As officials weigh reopening options, Contra Costa health orders still in place

While Bay Area officials continue to work on responsible reopening plans that maintain progress in the fight against coronavirus, they are urging local residents to stay the course.

“The Bay Area health officers commend the residents and businesses who have made tremendous sacrifices to flatten the curve and protect community health in our region,” they said in a joint press release on May 7. “We need to continue to work together so those sacrifices don’t go to waste. It is critical to maintain our gains.”

Officials are evaluating changes to current local health orders – like allowing non-essential businesses to offer curbside pickup – at the local and regional levels. That includes studying Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest guidance that spells out the state’s expectations for nonessential businesses to begin to reopen in a limited capacity.

“It is important that our local communities understand that the regional health orders that took effect May 4 are still in effect. These orders – in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and the city of Berkeley – loosen restrictions on construction as well as outdoor activities and businesses.

Curbside pickup

“The Bay Area orders do not currently permit curbside pickup from non-essential, non-outdoor businesses, and that is not allowed to begin on May 8,” the release noted.

Health officers will continue working in collaboration with local elected officials, community and business leaders to find ways to reopen more businesses and activities safely, while sustaining the progress made to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

As officials weigh reopening options, Contra Costa health orders still in place
Park and Shop in Concord.

“We appreciate that the governor recognizes that California communities are impacted differently by coronavirus and can make decisions at the local level,” the officials wrote. “In our current environment, if a county order differs from a state order, the more restrictive order takes precedence.”

Bay Area officials will continue to study the indicators that tell how the coronavirus is affecting local communities and amend health orders as warranted in the best interest of community health.

“We share the urgency to reopen and restore our economies and our normal activities, and the equal importance of doing so in a way that is safe, responsible and does not cause a significant increase in serious illness and death, or overwhelm our health-care delivery systems.”

Not over yet

The officials note that local communities will be dealing with the pandemic for a long time to come. They expect outbreaks to continue, especially among vulnerable populations.

“That is why we are building strong systems to protect our communities into the future. We will continue to watch the indicators with regard to sufficient testing, contact tracing and personal protective equipment. We will monitor new cases, hospitalizations and the health-care system’s capacity to handle a surge of patients. We will continue to work with our community and business leaders to accomplish careful, measured progress that allows us to maintain our gains as we move forward to further reopening and better times ahead.”