CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – California may be days away from loosening restrictions on the current shelter-in-place order.
Governor Newsom is expected to announce those changes Thursday, however, an East Bay health officer explains why the existing order will remain in place in Contra Costa County.
As California approaches stage two in reopening the economy later this week, officials at Contra Costa health services say the county is not quite ready.
That is based on several indicators yet to be reached that would signal it is time to move away from the existing shelter-in-place restrictions, says Contra Costa Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano.
“We want to look at the number of cases in the Bay Area going down. Patients in hospitals are not taking up more than 50% of the hospital beds and ICU beds because we need those things for other things besides just treating covid-19. We also make sure that we are testing enough in the community, two tests per day for every 1000 people. Right now we are much below that. We want to test everyone with symptoms. We also want to make sure our hospitals and nursing homes have enough personal protection equipment, like masks, gowns and gloves. We also we want to make sure that we have enough contact tracing staff, so we can contact everyone that test positive, reach out to all their close contacts, make sure they have the ability to quarantine or isolate at home. For those who don’t have a home where they can safely isolate from others, that we can provide other locations like hotel rooms,” Dr. Chris Farnitano said.
Dr. Farnitano says it may be several weeks before the county sufficiently reaches those indicators goals. He cautions against opening too much, too soon.
“As we have seen in other parts of the country when we open up it could be more spread and more cases, which means the numbers are going to go up and the hospitals are going to get filled up and then we might have to tighten things down again,” Farnitano said.