Blame placed on unvaccinated including children ages 5-11
“We need 92,000 more people to get vaccinated,” Contra Costa Health Services Director Anna Roth
Next redistricting hearing Nov. 9
By Daniel Borsuk
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors will not meet in their gleaming new state-of-the-art hearing room for the first time in the new $95 million Contra Costa County Administration Building until January, if then.
It all depends on how the county’s fight against COVID-19 goes. At least for now, Contra Costans will have to continue to remotely view and participate in supervisors’ meetings.
While the new three-story Contra Costa County Administration building at 1025 Escobar St. in Martinez is open for administrative services, the public hearing room goes unused by the public.
Only county administrative and county counsel use the hearing room during board of supervisors’ meetings.
On a 4-0 vote, supervisors approved, during their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 2, its second consecutive order recommended from County Counsel Mary Ann Mason to extend for at least through December, the teleconference public meeting order that applies to all county governmental entities.
The edict also applies to the board of supervisors’ advisory commissions. Meetings conducted for the planning commission, airports commission, library commission, merit board, and Proposition X advisory commission among other advisory panels must continue to be conducted via Zoom or other teleconference media.
The supervisors’ action to extend the COVID-19 public meeting teleconference order arose from the fact that 92,000 five- to 11-year-old children in the county are now eligible to get vaccinated, Contra Costa Health Services Director Anna Roth announced.
This announcement will add more burden to county health officials to vaccinate residents. She informed supervisors the county’s total vaccination rate is 73.2 percent.
“We need 92,000 more people to get vaccinated,” Roth informed supervisors.
Mason recommended supervisors adopt the resolution because “the COVID-19 case rate in Contra Costa County is in the ‘substantial’ community transmission tier, the second-highest tier of the CDC’s four community transmission tiers and the County Health Officer’s recommendations for safely holding public meetings, which recommend virtual meetings and other measures to promote social distancing, are still in effect.”
In October, supervisors had adopted a similar resolution authored by County Counsel Mason to continue teleconference meetings for public health reasons at least until November, but obviously the public health landscape had not improved sufficiently for state health officials to lift all the burdensome public meeting restrictions.
While county health officials reported the county is making progress in getting Contra Costa residents vaccinated, “A Statewide state of emergency and the Countywide local emergency continue to directly impact the ability of the Board of Supervisors, in all of its capacities, and its subcommittees and advisory bodies.”
Another COVID-19 oriented state of emergency edict ordering Contra Costa County governmental agencies to conduct meetings remotely means the board of supervisors won’t conduct its inaugural meeting until January, if then, in the new $95 million administration building in downtown Martinez.
In the meantime, the gleaming new public hearing hall remains closed to the public.
Redistricting Public Hearing on Nov. 9
The county’s fourth public hearing on supervisorial redistricting will be held starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 9. The hearing will start at 9 a.m. during the Board of Supervisors meeting. The hearing will be held via Zoom and can be viewed online. (See related article)
“The County Board of Supervisors welcomes your community input in this important, decennial process,” said Board Chair Dianne Burgis of Brentwood. “We are committed to a robust Redistricting and public outreach process with public hearings, a dedicated website at CoCoRedistricting.org. public workshops, and multiple ways to share your input.”
Redistricting is based on the U.S. Census data, which was released in legacy format on August 12, 2021. The actual drawing of Supervisorial District Maps requires the official California State Adjusted Redistricting data, which was released Sept. 20, 2021 and includes updated data to ensure that individuals in the prison population are counted by each jurisdiction.
Acknowledge Black Maternal and Infant Health Day
Supervisors proclaimed Nov. 3, 2021 as Black Family Health Day to acknowledge the disparities in adverse birth outcomes among Black birthing patients and ways to turnaround those negative outcomes using pioneering technologies such as the early warning system, Partners in Pregnancy Fatherhood Program, Black Infant Health Program, and other programs.
From 2018 to 2020, 9.5 percent of Black mothers had preterm births compared to 5.8 percent of White mothers. Black babies are twice as likely to die within the first year of life as White babies (6.3/1,000 v. 3.2/1,000 from 2016 to 2020) and Black mothers experienced health-impacting, life-threatening events during childbirth at more than double the rate of White mothers from 2016 to 2018.