On Friday, Contra Costa Health Services held a Press Conference after data was showing the community transmission of COVID-19 was accelerating and urged residents to follow local and state health guidelines to protect their family and community.
According to the press conference, they said historically marginalized communities are experiencing the most pronounced impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Friday, the data showed 7,670 cases with 110 in the hospital and 119 deaths. A total of 133,779 tests have been taken.
Shannon Ladner-Beasley, Program Manager, Contra Costa Health Services Career Pathways, shared Friday that they want to shift the conversation as a plea to show compassionate action to protect ourselves and each other.
“We have reached a critical point in the fight against COVID-19 across the nation and here in Contra Costa,” stated Ladner-Beasley. “After a period where we significantly slowed the spread of COVID-19 in our community, coronavirus has not only made a comeback, but we are seeing new record numbers of cases and hospitalizations for the virus now.”
She continued saying 119 Contra Costa County residents have died from the virus including 7 on July 29—the highest local 1-day total along with 3-deaths today. There are now 2.5 x people with COVID-19 hospitalized in the county than at the start of July.
“We are standing here today in the city of San Pablo which has the highest rate of COVID-19 transmission in the county. COVID has impacted historically marginalized communities, particularly the Latinx community. Latinx populations make up 26% of the population in Contra Costa, yet they make up 40% of the cases here in Contra Costa,” stated Ladner-Beasley.
Dr. Desmond Carson, Physician, Lifelong Medical Care, stated COVID was here to stay and of the patients yesterday, the 7 patients who passed, these people were not “old” people living in Long-Term Living Facilities.
“Now we have had a shift in the demographics, and we have noticed younger people are dying from this COVID,” stated Carson. “I bullshit you not, it is time to become serious about this COVID. People must respect the guidelines of the health community. We must wear mask, we must wear protective gear at work, we must wash our hands, we must practice social distancing.”
He continued saying black and brown people were disproportionately impacted by this disorder at a higher rate.
“We must respect this and if we are to survive and not head towards heard immunity which is everybody who get it and whoever lives, lives, we don’t want to head there,” stated Carson. “We are human beings and we should protect ourselves. Herd immunity is not the solution.”
Supervisor John Gioia stated the county was working with the Latinx community and the African American community to work together to get the message out as to why its import to social distance, wear a mask and wash ones hands. He also stated they have expanded testing sites.
“Even though it is taking longer than we all want to get test results due to supply chain shortages, we still all need to get tested,” stated Gioia. “The more we are tested, we can identify where in the community this virus is and get those to work with a contract tracer and work with others.”
Gioia said since the beginning of June, 50% of the cases the virus was received from another family member. He also said 15% of the positive cases, have been in households of six or more. Meanwhile 74% of the ICU beds are full.
“We need to work together. We did it before in March and April,” stated Gioia. “We can do it again but we need to work even closure with our communities and we are committed to do that.”
Gioia also stated the county has developed a new youth ambassador program where youths can receive a stipend to be trained by the health department to provide messages to their peers—on social media or other means, they are trusted messengers. An adult ambassador program is in the works.
Dr. Desmond Carson admitted his frustration.
“We had the national guard come out to stem non-violent protesters who harmed no one. We need the national guard to come out to tell these fools who don’t want to wear masks that you are going to wear the mask or you are going to go home,” stated Carson. “There is 134,000 people who have died in this country, but there was no response to try to stem that. Our rights are going to kill us, our rights to not wear a mask, that bullshit is going to kill us.”
He continued saying a grocery clerk should not have to fight a grown man to wear a mask.
“we are at the point right now that we are going to solve this by working together. If Canada could shut it down, South Korea had 4 cases, they shut it down, the whole damn country, they shut it down. We are out here playing,” stated Carson. “This is going to get bad when flu season comes, how am I going to differentiate flu from corona? So we are at the point right now if we don’t get serious, ashes, ashes, ashes, we all fall down.”
When asked about staffing, Carson said he was embarrassed because some people will not come to work.
“I am embarrassed and a little pissed off that some people said they wouldn’t come. This white jacket means something to me,” said Carson. “We are here to serve, we are here to serve people, not just give vaccinations to people. Of course it pisses me off. Some people know there is a bug out here that is deadly and some people don’t come to work. I am embarrassed to say it.”
Today local community leaders are calling on the public to take COVID-19 seriously, and take steps to keep healthy and safe:
- Stay home from work or school if you feel sick
- Wash your hands often
- Wear facemasks whenever you are near someone outside your immediate household
- Observe physical distancing outside the home and do not make unnecessary trips or visits
- Get tested and follow the health instructions if you test positive or were exposed to someone who tested positive
For more information and latest news, Contra Costa County COVID-19 Latest Local Information