Contra Costa County, California – Counties and communities across California have been issuing new orders to prevent Covid-19 surge. Contra Costa County is the latest in the row to follow this trend.
Starting September 22, people will need to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination or negative Covid-19 test, not older than three days, at places like restaurants, gyms and other indoor businesses with high risk of Covid-19 spread.
Contra Costa has endured a severe spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations this summer. This mostly comes from the increasing prevalence of the highly infectious delta variant of the virus and unvaccinated residents.
While the peak of the surge seems to have passed, data show the county’s daily case rate remains as high as it was last February. Fifteen COVID-related deaths occured in Contra Costa from August 25 to 31, and 20 from September 1 to 7. This is the two highest seven-day totals since March. Unvaccinated residents account for 95.9% of the county’s deaths so far.
COVID-19 case rates happen about five times higher in unvaccinated county residents compared to fully vaccinated residents. Data also shows hospitalization rates approximately 16 times higher. Death rates are approximately 22 times higher.
“This order is necessary now to save lives, protect our overburdened healthcare system, and slow the pandemic enough to keep our schools open,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County Health Officer. “Reducing community transmission of the virus is key to preventing future spikes in cases from overwhelming our county’s hospitals.”
The new order applies to businesses where people remove face coverings to eat or drink indoors, such as restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. It also applies to gyms and other indoor fitness facilities, including yoga and dance studios. Patrons at these places tend to breathe more heavily due to exercise.
The order also includes a requirement for workers in indoor areas of these businesses to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 by November 1 or test weekly for COVID-19.
To show proof of vaccination, patrons must show photo ID and their vaccination record cards from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). They can show copies or pictures of their cards. Businesses can accept documentation from healthcare providers. Digital COVID-19 vaccine records issued by the State of California also work.