A recent rise in positive tests for coronavirus in Contra Costa County is prompting officials to require stricter rules, including prohibiting indoor gatherings and tightening rules on facial coverings.
It’s the latest effort by health officials to get a handle on infection rates. When the county rolled back some of its restrictions last month, it was on the condition that infections seemed to be slowing.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case anymore, with positive tests a little higher than 8% -- the threshold for tightening up the rules again.
The newly revised health order requires stricter rules for outdoor dining, customers must keep their masks on at their tables except while eating.
Members of “social bubbles” will have to keep their masks on at all times while they’re together.
Indoor worship services will be temporarily prohibited after Sunday night.
“I’ve been concerned at how quickly it has skyrocketed,” said Contra Costa County Supervisor Candace Anderson. “Two weeks ago we were seeing about 3.9% to 4.2% of everyone tested being positive. And we set this 8% benchmark. We set a cap at 8%, and now that we’ve reached that, we realize that we need to scale back and keep people safe and encourage safeguards so we can slow the spread.”
Health officials are also keeping close tabs on the number of intensive care unit beds that are available in the county. Right now, about half of the 209 beds are in use, both from COVID cases and others.
The recent rapid spread of coronavirus infections has ratcheted up concern about the future availability of those ICU beds.