Bay Area county now on state's COVID-19 watch list due to rise in hospitalizations

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Contra Costa County is being monitored by the California Department of Public Health after a concerning increase in coronavirus hospitalizations, the department says.

As of Thursday, the county had 23 people hospitalized with COVID-19. That's up from 13 people on June 1. The East Bay County has 2,148 known cases of COVID-19 and has seen 56 deaths as a result.

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The rise in coronavirus hospitalizations comes "parallel to a rise in community transmission as our residents move away from shelter in place and resume more normal routines," according to DPH.

In order to get back on track, Contra Costa County is being told to do the following:
  • Improve messaging on the importance of mask wearing and getting tested

  • Continue working with hospitals to prepare for the surge in cases

  • Ensure nursing homes have adequate protective gear and know how and when to use it

  • Educate people on the need for contact tracing


At this time, the county is not being asked to roll back any of its reopening. Hair salons and barbershops were allowed to reopen this week. Indoor restaurant dining, bars, gyms and movie theaters are currently slated to reopen on July 1.

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Earlier this week, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a press conference that 13 counties had been identified as areas of concern and were receiving "targeted engagement." At first, the state only named nine of those 13 counties.

On Friday, the DPH website lists Contra Costa, Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Stanislaus and Tulare as the counties actively being monitored and assisted.

ABC7 News' Lindsey Feingold contributed to this story.

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