East Bay Getting to Zero
SARS-CoV-2 scanning electron microscope image from NIAID
The SARS-CoV-2 virus (NIAID)

Below are East Bay COVID-19 and HIV community updates. This page is usually updated on third Wednesdays with data and resources gathered from many collaborators. Please click here to share feedback.

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Please join us on Friday, July 23 at 1 pm to celebrate the life of Ms. Loren Jones, one of our most inspiring, courageous and beloved leaders. Click here for more info

East Bay Getting to Zero was featured in the Bay Area Reporter on the collaborative efforts we’re taking to get to zero new HIV infections. We can’t do this without you! Shoutout to Dr. Demisha Burns from End the Epidemics and WORLD for also being featured. Click here to read the article.   

Join us on Thursday, August 5, 2-3:30 pm to strengthen linkages from the Emergency Department (ED) to PrEP and HIV care, including people who actively use substances.  Please click here for more info and to register.

Pick up your East Bae Summer gear!
In partnership with undocumented queer artivist Julio Salgado, we kicked off our East Bae Love community messaging campaign with summertime merchandise. T-shirts are ready for pick up! See locations below.

East Bay COVID-19 updates 

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the Bay Area have rapidly increased, with case rates nearly 5-times higher than on June 15, California’s reopening date. Dr. Rochelle Walensky of the CDC reported on July 20 that the delta variant now accounts for 83% of the cases in the US. We will likely have a summer surge similar to last year, with hospitalizations and deaths buffered by people who have gotten vaccinated. For the first time in Alameda County, case rates among African American residents have become higher than case rates among Latinx residents, following lower vaccination rates among African American residents. Click here for more disparity updates.  

Vaccines remain highly effective against serious disease from the delta variant. We must continue supporting everyone eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible. 

In the old California color-tier system, this would have put us in the purple “widespread” tier. This rapid rise in cases is likely due to reopening more activities, reductions in mask use, people not yet fully vaccinated, and the delta variant, which is quickly dominating California and the rest of the world.

Substantial evidence shows that the delta variant is about twice as infectious as the original variant, which makes the reopening extra risky for unvaccinated people. This study from the CDC also demonstrates that the delta variant infects kids and unvaccinated people at higher rates in recreational settings, especially indoors, such as in this gymnastics facility where 20% at the gym were infected and 53% of household contacts became infected.

Among the partially vaccinated and unvaccinated young people that are most likely to get infected, reports from the UK show that a runny nose, headache and sore throat are the most common symptoms experienced in these milder cases with the delta variant. 

Vaccinated people are protected from hospitalization but appear to get more mild and asymptomatic infection from the delta variant compared to previous variants. In highly vaccinated areas, more vaccinated people will be diagnosed. Marin County’s health officer Dr. Matt Willis reported on July 16 that 25% of their new cases were among vaccinated people. While they are almost all asymptomatic or mild infections, they can still transmit to others. 

On July 16 the Bay Area Health Officers, including Alameda and Contra Costa Counties recommended for everyone to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status. The Alameda County webpage on that recommendation is here (scroll to bottom) and the press release is here. While the recommendation focuses on indoor masking, masking is also recommended for everyone in crowded outdoor settings. As of July 17, LA County requires masks to be worn indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Vaccines and the delta variant

Current data still shows that being vaccinated is still effective against serious illness from the delta variant and other variants of concern. Evidence from the UK shows that while 2-doses of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine was 96% effective against hospitalization and 88% effective against symptomatic disease with the delta variant. One dose was still 94% effective against hospitalization but only 31% effective against symptomatic disease. Data also suggest that the risk of long COVID is substantially reduced by 2 doses of the vaccine compared to one dose. Outreach to people who’ve only gotten one dose of a two-dose vaccine remains important so they can get this protection. 

The data is limited so far on the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) single-dose vaccines.

Read more variant updates here.

Vaccinated people can still carry the virus and transmit it to others. Data from Public Health England shows that fully vaccinated people testing positive for COVID are 40-50% as likely as unvaccinated people testing positive to transmit the virus to their household contacts (5.7% secondary cases for people fully vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, 6.2% for the Pfizer vaccine vs. 10.1% for unvaccinated people). This data was from early 2021, when the alpha variant was more dominant. The UK does not have data yet on whether the delta variant changes vaccine effectiveness to prevent transmission. 

In summary, vaccinated people are very well protected from serious COVID-19 illness with the delta variant, and fully vaccinated people are less likely to get infected and transmit to others. While the risk of mild disease and transmission to others is lower, they can still carry and transmit the virus to others.

With high case rates in the Bay Area, vaccinated people are recommended to wear masks indoors to protect children, people who are unvaccinated and immunosuppressed. People who are immunosuppressed and/or unvaccinated are recommended to wear masks whenever out in public.

Check out this COVID risk calculator for a detailed risk assessment for your situation.      


A new WHO study of over 15,000 global cases of COVID-19 in people living with HIV (PLWH) presented at IAS in July 2021 found that PLWH were 13% more likely to be hospitalized and 30% more likely to die after being hospitalized. Among PLWH, having diabetes, high blood pressure, being male or over 75 years old was each associated with an increased risk of death. This study underscores the importance of prioritizing PLWH for vaccinations. Fortunately, data from the UK shows that COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective for people with underlying health conditions, including HIV. 

COVID and Youth

New evidence from the CDC also demonstrates that the delta variant infects kids and unvaccinated people at higher rates in recreational settings, especially indoors, such as in this gymnastics facility where 20% at the gym were infected and 53% of household contacts became infected.

While most new infections are mild cases among young, unvaccinated people, there is still a risk of long-term health impacts that we don’t understand yet. A new study from Norway shows that more than half (52%) of young people ages 16-30 had long COVID symptoms.

California is requiring “All adults and students in K-12 school settings must wear masks indoors.”  The American Academy of Pediatrics released updated guidance for schools on July 17 also recommending masks for all people ages 2 and over in school and childcare settings.    

Our infographics include updated masking guidance! Given the rapid rise in delta variant cases in the Bay Area, consider continuing to mask indoors, especially if at higher risk for COVID-19, even if fully vaccinated.

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

As a reminder, everyone ages 12 and over in the US is eligible for a free COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of insurance and immigration status. Vaccine supply in the East Bay is plentiful for the three authorized vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Appointments and walk-ups are available the same day at MyTurn.ca.gov, including the Pfizer vaccine for 12-17-year-olds.

Click here for more on how to get a vaccine

Alameda County now has numerous community-based vaccination pop-up sites, which are listed on the county vaccine webpage. Additional pop-up sites in July are pictured here (scroll down).

Alameda County is also launching a door-to-door vaccine outreach program called DOOR (Direct Outreach to Our Residents), in which vaccinated neighbors will go door-to-door to talk with unvaccinated neighbors in each of the 23 census tracts that have 900 or more unvaccinated residents, with <60% Latinx residents vaccinated or <50% African American residents vaccinated. The program as a goal of 90,000 face-to-face outreach attempts.

Pandemic trends and data

COVID-19 daily cases and hospitalizations in the Bay Area have rapidly increased since the June 15 reopening. We hope that this summer surge will level off soon if more people get vaccinated and wear masks. Nationwide, cases have increased in the past month, especially in areas with low vaccination rates. As of July 21, 68% of US adults have received at last one vaccine dose. Worldwide, cases have also increased, especially in Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean region, Southeast Asia and Europe. 

This month the US will start sending millions of mRNA vaccines to countries in need, including 25 million doses to nearly 50 African countries through the COVAX program, as well as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Peru and Honduras. 

Estimated transmission rates in the Bay Area have increased since May and have been above 1 since the June 15 reopening, leading to exponential increases in cases. The transmission rate is 1.25 across California as of July 19.

As of July 21:

SF Chronicle, 7/21/21: COVID-19 daily cases and deaths in the Bay Area. 

Vaccine studies, variants and “breakthrough” infections

Vaccine efficacy and safety:

Real-world data shows that COVID vaccines are safe and highly effective in preventing both asymptomatic and symptomatic infection.

CDC data shows that a single dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) was 82% effective against symptomatic COVID-19, and 2 doses were 94% effective. Fully vaccinated high-risk frontline workers who were tested weekly were 90% less likely to get any infection, including asymptomatic infections.

The CDC has reported data showing that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to be 94% effective at preventing hospitalization in fully vaccinated adults 65+ and 64% effective among partially vaccinated adults 65+ starting 2 weeks after the first dose. There was no significant protection within the first 14 days of the first dose, highlighting the importance of continuing masking, distancing and avoiding crowds at least during the 2 weeks following the first dose, and the importance of getting the second mRNA vaccine dose.

Durability of immunity:

Two studies, one in Nature and one pre-print, show that both natural infection and vaccinations induce long-lived T-cell and B-cell responses, which help the body continue to identify the virus and produce antibodies whenever needed. The findings suggest that immunity to COVID-19 likely lasts at least a year, possibly much longer. The B and T-cell responses were stronger among those who were infected and vaccinated. Those immune just from vaccination alone may need boosters at some point, though when is still unknown. These findings strengthen the recommendation that all people with past infection also get vaccinated.

A study on reinfections with COVID-19 results suggest that people who have recovered from COVID-19 have a much lower risk of reinfection (about 15x fewer than new primary infections). Natural immunity appears to be protective for at least a year. However, the study ended before variants were widespread, and it is unknown how well natural immunity to the wild-type virus will protect against variants.

Vaccines for children:

Moderna and  Pfizer have reported data showing that their COVID-19 vaccine shows 100% efficacy in adolescents ages 12-15. With 2,260 adolescents participating in their trial, 18 people in the placebo group developed COVID-19 while none in the vaccinated group did. Blood antibody test data also show high titers of antibody responses in those who were vaccinated. On May 10th the FDA authorized use of the Pfizer vaccine for 12-15 year olds and on May 12th, the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend the Pfizer vaccine for 12-15 year olds.

Moderna announced on May 25 that their vaccine is 100% effective for 12-17 year olds in a clinical trial that enrolled 3,732 people ages 12 to 17, two-thirds of whom received two vaccine doses. There were no cases of symptomatic Covid-19 in fully vaccinated adolescents, the company reported. Moderna plans to submit data to the FDA for authorization in early June.   

Trials for children ages 6 months to 11 years old have also begun for both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Based on data from an earlier study that assessed safety, Pfizer will give two doses of 10 micrograms each (a third of the dose given to adolescents and adults) to children ages 5-11 years, and two doses of 3 micrograms each to children ages 6 months to 5 years.

On June 23 and June 28, the CDC updated its statement on rare cases of myocarditis and pericarditis following mRNA vaccines, mostly mild cases among young men ages 30 and younger that occur a few days after the 2nd dose. Myocarditis and pericarditis can also be clinical features of COVID-19 infection, and the risk remains higher for COVID-19 infection cardiac complications among unvaccinated people. Clinicians are asked to evaluate cases of myocarditis and pericarditis with a SARS-CoV-2 test, ask about vaccination history and report cases of myocarditis or pericarditis after vaccination promptly to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), and continue to encourage COVID-19 vaccination in your patients, as the benefits far outweigh the risks. 

A new study suggests that MIS-C was a rare complication of SARS-CoV-2 infection but disproportionately impacts young people of color. “In this cohort study of 248 persons with MIS-C, MIS-C incidence was 5.1 persons per 1 000 000 person-months and 316 persons per 1 000 000 SARS-CoV-2 infections in persons younger than 21 years. Incidence was higher among Black, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian or Pacific Islander persons compared with White persons and in younger persons compared with older persons.” (Payne)

A new article shares data from Brazil and Israel suggesting that mass adult vaccination protects children. Outbreaks in a small proportion of UK’s schools still show that children are still a reservoir of circulating virus. 

Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations in pregnant and lactating people found to be safe so far:

Findings from a study of pregnant participants in the v-safe post-vaccine surveillance system revealed no clear safety issues from either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. 35,691 v-safe participants identified as pregnant, and 3958 participants enrolled in the v-safe pregnancy registry. Calculated proportions of pregnancy and neonatal outcomes appeared similar to incidences published in other peer reviewed literature. These findings add to data from an ongoing cohort study of pregnant and lactating people which found robust antibody titers in all groups, along with antibodies in umbilical cord blood and breast milk samples. 

Long COVID or post-acute COVID conditions (PASC):

The CDC released new guidance on the clinical management of post-acute COVID conditions (PASC, or long COVID) on June 14.

The prevalence on long COVID cited in various studies ranges from 10-53%. A study on long COVID using large population data from the UK found that 13.7% of people diagnosed with COVID had symptoms after at least 12 weeks. Another large population study from Michigan that was more detailed showed higher prevalence, ranging from 25% among people with mild symptoms to 68% for people ages 45 and over. 

A large study of 73,000 people on post-COVID conditions from the VA shows that the risk for multisystem complications after acute COVID were substantial, even among people with mild-moderate symptoms, including 60% increase in the risk of death.

While most new infections are mild cases among young, unvaccinated people, there is still a risk of long-term health impacts that we don’t understand yet. A study from Norway shows that more than half (52%) of young people ages 16-30 had long COVID symptoms.


The WHO now uses a naming system for coronavirus variants using the Greek alphabet. Variants of concern or interest reported in the East Bay include:

  • Alpha: formerly known as B117 (“UK”)
  • Beta: B1351 (“South African”)
  • Gamma: P1 (“Brazilian”)
  • Delta: B1617 (“Indian”)
  • Epsilon: B1427/9 (“West Coast”)
  • Lambda: C37 (“Peru”)

Delta variant:

Summary: The delta variant is more infectious and is now the dominant variant in the US. Being vaccinated is still highly protective against serious COVID-19. Being vaccinated with 2 doses is protective against mild and asymptomatic disease and reduces transmission.

The delta variant has very rapidly become the dominant strain in the US, quickly overtaking the alpha variant. On July 20, Dr. Walensky of the CDC reported that the delta variant is now 83% of the COVID cases sequenced in the US, up from around 50% at the beginning of July. In California state, the delta variant was 57% of variants sequenced as of July 3, up from 49% on June 21 and from 6% on May 21. Approved vaccines are still expected to be effective against serious disease from these variants.

Data from the UK on the delta variant suggests that this variant is 64% more transmissible than the alpha variant and about twice as infectious as the original variant. Early data from England and Scotland suggests a higher risk of hospitalization compared to the alpha variant, though once hospitalized, it appears that risk of death is similar to the alpha variant. This finding of increased hospitalization with the delta variant has not been reported in the US as of July 21. Updated variant risk assessments from the UK are posted here and technical briefings here.

Public Health England has also reported that vaccines are still highly effective against hospitalization and against symptomatic disease from the delta variant, though less so, especially after a single dose. Protection after the first dose was seen to be only 31% for delta compared to 49% for alpha. Supporting people to mask up between doses and to get their 2nd doses is crucial. 

Data from the UK in June show that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 88% effective against symptomatic disease with the delta variant, a drop from 94% against the alpha variant. Vaccine efficacy against hospitalization was high with 2 doses of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine: 96% effective against hospitalization with the delta variant compared to 95% effective against hospitalization with alpha variant.

New data out of Israel reported in July (pre-print) suggests that the efficacy of 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine at preventing infection or symptomatic disease is lower at 64%. However, this data and details are not yet published, and full vaccination may remain highly protective against serious disease, as the UK data shows. 

Full vaccination with the Astra-Zeneca vaccine provided 67% protection against delta variant, versus 74% protection against the alpha variant. Vaccine efficacy against hospitalization was also better maintained for the Astra-Zeneca vaccine: 92% for the delta vs. 86% for the alpha after 2 doses.

Data from the UK also suggest that the risk of long COVID is substantially reduced by 2 doses of the vaccine compared to one dose. Outreach to people who’ve only gotten one dose of a two-dose vaccine remains important so they can get this protection. 

There is mixed data on the efficacy of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) single-dose vaccine against the delta variant. However, the data we have so far are from serological lab studies rather than real-world studies. A preprint serological study from NYU shows lower antibody response with the J&J compared to the Moderna and Pfizer mRNA vaccines. Another serologic study in Nature showed reductions in vaccine-induced antibody response to the delta variant compared to the alpha variant. Earlier preprint serological studies from J&J reported that the vaccine generated long-lasting immune response against the delta variant. It is unknown whether a booster for those who received one dose of the J&J (for example, a dose of an mRNA vaccine) will be beneficial or recommended yet. Stay tuned.

Remember that viruses mutate when they replicate, and we can slow the rise of COVID-19 variants through masking, distancing and vaccinations. 

“Breakthrough” infections: About 0.002% of the 150+ million fully vaccinated people in the US have had reported hospitalizations with symptomatic COVID-19, or “vaccine breakthrough” infections through July 12, which translates to a real-world vaccination efficacy rate of 99.998% protection against hospitalization.

In Alameda County, Dr. Donata Nilsen reported that that have been 796 COVID-19 cases reported of “breakthrough” infections as of July 17. 170 “breakthrough” infections were reported the week ending July 17, an increase from 139 the week prior.

Dr. Nick Moss reported on May 26 that there have been 2 hospitalizations reported thus far due to COVID-19 among people who are fully vaccinated in Alameda County, both among very old people, and one case which may have been due to pre-vaccination infection. As of May 26, there were 29 cases of reinfections reported among people previously infected in Alameda County. No cases of reinfection were reported in the week ending July 17. Nationwide “breakthrough” case data is available on the CDC website here.

Health care providers are asked to report symptomatic “breakthrough” infections for people who are vaccinated or who previously had COVID-19 to the county public health departments (without a positive RNA PCR or antigen test within the previous 90 days) and send lab specimens for variant sequencing. In Alameda County, send a secure email to COVIDreport@acgov.org with subject line “suspect variant” or fax to (510) 273-3944. To submit respiratory specimens to the county lab for sequencing, call 510-382-4300, email at acphl@acgov.org, or download the submittal form from the ACPHL website.

New HIV/STD studies

A resurgence in STD cases: New CDC data show that during March-April 2020, reported STD cases dramatically decreased compared to the same time in 2019. However, a resurgence in gonorrhea and syphilis cases later in the year suggest overall STDs may have increased during 2020.

The CDC just released their updated 2021 Sexually Transmitted Infections Treatment Guidelines. Click on this link to access the full guidelines and visit their provider resource page for copies of a summary wall chart and pocket guide. 

The San Francisco 2017-2018 HIV Medical Monitoring Project (MMP) Report was released in July. Interview and medical record data from 361 participants were collected between June 2017 and May 2019 and features new data on long-term survivors and resiliency.

Current lists of open HIV and hepatitis studies at UCSF are posted here

People needing medical care for any condition are encouraged to seek care as our clinics and hospitals remain open with strict safety protocols to take care of all people.

What’s up with COVID vaccines?

Updated July 21, 2021

Everyone ages 12 and over is eligible for a free COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of insurance and immigration status.

Vaccines are plentiful and widely available in the East Bay. Appointments and walk-ups are available the same day at many sites, including for the Pfizer vaccine for 12-17 year olds. Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are all available. Get a vaccine today at MyTurn.ca.gov or with your medical provider!

Check out California’s Vax for the Win $116.5 million vaccine incentive program.

How do we get a COVID vaccine?

  1. Check for an available appointment or walk-up site hours:
  2. When you go to your vaccine appointment, bring:
    • A photo ID (does not have to be government-issued)
    • Appointment confirmation, if not walking up (printed or on phone)
    • A mask.

For people under 18, there are several ways to provide consent (click on the infographic for more details):

  • Online registration: parent/guardian checks consent box
  • Drop-in/walk-up:
    • Parent/guardian comes and gives consent in-person
    • Parent/guardian gives consent on phone or video
    • Youth brings in paper form signed by parent/guardian. Click here to download the parent/guardian consent form for Alameda County. 

Vaccine phone lines:

If you need help with transportation or are home-bound:

Vaccines through pharmacies:

Vaccines through community pop-ups:

  • Oakland LGBTQ Center
    • Wednesday, August 4, 2-4 pm
    • 510-882-2286 
    • FREE Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations.
    • Please select “No insurance”. Lifelong won’t be collecting insurance information.
    • Walk-ups are also welcome.

Vaccines through county vaccination sites:

Vaccines are now readily available with plentiful supply with choices for the Pfizer, Moderna and J&J vaccines.

What vaccines are currently available?

We have three authorized vaccines available: the Pfizer and Moderna two-dose vaccines and the Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) one-dose vaccine. All three authorized vaccines are highly protective, especially against severe disease, and nearly 100% effective against hospitalization and death.

  • See how the authorized vaccines work: download PDF infographics from the CDC –

Johnson & Johnson vaccines, rare blood clots and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS):

The CDC has recommended to continue vaccinations with the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine for people ages 18+ because the benefits far outweigh the risks of rare blood clots and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). Meeting slides and data updates discussed at the April 23rd CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting can be downloaded here.

On July 13, the FDA announced an update to the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine fact sheet to include a warning about rare cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), about 1 in 125,000 so far.

Read CDC updated questions and answers on the J&J vaccine here and the detailed CDC process, analysis and recommendations on the J&J vaccine here

Click here for J&J updates from California state and fact sheets in multiple languages.

Vaccines for ages 12-17: Currently only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for use in people ages 12-17. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved in people ages 18 and over. Moderna announced on May 25 that their vaccine is 100% effective for 12-17 year olds in a clinical trial that enrolled 3,732 people ages 12 to 17. Moderna plans to submit data to the FDA for authorization in June. Pfizer plans to submit data and an authorization request for children ages 2-11 in September.

People living with HIV and COVID-19 vaccines

All people living with HIV (PLWH) are recommended to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The approved vaccines are not live vaccines and are considered safe for people living with HIV regardless of CD4 count. There is data showing that people living with HIV and CD4 counts less than 200 may have greater risk for hospitalizations and death, so consider prioritizing outreach, education and vaccinations for this potentially more-at-risk group. 

A new WHO study of over 15,000 global cases of COVID-19 in people living with HIV (PLWH) presented at IAS in July 2021 found that PLWH were 13% more likely to be hospitalized and 30% more likely to die after being hospitalized.Among PLWH, having diabetes, high blood pressure, being male or over 75 years old was each associated with an increased risk of death. This study underscores the importance of prioritizing PLWH for vaccinations. Fortunately, data from the UK shows that COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective for people with underlying health conditions, including HIV. 

Should we check for immunity after vaccination? The FDA does not currently recommend checking for SARS-Cov2 antibodies after COVID-19 vaccination since current antibody tests have not been evaluated to assess level of protection from vaccination. 

Resources for PLWH and COVID-19 vaccines: UNAIDS infosheet on COVID-19 vaccines and HIV, Clinical FAQs with Dr. Paul Sax at Harvard and The New England Journal of Medicine, Clinical FAQs for people living with HIV from HIVMA (PDF), Guidance for talking with patients and FAQs for PLWH from Alameda Health Systems (PDF).

Disparities data and studies

US life expectancy had a steep drop in 2020, fueled by COVID-19, with significant disproportionate impact on Black/African American and Latinx Americans. The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics released a study on July 20 showing that Latinx people experienced the greatest drop in life expectancy at 3 years, and Black/African Americans saw a decrease of 2.9 years. White Americans experienced the smallest decline at 1.2 years. The study author, Dr. Elizabeth Arias, reported that these trends in excess deaths from COVID have continued into 2021. 

In addition to excess deaths from COVID, there were also excess deaths from cardiovascular disease (see below), diabetes, chronic liver disease, homicides and drug overdoses. More than 93,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2020, the highest number reported in a single year.

A study published in the British Medical Journal compared US life expectancy data to data from 16 other high-income countries and found that the US decrease in life expectancy from 2018 to 2020 was 8.5 times greater than the average decrease in peer countries, with declines greatest for people of color. 

A study describes disparities in heart disease and cerebrovascular disease deaths in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic: Black, Asian, and Hispanic populations experienced a larger relative increase in deaths than the non-Hispanic White population.

Disparities in vaccination rates persist for Black and Latinx communities, especially among younger people of color, who’ve already been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. An analysis of CDC data published on June 16 shows that in every age category, Black people are dying from COVID at about the same rate as white people more than 10 years older. COVID death rates for Black and Latinx people ages 45-54 are at least 6 times higher than the death rate of white people. Another study of California deaths found that Latinx Californians ages 20-54 were 8.5 times more likely than white Californians in that age range to die of COVID.

Dayna Bowen Matthew, author of Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care, says: “What we politely call a ‘health disparity’ is killing people of color daily. It is causing people of color to live sicker and die quicker, because of the color of their skin.”

The Umoja COVID-19 testing and vaccination initiative was featured in New England Journal of Medicine! Check out the article here, which features many of local advocates and organizations in our network collaborating across the Bay to address health inequities. 

CDPH CA State COVID-19 dashboard July 12, 2021: Latinx and Black/African American Californians continue to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. 
For the first time in Alameda County, case rates among African American residents have become higher than case rates among Latinx residents, mirroring lower vaccination rates among African American residents.
Alameda County vaccination rates by age and race/ethnicity as of July 21 show that Alameda County resident under age 35 are less likely to be vaccinated compared to older residents.
Black/African American and Latinx residents are less likely to have been vaccinated compared to White, API or Native American residents.
This table shows vaccination data from Alameda County, with the highest vaccination rates among Native American residents of all ages and Pacific Islanders over the age of 34. The lowest vaccination rates are among Black, Latinx, Pacific Islander and White residents under age 35 and Latinx residents ages 65 and over.

The latest KFF COVID vaccine survey with data from June reports that “found the vast majority (92%) of those who planned to get vaccinated “as soon as possible” in early 2021 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as have slightly more than half (54%) of individuals who had previously said they wanted to “wait and see” before getting vaccinated. On the other hand, a majority (76%) of people who had previously said they would “only get vaccinated if required” or said they would “definitely not” get a COVID-19 vaccine remain unvaccinated.” Approximately 25% of the unvaccinated people said they would only get the vaccine if required. 

“Unvaccinated adults vary from vaccinated adults in that they tend to be younger, people of color, Republican-leaning, and less-educated. But unvaccinated isn’t an entirely uniform group, with significant differences by intention. Adults who want to “wait and see” before getting vaccinated are more likely to be young and people of color, while those in the “definitely not” group are more significantly Republican-leaning and in rural areas.”

New vaccine equity guidance shared by the CDC HIV prevention division: Click to download

Harm reduction tips and resources

Our COVID harm reduction infographics include updated guidance!

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

Check out this COVID risk calculator to figure out the risk level for your specific situation.      

Table summarizing COVID-19 harm reduction strategies
Our summary of COVID prevention research is constantly updated with new studies. 

The SF Community Clinic Consortium developed this HIV clinic reopening guidance document which clinic teams might find helpful around specific considerations for PLWH.   

Free COVID testing sites: Click here for Alameda County, Contra Costa County and Solano County testing sites.

Other updates and opportunities:

Updated July 21st, 2021

EBGTZ Updates

  • Celebrating the life of Ms. Loren Jones: A virtual memorial service and celebration of Loren’s life will be held on Friday, July 23 at 1pm PST and an in-person service and celebration will be held on Saturday, July 31, 2-4 pm PST in Berkeley. We are grateful for our friends at Positive Women’s Network and WORLD for hosting these events. Click here to register for either or both services. Please visit Loren’s tribute webpage for more information, quotes and community love.

Job opportunities:

The Center for Environmental Health is looking for an Executive Assistant to the CEO . This will be a full-time exempt position. Learn more about the position here.

WORLD is looking for a Clinical Peer Advocate. Clinical Peer Advocates work in partnership with health care providers in the Alameda County Family Care Network and provide mentorship to women living with HIV/AIDS.  Learn more about the position here.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation has an opening for their HIV Testing Counselor position. Learn more and apply here.

The Richmond Main Street Initiative is seeking a creative, passionate, and visionary Executive Director with a demonstrated track-record of successful collaborative leadership, fundraising, personnel management, and commercial district management plan implementation. Learn more about the position here.

Capacity for Health (C4H), the national capacity building program of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) is searching for a Program Manager. Please send a resume to Jamila Shipp, C4H Managing Directorjshipp@apiahf.org.

Bay Area Community Health is hiring for 2 positions that will manage their HIV prevention and care programs in Fremont and San Jose/Gilroy.  The ideal candidate will be passionate about the HIV field with experience managing multiple grants.  They are looking for an HIV Prevention Supervisor and an HIV Program Supervisor. Contact Allison at acoleman@bach.health for more information.

Internships, Scholarships, funding and more

The HIV Prevention Research Advocate Certification Program is a free, 20-week course designed by the Black AIDS Institute to address the lack of minority representation within research protocol development and participation, and also increase the development of HIV advocacy training in a way that centers Black and Brown people. Learn more and apply here. Contact: Myriam Johnstone (MyriamJ@blackaids.org), Biomedical Research and Education Program Manager, for more information.
Youth Opportunities:
Dream Youth Clinic’s Garden of Dreams will have the July Planting Day on Saturday, July 24, 2021 12-2 pm. All youth 13-24 are invited to participate and will receive a $20 stipend. Check out their IG for more.  information.
Web events:
Today! Join UCSF’s Preterm Birth Initiative for their upcoming Collaboratory ‘Police Violence and Birth Outcomes: How Policing in Hospitals and Communities Impacts our Health.’ You’ll hear about how fatal police violence impacts pregnancy and preterm birth, learn about novel research and community organizing working to de-police the hospital. Wednesday, July 21st, 5-6:30pm. Learn more and register here.
Black AIDS Institute is hosting a web event to take a look at the Undetectable Equals Untransmittable or U=U movement over the years, as well as discussing the importance of prioritizing people living with HIV in order to finally see an end to this epidemic. The event ‘The Future of U=U in Black America’ will take place on July 22 at 11am. Lear more and register here.
Other information and resources:
CDPH’s Office of AIDS has shared their July newsletter. Check it out here.
The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) is building a free online jobs board called the EHE Workforce Jobs Bank that will be a centralized place for HIV, STD, and Hepatitis job openings. Funding to end the HIV epidemic in America means thousands of new positions. Organizations with job applications can post them for free by contacting Jas Florentino (jflorentino@nmac.org). People looking for jobs should join our Talent Network. The Talent Network will send out alerts when a new job is posted that matches your interest. It will also allow you to forward any job announcements to friends or colleagues. 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has partnered with Facente Consulting to develop a statewide plan for a collaborative, harm reduction approach to preventing and treating HIV, Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) in California. Please respond to this short, 7-question survey to contribute to this plan, a critical opportunity to provide thoughtful and meaningful input at the front end.  The survey will be open until August 31. All ideas for traditional public health activities focused on prevention, testing, treatment, care, and data analysis or evaluation, as well as non-traditional approaches are welcome.

Santa Clara County Office of Education have developed and distributed extensive resources to support LGBTQ+ students and families. Share and check out the incredible Resource Guide that they created here.
The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley is hosting a Name and Gender Marker Change 101, in partnership with Q corner. This panel discussion will include a brief overview of the laws and process around legal name and gender marker changes in California along with Q&A from experts. Tuesday, August 3rd, 4-5pm. Learn more and register here.

HIV services during COVID-19: Click here for Contra Costa HIV services and see our online directory for Alameda County HIV services.

If your organization is in Alameda County and needs COVID-related supplies or staffing, please go to the Emergency Medical Services website to request PPE and testing supplies and request staffing.

Please follow and share our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts.  

A note about this webpage: COVID and HIV practice-changing updates will be posted on this page, with comprehensive updates posted monthly, usually on third Wednesdays. New studies will be continuously added to our summary of COVID-19 harm reduction strategies. The emailed HIV+COVID-19 update newsletters are sent monthly on third Wednesdays.

Official Alameda County COVID-19 updates are accessible on the county website. You can sign up to receive the Alameda County weekly COVID-19 newsletter by emailing Jamie.Yee@acgov.org

Looking for COVID-19 testing?

  • Rapid COVID-19 antigen home tests are now available: The BinaxNow antigen home self-test, retailing at 2 tests for $23.99 is now sold at pharmacies (CVS, Walgreens, Walmart) and online retailers nationwide. The 15-minute test is done with a nasal swab, with results showing on a card. Additional antigen tests will be on sale soon too. The CDC has guidance on what individuals should do following a negative or positive at-home test.
  • SF Chronicle’s map of Bay Area testing sites that don’t require a doctor’s referral.
  • Alameda County COVID testing sites: This webpage includes 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
  • Solano County free testing sites
  • Please check the listing for updates and call the testing site before you leaveto make sure they are open for testing, you are eligible, and register if needed.
  • 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.