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Contra Costa health officials say COVID-19 deaths are up, pandemic could linger for years

'That is why we are asking people to vaccinate. People dying from COVID is still a real thing'

COVID-19-related death rates in Contra Costa County are now higher than any time since March, and nearly all of the new county cases involve the delta variant of the virus, health officials told the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

"For the seven-day period that ended a week ago -- Aug. 31 -- 15 people in our county passed away from COVID," said Dr. Ori Tzvieli, the medical director of the county health department. "Then this week, the period that ended today, for which we don't even have full data yet, some data will still trickle in -- we've had 20 COVID deaths for this past week."

Tzvieli said the lowest number of deaths in the interim came the week that ended May 25 -- one death. But the delta variant has changed things.

"We are seeing the death numbers coming up," Tzvieli said. "That is why we are asking people to vaccinate. People dying from COVID is still a real thing -- we're still very concerned."

Contra Costa Health Services Deputy Director Randy Sawyer said the delta surge is changing how the department is now approaching the pandemic.

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"This pandemic will last for years and we expect (there) will be additional surges and variants," Sawyer said. "CCHS is now preparing for a COVID-19 response for the next five to 10 years, so we do expect it to be around for that period of time."

"The surge that we're seeing from the delta variant is being fueled by people who are not vaccinated," Sawyer said. "You are 13 times more likely to end up in the hospital with COVID if you're unvaccinated -- that's based on our own data."

Tzvieli said demand for COVID-19 tests have gone up as well.

"We've actually been setting records this past week for number of tests done per day, countywide," Sawyer said.

Though overall case numbers have gone down slightly in the past week, most new cases are coming from the eastern part of the county, where vaccination rates are the lowest. The health department has expanded testing and vaccination hours in the area.

Tzvieli equated COVID-19's staying power and our necessary adjustments to taking precautions whenever someone gets into a vehicle.

"When you get in the car, you always put on your seatbelt," Tzvieli said. "And with COVID, it's the same thing. You wear a mask, which is like wearing a seatbelt to keep yourself safer. Cars also have airbags, right? And so with COVID we also social distance, that's like having an air bag, like another measure to protect yourself.

"And when we drive a car, sometimes we're getting low on gas or an electric charge, and we have to charge or add more gas. That's the same thing with our body and our immunity. Over time, our immunity runs a little low and that's when we need a booster."

Tzvieli said boosters will likely be available the week of Sept. 20, though the county is still waiting on official guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first to be eligible will likely be elderly people in care homes and immunocompromised people, he said.

To find out more about the county's COVID-19 response, people can go to https://cchealth.org/.

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Contra Costa health officials say COVID-19 deaths are up, pandemic could linger for years

'That is why we are asking people to vaccinate. People dying from COVID is still a real thing'

by /

Uploaded: Tue, Sep 7, 2021, 5:05 pm

COVID-19-related death rates in Contra Costa County are now higher than any time since March, and nearly all of the new county cases involve the delta variant of the virus, health officials told the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

"For the seven-day period that ended a week ago -- Aug. 31 -- 15 people in our county passed away from COVID," said Dr. Ori Tzvieli, the medical director of the county health department. "Then this week, the period that ended today, for which we don't even have full data yet, some data will still trickle in -- we've had 20 COVID deaths for this past week."

Tzvieli said the lowest number of deaths in the interim came the week that ended May 25 -- one death. But the delta variant has changed things.

"We are seeing the death numbers coming up," Tzvieli said. "That is why we are asking people to vaccinate. People dying from COVID is still a real thing -- we're still very concerned."

Contra Costa Health Services Deputy Director Randy Sawyer said the delta surge is changing how the department is now approaching the pandemic.

"This pandemic will last for years and we expect (there) will be additional surges and variants," Sawyer said. "CCHS is now preparing for a COVID-19 response for the next five to 10 years, so we do expect it to be around for that period of time."

"The surge that we're seeing from the delta variant is being fueled by people who are not vaccinated," Sawyer said. "You are 13 times more likely to end up in the hospital with COVID if you're unvaccinated -- that's based on our own data."

Tzvieli said demand for COVID-19 tests have gone up as well.

"We've actually been setting records this past week for number of tests done per day, countywide," Sawyer said.

Though overall case numbers have gone down slightly in the past week, most new cases are coming from the eastern part of the county, where vaccination rates are the lowest. The health department has expanded testing and vaccination hours in the area.

Tzvieli equated COVID-19's staying power and our necessary adjustments to taking precautions whenever someone gets into a vehicle.

"When you get in the car, you always put on your seatbelt," Tzvieli said. "And with COVID, it's the same thing. You wear a mask, which is like wearing a seatbelt to keep yourself safer. Cars also have airbags, right? And so with COVID we also social distance, that's like having an air bag, like another measure to protect yourself.

"And when we drive a car, sometimes we're getting low on gas or an electric charge, and we have to charge or add more gas. That's the same thing with our body and our immunity. Over time, our immunity runs a little low and that's when we need a booster."

Tzvieli said boosters will likely be available the week of Sept. 20, though the county is still waiting on official guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first to be eligible will likely be elderly people in care homes and immunocompromised people, he said.

To find out more about the county's COVID-19 response, people can go to https://cchealth.org/.

Comments

Kjgamble
Registered user
San Ramon
on Sep 8, 2021 at 9:23 am
Kjgamble, San Ramon
Registered user
on Sep 8, 2021 at 9:23 am

It would be extraordinarily helpful if these news articles would identify the age of those dying from Covid and whether there were pre-existing conditions, as opposed to causing healthy people to go into a state of panic as leverage to force people to get this “vaccine“. By the way, a vaccine is defined as preventing the disease and therefore if you have to have continuous boosters, it is not a “vaccine“, it is a flu shot.


Kjgamble
Registered user
San Ramon
on Sep 8, 2021 at 9:26 am
Kjgamble, San Ramon
Registered user
on Sep 8, 2021 at 9:26 am

A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired IMMUNITY to a particular infectious disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins, or one of its surface proteins.


Jennifer
Registered user
Danville
on Sep 9, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Jennifer, Danville
Registered user
on Sep 9, 2021 at 4:00 pm

Covid lingering for years. Like the flu, we'll just have to get used to it.


trayford
Registered user
Alamo
on Sep 10, 2021 at 7:32 am
trayford, Alamo
Registered user
on Sep 10, 2021 at 7:32 am

So agree with Kjgamble as to knowing additional patient details - The media doesn't provide thorough details anymore, just their quick bullet points and onto their commercials.

CCHealth.org today - CoCoCounty population 1,159.507 residents - Active cases 2767, with 179 hospitalized. Cases DOWN 37.5% over past 2 weeks. Vaccination rate 84.5%.


Jennifer
Registered user
Danville
on Sep 10, 2021 at 6:54 pm
Jennifer, Danville
Registered user
on Sep 10, 2021 at 6:54 pm

Whether someone has "pre-existing conditions" is no one else's business. Patients are entitled to their privacy. Quit being so nosy and grow up. If you're that fearful of a virus, stay home.


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