ALAMEDA, Calif. (KRON) – Several Bay Area counties did not qualify to advance into the less restrictive red tier. 

Although a COVID-19 remains prevalent in few cities in an East Bay county, the health director tells KRON4 that is about to change.

Three cities in Alameda County, Oakland, San Leandro, and Hayward have some of the highest levels of COVID-19, according to the Alameda County Health Department. 

The infection rates in the lower economic areas in these cities are among the primary drivers for Alameda County remaining in the restrictive purple tier of California’s blueprint for a safer economy.

“So really what we are trying to do is get help to every part that needs it,” Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter said. 

San Leandro Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter talks about the connection between the high rate of COVID infection and some San Leandro families trying to make it day-to-day during the pandemic.

“I think it has to do with hitting the people that really don’t have time for COVID. They have to work two jobs. Their children are in distance learning and they’re trying to figure out daycare, babysitting, plus they have to go to work. You know they don’t have time to worry about covid. So they’re doing the best they can and we’re trying to help them,” Cutter said. 

“It’s definitely been true when case rates rise we see the greatest impacts in our most dense neighborhoods, especially up and down the 880 corridors,” Dr. Nicholas Moss said. 

Alameda County has been in the purple tier since November but the county health officer, Nicholas Moss, says completely moving into the less restrictive red tier is on the horizon.

“Now we have hit the red tier metrics. You have to hit them two weeks in a row in order to advance to the red tier. We expect that to happen next week. It is still early in terms of the vaccine. I’m not sure that is a part of us coming out of the Winter Surge, although it may prevent or limit the impact of future surges. That’s why we are really pushing to get people vaccinated,” Dr. Moss said. 

This weekend, Umoja Health is holding a pair of pop-up COVID-19 clinics for vaccine-eligible East Oakland residents:

  • Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the center of Hope Church, 8411 MacArthur Blvd.
  • Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Eritrean Orthodox Church, 780 54th St.