, many different calls are being made on “last call.” In Massachusetts, eateries must stop serving at 9:30 p.m. New York, Ohio and an increasing number of states are setting 10 p.m. closing times for indoor dining. With coronavirus outbreaks being traced back to bars and restaurants, curfews are being embraced not just by governors but also by many restaurant and bar owners who see them as a more appetizing alternative to the total cessation of indoor dining.

NPR, December 3, 2020
President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday said he has asked the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, to become his chief medical adviser and said he plans to call on Americans to wear masks for the first 100 days of his administration. Biden said he'll urge Americans to wear masks starting Jan. 20 to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Biden said he would use his authority to require masks in federal buildings and on interstate transportation.

"Just 100 days to mask, not forever, 100 days. And I think we'll see a significant reduction," Biden said.
Biden said he asked Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, "to stay on the exact same role he's had for the past several presidents." Biden also said he asked Fauci to be his chief medical adviser and be part of his Covid-19 team. Biden said he would be "happy" to get his coronavirus vaccine publicly, as a way to encourage trust in the vaccine.

NY Times, December 3, 2020
Three former presidents — Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton — have said they would be willing to get a vaccine for Covid-19 publicly to help ensure public confidence in its safety, once a vaccine is approved for use in the United States.

Bloomberg, December 4, 2020
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there’s momentum building toward a compromise fiscal stimulus plan, though Republicans complained about the scale of aid to states included in the bipartisan proposal that’s become the best chance yet for a deal. “There is momentum with the action” by a group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers on a $908 billion package, Pelosi said at a press conference Friday in Washington. She said she and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have discussed attaching the relief measures to an omnibus spending bill that the parties are working on separately to keep the government funded beyond Dec. 11 into 2021.

NY Times, December 4, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has inflicted an economic battering on state and local governments, shrinking tax receipts by hundreds of billions of dollars. Now devastating budget cuts loom, threatening to cripple public services and pare work forces far beyond the 1.3 million jobs lost in eight months.

Washington Post, December 3, 2020
With few options left, overwhelmed doctors and other caregivers are appealing directly to governors for relief from the staggering increases in hospitalized Covid-19 patients as the virus surges across the country.
In Connecticut, Tennessee, Missouri and Mississippi, physicians have issued unusually public pleas for stronger responses to the pandemic as hospitals and their staffs near a breaking point. The number of hospitalized covid-19 patients surpassed 100,000 on Wednesday, placing enormous strain on the nation’s acute care hospitals, where there are roughly 730,000 beds.

NY Times, December 3, 2020
Facebook on Thursday said it would remove posts that contain claims about Covid-19 vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts, as the social network acts more aggressively to bat down coronavirus misinformation while falsehoods run rampant.
CA Education News
LA Times, December 4, 2020
Presidents of the 23 campuses of the California State University system are being urged to delay the resumption of any face-to-face instruction— even for classes that have only a limited in-person component — and reassess plans for the end of fall term and beginning of spring term amid the dramatic increase in Covid-19 cases in California.

“The pandemic’s progression, coupled with the reality that many of our students and employees will be traveling and/or socializing with others over the next several weeks ... creates an immediate urgency to review — and likely adjust — campus plans,” CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White and Chancellor-select Joseph I. Castro, who will assume office Jan. 4, wrote in a letter to campus presidents this week.

CalMatters, December 3, 2020
The pandemic has brought unprecedented academic harm to students across the country, exhausted teachers and principals, and forced many parents to choose between supporting their students’ education or salvaging their economic livelihoods. 
Nowhere has that impact been felt more acutely than among communities like those in South Los Angeles already on the fringes of inequity. 

By the first week of October, several classes at the Communication and Technology School had more than 70% of their students failing. Many were not logging in. The dropout rate had noticeably increased from prior years, particularly among newcomer students. Technology problems — from weak WIFI signals to broken iPads — plagued more than half the student body. Results from an internal survey of students during the pandemic showed nearly half the student body had technology problems, and many students were in danger of failing.
Politico, December 2, 2020
Nine months after schools in California closed their doors due to the pandemic, the state lacks data that public health officials say could help districts get kids safely back into classrooms at a faster pace. While the California Department of Public Health provides daily updates on Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, it offers no information about schools as part of that database. The state instructs schools to report outbreaks to their local health departments, but the state is not required to compile that data or make it public. California is one of 11 states that does not publish information about the virus in schools.

The state is also not tracking which schools are open and closed or what type of instruction model they’re using in the pandemic — data that education officials say could help devise a plan about what works and what doesn’t.
US Education News
NPR, December 4, 2020
Throughout this fall pandemic semester, between 40 and 60% of students have been enrolled in districts that offer only remote learning, according to a tracker maintained by the company Burbio. And even in hybrid districts, some students have been learning remotely, either part or full time. In short, online learning is the reality for a majority of students this fall.

Here are five lessons learned so far.
1. The digital divide is still big and complex.
2. Relationships are everything when it comes to keeping kids engaged remotely.
3. Digital teaching can be good, even great with the right support for teachers. But that's far from the norm.
4. Hybrid models are extremely challenging.
5. Some kids are not learning much online. They'll be playing catchup in years to come.

Axios, December 4, 2020
An existing FCC program known as E-rate provides up to $4 billion for broadband at schools, but Republican FCC chairman Ajit Pai has resisted modifying the program during the pandemic to provide help connecting students at home. A recent study by the Alliance for Excellent Education and other groups estimates that 16.9 million students are stuck in the "homework gap" — without sufficient access to the internet at home to do their work. That includes children in one out of three Black, Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native households, according to the study.
"We have an educational crisis in this country, a digital equity crisis," Jessica Rosenworcel, senior Democrat on the commission, told Axios. "And we need to use this program to fix the homework gap as fast as we can."

EdSource, December 4, 2020
Last year’s freshmen began with regular in-person classes and the chance to make friends and feel connected to a physical campus, with gyms, cafeterias and clubs, for a semester and a half until the pandemic changed things in March.

In contrast, current freshmen started fully online and have not had many opportunities to forge social bonds and ties to schools they may never have visited. So, experts say, their academic progress could be more uncertain even though barriers for some, such as commuting costs and time, were eliminated and the more flexible schedules of online education may better accommodate jobs and family chores.

“We worry a lot every day of this term about what the experience is like for those students, what it means for their college experience and what it means for their academic trajectory,” James Minor, CSU’s assistant vice-chancellor and senior strategist for academic success and inclusive excellence.
Inside the Folsom mayor’s frightening battle with Covid-19
The city of Folsom has been hit hard by the coronavirus in the last month. Among the worst ongoing cases belongs to the mayor.

Sarah Aquino, Folsom’s mayor for the last year, is OK, but not all the way back. She was released from intensive care at a local hospital on Thanksgiving after 5 days of treatment, but she does not yet feel normal and wonders when she will again.

“Physically, I’m OK, but I’m in a brain fog,” she said this week, talking on the phone while getting some sun in her backyard during a post-hospital quarantine. “It’s like an out-of-body experience. Like it’s happening to someone else.”

Aquino, 48, chief financial officer for the family insurance business, said she first had symptoms in mid-November. It felt like a flu. She was vomiting and had diarrhea, and couldn’t stay hydrated, so she went to the hospital emergency room. “I should have spent the night,” she said. Instead, she got re-hydrated and took some anti-nausea medicine and went home. Late the next night, “I told my husband to call 911.”

Aquino found herself in the hospital for 5 days, this time getting the full gamut of available Covid-19 therapies
Aquino was on oxygen, but not a ventilator. Since she came home on Thanksgiving day, her husband and teenage son both have tested positive and have suffered from mild symptoms, but have not needed treatment.

She wonders where she got the virus and whether she could have done something more to avoid it. She has declined invitations to parties in peoples’ homes. At City Hall, she always wears a mask. At work, employees wore masks when clients came in, but otherwise she and coworkers were alone in each of their offices and did not wear masks.

As a community leader, she says she wants Folsom to support its businesses any way it can, but believes some safety measures are appropriate. “I will tell you, I get frustrated when I get emails from people who think that mask wearing is a joke,” she said.

Source: Sacramento Bee
International News
NY Times, December 4, 2020
In April, the Commission, the European Union’s executive branch that tries to coordinate policy for the 27 members, unveiled its “roadmap to reopening,” suggesting to national governments how to slowly, cautiously resuscitate social and economic life.

But most European governments moved much faster than the Commission recommended. Some, especially along the continent’s southern rim, took big risks to admit tourists in July, in a bid to rescue millions of tourism jobs. And the E.U., eager to reestablish its fundamental function as free-movement zone, encouraged countries to reopen internal borders, even as it continued to block outside travelers.

Research shows that these decisions — swift internal reopenings with nominal restrictions, coupled with cross-border travel — were at the root of the second wave.

Reuters, December 4, 2020
Some Russian state employees are coming under heavy pressure to sign up for the trials, an effort that medical ethicists say may run afoul of ethical norms for voluntary participation in such tests. A source told Reuters that all departments in Moscow’s city administration, which employs around 20,000 people, were set quotas for participation in the trials.

Russia’s vaccine testing began in early September and is in its final phase in 29 clinics across Moscow. About 20,000 people have already taken part. The government says interim results show the vaccine is 92% effective. The country aims to produce more than a billion doses of the shots at home and abroad next year. Even before the trials have been completed, Russians are already receiving the vaccine. The medicine received formal regulatory approval from Russian authorities in August; Russia, which has the world’s fourth-highest number of recorded Covid-19 cases, says it has so far inoculated more than 100,000 people considered at high risk such as military personnel, doctors and teachers.

Washington Post, December 4, 2020
Chinese coronavirus-vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech is good at getting its products to market. It was first to begin clinical trials of a SARS vaccine in 2003 and first to bring a swine flu vaccine to consumers in 2009. Its CEO was also bribing China’s drug regulator for vaccine approvals during that time, court records show.

Sinovac is now seeking to supply its coronavirus vaccine to developing nations. While graft and weak transparency have long plagued China’s pharmaceutical industry, seldom has the reliability of a single drug vendor from the country mattered this much to the rest of the world. 
Sinovac has not been involved in safety scandals, and there is no evidence that any of the vaccines approved in cases involving bribery were faulty.

The Guardian, December 2, 2020
Standing just 5ft tall, Mitra navigates around the hospital wards, guided by facial recognition technology and with a chest-mounted tablet that allows patients and their loved ones to see each other. Mitra costs around $13,600 and – due to the reduced risk of infection to doctors – has become hugely popular in Indian hospitals during the pandemic.

“Mitra was originally meant for care homes, but was adapted during the pandemic to assist doctors and nurses by taking vital readings, and to help in consultations,” says Balaji Viswanathan, chief executive of Invento Robotics, which now exports the robot to five countries including the US and Australia.

The Hill, December 4, 2020
Germany indicated on Friday it is concerned about potential attacks on its mass coronavirus vaccination centers. The country is setting up six mass vaccination cites in Berlin ahead of the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) approval of a vaccine.

Washington Post, December 3, 2020
The annual College Scholastic Ability Test is a multiple-choice standardized test similar to the SAT but with considerably higher stakes in education-obsessed South Korea. The 8-hour exam determines not only which university students can attend, but also their future career opportunities, social standing and even marriage prospects. This year, some will be asked to don full protective gear to supervise the exam for at least 35 confirmed covid-19 patients and some 400 students in quarantine. For this group, test papers are put in plastic bags and disinfected before grading.
NY Times, December 4, 2020
In a survey of 700 epidemiologists, half said they would not change their personal behavior until at least 70 percent of the population was vaccinated. Thirty percent said they would make some changes once they were vaccinated themselves.

A minority of the epidemiologists said that if highly effective vaccines were widely distributed, it would be safe for Americans to begin living more freely this summer: “I am optimistic that the encouraging vaccine results mean we’ll be back on track by or during summer 2021,” said Kelly Strutz, an assistant professor at Michigan State University.
But most said that even with vaccines, it would probably take a year or more for many activities to safely restart, and that some parts of their lives may never return to the way they were.

German Lopez, Vox, December 3, 2020
This week the CDC updated its guidelines — which are recommendations, not legal requirements — to offer “alternatives.” People who’ve been in close contact with someone with Covid-19 should still quarantine. But that quarantine can end after 10 days without a coronavirus test. Or it can last seven days if someone obtains a negative test result, which they’re advised to get as early as day five of quarantine. People should watch out for symptoms for 14 days after quarantine.

Public health experts described the change as a harm reduction move: It’s not ideal for people to cut their quarantine time short. But if the change lets more people quarantine for some period of time, that could be better overall.

USA Today, December 4, 2020
Many said they believe the virus is real but are worried about their jobs and their bills and how shutdowns have been handled inconsistently. Others are angry at politicians who plead for people to stay home but then get spotted at events. They don't deny the severity of the virus, they are frustrated with the country's response. 
Then there are those who truly believe the virus is "no worse than a cold" or "another strain of the flu" unduly panicking "knee-jerk sheeple."

The maddening commonality of this group: They base their beliefs on false information, social media rumors or the fact that they don't personally know anyone who has had Covid-19, so it can't be that bad. 

William Haseltine & John R. Allen, The Atlantic, December 3, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic is a far greater economic and societal threat than anything the United States has faced in recent memory. The 9/11 attacks took nearly 3,000 lives. Covid-19 has taken a quarter million. The nation’s responses to these two threats—one a palpable and immediate terrorist attack; the other a virus that crossed our borders sight unseen—have been wildly divergent.

One of the first acts of President-elect Joe Biden’s new administration should be the creation of a Covid-19 commission to address the pandemic and prepare for future threats. His newly announced Covid-19 task force will rightly focus on helping the United States find a way out of our current morass. But the country also needs a separate, bipartisan inquiry that points to long-term structural solutions that would prevent a future disease from causing the levels of death, heartache, and economic disruption that the coronavirus has caused. If the new Democratic president and Republicans in Congress can agree on nothing else, surely they can agree on the need to learn from Americans’ current suffering.

NY Times, December 3, 2020
Nearly a year into a pandemic that has claimed more than 272,000 American livessome 192 million tests for the coronavirus have been processed nationwide. Millions more will be needed to detect and contain the virus in the months ahead. Behind these staggering figures are thousands of scientists who have been working nonstop to identify the coronavirus in the people it infects.

Across the nation, testing teams are grappling with burnout, repetitive-stress injuries and an overwhelming sense of doom. As supply chains sputter and laboratories rush to keep pace with diagnostic demand, experts warn that the most severe shortage stymieing America’s capacity to test is not one that can be solved by a wider production line or a more efficient machine. It is a dearth of human power: the dwindling ranks in a field that much of the public does not know even exists.
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.
East Bay Focus
by day as of 12/3/20
by day as of 12/3/20
Over the last seven days, Alameda County officials have reported 2,756 new coronavirus cases, which amounts to 168 cases per 100,000 residents.
Over the last seven days, Contra Costa County officials have reported 2,017 new coronavirus cases, which amounts to 178 cases per 100,000 residents.
Top 10 Locations of Cases in Alameda County, as of 12/3/20. Alameda County does not publish cases per 100,000 in the last 14 days by city.
Oakland: 11,044

Hayward: 4,714

Fremont: 2,386

Eden MAC: 1,995

San Leandro: 1,760

Livermore: 1,421

Union City: 1,269

Berkeley: 1,209

Castro Valley: 890

Newark: 857
Top 10 Locations of Cases in Contra Costa County plus (in parentheses) cases per 100,000 in last 14 days, as of 12/4/20
Richmond: 4,589 (390)

Antioch: 3,293 (300)

Concord: 3,212 (244)

Pittsburgh: 2,683 (357)

San Pablo: 2,163 (745)

Bay Point: 1,162 (309)

Brentwood: 1,135 (260)

Walnut Creek: 982 (224)

Oakley: 847 (316)

San Ramon: 731 (165)
East Bay Resources

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.
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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