Contra Costa Brings Mobile COVID-19 Vaccine Service to Businesses, Organizations
Businesses and community organizations in Contra Costa can now request visits from Contra Costa Health Services’ (CCHS) mobile COVID-19 vaccination van to workplaces, community centers and other locations where five or more members of a group want to receive vaccine.
The free mobile vaccination service begins Monday. Any business or organization can request a mobile vaccination clinic using an online form if they are in the county and CCHS will send a mobile health van to provide free vaccinations on site within one week after completing the request.
“The state pandemic health orders that have affected businesses, public spaces and community activities for more than a year are changing on June 15 – especially for people who are fully vaccinated,” said Dr. Ori Tzvieli, deputy health officer for Contra Costa County. “If you do not already have the best protection available against COVID-19, now is the time to get a vaccine. We will come to you.”
Clinics operate weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will only travel to locations within the county, though they will vaccinate anyone eligible regardless of where they live. There is no cap on the number of people who can be vaccinated during a visit.
California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy sunsets on June 15, eliminating the color-tiered system of health orders that curtailed business and community activities based on the levels of COVID-19 transmission data in each county.
The state will no longer require people who are fully vaccinated to wear face coverings except in certain settings, including public transit, schools, healthcare facilities and shelters though private businesses may enact their own COVID-19 safety policies. Visit the CCHS Beyond the Blueprint page for details.
As of Thursday, June 3, 74.7 percent of Contra Costa residents ages 12 and older have been partially vaccinated and 65 percent are fully vaccinated.
This is higher then the state average - 65.9 percent of Californians have at least one vaccine dose. This is great progress, but the pandemic is not over yet. Contra Costa Health Services encourages everyone ages 12 and older to get a safe, effective, no-cost vaccine.
We still have a ways to go before Contra Costa County is fully vaccinated which is why we will be hosting vaccine distributions in Bay Point, Pittsburg, and Rodeo this June. With the support of Contra Costa Health Services and Kaiser Permanente, we are able to bring the vaccine to your neighborhood. Please view the flyers for more information about the vaccine distributions.
The Price of Liberty: A Memorial Day Greeting
Once again, we welcome another Memorial Day—a day that engenders both somber reflection on the lives given in service to our country as well as gratitude-filled celebration of the fruits of their sacrifice that we, our children, and our children’s children enjoy.
I believe most of us understand that the decision to enter military service often has far reaching consequences that go beyond deployment. It often means short- or long-term separation from family. And service members even encounter financial challenges. But no matter how aware we are of the cost, we are never prepared for the loss of a young soldier. We understand that service cannot be rendered without sacrifice. Peace cannot be maintained without a premium. Liberty cannot be sustained without a levy. Yet each loss shakes the most patriotic Americans to the core our souls.
This Memorial Day I wish that I could harvest the power of the universe and bring all conflict to an end. But the reality is, those who have lost their lives in service to this country made only deposits towards to our liberty. Freedom is not achieved with a one-time payment. Sadly, there are yet others who from time to time will have to make the payments required to keep the Bell of Liberty ringing for the next generation of Americans. We do not love war, but we love liberty. We do not love to fight, but we love freedom. And I fear the cost of holding on to what we value does not diminish with time.
So how then do we honor those who made the deposit and may yet be called upon to continue the payments?
First, we honor them by ensuring that the liberty they bought at so great a price is granted to every American, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, age or any other real or perceived differentiator. We honor them by avoiding the slippery slope of picking and choosing who is deserving of rights, and making sure that every American, and those within the sphere of our influence, are treated with dignity, equality, equity, and justice.
Second, we honor them by making sure that those who fought and served by their sides, but survived - perhaps with physical and emotional scars - are treated with dignity. It’s unconscionable that we send a young man or a young woman off to war, and when they return, damaged by the experience of making that liberty payment for us, we behave as if they’re a burden. Yes, we have Veteran’s Affairs departments. And we have periodic events where we extol the virtue of them having served. But when it comes down to making sure they have access to services without bureaucratic red tape, we often complain about the cost. How ironic that they made the payments for our liberty, and we question the payment for their care.
My heart bursts with gratitude today for those who made the deposit and for those who continue to make the payments so that the star-spangled banner yet waves, “o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
COVID-19 Adult Ambassadors
Help Ramp Up Vaccinations
Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS), under the direction of Anna Roth, RN, MS, MPH, has developed an innovative outreach strategy aimed at ramping up COVID-19 vaccines across the county. As part of the outreach strategy, Director Roth and her team created a program where individuals who are trained as “community ambassadors” are deployed across three divisions of the county (East, Central, West) and focus on hard-to-reach communities, registering residents for vaccines. Ambassadors in the three divisions are supervised on a day-to-day basis by three project coordinators who report to the program manager, Ernesto De La Torre, MS.
East Contra Costa County has had a number of challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, with communities like Bay Point disproportionately affected. This reality has clearly not been lost to CCHS since the East County ambassadors, led by their coordinator Nicola Ifill-Fraser, Ed.D., MPH, have been actively engaged with both the District 5 and District 3 supervisors’ offices.
On Wednesday, April 21, Supervisor Glover and his staff visited one of the vaccination clinics hosted by Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Pittsburg. Pastor Maurice Bates had been working closely with CCHS Assistant Director and Chief Equity Officer, Gilbert Salinas, MPA, to bring the on-site vaccine clinic to fruition. However, as Pastor Bates reported, the groundwork of Dr. Ifill-Fraser’s East County ambassador team and volunteers from Mt. Zion Baptist Church, was critical to engaging community members and signing them up for the vaccines. They knocked on doors. They stood in parking lots. They did what was necessary to get the vaccines into arms.
During Supervisor Glover’s visit, he had the opportunity to meet and be photographed with the team. He also met with and thanked the wonderfully dedicated members of the Contra Costa County Medical Reserve Corp who administered the vaccines under the coordination of Ruth Raisner, MPH, Senior Emergency Planning Coordinator.
Here are some photos from the Mt. Zion Baptist Church vaccine clinic. Supervisor Glover was delighted to be photographed with a 100-year-old constituent, who accompanied by her daughter, went to the site to get her first dose of the vaccine.
Success with vaccine outreach requires a team of purpose driven individuals ranging from Director Roth to Deputy Director Salinas to Project Manager De La Torre. Yet, the value of the ground team—the COVID-19 adult ambassadors and the project coordinators—cannot be overstated. We certainly owe them a debt of gratitude for their hard work.
On March 27, working in collaboration with Pittsburg’s New Destiny Church, we organized and participated in another event that assembled bottles of hand sanitizer and packaged them with masks. The hand sanitizer and masks are being distributed to those in need throughout District 5.
I want to take a moment and thank the New Destiny Church, local volunteers who took time out of their day to help us, Pittsburg Mayor Merl Craft and Pittsburg Councilmembers Shanelle Scales and Jelani Killings. I am also appreciative of Contra Costa Health Services adult ambassadors who joined us that day to assemble the packages.
After we assembled the hand sanitizer and masks, we began to distribute throughout District 5. The photo on the left is the Eva Garcia and Ce Ce Venezuela receiving the hand sanitizer and masks at Ambrose Community Center. On the bottom left is Gaunt Murdock with the Crockett Community Services District and on the bottom right is Charles Miller with the John Swett Unified School District.
Help Prevent Illegal Dumping
Bye Bye Mattress is a program that recycles old mattress and box springs. If you have old mattresses that you no longer need and are looking to dispose of them, then I would recommend that you contact Bye Bye Mattress. Bye Bye Mattress can be reached by visiting their website HERE.
The program was established by law and is operated by Mattress Recycling Council, a nonprofit that uses a recycling fee collected on each mattress and box spring sold, making recycling easier in our communities. It is important that we properly recycle mattresses because recycling mattresses diverts millions of pounds of material from landfills and turns into other useful products instead. Plus, it helps our community deter illegal dumping.
Contra Costa Health Services Opens Neighborhood COVID-19 Vaccination Site at Bay Point Family Health Center
Residents in East Contra Costa County have another option – close to home – to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
The Bay Point Family Health Center, at 215 Pacifica Ave. in Bay Point, began vaccinating Contra Costa residents aged 65 or older and healthcare workers on February 18 to increase local vaccine availability in some of the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
The new clinic in Bay Point provides an easy-to-access option for residents with limited access to transportation and allows CCHS to be present where people need our services.
Appointments are required and can be booked online at coronavirus.cchealth.org/get-vaccinated or by calling 833-829-2626. Appointments are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and CCHS can provide as many as 200 vaccinations per day at the site.
You can make an appointment for yourself or help someone who is eligible. CCHS encourages everyone to reach out to their loved ones and neighbors and to help them make an appointment. Learn how at our Help Your Neighbor page.
We want everyone in our community to be safe and get back to hugging our families and friends and shaking hands with our neighbors. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine adds one more layer of protection for you, your family, and all of us.