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Contra Costa County Pauses Reopenings As COVID-19 Infections, Hospitalizations Spike

MARTINEZ (CBS SF) -- Contra Costa County announced Monday it would delay any more reopening of businesses and activities planned for July 1 as COVID-19 outbreaks soar in the county.

The decision comes a day after Governor Gavin Newsom ordered a number of counties to close down bars and recommended to other counties, including Contra Costa and Santa Clara, to not reopen bars. The county was slated to open bars, indoor dining, gyms, outdoor leisure activities, personal services, and hotels for tourism on July 1.

"With the sharp rise in community spread and hospitalizations, it does not make sense at this time to open additional business sectors that could further accelerate community transmission," said a statement from Contra Costa Health Services. "These businesses and activities will remain closed in Contra Costa until county data indicate that the spread of the virus has slowed, as measured by at least a week of stable case numbers, hospitalizations and percent of tests that are positive. Trends will be monitored and evaluated daily."

County health services said the seven-day average number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in the county has increased by 75% from June 15 to June 29. The seven-day average number of newly identified COVID-19 cases has increased from 38 a day to 87 a day. The percentage of COVID-19 tests that came back positive has also increased from 4% to 6%, according to the county.

"This suggests the change is not simply due to more testing, but a true increase in community spread," the statement said.

County health services also said there has been a shift toward more young people testing positive. In June, 55 percent of people testing positive in Contra Costa were 40 years and younger, compared to 38 percent for that group in April.

The county urged people to get tested for COVID-19, even if they have no symptoms. Residents can make an appointment by calling 1-844-421-0804 or visit – online scheduling available at most sites.

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