Alameda County presses pause on reopening amid rise in COVID-19 cases

Public health officials in Alameda County on Thursday decided to temporarily pause further openings to the economy following an increase in the county’s COVID-19 case rate and the rise in Bay Area and statewide cases.

Alameda County’s new daily cases per 100,000 people has jumped from a low of 3.4 to 4.9. County public health officials expect to move the county to a more restrictive tier soon in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

“We must exercise caution and prepare to move quickly to protect our residents and hospitals from rising cases of COVID-19,” Dr. Nicholas Moss, the county’s health officer, said in a statement. “We continue to closely monitor the situation,” he said. “If necessary, we will restrict activities that are higher risk for spreading COVID, including those in which people gather indoors without masks.”

The caution comes as county officials have seen day-over-day increases in the number of new reported cases of the coronavirus in Alameda County as well as increases in hospitalizations. Contra Costa and Santa Cruz counties on Tuesday moved to a more restrictive tier.

Statewide, a rolling average of new cases has risen and so has the number of hospitalizations.

Alameda County public health officials said with flu season imminent, flu cases this year will be a greater burden on the health care system because the coronavirus and flu have similar symptoms. Residents are urged to get a flu shot and to follow the guidance by Bay Area health officials on holiday gathering and travel, which can be found at https://covid-19.acgov.org/covid19-assets/docs/press/holiday-recommendations-2020.11.09.pdf.

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