By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County Office of the District Attorney
Martinez, Calif. – Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton joined members of the DA’s Office Contra Costa Human Trafficking Taskforce on Monday to participate in the national “Wear Blue” initiative to promote Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
Images of staff members with the DA’s Office wearing blue will be shared on our office’s social media accounts with the Contra Costa County hashtag “ContraCostaWearsBlue.” Multiple agencies and individuals will be sharing images today with this hashtag to share solidarity with human trafficking victims.
A huge part of exploitation is convincing our trafficking victims that no one cares about them or what is happening to them. This helps to isolate victims and make them more reliant on an exploiter if they come to believe that the exploiter is “the only one” who cares.
“The DA’s Office wants to underscore we care about all our victims, have services and support right here in our community and will look to hold exploiters accountable,” said Becton.
If you or someone you know has information regarding any acts or suspicions of human trafficking, please call the Contra Costa County Human Trafficking tip line maintained by the Discrict Attorney’s Office: 925-957-8658.
Local resources include Community Violence Solutions 24-hour resources line (800-670-7273) and Contra Costa’s Family Justice Center (925) 521-6366). To report suspected exploitation of youth, call the CFS/Child Abuse Hotline at 1-877-881-1116.
Contra Costa County was awarded a federal grant in October 2018 to form a Human Trafficking Taskforce. The taskforce has state, federal and local law enforcement partners and prosecutors that collaborates with local community service providers to provide victims with culturally competent services and support while investigating and prosecuting cases involving sex trafficking, labor trafficking and related crimes of exploitation.Read More
By Rachel Heggen, Community Relations & Development Specialist, Meals on Wheels Diablo Region
Meals on Wheels Diablo Region is pleased to announce that Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has awarded the organization a grant of $7,500 that will help combat food insecurity impacting vulnerable seniors. Seniors are the fastest growing segment of the population in the country and the county, and while food insecurity has been an ongoing problem it has become more pronounced since the pandemic.
“Since March, we have been delivering meals to 40% more seniors,” said MOW Diablo Region’s Executive Director, Caitlin Sly. “The problem of food insecurity will continue into the future, but with the help of PG&E we can continue to deliver more meals to more seniors. That will help them continue to remain at home with dignity.”
The awarding of this grant was made possible with the help of PG&E’s Tom Guarino, who recently passed away. He was a strong advocate for nonprofits and his work on their behalf has had a profound impact on the lives of so many individuals.
MOW Diablo Region, in addition to delivering meals, provides life-improving services, such as Fall Prevention, Care Management, Health & Wellness classes and Friendly Visitors, Callers and Helpers. Meals on Wheels Diablo Region is an independent nonprofit and is the only meals on wheels that delivers both meals and services in the entire county. If you know someone who needs a delivered meal or a wraparound service, or would like to find out how to become involved, visit www.mowdiabloregion.org.Read More
Raley’s non-profit sets new record with 43% increase in total year-over-year donations; $483,825 raised for Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano
By Kevin Buffalino, Public Relations & Partnerships Manager, Raley’s
Raley’s Food For Families Annual Holiday Drive raised over $3 million throughout the 2020 holiday season, the largest amount ever donated in the organization’s 35 years of hosting the event. The donations, which came from customers in-store and online between November 2 and December 31, will provide more than three million meals for those suffering from food insecurity in northern California and Nevada.
One of Raley’s 12 regional food bank partners is the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano, and $483,825.00 was raised for them during this year’s Annual Holiday Drive. The customers at the Raley’s and Nob Hill stores in Contra Costa County donated the following amounts to provide meals for their food insecure neighbors.
- Antioch – $17,932
- Brentwood – $23,100
- Oakley – $17,393
- San Pablo – $21,516
Nob Hill Foods
- Martinez – $26,025
- San Ramon – $17,662
- Walnut Creek – $25,431
“The generosity we have seen this past year within the communities we serve is incredible,” said Becca Whitman, Executive Director of Raley’s Food For Families. “It is no secret that 2020 was an especially difficult year, so we cannot thank our customers enough for their outpouring of support to help their neighbors in need during even the toughest of times. They are the ones who truly deserve the recognition.”
Raley’s Food For Families works every day to alleviate hunger locally by partnering with 12 regional food banks across the company’s footprint in northern California and Nevada. This year’s Annual Holiday Drive was especially important because these partners, which typically serve 1.4 million food insecure individuals each month, saw an increase of an average of 95% in those using their services in 2020.
Although this year’s Annual Holiday Drive has ended, Raley’s accepts donations year-round at check stand pin pads at all store locations and online to support Food For Families. Donations stay local to aid the communities in which they were made, and Raley’s covers all administrative costs for Food For Families, ensuring one hundred percent of donations benefit food bank partners and those in need.
To learn more about Raley’s Food For Families or to donate, visit raleys.com/foodforfamilies.
About Raley’s Food For Families
Raley’s Food For Families is a registered 501(c)3 organization providing food to Feeding America food banks and their network of partner agencies. The year-round program serves the communities of Northern California and Western Nevada through Raley’s, Bel Air Market, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source stores.
Raley’s Food For Families began as a holiday food drive in 1986 and was founded by Co-Chairman and Owner Joyce Raley Teel and CEO emeritus Charles Collings. In the past 35 years, the organization has raised over $42 million and 40 million pounds of fresh, wholesome food. With a long-standing commitment to local communities, Raley’s Food For Families continues to grow and thrive as an organization dedicated to health and happiness for those experiencing food insecurity. Raley’s covers 100% of the administrative costs for the non-profit, meaning 100% of donations go directly to the food bank partners.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
Stockton, CA (Jan. 13, 2021) – In response to Wednesday’s vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach President Trump on claims of inciting a violent and deadly insurrection that took place at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, Congressman Jerry McNerney (D, CA-09) issued the following statement:
“Today, I voted to impeach President Trump for the second time to protect our nation and our democracy against a would-be tyrant. This is a moment that will define our nation for generations to come. One year ago, the House took up articles of impeachment against President Trump for abuse of power. The Republican-controlled Senate refused to seriously consider these charges and voted against impeaching the President. As a result, there were no repercussions for the President’s actions, which only served to further embolden him. He is a threat to our democracy, and yet Republicans in Congress have repeatedly excused and ignored his dangerous behavior and rhetoric.
“President Trump began his presidency speaking of American carnage, and as he ends his time in the White House, he has led his followers to lay siege at the seat of our government, directly inciting and provoking that carnage. In order to preserve our democracy, there must be consequences for sedition, and the rule of law must be upheld.”
McNerney represents the 9th Congressional District that includes portions of Contra Costa, San Joaquin and Sacramento Counties in the U.S. House of Representatives.Read More
By MC2 Ethan Carter, Navy Office of Community Outreach, Media Outreach Department
PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 07, 2020) – Lt. j.g. Valerie Sandoval, from Walnut Creek, Calif., assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), checks the ship’s current heading on the bridge. Ralph Johnson is underway in the Third Fleet area of operations.Read More
By John Fout, Community & Media Relations Specialist, Contra Costa County Office of Communications & Media
In 2021, fifty-three years will have passed since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That sobering reminder will serve as a backdrop to Contra Costa County’s 43rd Annual Commemoration of Dr. King’s life and legacy. The Board of Supervisors welcomes the public to watch a virtual community celebration on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, at 11 am.
“Contra Costa County welcomes the public to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and help us honor a Humanitarian and Student Humanitarian of the Year. These honorees serve the residents of Contra Costa with dedication and heart. Together, we will commemorate Dr. King and commit to continuing our work together to address issues of racial injustice and inequality in our communities,” said Board Chair, Supervisor Diane Burgis.
The theme of the event is “Silence is Not an Option.” Countywide recognition will be given to the Adult Humanitarian of the Year, Velma Wilson from Antioch, and the Student Humanitarian of the Year, Kimyatta Newby, a recent graduate of Middle College High School in San Pablo. Their stories of leadership, advocacy, and service have impacted Contra Costa County, its residents and communities, and reflect the spirit of Dr. King’s work and achievements.
The celebration will feature the voices of inspirational speakers from the community, including Mike Anderson, former Mayor of Lafayette, Iris Archuleta, Co-founder Emerald HPC International, Merl Craft, Mayor of Pittsburg, Reverend Phillip Lawson, retired pastor and civil rights activist, and Shanelle Scales-Preston, Pittsburg City Council Member. The program also includes entertainment from the Contra Costa School of Performing Arts.
About Velma Wilson
In her actions, her words, and her example, Velma Wilson lives her life as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called us to live.
Velma is a selfless, tireless volunteer in the community and the county. She has served by leading her community and many organizations to promote and foster diversity, equality, and justice. She organized food distribution, school supply, and other drives in service to our county’s most vulnerable.
Velma has coordinated the annual Antioch MLK Day Celebration, the Antioch Veterans and Memorial Day observances, in addition to many other events. Her leadership skills and creativity bring together local, state, and federal elected officials, as well as the community-at-large.
Her list of leadership and volunteer roles includes serving as the parent and student engagement liaison for Antioch United School District, Vice President of Legislation and Education for the 32nd District PTA, 1st Vice President of East Contra Costa County NAACP, and Community Member for African American Male Achievement Initiative. Local service organizations have also benefitted greatly from her membership and involvement.
Her commitment to the Census 2020 effort led her to become a Census Bureau field supervisor. Her relationships and understanding of Antioch and Contra Costa County helped to ensure that both our homeless and unsheltered populations counted and our hardest-to-reach residents in some of the toughest neighborhoods.
About Kimyatta Newby
Kimyatta Newby serves on the San Pablo Youth Commission (SPYC). The Commission is a youth leadership and civic engagement program that increases youth participation in local government. During her tenure with the SPYC, Kimyatta demonstrated her passion to lead her peers and impact the community. Her passion is most evident during her facilitation of youth-led workshops.
Commitment to SPYC led to an election to multiple leadership roles, serving as Chair, Vice Chair, Interim Chair, and Event Coordinator. She grew the work of the Youth Commission by proposing ambitious goals to the City Council and worked diligently to fulfill each one. Through the expansion of ongoing youth recruitment, she brought in eight new members.
While at Middle College High School, Kimyatta was an active member of the Associated Student Union, Metas, Black Student Union, Latino Student Union, Leadership, the Dance Team, and Current Events & Debate.
In 2020, she became the West County young leader and organizer for Black youth and accelerated her efforts during the pandemic. She and her peers asked high school administration to address violence, injustice, and inequities for students of color. She began peaceful protests around the Bay Area. Kimyatta organized the George Floyd Solidarity Protest, which attracted over 1,000 participants in Pinole. Her interests include journalism. She wrote articles for the Richmond Pulse to cover black mental health, transitioning from high school to college, and the recent presidential election results.
Kimyatta is currently a freshman, studying remotely, at Howard University
The public can watch the virtual live-stream at http://www.contracosta.ca.gov/6086 or www.contracostatv.org. The celebration will also be broadcast live on Contra Costa Television (CCTV) channels, Comcast Cable 27, ATT/U-Verse 99, and WAVE 32. To learn more about the Dr. King Ceremony and past ceremonies, visit www.contracosta.ca.gov/5307 in the Community section of Contra Costa County’s website.Read More
By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County, Office of the Sheriff
On Sunday, January 10, 2021, at about 12:39 PM, Bay Station Deputy Sheriffs were dispatched to a report of shots fired at an apartment complex at San Pablo Avenue and Crestwood Drive in the Tara Hills neighborhood of West Contra Costa County.
Deputies arrived finding a man who appeared to have suffered a gunshot wound in a vehicle. Deputies immediately began life-saving measures on the victim until the arrival of the fire department and an ambulance. The victim was later pronounced deceased at the scene. He is identified as 30-year-old Charles Johnson of San Francisco. An autopsy this morning determined the cause of death to be multiple gunshot wounds.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with any information on this incident is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600 or through Sheriff’s Office dispatch at (925) 646-2441. For any tips, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.Read More
Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) will host a virtual town hall on Tuesday, January 12th at 2:00 p.m. PT to discuss the attack on the United States Capitol and provide an update on what Congress is doing to hold President Trump accountable, remove him from office and prevent him from running again. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other Members of Congress are proposing using the 25th Amendment process, in which the president’s cabinet members must vote unanimously to remove him. If not, the House will pursue impeachment, for which DeSaulnier has announced his support. (See related article)
However, should House members vote to impeach the president, which requires only a simple majority, the Senate must hold a trial before a vote to remove the president from office. That requires the approval of two-thirds of the Senators.
The Town Hall will be held live on Zoom and will also be viewable through DeSaulnier’s Facebook page. This will be DeSaulnier’s 121st town hall and mobile district office hour since coming to Congress. Contra Costa residents will have an opportunity to submit questions before the event and live during the town hall.
Virtual Town Hall on Impeachment and 25th Amendment
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. PT
This event is open to the public and press.
To RSVP, submit a question, or request special accommodations, visit: https://desaulnier.house.gov/town-hall-rsvp
Allen Payton contributed to this report.
Contra Costa County’s healthcare system is gearing up to provide as many as 7,000 vaccines per day in an effort to vaccinate all eligible residents over the next six months. The county expects to triple the number of vaccines offered this week as capacity grows.
Vaccination efforts in Contra Costa County have been in startup mode over the past month, building scheduling systems and putting the staff in place to meet demand. This is all being done during the biggest surge of the pandemic.
“We are at the beginning of the biggest public health immunization campaign in history and it’s going to take time,” Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) Director Anna Roth said. “At some point, everyone who wants a COVID vaccine will be able to get one. While we aren’t there yet, making vaccine available to everyone is our top priority.”
As of now, all but 1,400 of the 43,675 doses allocated in Contra Costa have been assigned to people in Phases 1A and 1B priority groups. All the doses are expected to be given within the next 14 days, Roth said.
With vaccine in limited supply now, immunizations have only been available to priority groups in high-risk settings, such as frontline healthcare workers and nursing-home residents and staff. As of Jan. 10, 30,245 doses have been administered in the county by various health providers, including Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) and John Muir Health, as well as the federal long-term care partnership with CVS and Walgreens. Safeway and Rite-Aid are completing their registration process with the state. Safeway will begin offering shots at one location this week with additional sites coming on board in the next two weeks.
Contra Costa County Deputy Health Officer and COVID Operations Chief Dr. Ori Tzvieli asked for the public to be patient as health systems build capacity to keep up with the flow of vaccine supply and meet demand.
“We continue to redirect every resource available to getting shots in arms,” Dr. Tzvieli said. “At the same time, we are developing partnerships and networks that will ensure every pharmacy and healthcare provider in the county can provide the vaccine as more and more people are eligible to receive it.”
The County has opened several vaccination sites across Contra Costa at health centers and other large facilities to vaccinate eligible individuals, and we are opening more sites every week. CCHS has also begun shifting staffing from COVID testing sites to vaccination efforts to increase capacity. We also have activated our volunteer Medical Reserve Corps to give vaccine, and the health department is working with fire agencies to use paramedics to administer vaccine.
County health departments aren’t the only ones who are stepping up. Private health systems such as Kaiser, Sutter and John Muir Health — who are the primary healthcare providers for the vast majority of Contra Costa residents – are all scaling up their efforts to vaccinate their own members and let them know when it’s their turn. Pharmacies are also coming online to provide vaccinations as more people become eligible. CVS and Walgreens are already vaccinating those living in long-term care facilities and their staff.
About 900,000 Contra Costa residents will be eligible for vaccine once the County reaches Phase 2 of the distribution plan. To reach community-immunity levels, 75% of those eligible (725,000 people) would need to be vaccinated in the county. In order to immunize 725,000 people over the next six months (104 business days), roughly 7,000 people will need to be vaccinated every business day on average. That will require a significant boost in vaccinations from current levels. During the first few weeks since a vaccine became available in mid-December, 30,245 shots have been given – about 1,200 a day.
Until a region’s four-week ICU projection shows a capacity of greater than or equal to 15%
The extended order, directs residents to stay at home except for work, shopping or other essential activities, such as medical appointments. Gov. recommends no non-essential travel more than 120 miles from home.
Latest total numbers for Contra Costa County: 46,618 cases, 389 deaths
In announcing the most recent statistics on COVID-19, including data on intensive care unit (ICU) capacity across the state, today, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) extended the Stay-At-Home order indefinitely. That’s based on the latest ICU data showing 3.0% of current available ICU capacity.
Once a region’s four-week ICU projection shows a capacity of greater than or equal to 15%, the order will be lifted for that area. The state will assess the region’s ICU projections in the coming days and announce a formal decision on whether Bay Area meets criteria to exit the order.
Current Available ICU Capacity by Region
- Bay Area: 3.0%
- Greater Sacramento: 6.4%
- Northern California: 27.5%
- San Joaquin Valley: 0.0%
- Southern California: 0.0%
* Today’s current available ICU capacity is based on numbers reported as of January 8, 2021.
Current Status of Regional Stay at Home Order in Affected Regions
- Bay Area: Remains under order; The region’s four-week ICU projections will be assessed in the coming days.
- San Joaquin Valley: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order.
- Southern California: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order.
- Greater Sacramento: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order.
ICU capacity projections for regions that are eligible to exit the order are calculated daily based on four factors: current estimated regional ICU capacity available, measure of current community transmission, current regional case rates and the proportion of ICU cases being admitted. Decreasing community transmission and increasing the health system capacity can help a region’s projected ICU capacity so they can exit the order. Read the full Regional Stay Home Order, Supplement to the Order, and frequently asked questions.
Due to high rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations impacting the health care system, California is also under a Limited Stay at Home Order. The order applies to all counties that are currently under the Regional Stay at Home Order and those in Tier One (Purple) of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The Limited Stay at Home Order will expire after the Regional Stay At Home Order has been terminated in all regions of the state.
Hospital Surge Order
On January 5, CDPH issued a public health order to reduce pressure on strained hospital systems. To preserve services for the sickest patients, the hospital surge order requires some non-essential and non-life-threatening surgeries to be delayed in counties with 10% or less of ICU capacity under the Regional Stay at Home Order where the regional ICU capacity is at 0%. Examples of procedures that may be delayed include carpal tunnel release and non-urgent spine surgeries. Surgeries for patients who have serious and urgent medical conditions will continue. Examples of procedures that will continue include serious cancer removal and necessary heart surgeries. The order will remain in effect for at least three weeks and will continue until rescinded.
The order requires hospitals statewide to accept patient transfers from facilities that have implemented contingency or crisis care guidelines as long as those transfers can be done capably and safely. On December 28, 2020 CDPH provided guidance to health care facilities on implementing the Crisis Care Continuum Guidelines issued in June 2020.
Counties Currently Impacted by the Hospital Surge Order:
San Joaquin Valley: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus
Southern California: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura
Statewide COVID-19 Data as of Today
- California has 2,621,277 confirmed cases to date. Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.
- There were 52,636 newly recorded confirmed cases Friday.
- The 7-day positivity rate is 14.0% and the 14-day positivity rate is 14.0%.
- There have been 35,353,748 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 326,418 during the prior 24-hour reporting period.
- As case numbers continue to rise in California, the total number of individuals who will have serious outcomes will also increase. There have been 29,233 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
- As of January 9, a total of 734,405 vaccine doses have been administered statewide. As of January 8, a total of 2,060,800 vaccine doses, which includes the first and second dose, have been shipped to local health departments and health care systems that have facilities in multiple counties.
Tracking COVID-19 in California
State Dashboard – Daily COVID-19 data
County Map – Local data, including tier status and ICU capacity
Data and Tools – Models and dashboards for researchers, scientists and the public
Blueprint for a Safer Economy – Data for establishing tier status
ADDITIONAL DATA & UPDATES
Updated Travel Advisory
CDPH has issued an updated travel advisory. Except in connection with essential travel, Californians should avoid non-essential travel to any part of California more than 120 miles from one’s place of residence, or to other states or countries. Avoiding travel reduces the risk of virus transmission, including by reducing the risk that new sources of infection and, potentially, new virus strains will be introduced to California. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Non-essential travelers from other states or countries are strongly discouraged from entering California and should adhere to the state’s self-quarantine procedures for 10 days
Safe Schools for All Plan
Governor Newsom released his California’s Safe Schools for All plan, California’s framework to support schools to continue operating safely in person and to expand the number of schools safely resuming in-person instruction.
Vaccinate All 58
The COVID-19 vaccination is one of the most important tools to end the pandemic. California will distribute a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine in a fair way to everyone who wants it in all 58 counties. Visit the Vaccinate All 58 webpage.
Health Care Workers
As of January 8, local health departments have reported 74,589 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 281 deaths statewide.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted existing inequities in health that are the result of structural racism and poverty, and the disproportionate prevalence of underlying conditions such as asthma and heart disease among Latinos and African Americans. California is committed to understanding these inequities to help ensure the best health outcomes for all Californians. View COVID-19 Race & Ethnicity Data and Cases and Deaths by Age Group. Visit the new Health Equity Dashboard.
Testing Turnaround Time
The testing turnaround time dashboard reports how long California patients are waiting for COVID-19 test results. During the week of December 27 to January 2, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.4 days. During this same time period, 60% of patients received test results in one day and 87% received them within two days.
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)
As of January 4, 161 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) have been reported statewide. MIS-C is a rare inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 that can damage multiple organ systems. MIS-C can require hospitalization and be life threatening.
Your Actions Save Lives
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:
- If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches), call your health care provider.
- If you believe you have been exposed, get tested. Free, confidential testing is available statewide.
- Stay home except for essential activities and follow local public health guidance.
- Keep interactions to people who live in your household.
- Wear a cloth face mask when out in public.
- Avoid non-essential travel and stay close to home; self-quarantine for 10 days after arrival if you leave the state.
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home from work, school or other people if you feel ill.
- Add your phone to the fight by signing up for COVID-19 exposure notifications from CA Notify.
- Answer the call if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or local health department tries to connect.