Home Main Category Announcements More Than 8 Percent Of Contra Costa COVID-19 Tests Coming Back Positive

More Than 8 Percent Of Contra Costa COVID-19 Tests Coming Back Positive

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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Due to a sharp rise in the percentage of COVID-19 tests returning positive in the community, Contra Costa County today amended its social distancing health order to temporarily tighten face-covering requirements and prohibit indoor gatherings where there is elevated risk of spreading the virus.

Local data show that 8.04 percent of COVID-19 tests administered over the past seven days were positive, a sign that the virus is spreading rapidly in the county and that the community must take immediate steps to prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.

Contra Costa is especially concerned about the risk of COVID-19 transmission in indoor gatherings, and in gatherings that involve removing face coverings for eating and drinking.

When Contra Costa received authorization (variance) from the California Department of Public Health in June to allow the reopening of some businesses and activities, the plan we submitted indicated that an 8% testing positivity rate would trigger the review and reconsideration of reopening activities in the county.

Other indicators show COVID-19 is on the rise in Contra Costa communities. The seven-day average number of new cases identified in the county rose from 38 on June 8 to 146 on July 8, while the seven-day average number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients rose from 17 to 54 during the same period.

The 209 adult intensive care unit beds in Contra Costa County hospitals are on average a little more than half full on a given day, including COVID-19 patients and patients with other health concerns.

Given the rapid spread of local cases, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) is concerned that the number of patients needing intensive care could quickly exceed capacity.

According to the new health order, indoor worship services are temporarily prohibited, effective on Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Services held earlier on Sunday, July 12, are not subject to this change.

Certain categories of outdoor gatherings, including worship services and social protests, are permitted at any size in Contra Costa so long as state health guidelines are followed, including physical distancing and appropriate use of face coverings.

In outdoor dining settings, staff and customers must now observe face covering requirements at all times, except when putting food or drink in the mouth. The new order also increases guidance for businesses that serve alcohol with meals to better align with state guidelines.

Members of extended family “social bubbles” must now always use face coverings when together, except when putting food or drink in the mouth.

Contra Costa County hopes to ease these enhanced, extraordinary safety measures as soon as possible, and will review available health system data daily to determine when it is safe to do so.

CCHS urges everyone to continue taking simple steps to protect themselves from COVID-19: Follow the social distancing order, and wear a face covering when you go out or are near other people. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, and always stay home from work or school if you are not feeling well.

Visit cchealth.org/coronavirus to read the new health order, and for local information about Contra Costa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


  1. We are not doing this right, are we. I mean, I’m still here. You are still here. Those are good things, but the trend is not our friend. Too many Americans don’t remember how to make sacrifices. This is war! This is life or death. This is not beach weather. That blue sky is ominous.

    • It depends. I am being prescreened in advance of a medical procedure. I was told that particular clinic expects results and normally gets results in 24 hours. But, apparently, there is a wide variance. If you have to wait more than a couple of days, it’s of little use. We are not doing this right, are we.

      • It just seems like we’re behind the curve instead of out in front of it. It seems like we’re catching up. But what do I know.

  2. I’m sick of coronaphobes. 99% of us are suffering for the 1% that are affected. 90% of cases are mild. The others have underlying health problems. It’s your lifestyle that killed you == smoking, obesity, etc. not covid 19. Free us healthy folks from govt. tyranny, let everyone else stay home.

  3. Inconvenient lifeboat truths…why yes, there is enough fresh water!, but not for everyone.

    Rush Limbaugh, in fact, encouraged his listeners to “spread herd immunity” as though it were some kind of holy water that would save jobs and offer some sense of return to normalcy. Breaking News! 73 thousand yesterday, 73 thousand today. Hospitals don’t fill to capacity to treat MILD cases. If people fear for their safety, and that fear is heightened by incompetence and misdirection from the top, there will be no “turned the corner”, and there will be no near-term economic recovery. There will be simply more of the same. The virus and the incompetent response will dictate the outcome.

  4. Cases per day is a meaningless statistic. Mortality rates per day and Covid specific hospitalizations are better indicators. Note: Covid specific hospitalizations. Hospitals are stating they are near capacity, for ALL medical related needs, not just Covid, which can be deceiving.

    • Cases per day is a measure of new infections. You factor in the rate of testing and the rate of infection, and you have useful information. Information is not “a meaningless statistic”. It becomes “meaningless” when you filter it through a political bias. The virus has no interest in political bias. Hospitals are not on alert due to gall bladder emergencies. FYI, there is a global pandemic, and the USA is the primary incubator for the planet.

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