Bay Area health officers urge precaution as COVID cases, hospitalizations swell

New COVID ‘test to treat’ site opening this week in San Pablo
COVID-19 via Unsplash

A dozen Bay Area health officers are urging community members to take precautions amid rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, including masking indoors.

“The Bay Area now has California’s highest COVID infection rates,” according to the health officers. “The current wave is fueled by highly contagious Omicron subvariants. Bay Area counties are seeing increases in reported cases, levels of virus in sewersheds, and hospitalizations. Actual case rates are higher than those reported because of widespread use of home tests.”

In addition to masking indoors, health officers recommend that residents “keep tests handy, and ensure they are up to date on vaccinations by getting boosters when eligible.” Those who feel sick should stay home and get tested right away. Large gatherings should be limited to well ventilated spaces or outdoors.

Health officers add that medications are available that can help to reduce the chances of severe illness and death in vulnerable community members.

Earlier this month, Contra Costa County health officials announced a ‘Path to Zero’ COVID deaths initiative that includes a nurse line that is now open to county residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 (PCR/lab or home test), and prescriptions for treatment as needed. 

“There’s a lot of COVID out there right now, so it’s time to take more precautionary measures to protect yourself and your loved ones,” said Dr. Ori Tzvieli, health officer for Contra Costa County.