Contra Costa Moves to State's Strictest COVID-19 Purple Tier
Most of the state also moves to purple tier as virus surges
Today, Governor Newsom sounded the alarm in our battle against COVID-19.
He said: "California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet - faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer. The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes."
The Governor announced that 40 of the state's 58 counties are moving back into the most restrictive purple tier of California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy since cases have doubled in the past 10 days. Here in Contra Costa we've seen both positive cases and hospitalizations significantly increase as well.
The return to the purple tier comes with some additional requirements for businesses and community activities not imposed in Contra Costa since summer.
This change reflects an escalating risk that health experts see in recent COVID-19 data, in the county, state, country, and globe.
The adjusted average daily number of new COVID-19 cases in Contra Costa has doubled in recent weeks, rising from 4.3 per 100,000 population on October 16 to 9.2 on November 16.
The average daily percentage of COVID-19 tests that return positive in Contra Costa has also increased sharply, from 1.9% on October 16 to 3.6% on November 16.
Health officials are also closely monitoring the number of people hospitalized in Contra Costa because of COVID-19, as a large surge in patients could overwhelm the local healthcare system. There were 21 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Contra Costa on October 16, compared to 48 on November 16.
To prevent unnecessary illness and death in our community, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) urges residents to take the safety requirements seriously and consider what they can do to reduce the risk of infection to themselves and their families - such as wearing face coverings whenever they leave home.
Growing evidence shows that simple cloth face coverings can significantly
reduce the spread of COVID-19, providing some protection to the wearer and, more importantly, protecting people near a wearer who is infectious but does not yet know they are sick.
Contra Costa moved into the red tier just last week from the orange tier. The state today changed its guidelines to expedite movement of counties into more restrictive tiers in response to the growing public health crisis.
Changes caused by the state's action today include:
Social gatherings involving people from different households are permitted outdoors only, with a maximum of three households andno more than25 people, preferably for less than two hours. Note: This means holiday celebrations including Thanksgiving must be held outdoors!
K-12 schools may not reopen for in-person instruction unless they have already begun to do so.
Worship services and cultural ceremonies must now be held outdoors only.
Higher education institutions must move indoor lectures and student gatherings outdoors only.
Movie theaters may operate outdoors only.
Museums and exhibit spaces may open outdoors only.
Gyms must be outdoors.
Outdoor dining only at restaurants.
For a complete list of purple tier restrictions on activities check the state's website here.
We must continue our vigilance during these challenging times to protect our health and the health of our families, friends, neighbors and communities. Those most vulnerable, including seniors, benefit the most from our vigilance.
Thank you for working to keep our communities safe.