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Alameda County’s next reopening phase put on hold

Bay Area

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – Alameda County is now taking a step back in reopening due to a spike in coronavirus hospitalizations and cases.

So much so, the county is now leading in the number of cases across any other Bay Area county.

County public health officials say the number of cases has risen in the last week from 63 to 71 per 100,000 people.

Before this, however, they were falling in number, so officials thought it was time to move forward with the state’s pace for reopening by applying for variance attestation, putting the county officially in Phase 2.

But now, the health department and other officials don’t believe it’s safe to do so since every day the numbers are now going up.

At last check, there has been 5,700 cases and 133 deaths.

The Alameda County Health Director, Colleen Chawla, described where the surges may becoming from.

“So we do know that congregate living nursing homes hold a number of vulnerable residents in our county, so there are a large number of deaths related to nursing home infections. Certainly, people transmit diseases to one another, so if I am a person who is not considered the most vulnerable in the population, but I go out into the community and I contract COVID, I can bring it home to my aging parent that I care for or my kids who are interacting with other kids who also have aging parents so it transmits from people who may or may not have symptoms through people who may or may not get ill to people at higher risk,” she said.

Health officials are also concerned about the disproportionate affect this has on people of color.

Looking at other counties that opened up first and the rising number of cases because of it, officials don’t think it makes sense to rush into reopening until numbers are more steady.

This week will be critical to see when the county will be able to reopen.

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