Contra Costa County is urging residents and businesses to continue practicing health safety measures and avoiding risky activities after California lifted its regional stay-at-home order today in the Bay Area.
The state order helped the region meet the deadly surge in COVID-19 infections following the winter holiday season. But per capita, the adjusted average number of new infections reported every day in Contra Costa was 46.2 in the last week – nearly seven times the threshold for a county to enter the purple tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
“Under no circumstances should anyone view the state action today as a reason to let down their guard. We have made progress, but we need to continue what we are doing to keep our families and communities safe,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County health officer. “It is just common sense.”
The state lifted the order Monday morning, effective immediately.
Health guidelines regarding physical distancing and use of face coverings outside the home remain in effect, as do occupancy caps for indoor businesses and requirements limiting close-contact gatherings of people from different households. Check the state’s web page for industry-specific guidance.
Some significant changes resulting from Contra Costa’s return to the purple tier include:
Restaurants may offer outdoor dining, following the state health guidelines.
Hair salons, barber shops and personal services that do not involve close contact with the face, such as nail salons, may reopen following state health guidelines.
Outdoor social gatherings involving 25 or fewer people, from three or fewer different households, are now permitted.
The purpose of the state’s regional stay-at-home order was to slow COVID-19 transmission to protect the intensive care unit (ICU) bed capacity of hospitals and healthcare systems from overwhelming medical surge.
Staffed ICU beds in Contra Costa hospitals continue to see heavy use, with 137 of 163 beds occupied on Saturday, including both COVID-19 patients and patients with other major health problems. All hospitals in the county remain on contingency care status, and most elective surgeries continue to be postponed.
“Our county continues to experience a winter surge in COVID-19 transmission,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County health officer. “While we are making progress in vaccinating our most vulnerable residents, we are still weeks or months away from seeing the effects of immunization in our community.”
Contra Costa has kicked off a countywide drive to provide 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by July 4. County residents who are older than 75 can now get a vaccination appointment by calling 1-833-829-2626 or using Contra Costa Heath Services (CCHS) online request form at cchealth.org/coronavirus. The county expects to extend vaccine eligibility to more people in coming weeks.