The Danville Town Council has issued a warning strongly encouraging residents to remain diligent in taking all available options to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, fearing that the increased number of cases will harm the region's recovery.
Released in response to a recent spike in reported COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the region, the statement saw town officials express fears that a continued increase in reported cases may necessitate a rolling back of already reopened businesses and activities.
"We have been very fortunate here in Danville that our residents worked with us to follow the county health order. Many have sacrificed to keep the curve flat. And to those who have done so, your community thanks you," read the latter, which was signed by all five Town Council members.
"But we continue to see those who choose to ignore their personal responsibility, exhibiting behaviors that unnecessarily expose themselves and others to risk. We recognize the hardship we have all been under with the stay at home order and the shutdowns of local business, but we ask that everyone stay the course," they added.
Acknowledging the economic, mental and physical hardships brought about by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the council emphasized that relief is still months away and the rising rates of infection risk slowing, or even rolling back, the policies set in place to boost the economy.
As of Wednesday, Contra Costa Health services have documented a total of 3,248 reported cases of COVID-19 -- 2,227 of which have recovered and 77 deaths.
Locally, Danville has recorded 53 cases, Alamo 46 and San Ramon 76.
What may be most concerning is the increasing seven-day average number of newly identified COVID-19 cases, which has grown from 36 cases on June 15 to 104 cases a day as of Wednesday.
The seven-day average of COVID-19 patient hospitalizations has also increased by 75% from June 15 to Monday, the same day the county recorded a record breaking 164 new cases -- the previous highest number was 100 cases reported on Thursday (June 25).
In an effort to help local businesses and restaurants reopen safely, the town has approved a series of street and parking space closures to allow for restaurants to expand for outdoor dining, both during the week and on weekends.
While this has allowed restaurants to accommodate more patrons in a safer environment, town officials say they continue to receive complaints of businesses not following safety protocols necessary to stay open.
"There is concern that if this rise can’t be slowed or stopped that there could be a rollback of some of the re-openings that have already occurred. For the good of Danville, our community and our businesses, we must work to avoid this," the council said.
With the Fourth of July weekend approaching, the council has also expressed concern over large public gatherings, particularly those planned to occur in the downtown area.
While the annual Kiwanis July 4 Parade has taken great effort to shift its program to a virtual model, town staff say some residents have planned to do a "car cruise" through town and are encouraging residents to show up in-person for the event. A move that council members have sternly opposed.
"We can’t stress strongly enough that having that many people out on the street presents a significant virus transmission risk, and we are asking residents to please NOT do this," town officials said. "The Kiwanis Club chose not to hold their event for the safety of the community. Asking people to come out to watch a car cruise flies in the face of that sacrifice and creates a safety issue."
The annual Kiwanis Fourth of July parade is scheduled to stream live at www.srvkiwanis.org/parade from 10 a.m. to noon on Independence Day.
"It has been a long three and a half months, and we still have a ways to go before we are through this crisis. We ask that you all continue to be patient, practice social distancing, wear facial coverings and continue to follow the restrictions of the SIP (shelter-in-place order). Ignoring the SIP is contributing to the rise in COVID-19 cases and could potentially slow down the town’s recovery from this crisis even further," the council added.