Contra Costa Health Services has officially updated its coronavirus pandemic health order to match California's "Blueprint for a Safer Economy" so that now the county no longer has different reopening rules for businesses and activities beyond what the state requires or allows.
Most regulations were already closely aligned with state policies; however, county officials say the move simplifies the plan for reducing the spread of COVID-19 and will allow for the reopening of some businesses previously closed by the county.
The newly adopted state policies will officially allow racetracks, cardrooms and personal care services that involve close contact with the face -- except for tattooing, piercing and nonmedical electrolysis -- to begin operating outdoors in Contra Costa County.
Policies will also allow for professional sports events without live audiences and music, television and film production to once again resume.
"Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) continues to monitor data that show how the virus is spreading through our community, including hospitalizations and how the pandemic is impacting the county’s healthcare system. If there is a sudden surge in COVID-19 transmission in the future, the county may need to temporarily impose more restrictions to protect the public health," county officials said in a statement.
According to the CCHS coronavirus dashboard, as of Tuesday morning a total of 15,489 reported cases and 192 deaths have been reported in Contra Costa County. In the San Ramon Valley, San Ramon accounts for 316 confirmed cases, Danville 266 and Alamo 97. San Ramon and Danville have each suffered two deaths apiece.
Infection rates have been trending in a positive direction recently, with Tuesday's positive testing rate resting at 4.1% compared to 8.8% back on Aug. 6.
As of Tuesday, Contra Costa County is among the Bay Area counties that remain classified as a "purple" tier or widespread for coronavirus infection -- the most-restrictive level of California’s four-tier color-coded coronavirus infection classification.
With the county's numbers continuing to trend in a healthier direction, according to the state's "Blueprint for a Safer Economy" if coronavirus data tracked shows sustained improvement for two consecutive weeks, the county will move into the red tier, allowing additional businesses and activities to reopen.
With flu season right around the corner, county officials also want to remind residents to schedule a time to receive a flu vaccination.
"One way Contra Costans can help keep our county's healthcare system running smoothly is to get a flu vaccine -- talk to your health provider about getting one," county officials said. "CCHS is also planning community vaccination clinics beginning in October."
People who live or work in Contra Costa County are also encouraged to receive a fast and free COVID-19 test at one of the community testing sites located throughout the county.
"The state has reduced the requirements for moving into less restrictive tiers for counties that test many people every day, and other Bay Area counties have already qualified for this benefit," county officials said.
Residents can make a COVID-19 testing appointment today by calling 1-844-421-0804 or booking online at cchealth.org/coronavirus. The county website is also an official source for local information related to the coronavirus pandemic.