From the Desk of Karen Mitchoff

Contra Costa transitioning to updated COVID plans

From the Desk of Karen MitchoffCONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Sept. 18, 2022) — This month, Contra Costa Health (CCH) is sharing its strategy and plan for responding to COVID-19 over the next 5-10 years.

CCH and all county employees have worked to ensure that all county residents have had access to testing, vaccines and treatment since the beginning of the pandemic. In March 2020, none of us could have imagined how much COVID-19 would impact our lives or for how long.

Now, more than two years after the start of the pandemic, Contra Costa County has ranked second in the nation to have the lowest death rate of counties with a population of more than 1 million. This would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of CCH, county employees and members of the public.

CCH anticipates that the Public Health Emergency will end at the federal level in mid-January 2023, and the Board of Supervisors has allowed American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding through June 30, 2023. Going forward, we must rely upon our own existing health department capabilities as well as the health-care delivery systems in our county to integrate COVID-19 activities into their ongoing work.

CCH anticipates new variants of COVID-19 going forward. Residents who are traditionally served by CCH, uninsured individuals, Contra Costa Health Plan members, etc., will continue to have access at CCH facilities. For the communities facing health-care inequities, CCH will continue outreach services through smaller COVID-19 service sites.

Scaling back

Starting Oct. 1, 2022, CCH will gradually begin to scale back the availability of COVID-19 services and direct county residents back to their regular health-care providers. CCH will work with local health-care providers to ensure the tools to fight COVID-19 – testing, vaccines and treatments – are available to everyone.

This pandemic has been challenging for everyone in our community, and I am very proud of how Contra Costa Health and all county employees worked to maintain our public’s safety. CCH provided an unprecedented level of services to county residents – reaching 700,000 residents in one way or another. This includes contact tracing, outbreak management, testing, vaccinations, treatment, and supplies such as antigen test kits and masks.

Beyond the county’s health-care services, many of our departments pivoted quickly to continue their work with the public. Libraries offered front-door service of books and wi-fi hotspots, departments migrated processes online and many offices became a key touchpoint for distributing updates during the height of the pandemic. Today, we use the lessons learned to better serve the public and to truly reach everyone in our community.

Please feel free to call my office with any questions at 925-655-2350 or email