Bay Area Health Officers Move to Implement the State’s New Regional Stay Home Order, Not Waiting Until Local Hospitals Are At Crisis Levels to Act
Due to the dwindling supply of hospital beds for patients who need intensive care in the Bay Area, the state has enacted a regional stay-at-home order across the nine-county region to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent the region’s hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Contra Costa’s former Health Order has been rescinded and the State order is what governs current activities in our County. Now more than ever, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) urges everyone who lives or works in the County to follow the health advice within the law to keep themselves and their loved ones safe during the holiday season. • Avoid in-person gatherings with people who do not live in your household, especially indoors.• Always wear a face covering and practice physical distancing whenever you go out and avoid unnecessary trips outside the home. • Always stay home if you are not feeling well and consider a COVID-19 test if you have symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. The state’s stay-at-home order evaluates the hospital capacity of California by region of the state, triggering when the amount of intensive care unit (ICU) beds available in a region’s hospitals falls below 15%. Only 13.1% of ICU beds in Bay Area hospitals are currently available. In Contra Costa, 10.2% of ICU beds are available. The number of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals in the county and occupying county ICU beds has more than doubled in the past 30 days. While the state order adds additional restrictions to business and community activities in some other parts of the Bay Area, Contra Costa County will experience no practical changes because of it because of our early implementation of these same restrictions. We can all support local businesses by shopping via their websites when possible and using the takeout and delivery options for our local restaurants. Contra Costa and five other Bay Area jurisdictions used local health orders to enact all the features of the state order last week, before local hospitals were critically impacted, in hopes of reducing transmission and loss of life due to surging COVID-19 infections in the region. The state order took effect in the Bay Area, including Contra Costa, at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, December 17th. Contra Costa has lifted its local order because it has become redundant.