We are working together to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). Below are this week’s East Bay COVID updates, including new resources for people living with HIV and HIV providers. East Bay HIV service organizations are providing services by phone and/or video chats.
Updates for this week:
As of April 9, 2020 at 6 pm there were 713 confirmed reported cases of COVID-19 and 17 deaths reported in Alameda County, 484 cases and 8 deaths in Contra Costa County, and 115 cases and 3 deaths in Solano County for a total of 1,312 confirmed cases and 28 deaths in the 3 East Bay counties. As of April 7 at 2 pm in the state of California, there were ~177,600 tests conducted, 18,309 positive cases and 492 deaths.
- Alameda County COVID-19 surge prediction: as of April 8th are for an acceleration of cases at the beginning of May and peak in late June, assuming physical distancing continues through May. See details below.
- New reporting requirement for high-risk COVID+ cases in Alameda County (4/8): Please report all COVID+ cases immediately (within 1 hour) for health care workers, first responders and people living in congregate settings. Call the ACPHD Acute Communicable Disease Dept at 510-267-3250. The after-hours number is 925-422-7595.
- Alameda County and Contra Costa County Health Officers have issued blanket isolation orders that will apply to all persons diagnosed with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and blanket quarantine orders that will apply to close contacts of cases. Effective April 3, 2020, health care providers are to disseminate blanket orders to all patients being tested for COVID-19 or who are presumptively diagnosed with COVID-19 without testing BEFORE they leave the health care facility. To download the PDF orders, click for: Alameda County orders in English or Spanish, or Contra Costa County in English or Spanish. (4/3)
- New Bay Area public health recommendation to cover the face (nose and mouth) with cloth (such as bandanas, fabric masks, gaiters) to prevent transmission of coronavirus to others when leaving the house for essential activities. Medical masks should be preserved for health care workers. (PDF 4/2) The CDC has a useful DIY face covering instruction webpage, and New York City has a good PDF on frequently asked questions.
- Bay Area schools confirm closures through the end of the school year. (4/1) The Bay Area Shelter-in-Place order has been extended to May 3, 2020. (PDF 3/31)
Top new resources:
- The COVID-19 and People Living with HIV: Frequently Asked Questions document was released on 4/9 by 10 national HIV advocacy organizations, providing clear and culturally responsive information to ensure PLHIV and communities disproportionately impacted by HIV have a reliable resource for the latest information in line with local, national and global public health entities.
- Project Roomkey isolation housing for people in Alameda County experiencing homelessness for COVID-19 has updated access info on a new webpage. (website and PDF, 4/6) Operation Comfort continues to be open for referrals: for people experiencing homelessness and are COVID+, have COVID symptoms and awaiting test results, or have known COVID+ exposures.
- 60-day waiver for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS): CA Governor Newsom signed an executive order on April 7 that allows for a 60-day waiver for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program caseworkers to continue their work and be able to care for older adults and individuals with disabilities.
- The DEA is now allowing telemedicine visits for buprenorphine initiation and controlled substance prescriptions during the COVID-19 emergency. (DEA website and PDF on bup telemedicine)
- Immigrant eligibility for public programs during COVID-19: summary table on the Protecting Immigrant Families website.
- COVID-19 Fact Sheets in 35+ languages: the COVID-19 Health Literacy Project has expert-reviewed COVID-19 information into 35+ different languages to help all patients, especially immigrants and non-English speaking communities, stay informed and healthy.
- Extensions for Alameda County CalWORKs, CalFresh,and/or General Assistance (GA): if your Semi-Annual Report (SAR 7) or annual renewal is due in March, April, or May 2020, you do not have to turn in the reports or complete your interview for these months, though you may want to report if your income has gone down, since your benefits may increase. (4/2)
- Special recording of UCSF Grand Rounds on COVID-19 Epidemiology, Science, & Clinical Manifestations and the UCSF Response, free to view and recorded on April 2, 2020.
East Bay COVID and surge planning updates (additional details):
- New reporting requirement for high-risk COVID+ cases in Alameda County (4/8): Please report all COVID+ cases immediately (within 1 hour) for health care workers, first responders and people living in congregate settings. Call the ACPHD Acute Communicable Disease Dept at 510-267-3250. The after-hours only number is 925-422-7595; dispatch center will answer; ask for the Public Health Duty officer on call; note that most duty officers don’t have access to database of test results.
- Alameda County and Contra Costa County Health Officers have issued blanket isolation orders that will apply to all persons diagnosed with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and blanket quarantine orders that will apply to close contacts of cases. Effective April 3, 2020, health care providers are to disseminate blanket orders to all patients being tested for COVID-19 or who are presumptively diagnosed with COVID-19 without testing BEFORE they leave the health care facility. To download the PDF orders, click for: Alameda County orders in English or Spanish, or Contra Costa County in English or Spanish. On April 8, Dr. Erica Pan at ACPHD reported that ACPHD will be addressing concerns about prolonged isolation and quarantines for essential health care workers and determining when exceptions may be.
- Alameda County COVID-19 surge predictions are for an acceleration of cases at the beginning of May and peak in late June: Based on the U.Penn CHIME and Stanford SURF COVID-19 impact models and a 26% reduction in physical contact. This is different from the IMHE (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation) predicted peak for the state of California in mid-April (April 17) because it takes into account more local data specific to Alameda County and is less skewed by data from larger counties such as Los Angeles.
All models above assume physical distancing measures in place through the end of May. The 26% reduction in physical contact is a conservative estimate; cell phone data suggests that Alameda County has approximately 40% reduction in physical contact (a.k.a “social distancing”), which would result more optimistically in fewer cases and a later peak. As more data becomes available, the models will become more accurate, and the predictions will change.
- Alameda and Contra Costa Counties are identifying and preparing additional hospital bed surge capacity: Based on the CHIME and SURF predictions, there is a 3,000 hospital bed shortage between what is available now and the total of what may be needed for the predicted surge peak. Alameda County is working with CA state to set up a field hospital with 250+ beds, identifying hotels and other local overflow facilities to be available as early as next week, and working with other Bay Area counties to secure Seton Hospital in Daly City as a regional overflow hospital facility. Contra Costa County is working with Federal (National Guard) and CA state to convert the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond into a 250-bed medical station for COVID-19 patients.
- Alameda County has a new COVID data dashboard (4/8) which includes case numbers, deaths, city and some demographic data, with testing data to come later. Contra Costa County has a new COVID data dashboard and Solano County has a dashboard with case, testing, location, basic demographics and hospital data.
COVID-19 research studies open to Bay Area community members:
- COVID-19 Citizen Science Study: UCSF researchers are launching a world-wide study to track COVID-19 symptoms, infections, risk factors and behaviors that might impact spread. The study, called the COVID-19 Citizen Science Study, uses daily surveys to track risk factors, symptoms, exposures and COVID-19 diagnoses as well as geolocation to understand the impact of people’s movement on the containment of the disease. To participate or to refer others to participate, go to https://covid19.eurekaplatform.org. You may also text “COVID” to 41411 for more information.
- COVID-19 Pregnancy Registry: A National Priority: PRIORITY(Pregnancy CoRonavIrus Outcomes RegIsTrY) is a UCSF and UCLA led nationwide registry for pregnant and postpartum women with suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. The goal is to provide information that informs and improves patient care during this pandemic. To Refer a Patient: Please ask the patient if she is willing to have her contact information shared with the research team. If yes, you can click here to Refer a Patient, or call/text 415-754-3749, or email at PRIORITYCOVID19@ucsf.edu. The patient can also contact the research team herself For Patients: Enroll in PRIORITY. The team will then reach out directly to her to consent, enroll, and begin data collection. For more information about the project or to donate to support the project, go to Crowdfunding to support PRIORITY.
- COVID Post Exposure Prophylaxis Clinical Trial: The University of Minnesota is conducting an open trial investigating hydroxychloroquine for post-exposure prophylaxis for healthcare or household COVID-19 exposures. It is open to anyone in the U.S. who meets criteria and is internet based. Those who may qualify can email email@example.com to inquire. Full information at this link. Please note: This study is not being performed at UCSF, but anyone can inquire.
Public Charge and immigrant rights during the COVID outbreak:
- Public Charge, HIV and COVID-19 resources from CHRP: recording of 3/26 webinar presentation, Google Drive of Public Charge & COVID-19 resources.
- Most East Bay clinics serving immigrants and immigrant advocacy organizations are open and available by phone during the COVID outbreak.
- For questions about public charge, immigration and public benefit changes during the COVID outbreak, East Bay Community Law Center is providing legal services by phone: 510-548-4040.
- The Immigrant Legal Resource Center has an updated legal fact sheet in English on the Public Charge rule. (PDF, 3/26)
- Protecting Immigrant Families has an updated Public Charge “Know Your Rights” webpage with information for community members in multiple languages.
National and International HIV COVID updates, resources and links:
- The UC Berkeley Labor Center released info on how COVID-19 relief payments count along with other forms of relief income (unemployment insurance, paid leave, severance benefits) for Medi-Cal and Covered California eligibility. (4/2)
- Loans for non-profits from the Federal Coronavirus Relief Bill (CARES Act) became available on April 3, 2020. The National Council of Nonprofits has a number of practical resources on their website and this useful table of loans available.
- International AIDS Society (IAS) webinar on COVID-19 and HIV: What you need to know is now available and was recorded on the 3 April 2020.
- COVID-19 remote consultation clinical work flow infographic from the British Medical Journal. (3/25 PDF or webpage)
- The $2 trillion stimulus package approved by the US Senate on March 25 includes $155 million in funding for people living with HIV: $90 million for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and $65 million for Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA). (NBC article, 3/26)
- The AIDS2020 conference will now be held virtually. (3/26)
- Sex and COVID-19: NYC Health community guidance. (PDF 3/21)
- AIDSInfo Interim Guidance COVID-19 and Persons with HIV (3/20)
- CDC webpage on COVID-19: What people with HIV should know (3/19)
- HRSA Ryan White Program: Frequently asked questions on COVID-19 impact on programs (3/19)
Have COVID symptoms and looking for testing?
- Please call your provider first to find out if you are eligible for testing with the latest criteria and the testing location before you leave your home/shelter/camp/car.
- 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.