Motel 6 to be repurposed through a California Homekey Grant; site of Gov. Newsom’s press conference about Project Roomkey in June
A 174-room motel in Pittsburg now sheltering homeless Contra Costa residents at high risk from COVID-19 will become a permanent service hub to help county residents transition into stable living situations, thanks to a $21.5 million state grant.
Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) rented rooms at the Motel 6 at 2101 Loveridge Road in Pittsburg to provide temporary housing through the state’s Project Roomkey program, which funded hotel rooms for residents who could not effectively isolate themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic because they had lost their housing. Gov. Newsom held a press conference at the motel about the program on June 30th. (See related article)
Homekey, the state’s follow-up program, will commit $17.4 million toward the county’s purchase and renovation of the motel, for a cost of $100,000 per room. The state will provide another $4.17 million toward staffing and operating the former motel as temporary housing for county residents experiencing homelessness, with on-site healthcare and behavioral health services, meals and assistance connecting with the services they need to regain housing.
“We are proud to partner with California in our work to provide safe, sustainable services for vulnerable members of our community,” said Candace Andersen, chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.
There were only 20 shelter beds available in East County for more than 500 people living outside there in January 2020, most in Antioch and Pittsburg. The county’s most recent homeless point-in-time count showed that 33 percent of residents living outside in Contra Costa were in East County, compared to 27 percent recorded there during the 2019 count.
CCHS will add the new East County CARE Center and interim housing program to its network of homeless service centers, shelters and outreach programs, helping to address an acute shortage of those services in the area.
“This is a great start toward the building services and resources East County needs to address homelessness,” said Contra Costa Supervisor Federal Glover, whose district includes the site. “There is a critical need for this project in our community.”
The grant includes funding for case management, housing navigation services, meals and a robust peer support program, among other services.
“The funding allows us to accelerate our efforts to provide shelter for people living without housing in the eastern region of our county,” said Lavonna Martin, CCHS’s Director of Heath, Housing and Homeless Services. “This project creates a new interim housing option that allows for a greater degree of privacy and flexibility in household configurations we can serve, with the critical services and supports they need to regain permanent housing.”
Motel 6 was one of four in Contra Costa contracted to shelter vulnerable residents who had no housing early in the COVID-19 pandemic, partially funded by California’s Project Roomkey. CCHS is now renting 494 rooms at these motels to house people experiencing homelessness, including more than 200 people at Motel 6 who will continue to receive services and progress toward self-sufficiency under Homekey.
Visit cchealth.org/h3 for recent data about homelessness in Contra Costa County. Annual point-in-time count information is available in the Data Reports section.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.
Former LMC President Dr. Raúl Rodríguez withdraws from consideration; public forums via Zoom begin today
By Timothy Leong, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa Community College District
MARTINEZ, California – The Contra Costa Community College District (District) Governing Board has decided to move forward with only one finalist, Dr. Bryan Reece, for the next permanent Chancellor opportunity. The other finalist, Dr. Raúl Rodríguez, withdrew from the process after accepting an offer to extend his contract as Hartnell College’s interim President/Superintendent Tuesday night. The Governing Board agreed to complete the search process out of respect for all the hard work done over the past several months by the selection committee and community.
Public forums for Dr. Reece will be conducting via Zoom and recorded at each college and the District Office on Thursday, September 17, 2020, beginning at 12:30 p.m. The public forums will last approximately 45 minutes each, and are open to the community, students, faculty and staff. A detailed public forum schedule, links to the public forums, and information on how to submit a question to be asked will be available on the District website at www.4cd.edu.
For those who are unable to join the September 17 public forums, links to all 4 recorded Zoom sessions will be made available on the District website. A comment box has also been created to submit your input that will be shared with the Governing Board for their consideration.
Following the public forums, the Governing Board will conduct a final interview with Dr. Reece in closed session on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, and is expected to announce a decision soon thereafter. If the Governing Board decides to offer the permanent chancellor opportunity to Dr. Reece, contract negotiations will begin. At their regularly scheduled public meeting on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, the Governing Board will vote on the final contract and employ the District’s next permanent chancellor.
The Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) is one of the largest multi-college community college districts in California. The CCCCD serves a population of 1,019,640 people, and its boundaries encompass all but 48 of the 734-square-mile land area of Contra Costa County. The District is home to Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, as well as educational centers in Brentwood and San Ramon. The District headquarters is located in downtown Martinez.Read More
Gioia makes his support conditional on reviewing county jail facilities for closure
Includes funding for the Sheriff’s Office to hire 24 deputies for mental health duties at Martinez jail
By Daniel Borsuk
On the same day Contra Costa County taxpayers were pinched with a new $3.6 billion 2020-2021 fiscal year budget, supervisors also unanimously approved on Tuesday a County Clerk-Recorder’s request to boost 2021 election ballot printing and mailing costs an additional $1.8 million to a new payment limit of $6 million.
“This is going to be the costliest election year that I have experienced in my 25 year -career,” Assistant Registrar of Voters Scott O. Konopasek said in reference to the upcoming Presidential election and how the county’s contract extension with K&H Printers-Lithographers, Inc. to print and mail ballots and election pamphlets will alarmingly rise again by $8 million for elections held in 2021.
Konopasek said Governor Gavin Newsom’s Emergency Order instructing California counties election officials to mail ballots to every registered voter for the November election means an additional 160,000 Contra Costa voters, or 25 percent of all registered voters, will receive ballots in the mail thereby driving up costs linked to printing and mailing. That Emergency Order applies to any and all elections conducted in 2021.
While supervisors ignored the Registrar of Voters expense item, they unanimously approved the $3.6 billion 2020-2021 budget that garnered the support of all the supervisors, including Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond, who several weeks ago had said he would vote against the budget when it was ready for formal adoption. He said he now supports the budget provided supervisors study the closure of the Marsh Creek detention facility, and to have a study conducted on the future of the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility in Byron and Juvenile Hall in Martinez.
When Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill questioned Gioia why he switched his initial negative vote on the budget, Gioia responded, “I support the county budget as a whole that is over $3 billion and as long as these three issues – Marsh Creek, Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility and Juvenile Hall are studied and come back to the supervisors for consideration.”
County Administrator David Twa said supervisors can expect Covid-19 related costs to continue to increase over the next 12 to 24 months. The county spent $131 million overall in Covid-19 connected expenses because it operates a hospital, health services for the homeless, provides Covid-19 testing and numerous other public health services.
Twa said operating costs will increase $28.4 million because of the newly opened County Administration Building and the Emergency Operations Center/Public Safety Building, both located in Martinez.
Supervisors provided funding for the Sheriff’s Office request to hire 24 deputies for the Martinez jail to handle mental health duties, a budget item that met public criticism especially in the summer aftermath of the George Floyd murder case.
Because of rising expenses, the county has placed on the November ballot a half-cent sales tax measure, Proposition X, that county officials counts on to generate new revenues, some $81 million a year for 20 years to fund hospitals, health centers, childhood services, and other community services.Read More
Three in Concord, one in Antioch
By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Office of the Contra Costa County District Attorney
Martinez, Calif. – Today, Tuesday, September 15, 2020 the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office is announcing three homicide cold cases, involving multiple defendants who are gang members affiliated with the Sureños, were filed recently. The gang violence was focused in South Concord and near Monument Boulevard. This successful effort was due to the years-long investigation and operation led by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and local partners, including Concord Police, FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office of Northern California, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms along with our Office. Two cases were filed last week, and one was filed yesterday, totaling four homicides involving 11 defendants. (See related article)
One of the homicides occurred in Antioch, and the victim was from Pittsburg, (See related article). The other three of the homicides occurred in Concord.
Operation Boulevard Blues culminated in a major law enforcement operation last Thursday that resulted in the arrest of 31 individuals and involved 31 different law enforcement agencies. Thirty-four search warrants were executed in multiple locations across Contra Costa County and 42 firearms were recovered. The details of the operation were announced earlier this morning with our federal partners.
“Our local efforts working collaboratively with our law enforcement partners, especially Concord Police, will keep our community safer and take violent gang members off the streets of Concord,” said District Attorney Diana Becton. “This successful operation started with a wiretap and led to multiple gang members involved in senseless murders and violence being arrested. While these cases were not solved right away, Concord Police and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force did not give up and fortunately we can bring some closure to the victims’ families.”
Overall, the DA’s Office filed three separate homicide complaints involving the following gang members of the Sureños – all of the alleged four homicides were done for the benefit of the gang:
- People v. Michael Valdez, Andrew Cervantes, Daniel Rodriguez, Docket Number 01-194377-8
o Victim is Marcos Villazon of Pittsburg, Date of Alleged Murder is November 21, 2015 in Antioch
o Victim is Luis Estrada, Date of Alleged Murder is November 30, 2015 in Concord
- People v. Rafael Lopez & Juan Barocio Jr., Docket Number 01-194379-4
o Victim is Victor Gutierrez, Date of Alleged Murder is April 17, 2014 in Concord
- People v. Jose Cisneros, Marcos Ochoa, Luis Cruz, Aurelia Mendez, Antonio Mendez, Jose Ochoa, Docket Number 01-194418-0
o Victim is Erick Cruz, Date of Alleged Murder is September 12, 2015 in Concord
The criminal investigations because of this operation are still active and ongoing. All of the defendants charged by the DA’s Office remain in custody.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.
Violated state environmental protection laws
By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County District Attorney
Martinez, Calif. – Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton announced Monday, a $1.43 million settlement against Kelly-Moore Paint Company (Kelly-Moore) to resolve allegations that the company violated California state laws governing hazardous waste by routinely and illegally disposing of paint colorants, paint, electronic devices, aerosol products, and other hazardous wastes into company waste bins destined for municipal landfills not authorized to accept hazardous waste. The lawsuit also resolves allegations that Kelly-Moore failed to shred customer records containing confidential information before disposal.
“My office will always strive to protect the environment and public health by holding companies accountable for violating our environmental laws. This settlement not only acts as a deterrent against other potential violators but more importantly contains injunctive provisions to ensure Kelly Moore will maintain environmental compliance into the foreseeable future.,” stated Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton.
Kelly-Moore is a retail paint company in North America. In California the company owns or operates approximately 106 retail stores, including nine stores in Contra Costa County as part of this settlement.
The investigation of Kelly-Moore was initiated by the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC). From March 2016 through December 2018, inspectors from the DTSC, and investigators from other district attorney offices statewide, conducted a series of undercover inspections of waste bins originating at 29 separate Kelly-Moore locations. These inspections found numerous instances of unlawful disposal of hazardous waste paint colorants, paint, electronic devices, aerosol products, and other hazardous wastes. Kelly-Moore also violated laws meant to protect vulnerable confidential consumer information by unlawfully disposing of customer records without having rendered personal information unreadable.
When Kelly-Moore officials were notified by the prosecutors of the unlawful disposals, they immediately agreed to cooperate with the People and promptly implemented measures and dedicated additional resources towards environmental compliance at its stores. Stores are required to properly manage hazardous waste and to retain their waste in segregated, labeled containers to minimize the risk of exposure to employees and customers and to ensure that incompatible wastes do not combine to cause dangerous chemical reactions. Hazardous waste produced by Kelly-Moore stores through damage, spills, and returns is being collected by state-registered haulers, taken to proper disposal facilities, and properly documented and accounted for.
The settlement requires a monetary payment of $1.43 million. This consists of $825,000 for civil penalties, $178,750 for supplemental environmental projects, and $425,000 for reimbursement of investigative and enforcement costs. Kelly-Moore gets a credit of $125,000 against the penalties if it undertakes at least $250,000 in environmental enhancement work not required by law. In addition, the settlement includes provisions requiring Kelly-Moore to employ a California-based compliance employee to oversee Kelly-Moore’s hazardous waste compliance program and to undergo a trash receptacle audit to ensure hazardous wastes and confidential consumer information is properly disposed of at all stores. The results of the audit must be shared with the public. The company must also comply with 28 injunctive requirements pertaining to environmental and confidential consumer information protection laws.
Joining District Attorney Becton in this lawsuit are the District Attorneys of Alameda, Monterey, Placer, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma and Yolo Counties.Read More
WHAT: The Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Commission seeks applicants for four open seats.
The commission is a voluntary body appointed by the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors that makes policy recommendations to the board and county staff regarding hazardous materials and hazardous waste.
WHO: The commission’s 14 members and alternates serve four-year terms and include representatives of industry, labor, civic groups, environmental organizations, environmental engineers, the public and the Contra Costa Mayors Conference.
The current openings are for a representative from an environmental organization and one alternate, and the Environmental Justice seat, for a member of a county community disproportionately impacted by hazardous materials releases, and one alternate.
All candidates must live or work in Contra Costa County, have a demonstrated interest in hazardous materials issues and an understanding and commitment to the principles of environmental justice as defined in county policy. Candidates must be able to commit to one to two meetings per month, or to fill in as needed for alternates.
Candidates for the Environmental seat must be nominated by an environmental organization.
WHEN: Mail completed applications to the Clerk of the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, 651 Pine St., First Floor, Martinez, CA 94553. Applications must be received by September 30.
Interviews for qualified applicants will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 9, by Zoom or telephone.
HOW: For an application form or more information, contact Michael Kent, the executive assistant to the commission at 925-250-3227. Applications are also available online or from the Clerk of the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, 651 Pine Street, First Floor, in Martinez.
Alleged Sureños used Concord shopping center as “One-Stop Shop” for guns and drugs
Confiscated over 70 firearms, including a machine gun, AK-47 with 100 round drum, over $50,000 in cash, about 10 pounds of methamphetamine, over 400 grams of heroin, over 2,500 grams of cocaine and over 900 fentanyl pills – Concord Police Dept.
4 homicides solved as a result, three in Concord, one in Antioch
SAN FRANCISCO – Complaints were unsealed in federal court today charging 15 individuals with trafficking drugs and firearms in connection with the Sureños street gang, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson, ATF Special Agent in Charge Patrick Gorman, FBI Deputy Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair, DEA Special Agent in Charge Danny Comeaux, and Concord Police Chief Mark Bustillos.
According to affidavits filed in connection with the complaints, multiple individuals affiliated with the Sureños street gang are alleged to have conspired to sell methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and firearms. According to the complaint, the alleged sales occurred across Contra Costa County, but primarily in Concord, with numerous transactions occurring in a shopping center parking lot at 1500 Monument Boulevard. According to the complaint, Sureño gang members claimed control over this shopping center, referring to it as “The Block” or “The Box,” and described it to undercover officers as a kind of “one-stop shop” for guns and drugs.
“Today’s charges explode the myth of the non-violent drug dealer,” said U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson. “Drugs are expensive. Drugs are dangerous. Where we find drugs, we almost always find guns. What is particularly appalling about today’s charges is that the defendants did not even bother to hide the guns or drugs. Rather, the defendants allegedly peddled their products in broad daylight in public spaces.”
The following was posted on the Concord Police Department’s Facebook page on Tuesday morning: “We’re proud to announce Concord PD recently led a large scale multi-agency anti-violence operation that resulted in multiple arrests, including arrests connected to several unsolved murders.
Operation “Boulevard Blues” ended Thursday morning with 30 search warrants executed across Solano, Sonoma, and Contra Costa Counties. Nine of those warrants were conducted in Concord. The focus of the investigation was the Sureño gang along Monument Blvd.
Our operations resulted in over 26 individuals charged with state and/or federal charges that include murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, illegal weapons, and gang violations.
‘Boulevard Blues’ resulted in solving 4 murders (three in Concord and one in Antioch).
- 2014: Victor Gutierrez on Adelaide Street
- 2015: Erick Cruz on Meadow Lane
- 2015: Luis Estrada at Hillcrest Park
- 2015: Homicide that occurred in Antioch
In addition, the operation recovered over 70 firearms, including a machine gun, an AK-47 with 100 round drum, suspected firearm suppressors, ammunition, over $50,000 in cash, approximately 10 pounds of methamphetamine, over 400 grams of heroin, over 2,500 grams of cocaine and over 900 fentanyl pills.
As always, keeping our community safe remains a priority for our department. We want to thank our community for your unwavering support and cooperation.”
“Throughout this investigation, ATF has worked side by side with our partners to fulfill ATF’s mission of protecting the public by investigating the criminal misuse and trafficking of firearms in the Contra Costa county area,” said Special Agent in Charge Patrick Gorman, San Francisco Field Division, ATF. “In April 2019, ATF began working with the Concord Police Department and then with other agencies to address problematic gang activity that was occurring within Contra Costa county. Law enforcement partnerships create an unwavering unified front against violent crime and this collaborative effort between local and federal agencies is evidence of our shared focus. ATF remains committed to working hard and doing our part to make this region a safer place as our pledge to protect the public is one ATF takes very seriously.”
“This operation exemplifies the dedication of the FBI and our task force partners to disrupt dangerous gang activity and remove the threat of criminals who endanger our neighborhoods,” said FBI Deputy Special Agent in Charge Craig Fair. “We are committed to improving the quality of life in our Bay Area communities and ensuring the safety of our citizens.”
“Nobody wins in a community where street gang activity exists. It threatens public safety and the security of our neighborhoods,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux. “These indictments send the message that law enforcement at all levels will work as one to pursue and prosecute criminal gangs and their associates.”
“We are thankful for our close working relationship with our federal partners,” said Concord Police Chief Mark Bustillos. “Violent crime does not stop at a city’s border, and our relationship with our federal partners allows us to bring those who use violence and intimidation in Concord to justice.”
Of the fifteen defendants charged federally, eight were taken into custody on September 10, 2020. Three additional defendants are due to be transferred from state to federal custody, while two more will stay in state custody as of today. The whereabouts of the remaining two federal defendants are unknown. The following chart summarizes the charges, custodial status, and next court dates for of each of the 15 federal defendants:
|Name||Age||Custodial status||Case number||Charges||Next court date|
|Luis CRUZ||24||State custody||20-71278||21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B(viii) and (b)(1)(C) (drug conspiracy)||TBD|
|Luis RAMIREZ-CARRANZA||31||Federal custody||20-71278||21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B(viii) and (b)(1)(C) (drug conspiracy)||9/15/20|
|Phabel GUTIERREZ||38||State custody||20-71278||21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B(viii) and (b)(1)(C) (drug conspiracy)||TBD|
|Angel MAGAÑA||26||State custody||20-71278||21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B(viii) and (b)(1)(C) (drug conspiracy)||TBD|
|Ernesto MISSIEGO||18||State custody||20-71278||21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B(viii) and (b)(1)(C) (drug conspiracy)||TBD|
|Christian CERVANTES||23||State custody||20-71278||21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B(viii) and (b)(1)(C) (drug conspiracy)||TBD|
|Francisco CANO||34||Federal custody||20-71278||21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B(viii) and (b)(1)(C) (drug conspiracy)||9/17/20|
|Armando NAVARRO||42||Federal custody||20-71278||21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B(viii) and (b)(1)(C) (drug conspiracy)||9/29/20|
|Sheena MIDDLETON||35||Federal custody||20-71278||21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B(viii) and (b)(1)(C) (drug conspiracy)||9/16/20|
|Luis CABRERA||28||Wanted||20-71278||21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B(viii) and (b)(1)(C) (drug conspiracy)||TBD|
|Alexis PEREZ||23||Federal custody||20-71278||21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C) (drug distribution)||9/18/20|
|Brian ALVARENGA||30||Wanted||20-71278||21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C) (drug distribution)||TBD|
|Eric CARRILLO||23||Federal custody||20-71283||18 U.S.C. 371 (firearms trafficking conspiracy)||9/15/20|
|Juan CONCHAS-CARRILLO||25||Federal custody||20-71283||18 U.S.C. 371 (firearms trafficking conspiracy)||9/16/20|
|Kevin VIDAL||23||Federal custody||20-71284||26 U.S.C. § 5861 (unlawful possession of unregistered firearm)||9/21/20|
A complaint merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted of a drug conspiracy in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(B)(viii) and 846, the defendants face a sentence of at least 5 and up to 40 years in prison, along with at least 4 years and up to life on supervised release, up to a $5 million fine, forfeiture, and denial of federal benefits. If convicted of a drug conspiracy in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(C) and 846, the defendants face a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison, along with at least 4 years and up to life on supervised release, up to a $5 million fine, forfeiture, and denial of federal benefits. If convicted of possession of an unregistered firearm, the defendants face a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison, along with up to 3 years of supervised release, a $10,000 fine, and forfeiture. If convicted of conspiring to deal firearms without a license, the defendants fae up to 5 years in prison, along with up to 3 years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and forfeiture. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
The case is being prosecuted by the Oakland branch of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The prosecution is the result of a 2-year investigation led by the ATF and the Concord Police Department, along with the DEA and the FBI, as part of the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.
Even card rooms can open, again – outdoors, but not piercing, tattooing or non-medical electrolysis (you’ll still have to keep plucking out those hairs, yourself!)
Contra Costa County today aligned its COVID-19 social distancing health order with California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, so the county no longer has different reopening rules for businesses and activities beyond what the state requires or allows.
The change, effective at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, simplifies the plan for reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Contra Costa so that residents and local businesses can better understand and identify the steps we all need to take to keep ourselves, our families, workers and customers safer during the pandemic.
The update to Contra Costa’s health order does allow some additional businesses to reopen, following the state health guidelines for their industries:
- Personal care services that involve close contact with the face may begin operating outdoors, except for tattooing, piercing and nonmedical electrolysis
- Racetracks and cardrooms may operate outdoors
- Music, television and film production may resume
- Professional sports without live audiences may resume
These changes are consistent with Contra Costa’s placement in the purple tier of the state’s blueprint, indicating that COVID-19 is widespread in the county. When the data tracked by the state show sustained improvement for two weeks, the county will move into the red tier, allowing more businesses and activities to reopen.
Information about the state’s blueprint, including health guidelines for businesses and activities, which business sectors are not currently safe to operate in Contra Costa, and how the guidelines will change as the county makes progress against COVID-19, are all available at covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy.
Contra Costa’s current health orders retain health guidelines for social bubbles and structured contact between people from different households, face coverings and physical distancing. The FAQ and Safer Social Interactions pages at cchealth.org/coronavirus have information about keeping safer during the pandemic.
Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) continues to monitor data that show how the virus is spreading through our community, including hospitalizations and how the pandemic is impacting the county’s healthcare system. If there is a sudden surge in COVID-19 transmission in the future, the county may need to temporarily impose more restrictions to protect the public health.
One way Contra Costans can help keep our county’s healthcare system running smoothly is to get a flu vaccine – talk to your health provider about getting one. CCHS is also planning community vaccination clinics beginning in October.
Anyone who lives or works in Contra Costa can help make the county safer from COVID-19 and reopen more quickly is to get a fast, free COVID-19 test at a community testing site. The state has reduced the requirements for moving into less restrictive tiers for counties that test many people every day, and other Bay Area counties have already qualified for this benefit.
Make a COVID-19 testing appointment today by calling 1-844-421-0804 or booking online at cchealth.org/coronavirus – hit the “Get Tested” button. This site is also an official source for local information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Open in June when not allowed to be, ABC suspended license for not paying taxes, unlicensed sale of alcohol
By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Office of the District Attorney, Contra Costa County
Martinez, Calif. – Kimberly Beatrice Dixon of Pittsburg (52-years-old) was charged today by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office for a violation of the Contra Costa County Health Officer Order related to COVID-19. In addition, Dixon was charged for operating her bar with a suspended alcohol license. The case was investigated by the state Alcoholic Beverage and Control agents. The bar is located at 3742 Railroad Avenue in Pittsburg.
Dixon is the owner of Skorz Sports Bar in Pittsburg. Earlier this summer on June 11, the bar was open, and patrons were inside drinking alcohol. The bar was not deemed an essential business and therefore not allowed to be open. Currently, bars are not allowed to be open to the public. Further, earlier this year, ABC suspended Dixon’s license for the failure to pay taxes.
“Our office has received hundreds of complaints from the public reporting non-essential businesses operating during the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated District Attorney Diana Becton. “These businesses are putting the public’s health in jeopardy by violating the health officer orders. These orders are necessary to stop the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus. We will continue to investigate reports of violations of the health officer order.”
The bartender at Skorz, Carla Kacprzak, was also charged with a misdemeanor violation for the unlicensed sale of alcohol.
Anyone with information about possible COVID-19 violations can report that information to the District Attorney’s Office via email at DA-ReportFraud@contracostada.org.
Case information: People v. Kimberly Beatrice Dixon and Carla Kacprzak, Docket Number 04-200281-4.Read More
25 bed facility for people with substance use disorders
WHAT: County leaders and health officials will hold a virtual ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 14 for the opening of the new Richmond Health & Wellness Center, a residential treatment and detox center for people with substance use disorders.
The Health & Wellness Center will primarily serve Medi-Cal eligible patients who live in Contra Costa County.
The facility, which is funded by Contra Costa Health Services through state and federal dollars and the implementation of the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System, will have 10 detox beds dedicated to safe withdrawal from alcohol or drugs, as well as 15 residential beds for longer-term treatment. It will be operated by Westcare, a private nonprofit organization and it has been made possible through the advocacy of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Advisory Board and people in recovery.
WHEN: The ribbon cutting and a virtual tour of the site will be held on Monday, Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. The center will open to clients on Sept. 16.Read More