Contra Costa To Regress Into Most-Restrictive Tier

Courtney Teague
·3 min read

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA — Contra Costa County will return Tuesday into the most-restrictive tier of California's COVID-19 risk system.

Contra Costa was previously in the red "substantial risk" tier of California's four-tiered color-coded COVID-19 risk system. But as Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed Monday the need to pull "an emergency brake" amid a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases, Contra Costa and nearly 30 other counties were moved back into the purple tier, which indicates widespread risk.

“We are sounding the alarm,” Newsom said Monday in a news release. “California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet –faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer. The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes."

Contra Costa is now seeing about 11.4 new COVID-19 cases per day, per 100,000 residents, according to state data. The purple tier standard is 7 cases per day, per 100,000 residents. Case rate data lags by a week.

The county's COVID-19 testing positivity rate, however, is 3.7% — below the purple tier standard of 8%.

Counties may enact stricter restrictions, but here's what the state allows under the purple tier, with safety modifications:

  • Outdoor gatherings only; up to three households

  • Outdoor dining only

  • Outdoor playgrounds/recreational facilities

  • Indoor hair salons/barbershops

  • Indoor retail; 25% capacity

  • Outdoor gyms/fitness centers

  • Outdoor worship services

  • Indoor shopping malls; 25% capacity, closed common areas and food courts

  • Indoor personal care services

  • Outdoor movie theaters

  • Outdoor museums, zoos, aquariums

Bars, breweries and distilleries that do not sell food must remain closed. People who work in offices should instead work remotely, according to state guidelines.

See the full state guidelines for each tier here.

County public health officials have called on residents to stay home when sick, wear masks, maintain six feet from others not in your household, frequently wash hands, get a flu shot and review guidelines on Thanksgiving and holiday travel.

Last week, the state issued a travel advisory. All visitors to California and Californians returning to their home state are asked to quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival in the Golden State. The advisory only applies to recreational travelers, not those who are traveling for work, medical, study or other essential purposes.

Read: Contra Costa County Health Officer Issues Thanksgiving Guidance

Public health officials expect cases to continue to climb as the weather cools and holidays loom.

"We're moving from a marathon to a sprint," Newsom said.

There have been 21,458 COVID-19 cases reported in Contra Costa County as of Monday afternoon, county data show. There have been 253 deaths linked to the coronavirus.

Here's the COVID-19 case count by community:

  • Alamo: 154

  • Antioch: 2,858

  • Bay Point: 1,061

  • Bethel Island: 14

  • Brentwood: 881

  • Byron: 27

  • Clayton: 87

  • Concord: 2,766

  • Crocket: 26

  • Danville: 458

  • Discovery Bay: 174

  • El Cerrito: 167

  • El Sobrante: 361

  • Hercules: 33

  • Kensington: 15

  • Lafayette: 205

  • Martinez: 483

  • Moraga: 86

  • Oakley: 682

  • Orinda: 159

  • Pacheco: 76

  • Pinole: 306

  • Pittsburg: 2,306

  • Pleasant Hill: 351

  • Richmond: 3,945

  • Rodeo: 143

  • San Pablo: 1,822

  • San Ramon: 537

  • Walnut Creek: 768

  • Other or unspecified: 207

Read: CA Pulls 'Emergency Brake,' Considers Curfew In Coronavirus Surge

Get more detailed information on the county's COVID-19 statistics here.

This article originally appeared on the Martinez Patch