East Bay Getting to Zero
SARS-CoV-2 scanning electron microscope image from NIAID

This page includes a guide to East Bay COVID info and resources, which are updated with practice-changing developments. Please click here to share feedback.

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East Bay COVID updates

September 2022

This month’s virus levels:

  • East Bay’s EBMUD wastewater surveillance data shows that viral levels have decreased from a peak in early July with a couple of increases since August school reopenings. Levels are lower than the summer but not as low as the spring of 2022.

Variants in the East Bay:

  • As of mid-August, the BA.5 Omicron subvariant accounted for a vast majority of the variants sequenced (86-97% of East Bay wastewater sequencing) followed by the BA.2 and BA.4 Omicron subvariants (13% and 2%, respectively).   

Vaccine updates:

  • Updated boosters with protection against the current BA.5 Omicron variant were authorized by the FDA on August 31 and are now available and recommended for people ages 12+ who’ve completed their primary series or received their last booster dose 2 or more months ago.
    • Covid vaccines and boosters are still free for everyone. You don’t need insurance or immigration papers to get vaccinated. 
    • Updated Pfizer boosters are available for people ages 12+ and updated Moderna boosters are available for people ages 18+.
  • Vaccines are strongly recommended for children under 5: The Moderna vaccine (for ages 6 months through 5 years) is a 2-dose series with doses spaced 4 weeks apart, and is most effective starting 14 days after dose #2. The Pfizer vaccine (for ages 6 months through 4 years) is a 3-dose series with 2 doses spaced 3 weeks apart followed by a 3rd dose at least 2 months later; it is most effective starting 7 days after dose #3. Both vaccines were determined to be safe and effective in clinical trials. See this tip sheet on COVID-19 for young children for details. Check for appointments at local pharmacies, your medical provider, MyTurn.ca.gov, or county sites.

Prevention updates:

Testing and treatment updates:

  • All US households can order 3 sets of 8 free rapid home COVID antigen tests. If you’ve ordered 1 or 2 sets for your household, you can order more. Click here to order now!
  • COVID-19 test-and-treat is available in the East Bay! This means that community members at risk can get treatment at the same location and on the same day that you test positive (this includes all people living with HIV) and regardless of insurance and immigration status. Check the COVID-19 test-to-treat directory and learn more on our COVID treatment webpage. Please encourage anyone who tests positive to contact their provider ASAP, as they may be able to get treatment. There’s plenty of medication supply now. 

East Bay COVID guidance: how to protect our communities and get tests, vaccines, masks, treatment

How do we protect ourselves and our communities in the absence of mask and vaccination requirements?

  1. Get vaccinated and boosted. Click here for where to get free vaccines.
  2. Wear high-quality masks (N95, KN95, KF94s) in indoor public spaces and transit. Click here to find free N95 masks at a pharmacy near you.
  3. Have a supply of rapid home COVID tests ready to use. Get them while supply is plentiful. Click here to order 8 free rapid tests (order up to 3 sets per household).
  4. Make a plan for treatment in case you get infected.
  5. Ventilate and distance: Open windows/doors and stay in well-ventilated areas. Avoid the busiest times on public transport and other indoor spaces.
  6. Have back-up plans for gatherings and travel if cases increase.
  7. Check the amount of virus in your community using the early detection wastewater surveillance dashboards: US | CA counties. You can also see community risk levels at Covid.gov.

The MyCOVIDRisk.app COVID-19 risk calculator from Brown University can help you determine the risk of getting COVID-19 infection in different settings and gives you options to lower your risk.

More East Bay guidance and resources:

Latest local requirements

Latest national COVID updates

Deeper dives into pandemic epidemiology, policies and science

  • Epidemiology: Your Local Epidemiologist online newsletter with Dr. Katelyn Jetelina, epidemiologist, for her translation of public health science for a broader community.
  • Policy and practices: In the Bubble podcast with Andy Slavitt, for discussions on pandemic policy and developments with national scientists and policy leaders.
  • Medical science: Dr. Eric Topol’s twitter feed with up-to-the-minute reports on new medical and scientific studies on COVID vaccines and treatments. 

Archives: Our weekly updates from the first two years of the pandemic (March 2020 to March 2022) have switched to periodic, practice-changing updates to the pages linked above. You can find PDFs of our previous updates here

COVID risk reduction graphics

Click to download: graphic in English | graphic in Spanish | PDF in English and Spanish

Table summarizing the top 7 COVID harm reduction strategies.
Click to see a summary of COVID prevention research