Photo: Associated Press
Three Bay Area counties are now on the California Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 watchlist.
On Friday, Marin County joined Solano and Santa Clara counties on the list.
According to the CDPH, Marin County is seeing elevated virus transmission and more hospitalizations. Some of this is due to the massive outbreak at San Quentin, where 1 in 3 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, the state noted an increase in community transmission among essential workers and “outbreaks in congregate settings and Latinx neighborhoods.”
As a result of being added to the watchlist, the county announced Sunday afternoon that it is halting all indoor dining for a minimum of three weeks. The order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 5. Outdoor dining is still permitted.
Solano County ties part of its surge to “many dozens” of vineyard workers getting sick over the last two weeks; the state says those individuals work in Sonoma and Napa counties but reside in communities in Solano County. An “ongoing surge in cases related to family gatherings and other social gatherings on the weekends” is exacerbating the county’s rise in hospitalizations.
Santa Clara County is experiencing an increase in hospitalizations for coronavirus, but the state believes much of this can be attributed to patients from other counties seeking care there. Patients transferred from long-term care facilities are also landing in county hospitals. Once the epicenter of the Bay Area outbreak, Santa Clara County’s hospitals are some of the state’s most experienced at treating COVID-19 patients.
“Although the percentage change in hospitalizations shows an increase, the increase in the absolute number of patients hospitalized is low relative to the size of the population in Santa Clara County and is low relative to the number of hospital beds available in the county,” the California Department of Public Health said.
Many rural counties, like Stanislaus, are seeing an increase due to family gathering-related clusters and “decreased attention to personal protection measures such as face coverings and social distancing.”
Counties on the state’s watch list are working with the CDPH to identify the causes for any worrisome trends and next steps to mitigate the virus spread.
Contra Costa County, which was on the watchlist last week, has since been removed as its outbreak became less severe.
Coronavirus in the greater Bay Area: Links you need
COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENTS
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
WHEN WILL THE BAY AREA REOPEN?