Will it affect the county’s planned Road Ahead reopenings?
By Allen Payton
Contra Costa County experienced the greatest one-day spike in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic at 103 between Thursday, June 18 and Friday, June 19, 2020. According to CCHealth’s Coronavirus Dashboard, the number of cases increased from 2,146 on Thursday to 2,249 on Friday. There was another increase of 45 cases between Friday and Saturday for a total of 2,294 people who have tested positive for the virus in the county, to date.
That has some residents concerned that the county might pull back on some of the planned openings of businesses and activities that are scheduled for July 1st and 15th, as well as schools in July and August, as well. (See related article)
However, in addition to that statistic, the county had 2,457 residents get tested for the Coronavirus between Thursday, June 18 and Friday, June 19, which was also the greatest one-day statistic, in that category.
As of Sunday, June 21, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. there are currently 30 people in the hospital in the county who are infected. There have been a total of 62 deaths attributed to the Coronavirus, which is slightly more than one-tenth (1/10th) of one percent of those who have been tested in the county, which currently stands at 57,989. Also, of the 2,294 people who have tested positive, 1,734 have recovered or 75.6%. That means there are currently 468 people in the county with the virus who are quarantined at home.
Of those who have tested positive, 2.7% have died. That statistic, which has remained fairly constant and actually dropped by 1/10th of one percent in the last month, might alleviate the concerns by county health officials.
However, with residents wondering if the spike in cases could have been caused by all the people participating in protests in the county over the past few weeks, an email was sent Sunday to county health spokesperson, Kim McCarl asking that question. She was also asked if those who test positive are asked what activities they have participated in over the previous two weeks and if there are any concerns by County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano and county health staff that the spike in cases could impact the Road Ahead schedule for reopening.
6/22/20 UPDATE: Will Harper, Media Relations Specialist for Contra Costa Health Services, responded, “We are closely monitoring recent increases in the number of COVID cases and hospitalizations in the county. We expected some increases as more businesses and activities reopened and as we expanded testing. Still, the upward trend is concerning and could affect our reopening timeline.
As people do venture outside their homes and back to normal social interactions, it’s important to do everything possible to reduce the risk for getting or spreading COVID-19. Wear a mask. Maintain six feet social distance. Wash your hands often. Stay home when you are sick.
Regarding the impact of protests: It is challenging to link cases to specific events, especially a gathering where you may not know anyone else who was there with you. We have a small number of reports tied to recent cases that did attend protests, but it is hard to attribute their presence at the protest with their infection versus other contacts they may have had in the past 14 days.”
Asked, again if people who get tested are asked about their activities over the previous 14 days, Harper responded “No, they don’t go back 14 days.” 6/24/20 UPDATE: He later clarified that statement writing, “we do contact investigation/tracing for contacts during the infectious period, which is defined as 2 days prior to symptom onset until patient is isolated (for symptomatic) and 2 days prior to COVID test date until patient is isolated (for asymptomatic).But we also ask where they may have been exposed 14 days from symptom onset/test date. This can be useful information, although keep in mind that we wouldn’t call people (ie close contacts) beyond the 48-hour infectious period mentioned above.”