On Sunday, Senator Steve Glazer hosted an informative call on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the response by both the State, Contra Costa County and Alameda County.
The goal of the call was to make experts in the field available to let them speak directly to people and to answer questions. In my opinion, it far exceeded that in the hour-long conversation which was full of tidbits that may be overlooked from headline readers–the devil is in the details.
The guests included:
- Erica Pan, Alameda County Health Officer and an expert on infectious disease emergencies.
- Marty Ardron, Kaiser Permanente‘s Senior Vice President and Area Manager of the Diablo Service Area, overseeing two hospitals, six medical office buildings and three mental health clinics in an area stretching from Antioch to Livermore.
- Russell Rodriguez, Medical Director of John Muir Health’s Emergency Departments.
- Assemblymembers Tim Grayson and Rebecca Bauer-Kahan
Here are 5 takeaways from the call:
- COVID-19 is here and worse than believed
While Contra Costa County (29) and Alameda County (15) both have listed cases on their websites. Its believed the numbers are much greater and will continue to increase.
- Self-Quarantine & Social Distancing is here to Stay
Glazer began the call by going over Governor Gavin Newsom’s recommendations which were just announced at the time where seniors should self-isolate. Meanwhile, bars, nightclubs & wineries to close. No closure of restaurants at this time but were told to operate at 50% of capacity. Later in the call, it appears health officials indicated broader isolation measures may be needed. It appears as Santa Clara County goes, the rest of the Bay Area will follow with stricter restrictions. Bottom line: when in doubt, don’t go out!!!!!
- Non-Essential Businesses Likely will Close
Someone asked why aren’t all businesses closed? Health officials explained they likely will be and could be the next step. They were also cognizant that many in the community were seeing different numbers and different rules highlighting the broad ecosystem and not everyone (State/counties) was on the same page. It was stated that many elective surgery were postponed. Urged that if you need a dentist, that routine visits wait until a later date. Avoid the gym, etc.
- Seniors Will Need Help
With many seniors in self-isolation, it was suggested that grocery stores open up early and dedicate an hour for seniors only. Health officials said they were looking at that, but still recommend they play it safe. The State and County is looking at ways to provide access to seniors. They are asking the community to network and assist in getting seniors essential items.
- Impacts Could Last Months
It was asked when the worst is over, what guidance is there on lifting restrictions… the answer was no one knows at this time and a crystal ball will tell due to a lot of factors in play. Health officials told people to be prepared for impacts to last several weeks to months.
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