Contra Costa County adjusts reopening timelines after COVID-19 hospitalizations increase

Bay Area

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – Contra Costa County gyms and bars that were supposed to open Wednesday are going to have to keep their doors closed a bit longer.

Contra Costa Health Services says the average number of coronavirus patients in hospitals in the county has increased 75-percent in the past two weeks and newly identified cases have more than doubled.

“There really are three reasons why we made this decision, but the one that I think is most concerning to us is the number of positive cases we are seeing come back,” Kim McCarl said.

A rise in positive coronavirus test results is concerning Contra Costa Health Services.

Last month, they saw about 2-3 percent of tests coming back positive and on Monday that number is at 6-percent.

“We expect to see the raw numbers go up absolutely as more people test the raw numbers will go up. It’s the percentage of positives that is concerning to us because that’s what reflects really the spread of the virus in the community,” McCarl said.

Because of the rise in positive coronavirus test results and the average number of coronavirus patients in county hospitals increasing by 75-percent in the past two weeks.

The county has postponed opening businesses that were previously given the go ahead to reopen on July 1.

Those businesses include: 

  • Bars
  • Personal services not involving close contact with the face
  • Gyms 
  • Fitness centers
  • Limited indoor leisure activities and museums
  • Hotels for tourism and individual travel

Over the past two weeks in Contra Costa County, the number of newly identified cases has increased from 38 to 87 a day. 

In June, 55-percent of the people who tested positive in the county were 40 and younger compared to 38-percent for that group in April. 

County health officers say young people are playing a major role in the increase in new cases and potentially infecting people more at risk.

“We think there has been more social interaction over the last week so I think that’s why we are really seeing young people but frankly the concern is across the board, I think as we opened things up and as we went back to sort of a normal course of business, we’ve gotten a little lax with things like wearing our masks and social distancing and we really think that’s vital in getting these numbers down and we look to our community to really help us do that there’s simple things to do and they can make all the difference,” McCarl said.

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