“It’s encouraging. We’re wanting it to continue going down. It certainly isn’t going up.” -County Health Officer, Dr. Chris Farnitano regarding COVID-19 statistics in Contra Costa.
By Allen Payton
Due to the positive results over the past few weeks with the COVID-19 statistics in Contra Costa County, County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano issued a new order, yesterday, Monday, May 18, 2020 that went into effect, today allowing certain retail and other businesses to reopen, within certain guidelines.
But, concerns from business owners and retail center property manager asking how it’s supposed to work raised questions.
Asked if he or his staff spoke with retail store owners or shopping center property managers about the order before issuing it and how it’s supposed to work, Dr. Farnitano replied, “We’ve been getting feedback from different stores and businesses. We haven’t specifically asked them to review this particular language. This comes from state guidelines. So, our guidelines are in line with the state’s Phase 2. They allowed it on the 8th of May, 11 days ago.”
“It may be more helpful for small retail stores that don’t have an online presence, not a larger store that does,” he added. “Like craft breweries that weren’t allowed prior, or other products that folks that people were used to going to the retail store for.”
“The other big changes are the associated manufacturing and logistics, which pretty much covers any manufacturing that wasn’t already allowed, like refineries, or agricultural product manufacturing,” Farnitano continued. “The Tesla plant in Alameda County is one example.”
“We might be going in a slightly slower pace than the state,” he shared. “But there’s less variability from one county to the next for the particular rules for a business to reopen.”
When asked if the shelter-in-place order still ends on May 31st, Dr. Farnitano answered, “the new order that was issued yesterday and went into effect, today doesn’t have an end date. That’s really not practical or the intent, which was to reevaluate the situation before that date.” (See related article)
“What we’re really doing is to make a change, give it some time to see the affects of that change, and see the impact on our matrix,” he continued. “We did that the last time two weeks ago on May 4 and because of the positive results from that we’re able to open up more.”
So, the reopening will be through a gradual, step by step process “driven by the data,” Dr. Farnitano added.
“It’s been pretty flat,” he said about the curve. “We’ve been looking at seven-day averages. We’ve been running at 10 to 15 new cases a day for the past two weeks, and 15 to 20 in the hospital, each day”
“It’s encouraging. We’re wanting it to continue going down. It certainly isn’t going up,” Dr. Farnitano stated.
Asked when will the next order for more reopening be issued,” We don’t really have a time or particular day,” he said. “We give it a couple weeks which is the incubation period for someone to be exposed and then experience symptoms.” Then they reevaluate the situation at that time.
So, we can expect another update and hopefully more reopening of businesses and activities the first week of June.
My biggest problem is I can’t hug my grandkids. When do you think we could do that again ?
Ah you can , hug them ,don’t let these fear mongering economy destroying fascists keep you from hugging your family.. it’s a bunch of corona balogna
Zoom hugs for now. 🙂
I just want to go to the dentist
Absolutely Ridiculous and a Complete over Reach by The Local and state Government.
Pete Bennett says
the way this has been handled you would think every other raindrop contained the Coronavirus and we took a sledgehammer seeking to destroy every raindrop fearing that the virus was on it
Don’t get me wrong I’ve had my challenges with viruses and bacteria more than one near fatal.
As a country we were unprepared
What is really sad is that protecting the health of Contra Costa citizens is called “Bad News.” If you can understand the “No Shirt, No shoes, No Service” Public Health requirement, you can understand adding “No Mask, No Service” to that list without grabbing your assault rifle and killing service staff.
Thank you for reading the Herald and taking the time to comment.
But, did you actually read the article, even the first paragraph?
The “Bad News” referred to isn’t about having to wear masks. It’s that the shelter-in-place order in Contra Costa County is not going to end on May 31st as was the last date given by the county health officer. That’s bad news for business owners and those who work for those businesses and are having to rely on savings and/or a government check.
It was the second of two articles, the first one referring to “Good News” about the impacts on the business community by the county health officer’s orders.
Your comment about “grabbing your assault rifle and killing service staff” is completely over the top and unrelated to anything written in the article.
I encourage you to read the article before commenting on it so that your comment is cogent to the topic and issue written about.
Thanks Allen, I appreciate you responding. Likewise, the “Bad News” I referred to was the shelter-in-place; it saves lives just as do face masks. With lives well known to be lost over just using face masks (do you need a reference link?), and re-opening locations going right back into documented spikes of cases and deaths, an article that ponders the positive role of Public Health would be a helpful step forward.
But, the statistics in our county show we’ve more than flattened the curve and the virus is having very little impact on our hospitals. Plus, what’s the difference between shopping at Walmart, Target or the grocery store wearing a mask and shopping at a small retail store? Nothing. The small retail stores owned by the moms and pops are hurting by not being open. Those who are vulnerable can continue to stay home. An article reporting facts is what’s important. You’re looking for an editorial. See the stats and graphs for yourself at https://www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/.
My other issue is with too much power being in the hands of a non-elected official to force us to shelter-in-place and close our businesses for months on end, and continually changing the rules and raising the bar, instead of advising our elected officials – who answer to we the people – and leaving the decisions to a super majority of them. That’s how it needs to be handled in the future. A health officer forcing us to shelter in place for a few days due to an emergency such as a chemical release is one thing. But, forcing us to do so for months on end is too much power for non-elected officials.
Again, your writing “grabbing your assault rifle and killing service staff” is completely over the top and unrelated to anything written in the article.
Frontline er nurse, we have been empty for months, the damage being done to all our citizens due to a lock down order that has no proof to be effective is sad, my hospital is empty, nurse being sent home, no sick covid, meanwhile children’s mental health declining, our children have been ignored, isolated, and neglected , watching all my friends pack up and move out state , Cali has commuted literal suicide and contra costa is the leader of insanity