Rise in hospitalizations leads Alameda County to postpone next phase of reopening

The increase in new coronavirus cases and a recent rise in hospitalizations is leading public health officials in Alameda County to pull back efforts to allow additional businesses and activities to reopen.

Similar to other counties in the Bay Area, Alameda County’s number of new infection has risen sharply over the past two weeks. The rate per 100,000 residents has jumped from 63.2 to 71.1 in the last seven days, the county agency reported.

“We are concerned by the increase in local cases, disproportionate impact on communities of color, local impact of the outbreak at San Quentin State Prison, and the alarming disease trends we see in counties that have opened at a faster rate,” according to a statement from the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency.

As of Monday, Alameda County has reported 5,762 positive covid-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. The number of deaths during the same period is 133.

County public health officials said they will monitor the increase in hospitalizations over the next week before deciding whether to resume the pace of its reopening plans.

Alameda County has taken a consistent conservative approach when it comes to loosening shelter in place restrictions. The county permitted outdoor dining, outdoor fitness, and limited attendance at places of worship on June 19.

The next phase for the county’s reopening plan is to include the reopening of barber shops and salons, indoor dining, pools, and professional sports, albeit without spectators.

Contra Costa County recently decided to postpone the reopening of bars, gyms, indoor dining, and other types of businesses that was set for July 1.