Update - November 13, 2020 
COVID-19 Spike Drives More Tightening of Restrictions
Contra Costa and other Bay Area counties get stricter to stave off surge 
This week, California reached the unfortunate milestone of 1 million COVID-19 cases statewide. With transmission and hospitalizations on the rise, health officers from Bay Area counties are tightening local rules for high-risk indoor activities where the virus can spread more easily.
Contra Costa Health Services today issued an order to close, effective Tuesday, November 17 at 8 a.m.:
  • Indoor dining
  • Indoor fitness centers
  • Concession stands at movie theaters
Indoor dining and gyms partially re-opened in September, but recent increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations make the closures necessary again. 
Diners at restaurants remove their masks to eat or drink, as do movie patrons when snacking on food from concession stands. People also breathe heavily while they exercise at indoor gyms, increasing the risk of droplet and aerosol transmission of COVID-19, which can be only partially reduced by wearing a face covering.
The county continues to see a concerning rise in virus rates and hospitalizations, making quick action the best way to prevent more people from becoming sick, and preserve medical system capacity. 

On November 11, 50 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized in the county - the highest number since September.
Health officials are especially worried about people gathering indoors with the holidays coming up and may consider other closures in the near future. This week, the county moved to the red tier of  California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, from the less restrictive orange tier. 

I know we can be successful in slowing the spread of the virus!  Being vigilant is the most effective way to slow COVID-19's spread, until a vaccine is widely available.

The most effective ways of controlling the virus bears repeating, especially with celebrations ahead:

The virus likes:
  • Indoor air, especially air without good circulation. 
  • Mouths and nostrils open to the air for germs to get in and go out.
  • Crowds, where the virus can pass easily from one person to another.
  • Rigorous exercise, singing, chanting, lecturing, or talking loudly in a confined or crowded spaces --- anything that causes heavy breath into the air.
  • Dirty hands touching the face, near the mouth and nose which can spread the virus.
The virus doesn't like:
  • Outdoor air with good circulation.
  • Face coverings or masks that block the mouth and nostrils.
  • Spaced distancing between people, of at least six feet apart.
  • Singing, exercising, shouting, breathing into well-circulated air, far from other people.
  • Clean, sanitized hands that avoid touching the face. 
This will make holiday celebration a challenge, and different than what we are used to. But celebrating within your household or social pod is still OK. Mixing households is riskier. 

On-line socializing is the safest way to visit with people outside your household; a Zoom party, or just passing the phone around for real-voice greetings and conversation, taking care to wipe it off between users.

This will be a holiday season like none other we've experienced, but I know our community is committed to taking care of each other.

Thank you for doing all we can to slow the spread of the virus.

John Gioia
Supervisor, District One 
Contra Costa County 
11780 San Pablo Avenue, Suite D 
El Cerrito, CA  94530 
510-231-8686 Phone