East Bay Getting to Zero
Physical distancing, not social distancing infographic
You can stay socially connected while physical distancing.

Take good care of yourself and the community and help us flatten the COVID-19 curve!

People living with HIV are recommended to follow shelter-in-place guidance below, ensure they are taking and have an adequate supply of HIV medications and have phone access to providers.

Most East Bay HIV service organizations are providing services by phone and/or video chats. Please call, text or email your service provider with questions or to schedule a phone/video visit.

Stay at home whenever you can, and when you go out, protect yourself and our community by:

  • maintaining at least 6 feet of physical distance from people outside your household and
  • wearing a face covering.

These community strategies reduce transmission and protects the health care system to have the space and staff to take care of people who are hospitalized with COVID.

COVID testing is now more widely available to all people with symptoms and essential workers regardless of symptoms. Click on the following links for more info:

Shelter-in-place order

On March 16, 2020, Alameda County and Contra Costa County joined Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties with the City of Berkeley on a legal order directing their respective residents to shelter at home. On April 29, the order was extended with the allowance of limited outdoor, construction and childcare activities with modifications. On May 18, the shelter-in-place order was extended without an end date while additional activities, such as retail pickup, manufacturing and warehousing with modifications has become allowed. CA Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide shelter-in-place order on March 19 and has started allowing reopenings across the state according to the California State’s Roadmap to Resilience.

To keep cases and hospitalizations from overwhelming the health care system, sheltering-in-place orders remain in effect in Alameda County and in Contra Costa County. Solano County has also extended the shelter-at-home order until further notice while allowing some low-risk businesses to reopen. The plan is to phase in more activities incrementally, moving at a slower pace than the state.

East Bay Getting to Zero meetings and events as well as many clinic visits are now conducted by phone and/or video conferencing to help limit potential spread and for everyone’s health and safety. In-person clinic and hospital visits are available to people who need them, and preventive care and immunizations have resumed in many clinics.

Prevention and reducing spread

The COVID-19 virus is transmitted via respiratory droplets and mainly spread person-to-person. Prevention strategies for community members including preventing the spread of respiratory droplets, cleaning hands and surfaces, limiting contact, taking usual medications and wellness practices. For health care providers, rapid identification, diagnosis and safe/supportive isolation and management is critical.

During the shelter-in-place order, for people who are housed:

  • Stay at home as much as possible while maintaining socially connected remotely through phone, video, chats, etc.
  • Avoid close contact (less than 6 feet) with anyone you don’t live with.
  • You may leave your home for essential tasks, including buying food, groceries, supplies; obtaining medical care; working at a business or government function that’s deemed essential (health care, pharmacies, first responders, telecommunications, transit, construction, places to buy groceries or takeout, banks, mail and delivery services, residential facilities and shelters, some child care facilities, others; full list here); or caring for a family member or pet in another household.
  • Starting in May, some outdoor activities, construction activities, childcare, retail pickup, manufacturing and warehousing activities became allowed with distancing modifications. Wear a face covering and try to stay at least 6 feet away from people outside of your household when outside your home for these and other activities.
  • You may also go outdoors for fresh air and exercise so long as you stay at least 6 feet away from other people and wear a face covering.
  • All non-essential travel during this time should be canceled.
  • Follow the additional hygiene practices below.

Everyone, including people living with HIV are advised to take the same precautions:

  • Cover your face (nose and mouth) with cloth (such as bandanas, fabric masks, gaiters) to prevent transmission of coronavirus when leaving the house for essential activities.
  • Clean your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol frequently and before and after touching things touched by many other people (door knobs, light switched, bus/BART/escalator/stair handles and rails, elevator buttons, etc.).
  • Carry hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and clean tissues with you.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Avoid touching your face; if you do, use a clean tissue and/or sanitize your hands before and after.
  • Greet people with smiles, waves, bows or elbow bumps rather than shaking hands or other physical contact. 
  • Avoid close contact (less than 6 feet) with anyone outside your household.
  • Get the flu vaccine if you haven’t already. (It’s not too late.)
  • If you smoke or vape, consider quitting, as it can put you at increased risk for COVID.
  • Take your regular medications every day as prescribed.
  • Have at least 2 weeks to 3 months of medications on hand when possible.

People older than 60, with lower CD4 counts, with heart or lung conditions, and people living with HIV who are not on antiretroviral treatment are also advised to:

  • Create a plan for getting your clinical care by phone or video.
  • Get the maximum refills of antiretrovirals and other medications you can safely store and track.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.
  • Stay away from people who are sick or at least limit contact.
  • Have 2 weeks of food and other household necessities on hand when possible.

Universal face coverings are a key part of a safer reopening!

All of us wearing face coverings and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance whenever outside our homes or personal vehicles is necessary for a safer reopening. 

COVID-19 cases are increasing in Alameda County, and we all must help protect each other to contain the spread. Other counties in California have loosened their restrictions at a faster pace than the Bay Area because they are less densely populated and have lower burdens of disease. Alameda County now has the highest case count in the Bay Area, and we can’t let this number grow too fast.    

Face coverings are one of the lowest-cost and most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If we all wear face coverings in combination with physical distancing, hand hygiene, testing and contact tracing, we can more safely ease restrictions and return to work and school. Click here for FAQs and signs in multiple languages. 

Why should we all wear face coverings?

  1. Anyone could have and transmit COVID-19, including many people without symptoms. In US screening studies, up to 88% of people with COVID-19 didn’t have symptoms.   
  1. Respiratory droplets carrying the COVID-19 virus can travel more than 6 feet (up to 26 feet with a sneeze!), and we don’t always maintain 6 or more feet of distance. 
  1. Face coverings, including homemade ones, are effective in blocking droplets from being emitted, such as from talking, singing, sneezing and coughing. This is called “source control.”
    • Most double-layer cotton and similar fabrics block more than 90% of droplets from being emitted. Even a single-layer of t-shirt fabric can block more than 70% of droplets. Non-woven polypropylene from matte reusable grocery bags can also be used, particularly as an outer layer with repellant properties. The better the covering fits around the nose, chin and cheeks, the better it blocks.
    • Math models suggest that if most of us wear masks that are at least 60% effective, we will reduce the transmission rate (Ro) from about 2.4 to below 1.0. This means each infected person would infect fewer than one other person, and the disease will eventually die out.
    • Cloth face coverings should be cleaned after each use (especially in crowded areas) by washing with detergent in hot water and drying in a hot dryer or in direct sunlight. Clean or sanitize hands before and after handling face coverings.

Here are instructions to make your own face coverings and masks: CDC (easy no-sew), Maker Mask (sewn, science-based), Olson Mask (sewn)

Do we have to wear face coverings if we intend to stay or work 6 feet apart?

  • Yes, we need to wear face coverings in combination with at least 6 feet of distance. Neither of these interventions alone is perfect, so we need to use them in combination.

Do we have to wear face coverings when working or exercising outdoors?

  • Yes, when outdoors we need to wear face coverings and maintain distance. While air circulation is better outdoors, and we may not intend to get close or talk with others, be prepared when it happens by wearing a face covering.

Please reserve medical masks (surgical/loop masks and N95 masks) for people who really need them, such as those who are sick and health care workers.

Wearing face coverings whenever we leave our homes is a good habit we will need for the next two years.

If you feel sick:

Stay at home if you feel unwell and call your provider before going to the clinic to get up-to-date instructions. Most clinics are now providing assessments, consults and guidance over the phone or via video chats.

Please see this webpage for CDC guidance on what to do if you are sick and/or are on home isolation.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, go to your nearest emergency room if unstable, or if stable, please call your provider to get instructions so you can be routed to the appropriate health facility.

COVID-19 symptom chart from Alameda Health Consortium:

COVID-19 symptom chart

If you want/need COVID-19 testing:

  • Alameda County COVID testing sites: searchable map (filter for COVID-19 testing) or downloadable PDF. This list includes several community-based sites offering free testing for anyone with symptoms, including people without health insurance.
  • Contra Costa County free drive-through or walk-in COVID testing
  • Please check the listing for updates and call the testing site before you leave your home/shelter/camp/car to make sure they are open for testing, you are eligible, and register if needed.
  • Alameda County COVID-19 testing sites are free and open for testing for all people who have COVID-19 symptoms and health care workers regardless of symptoms. Click on the testing site name to make online appointments: Roots Community Health Center, Allen Temple, REACH Youth Center and Alameda County offices in Hayward.
  • If you don’t have a provider and have COVID symptoms: In Alameda County, call Alameda Health System 510-437-8500 for a phone screen and guidance. In Contra Costa County, call 844-729-8410. In Solano County, the county COVID warmline is 707-784-8988.
  • If you’re having difficulty breathing and unstable, please go to your nearest emergency room.

Self-care and wellness during physical distancing

UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center has science-based practices and activities for self-care and managing anxiety and stress during the coronavirus outbreak.

Please see below for the Trauma Stewardship Institute’s Tiny Survival Guide infographic.

Trauma Stewardship's tiny survival guide image

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