As of 1:00 p.m. today (March 16, 2020) Contra Costa County has joined five other Bay Area counties in issuing an order requesting that residents shelter in place, with the exception of those seeking or providing essential services. The order takes effect at 12:01a.m. March 17, 2020.
Those businesses listed as ‘essential services, businesses or infrastructure’ would include the following:
- Healthcare Operations and Essential Infrastructure;
- Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other nongrocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;
- Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;
- Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;
- Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;
- Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities;
- Banks and related financial institutions;
- Hardware stores;
- Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses;
- Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
- Educational institutions—including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities—for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible;
- Laundromats, drycleaners, and laundry service providers;
A detailed explanation of the order and FAQs on the shelter in place order can be found at www.cchealth.org.
As can be seen by today’s order, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the way we go about our daily lives here in Danville, and the Town is working to not only assist in flattening the curve but to provide information on this evolving situation as we get it. Normal life is on pause right now as we all do everything possible to reduce our risk of transmission.
While we will be posting updates periodically on both the Town’s website www.danville.ca.gov and our social media platforms, we strongly encourage residents to look to the Contra Costa Health Services websitewww.cchealth.org for daily COVID-19 updates and information on mitigation efforts in Contra Costa County.
As we have said before, all of the recommendations and guidelines that have been described previously on the CDC, State and CC Health Services websites continue to be emphasized. These guidelines include what to do if you are displaying symptoms, handwashing recommendations, social distancing requirements, and gathering directives. The new COVID-19 catch phrase is – when in doubt, don’t go out.
Some key takeaways I’ve noted in briefings the County has held with cities include:
- As noted above, residents are asked to shelter in place with the exception of those seeking or providing essential services. Essential services include grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and sanitation services.
- While the number of confirmed cases in Contra Costa County is reported on a daily basis, this number is being understated due to the lag in testing. Officials believe that there are many more residents infected, which is why we are seeing such a big push to contain the spread and “flatten the curve”, both in our county and statewide. The goal, especially over the next two weeks, is to prevent a surge in the number of new cases that could adversely impact our health care infrastructure in Contra Costa County.
- This means staying away from other people and increasing “social distancing” (i.e. maintaining six feet of separation) as much as possible.
- People at higher risk include:
- People who are 50 years old or older. Current evidence indicates that the risk of severe illness increases with age.
- People of any age who have underlying medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or chronic lung diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
- People who are not showing symptoms are not recommended to be tested. Should you develop symptoms you are asked to contact your health care provider by phone to seek guidance.
- Contra Costa County currently has the ability to test people, as do private labs. The capacity for this testing is expanding.
- While we’ve had inquiries from some who want to know specifically whether or not anyone in Danville has tested positive for COVID-19, we do not have access to that information due to federal privacy laws. As we are seeing community transmission in Contra Costa County, we can presume it is in our community and take appropriate precautions.
- The type of care required for individuals who have contracted the virus and may require hospitalization is general medical and critical care. All of our county hospitals are equipped to provide such care and are taking contingency steps to prepare to accept patients should that be necessary.
- Our local schools will be on hiatus until April 16. For those with at home children due to school closures, you are urged to keep school-aged children at home and avoid having them out, around and socializing/interacting with others. Exercise additional caution if your children have contact with citizens over 65 as they are the most vulnerable to the virus.
- For trips to the store, be mindful of who our higher risk residents are (see above) and send someone else if possible. We are also being urged to “shop normally” for the duration of this crisis as suppliers are working hard to keep food and products on the shelves. Not over-buying means critical supplies such as hand sanitizer will be available to more people, which in turn can help prevent the spread of germs.
Local governments are doing their part to reduce public gatherings by reducing all non-essential services. The Town has previously posted a list of community buildings that are temporarily closed through the end of March. At that time, we’ll re-evaluate based upon current conditions and recommendations from County Health. The Town is also working with our Danville Area Chamber of Commerce to coordinate temporary parking zones downtown for people who have called in take-out orders from their favorite restaurants and need a few minutes to dash in and pick up their food.
We’re all blessed to live in this wonderful town. Our strong sense of community is a big part of that, and it is that very sense of community that will bring us safely through this. We understand that anxiety levels are running a bit higher than usual as we navigate these daily changes. A way to combat those feelings of fear and concern is to focus on each other. As a community, we can lean on each other and weather this storm. So, if there’s anything that each of us can do to encourage or help out a neighbor (within the recommended guidelines), consider lending a hand… even if it’s a just smile, a wave, of a kind word. And don’t forget to take advantage of our local parks and trails to get some fresh air and exercise.
For more up to date information on COVID-19 please check to following websites:
Contra Costa Health Services: www.cchealth.org
State of California Department of Public Health: www.cdph.ca.gov
Centers for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov
County Health latest document on social distancing: http://bit.ly/2veiIxC
Thank you and stay safe,