May 21, 2020
Retail Establishments May Partially Open
Thanks to progress made in containing the spread of COVID-19, Contra Costa County will relax restrictions in its shelter-in-place order to allow retail stores and their suppliers to reopen.

Beginning May 19th, retail stores in Contra Costa County are permitted to offer curbside sales or other outdoor pickups of orders as long as they abide by certain safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Stores may not display merchandise for sale on tables or otherwise outside the stores.
  • Customers may not enter the store or interior of any indoor shopping mall.
  • Stores must also employ reasonable measures to require customers to comply with social distancing requirements at the pickup areas, including marking locations at six-foot intervals for customers to stand while waiting in line.

“While this is not a return to normal, it is one step in that direction” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County’s health officer. “We will be closely monitoring the effects of allowing curbside retail on the spread of COVID-19 in the community.”

Contra Costa will also allow businesses that manufacture retail goods and provide warehousing or logistical support to retail stores to operate, but they must limit the number of staff in enclosed areas so that personnel can comply with social distancing requirements.

The changes mark a shift from allowing people only to shop at essential businesses, such as grocery stores and pharmacies. Dr. Farnitano said encouraging progress has been made in the two weeks since the most recent shelter-in-place order in reaching five goals or “ indicators ” went into effect:

  1. The number of new cases of COVID-19 has been stable or decreasing, even with increased testing
  2. The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is stable, and we have adequate hospital capacity. As of May 17, there were 19 COVID-positive patients in Contra Costa hospitals – down from a high of 44 in mid-April
  3. More COVID-19 tests are being performed in our region each day
  4. Hospitals are reporting improved supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), though shortages continue in other healthcare settings
  5. There is increased capacity for case investigation and contact tracing

Residents are still required by health order to stay home as much as possible, wear face coverings when they leave home, and to follow the precautions that have helped Contra Costa make progress to slow the spread of COVID-19, such as regular hand-washing and social distancing.

COVID-19 continues to pose a very significant risk to our communities, and continued vigilance is necessary to ensure that we do not see an increase in spread as more activities resume.
Get Tested.
.
By appointment only
Call 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., 7 days a week

Anyone living in Contra Costa County can get a test for COVID-19 ( click to read press release ) thanks, in part, by the generous support of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
 
There is no up-front cost for testing. You do not need medical insurance to get tested, however, if you have health insurance, your insurance will be billed. 
 
You can get a test at sites around the county or by calling your healthcare provider. You do not need a doctor’s note to schedule a test but you must make an appointment. 
County Department Closures and Service Modifications
As the county continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, many non-essential county functions from across departments have been temporarily modified to comply with the Bay Area-wide Shelter in Place Order.

Please Click Here for the most current information regarding closures and service modifications for County Departments
2020 Graduation Guidelines
As the end of the school-year approaches, health officials in Contra Costa County are urging schools to host virtual graduation ceremonies online instead of in-person celebrations in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"We recognize the need for people to connect and celebrate," said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County's health officer. "However, gatherings like graduation ceremonies are a major contributor to the spread of COVID-19."

Schools have been closed since March when county health officials issued a shelter in place order requiring people to stay home as much as possible and practice social distancing in public. Classes have since been held virtually with students studying from home online.

"We are all thinking of the high school seniors in our county and others who will be missing out on the traditional graduation and promotion ceremonies that signify an important rite of passage," said Lynn Mackey, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools.

"I am truly grateful that Contra Costa Health Services is providing this guidance so that schools can work within a set of parameters to still plan for and create meaningful graduations."
For schools who are unable to hold virtual graduations, Contra Costa Health Services has  issued guidance  on how to hold in-person ceremonies safely.

One option is a drive-through ceremony where students can pick up their diplomas with their parents and siblings in the car (up to six people). One family at a time will be allowed to approach a graduation table/station where their student would receive a diploma. Attendees would need to wear masks or face coverings.

Another option recommended by health officials involves a small group of 25 students or fewer. In this scenario, students would wear masks, stay six feet apart and practice social distancing. This ceremony would not include the parents/caregivers of the students or their extended families, but it could be filmed for them to view at a later time.

School districts with questions about safety graduation ceremony logistics should contact the  Contra Costa County Office of Education .
What’s the difference between
211 and Information & Assistance?
There are lots of resources available to the people of Contra Costa County. However, people don’t always know how to find them.

In any part of California, you can call 211 for information about lots of resources.

But, did you also know that Information & Assistance ( 1-800-510-2020) is a resource hotline especially for seniors?

Here’s what you need to know about the two numbers.

211 Contra Costa
The  Contra Costa Crisis Center  runs the 211 hotline. That means that if you call 211 in Contra Costa County, you will be directed to a 24-hour hotline. The people who answer are trained in crisis management, including if you are in a mental health crisis. 211 has no age or income limits. They also know about a lot of resources for meeting basic needs, including:
  • Shelter and housing
  • Food assistance
  • Mental health
  • Family support
  • Health and dental care
  • Financial services
  • Legal Services
  • Education and job training
  • Seniors and disabled adults

Click here to check out the 211 database online.
Additionally, you can text “HOPE” to 20121 to get in touch with a Crisis Center counselor. The Crisis Center also has a Mobile Grief Response Team for grief and crisis counseling at schools and businesses following a death or disaster.
Information & Assistance
The  Information & Assistance helpline also provides referrals for many services in Contra Costa.  However, the services are specifically for seniors, adults with disabilities, and caregivers.

Contra Costa’s Department of Employment & Human Services runs the helpline.

The main number for Information & Assistance is 1-800-510-2020, which is the Senior Information Line for all California through the Department of Aging. You can call that number from anywhere in California to reach similar services.  The helpline operates Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Information & Assistance can help you find:
  • Support groups for caregivers of seniors or disabled adults
  • Information on health issues related to aging
  • Housing resource listings, including low-cost housing
  • Information on special transportation services
  • Emergency food resources and nutrition sites
  • Resources to help with utility payments
  • Employment and/or volunteer opportunities
  • Resources for hiring in-home help
  • Resources for Adult Day Care for caregiver respite
  • Medicare counseling referrals
  • Resources for emergency response systems and disaster preparedness
  • Resources for government and veterans’ benefits programs

To reach Information & Assistance:
Interactive Map to Access Food and Resources.
Multi-Benefit Flood Control, Creek Restoration, and Public Recreation Project to Begin May 18, 2020
3 creeks
A bright new chapter for Brentwood’s Marsh Creek and area residents starts soon, as construction crews begin working on a multi-benefit flood control, creek restoration, and public recreation project that will make the creek an even greater asset to the local community.

The effort will plant trees and vegetation along a nearly one-mile, treeless stretch of Marsh Creek near downtown Brentwood, to improve habitat and water quality for fish and birds and to create a shady, natural creek corridor for residents to enjoy while making sure the community and infrastructure are protected from floods.

The project will improve approximately 4,000 linear feet of Marsh Creek at the confluence of Deer and Sand Creek (the three creeks) by widening the channel and planting native vegetation.

A shady parkway setting will be planted entirely with California native plants and trees to enhance the trail-user experience. A pedestrian underpass will be built under Central Boulevard, so trail users do not have to cross the busy street when using the Marsh Creek Regional Trail.

Contra Costa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District in partnership with American Rivers, a nonprofit organization ( www.americanrivers.org ), is beginning construction on the Three Creeks Parkway Restoration Project. This project is located along the Marsh Creek channel and adjacent areas from Sungold Park to Dainty Avenue.

Construction work will take place within Flood Control District and City of Brentwood properties starting on May 18, 2020 through December, 2020 between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, weather permitting.
The Marsh Creek Trail within the project area will be closed during construction. A detour route will be provided.

The work to be performed consists, in general, of excavating creek channel banks, constructing abutments for a future pedestrian bridge, installing rock slope protection, installing an irrigation system, and other related work needed to widen the Marsh Creek channel. Social Distancing Protocol will be established and maintained during construction for the duration of the County Health Order.

“This is an exciting step in an important project that will improve wildlife habitat, water quality and flood control. Once completed, people accessing the Marsh Creek trail will see a landscape that will be even more interesting and interactive. During these trying times it is nice to see people get back to work. I urge people to be aware of the detour on the trail and to be patient,” said Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis. “The great news is we will see a new restoration project completed on our beloved creek by the end of the year.”

“The Three Creeks Parkway Restoration Project is a great example of the strong collaboration in East County between local agencies,” added Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor. “It’s been a long time coming, and I’m glad to see this work move forward so that we can continue to connect trails for residents to enjoy.”
“Being able to enjoy, connect with and care for nature in urban areas is more important than ever. Having vibrant, beautiful parks and greenspace nearby is vital to health, happiness and well-being.

This project will restore the creek for all to enjoy, and is part of restoring a vital riparian corridor between the eastern flanks of Mount Diablo and the Delta” said Amy Merrill with American Rivers.
Census2020 and COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic and shelter in place guidelines have impacted Census Bureau field operations and Census outreach activities. 

The Census Bureau issued a Statement on 2020 Census Operational Adjustments due to COVID-19 indicated the Census Bureau is seeking statutory relief from Congress to allow for an additional 120 calendar days to deliver appropriation counts. This plan would extend the window for field data collection and self-response to October 31, 2020, which will allow for apportionment counts to be delivered to the President by April 30, 2021, and redistricting data to be delivered to the states no later than July 31, 2021. 

Clerk-Recorder Offering Online Wedding Ceremonies!