A message from:
Board of Supervisors
Susan S. Muranishi, County Administrator
September 4, 2020
As summer comes to a close and we approach the long Labor Day weekend, we hope that you and your families are healthy and safe.
After almost 175 days, 25 weeks or six months of sheltering in place due to the global pandemic, we again thank you for your continued commitment to providing critical services to our residents and diverse communities. Your dedication and perseverance have enabled the County to help flatten the curve, support those who most need our services and continue providing critical services to our residents.
In addition to the challenges of COVID-19, the recent wildfires throughout California that affected portions of eastern Alameda County required an increased level of emergency response from our public safety and County partners already working 24/7 through our Emergency Operating Center (EOC). The smoke and ash from the regional fires have also affected the air quality in parts of the County.
As valued members of our County family, we recognize the many challenges you face every day during this extraordinary year including the new dimension of distance learning for those with school-age children. We also appreciate your contributions toward the continuity of County operations and service to our clients and communities.
As you make plans to enjoy the long Labor Day holiday weekend, please follow the important tips below from our County health officials to help you and your families continue to stay healthy and safe! Thank you for your dedication and resilience as we continue to flatten the curve and help save lives.
Alameda County Health Official Offers Tips for Not Spreading COVID-19 During Labor Day Weekend
Using lessons learned from Memorial Day and Independence Day where social gatherings led to the spread of COVID-19, health officials are offering tips to the public on how to stay safe over Labor Day weekend.
Following celebratory events, contact tracing has shown that many people likely became sick with COVID-19 after attending a party or picnic with friends and family. A common theme found by contact tracers was that people attended these gatherings despite showing symptoms of COVID-19, such as coughing. There were also people who attended gatherings who didn’t know they had COVID-19 because they didn’t have any symptoms, but who later tested positive and infected others at the gathering.
"COVID-19 has changed so many things, including how we should celebrate Labor Day this year. This virus is still widespread in our communities and we must continue to take all necessary precautions to protect ourselves, families and friends,” said Dr. Kathleen Clanon, Alameda County’s Deputy Health Officer. “We understand how difficult it is, but as much as possible, avoid socializing with groups of people you don’t live with. This is our opportunity to help reduce and prevent the spread of COVID-19 so we can move toward a less restrictive future."
Health officials discourage social gatherings with people who don’t live in your home because these get-togethers, even small ones, increase the risk of spreading COVID-19. Health officials offer the following tips for a safer celebration:
- Hang out with members of your household: Explore a new trail, picnic at a beautiful park, enjoy the beach early in the day.
- Outdoors is much safer than indoors: The risk of transmitting COVID-19 is higher indoors, especially in confined spaces where people may not be wearing face coverings or keeping their distance from others. At social gatherings, avoid being inside as much as possible, which includes being in the kitchen with others to prepare or get food or drinks. The host should be the only one in the kitchen; having guests in the kitchen increases the risk spreading the virus. So if you’re going to socialize, do it outdoors. Nonetheless, even if you are outside, you should still stay six feet apart and wear face coverings if you are around people you don’t live with.
- Wear a cloth face covering when outside of your home, in public and around others.
- If you’re feeling sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay home: You may think that cough or sniffle is just allergies, but it’s not worth the risk of infecting friends and loved ones.
- Communicate beforehand: If you choose to gather with people outside of your household (e.g., members of your social bubble), discuss and agree on what protective measures they will have in place, such as plans for maintaining physical distancing, wearing masks as much as possible, and agreeing to hold each other accountable for the sake of group safety. Most of all, agree that invitees should not come if they feel ill in any way.
- Avoid Crowds: Be flexible with your plans and move to a different location if you cannot easily keep at least 6 feet (or more than three steps) away from others.
- Leave the party or gathering if someone seems sick: Don’t assume that someone coughing or sniffling has allergies and not COVID-19. Politely explain to the host that you are worried about getting infected and need to go. However, remember that people without symptoms can still have COVID-19 and infect others, which is why it’s best to keep on a mask, maintain physical distance, and stay outside as much as possible.
- Be extra cautious in the days before gathering with others: If you know you’re going to meet with people from outside your household, stay home as much as possible and limit public activities in the days before in order to reduce the chance of getting sick and infecting others at the gathering.
The Labor Day weekend forecast predicts unseasonably warm temperatures. Smoke and ash from regional wildfires may create unhealthy air quality for many communities. Health officials warn to factor-in your local forecast when planning Labor Day activities. In many areas, the safest place to celebrate will be indoors, at home, among your household unit only.
Alameda County Public Health Department Heat and Health webpage and Air Quality webpage
For air quality updates and forecasts, visit the Bay Area Air Quality Management District or AirNow.gov.
For more information about COVID-19 and Alameda County, visit covid-19.acgov.org.
Visit https://www.acgov.org/emergencysite/ to see if there is a cooling or cleaner air center in your city. Call ahead to check if they will be open this weekend.