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Category: Health

Alameda County COVID-19 Testing Task Force Formed

The Alameda County Public Health Department has formed a COVID-19 Testing Task Force to develop and implement a coordinated testing program to address disparities, ensure countywide access, and support the County’s COVID response. We are mindful of public concern about COVID-19 testing and support strategies that help community members and critical infrastructure workers to make informed decisions about their health and that of their families.

Through increased coordination of existing testing capacity as well as public-private partnerships with cities, health care providers, and non-traditional providers, our goal is to reach 2,500 COVID- 19 tests per day countywide, with testing of all symptomatic individuals. This strategy is closely aligned with our overall COVID-19 response, which includes investigating every reported case, extensive contact tracing, isolation and quarantine, outbreak mitigation, and protecting high-risk individuals and health care workers.

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Is the Virus on My Clothes? My Shoes? My Hair? My Newspaper?

We asked the experts to answer questions about all the places coronavirus lurks (or doesn’t). You’ll feel better after reading this.

When we asked readers to send their questions about coronavirus, a common theme emerged: Many people are fearful about tracking the virus into their homes on their clothes, their shoes, the mail and even the newspaper.

We reached out to infectious disease experts, aerosol scientists and microbiologists to answer reader questions about the risks of coming into contact with the virus during essential trips outside and from deliveries. While we still need to take precautions, their answers were reassuring.

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Alameda County Face Covering Emergency Order

…This Order will take effect at 11:59 p.m. on April 17, 2020, and will continue to be in effect until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the Health Officer. But this Order will not be enforced until 8:00 a.m. on April 22, 2020.…

…As used in this Order, a “Face Covering” means a covering made of cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers only the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face. A covering that hides or obscures the wearer’s eyes or forehead is not a Face Covering. Examples of Face Coverings include a scarf or bandana; a neck gaiter; a homemade covering made from a t-shirt, sweatshirt, or towel, held on with rubber bands or otherwise; or a mask, which need not be medical-grade. A Face Covering may be factory-made, or may be handmade and improvised from ordinary household materials…

…All members of the public, except as specifically exempted below, must wear a Face Covering outside their home or other place they reside in the following situations:

a. When they are inside of, or in line to enter, any Essential Business (as that term is defined in Section 13.f of the Health Officer’s Order No. 20-04, dated March 31, 2020 (“Order No. 20-04”)), including, but not limited to, grocery stores, convenience stores, supermarkets, laundromats, and restaurants;
b. When they are inside or at any location or facility engaging in Minimum Basic Operations or seeking or receiving Essential Government Functions (as defined in Sections 13.g and 13.d, respectively, of Order No. 20-04);
c. When they are engaged in Essential Infrastructure work (as defined in Section 13.c of Order No. 20-04);
d. When they are obtaining services at Healthcare Operations (as defined by in Section 13.b of Order No. 20-04)—including hospitals, clinics, COVID-19 testing locations, dentists, pharmacies, blood banks and blood drives, other healthcare facilities, mental health providers, or facilities providing veterinary care and similar healthcare services for animals—unless directed otherwise by an employee or worker at the Healthcare Operation; or
e. When they are waiting for or riding on public transportation (including without limitation any bus, BART, , or CalTrain) or paratransit or are in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle.

 
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