Given recent increases in COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates in our county and region, we are temporarily pausing our reopening plans. This means extending the timeline for the next phase of reopening in Alameda County and pulling back our request for the Board of Supervisors to support a Variance Attestation on June 30th .
A safe reopening of businesses in our county is critical for both public health and economic recovery. To guide reopening, Alameda County health officials rely on the following data indicators to measure our progress against the pandemic: 1) rates of new cases and hospitalizations, 2) hospital inpatient bed capacity and surge capacity, 3) testing capacity, 4) disease containment capacity, and 5) supply of personal protective equipment for health care providers. While indicators 2, 3, 4, and 5 have moved in the positive direction or remained stable over the past several weeks, we are seeing unfavorable trends for cases and hospitalizations.
Alameda County’s case rate per 100,000 people has increased from 63.2 to 71.1 over the past 7 days. Daily hospitalizations were decreasing through June 22nd, but since then we have seen a daily increase in hospitalizations. While Variance Attestation offers a path to greater alignment with the State’s pace for reopening, it requires counties to attest only when the data show that it is safe to do so. We are concerned by the increase in local cases, disproportionate impact on communities of color, local impact of the outbreak at San Quentin State Prison, and the alarming disease trends we see in counties that have opened at a faster rate. This week and next will be critical for assessing the impact of activities authorized to resume in Alameda County on June 19th, and we will continue to closely monitor our data to inform next steps regarding reopening and attestation.
We recognize the multifaceted challenges presented by a slow reopening and are grateful for the sustained effort and sacrifices made by our residents and businesses. As the pandemic evolves, we will need to remain flexible and nimble in our response. We all play a part in safely reopening our communities and protecting people at high risk for COVID-19 infection and death. Please continue to protect yourself and others by wearing face coverings and staying six feet away from others in public, staying home as much as possible and particularly when ill, and washing your hands frequently.