News

Tri-Valley mayors urge quicker reopening locally as county health lifts some restrictions

ACPHD allows a few more businesses & activities, including 'social bubbles'; face coverings now required at all times in public

As Alameda County health officials relaxed some restrictions in their COVID-19 shelter order, the mayors of Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore co-signed a letter on Friday calling on the county to allow the Tri-Valley to reopen businesses and activities more quickly.

Citing low coronavirus case rates in the Tri-Valley cities and more expedited reopenings for nearby San Ramon and Danville in Contra Costa County, the mayors encouraged the Alameda County Public Health Department to take a sub-regional approach to lifting shelter-in-place (SIP) restrictions, instead of countywide mandates.

"Let us be your pilot area," mayors David Haubert (Dublin), Jerry Thorne (Pleasanton) and John Marchand (Livermore) said in their joint letter to Dr. Erica Pan, interim public health officer for ACPHD.

"Let us prove to you that we can navigate COVID-19 safely, that it is just as safe to shop at a local music store and gift shop, as it is to shop at Walmart and Home Depot. Let us prove that kids in team practice is no different than essential workers' children in day camps," they said in part, adding:

"We know that a shift in strategy is not easy, but we are in unprecedented times that require adaptive thinking. We believe that if you were to assess Eastern Alameda County as a sub-region, the data proves our communities should re-open and get our economies moving forward again."

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ACPHD has been among the slowest counties to loosen COVID-19 shelter restrictions, even among its Bay Area counterparts.

Alameda County has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in all of the Bay Area with 3,805 positive patients and 101 deaths, as of Saturday's data update.

But, the mayors argue, the three Tri-Valley cities' case count is a very low percentage of the county's total and appears to have been slowing in recent weeks -- Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin, combined, account for less than 4% of the positive cases on record to date.

The mayors' letter was made public on Friday evening, about an hour after the county health department announced a revised shelter order to take effect Monday allowing a few more business and activities to resume, authorizing small gatherings with "social bubbles," and expanding the county's face covering law.

Now permitted to reopen are child care providers for all children (not just children of essential workers), along with conditions under which youth extracurricular activities can resume; certain businesses with person-to-person contact like appliance repair and pet groomers; libraries for curbside pickup; and educational institutions for career internship and pathways programs.

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County officials said, "Residents can expect that outdoor museums, outdoor restaurant dining, religious services, and additional outdoor activities (like outdoor fitness classes) will resume in phases in upcoming relaxations to the Shelter-in-Place restrictions."

ACPHD also authorized small gatherings of people from different households to occur in outdoor settings, subject to conditions including "social bubbles."

A social bubble is a group of 12 or fewer people from different households that can interact in small outdoor gatherings. The bubble should be maintained for at least three weeks, people can participate in only one bubble at a time, and social-distancing guidelines are strongly encouraged, county officials said.

"As we move forward in Stage 2 of the reopening plan, we increase the level of exposure to infection among Alameda County residents," Pan said. "This is still a highly contagious virus and medically fragile residents and our disproportionally impacted communities are still at high risk for this disease."

Another key to Pan's new order is expanding the county's face covering law to mandate they be worn at all times in public, including outdoors when exercising within 30 feet of another person outside of their household. (The mask does not have to be worn the whole time exercising, but it must be carried and then put on when within 30 feet of other people.)

Children between 3 and 12 years old do not have to wear a face covering; children 2 years old or younger should not wear a face covering, according to Pan.

"A face covering helps prevent transmitting the virus that causes COVID-19," Pan said. "Everyone should wear a face covering anytime they are outside the home and around other people. This helps decrease the exposure for all of us and is one of the few tools we have that will allow us to decrease risk as we gradually allow for more activities outside the home."

"Face coverings protect everyone because people may have COVID-19 and not realize it," she added. "My face covering protects you and your face covering protects me."

All other aspects of the county's previous shelter order remain intact, unless amended by the new order effective Monday. Read more on the ACPHD website.

But the three Tri-Valley mayors want more allowances for their jurisdictions, even proposing for Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore to serve as a test case for more aggressive reopenings in Alameda County.

"We urge you to consider a more refined, sub-regional strategy," wrote Haubert, Thorne and Marchand.

"Not only will this reflect the data, it will allow regions of the County to reopen and provide you with the needed evidence/data that areas, like ours, can open safely and responsibly. This will also be helpful in giving you more confidence as you make decisions about more impacted areas in the County," they added.

The mayors said the COVID-19 case data show the Tri-Valley's overall case count, as well as weekly rates over the past three weeks, are significantly lower than the rest of the county.

As of Saturday, ACPHD reported 64 positive cases in Pleasanton residents, 57 in Livermore and 28 in Dublin -- plus 55 at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, which is kept in a separate statistical category.

That compares to more heavily impacted parts of the county such as Oakland (1,424), Hayward (714), Fremont (185) and San Leandro (163).

The mayors also cite their cities' partnership to offer a COVID-19 regional testing site for their residents by Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.

Dublin city officials confirmed separately on Friday that the fairgrounds testing site, which is open to any resident of Pleasanton, Dublin or Livermore 10 years old or older regardless of symptoms or exposure, will remain open until further notice. It operates from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, with a maximum capacity of 200 tests per day.

The mayors revealed that the regional testing center has tested more than 3,000 people to date, with a positive rate for COVID-19 that is less than 1.5%. (That marks the first time the cities have confirmed testing site data publicly; in the past, the cities, Stanford-ValleyCare and the county had either deferred or declined to release test result data to the Weekly.)

"As cities, we have worked tirelessly in our communities during this SIP, particularly with our business community and with our families who are eager to return to a sense of normalcy," the mayors said. "We are doing our part and making a difference."

"Compliance will become a bigger issue without a change in strategy," they added. "Our business community will need to reopen in order to stay alive, and we will find it difficult to effectively enforce more restrictive orders. We will face even more intense political pressure from our business community to re-open and we are already seeing that occur now."

The mayors' letter, addressed to Pan, was also sent to all three city councils, county supervisors Scott Haggerty and Nate Miley, the director of ACPHD and the director of the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency.

"We look forward to hearing your thoughts and we would be open to hosting a constructive dialogue with you to take the next steps. Thank you for your continued work to support the public health of Alameda County," the mayors said to conclude their letter.

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Tri-Valley mayors urge quicker reopening locally as county health lifts some restrictions

ACPHD allows a few more businesses & activities, including 'social bubbles'; face coverings now required at all times in public

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Sun, Jun 7, 2020, 12:28 pm

As Alameda County health officials relaxed some restrictions in their COVID-19 shelter order, the mayors of Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore co-signed a letter on Friday calling on the county to allow the Tri-Valley to reopen businesses and activities more quickly.

Citing low coronavirus case rates in the Tri-Valley cities and more expedited reopenings for nearby San Ramon and Danville in Contra Costa County, the mayors encouraged the Alameda County Public Health Department to take a sub-regional approach to lifting shelter-in-place (SIP) restrictions, instead of countywide mandates.

"Let us be your pilot area," mayors David Haubert (Dublin), Jerry Thorne (Pleasanton) and John Marchand (Livermore) said in their joint letter to Dr. Erica Pan, interim public health officer for ACPHD.

"Let us prove to you that we can navigate COVID-19 safely, that it is just as safe to shop at a local music store and gift shop, as it is to shop at Walmart and Home Depot. Let us prove that kids in team practice is no different than essential workers' children in day camps," they said in part, adding:

"We know that a shift in strategy is not easy, but we are in unprecedented times that require adaptive thinking. We believe that if you were to assess Eastern Alameda County as a sub-region, the data proves our communities should re-open and get our economies moving forward again."

ACPHD has been among the slowest counties to loosen COVID-19 shelter restrictions, even among its Bay Area counterparts.

Alameda County has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in all of the Bay Area with 3,805 positive patients and 101 deaths, as of Saturday's data update.

But, the mayors argue, the three Tri-Valley cities' case count is a very low percentage of the county's total and appears to have been slowing in recent weeks -- Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin, combined, account for less than 4% of the positive cases on record to date.

The mayors' letter was made public on Friday evening, about an hour after the county health department announced a revised shelter order to take effect Monday allowing a few more business and activities to resume, authorizing small gatherings with "social bubbles," and expanding the county's face covering law.

Now permitted to reopen are child care providers for all children (not just children of essential workers), along with conditions under which youth extracurricular activities can resume; certain businesses with person-to-person contact like appliance repair and pet groomers; libraries for curbside pickup; and educational institutions for career internship and pathways programs.

County officials said, "Residents can expect that outdoor museums, outdoor restaurant dining, religious services, and additional outdoor activities (like outdoor fitness classes) will resume in phases in upcoming relaxations to the Shelter-in-Place restrictions."

ACPHD also authorized small gatherings of people from different households to occur in outdoor settings, subject to conditions including "social bubbles."

A social bubble is a group of 12 or fewer people from different households that can interact in small outdoor gatherings. The bubble should be maintained for at least three weeks, people can participate in only one bubble at a time, and social-distancing guidelines are strongly encouraged, county officials said.

"As we move forward in Stage 2 of the reopening plan, we increase the level of exposure to infection among Alameda County residents," Pan said. "This is still a highly contagious virus and medically fragile residents and our disproportionally impacted communities are still at high risk for this disease."

Another key to Pan's new order is expanding the county's face covering law to mandate they be worn at all times in public, including outdoors when exercising within 30 feet of another person outside of their household. (The mask does not have to be worn the whole time exercising, but it must be carried and then put on when within 30 feet of other people.)

Children between 3 and 12 years old do not have to wear a face covering; children 2 years old or younger should not wear a face covering, according to Pan.

"A face covering helps prevent transmitting the virus that causes COVID-19," Pan said. "Everyone should wear a face covering anytime they are outside the home and around other people. This helps decrease the exposure for all of us and is one of the few tools we have that will allow us to decrease risk as we gradually allow for more activities outside the home."

"Face coverings protect everyone because people may have COVID-19 and not realize it," she added. "My face covering protects you and your face covering protects me."

All other aspects of the county's previous shelter order remain intact, unless amended by the new order effective Monday. Read more on the ACPHD website.

But the three Tri-Valley mayors want more allowances for their jurisdictions, even proposing for Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore to serve as a test case for more aggressive reopenings in Alameda County.

"We urge you to consider a more refined, sub-regional strategy," wrote Haubert, Thorne and Marchand.

"Not only will this reflect the data, it will allow regions of the County to reopen and provide you with the needed evidence/data that areas, like ours, can open safely and responsibly. This will also be helpful in giving you more confidence as you make decisions about more impacted areas in the County," they added.

The mayors said the COVID-19 case data show the Tri-Valley's overall case count, as well as weekly rates over the past three weeks, are significantly lower than the rest of the county.

As of Saturday, ACPHD reported 64 positive cases in Pleasanton residents, 57 in Livermore and 28 in Dublin -- plus 55 at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, which is kept in a separate statistical category.

That compares to more heavily impacted parts of the county such as Oakland (1,424), Hayward (714), Fremont (185) and San Leandro (163).

The mayors also cite their cities' partnership to offer a COVID-19 regional testing site for their residents by Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.

Dublin city officials confirmed separately on Friday that the fairgrounds testing site, which is open to any resident of Pleasanton, Dublin or Livermore 10 years old or older regardless of symptoms or exposure, will remain open until further notice. It operates from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, with a maximum capacity of 200 tests per day.

The mayors revealed that the regional testing center has tested more than 3,000 people to date, with a positive rate for COVID-19 that is less than 1.5%. (That marks the first time the cities have confirmed testing site data publicly; in the past, the cities, Stanford-ValleyCare and the county had either deferred or declined to release test result data to the Weekly.)

"As cities, we have worked tirelessly in our communities during this SIP, particularly with our business community and with our families who are eager to return to a sense of normalcy," the mayors said. "We are doing our part and making a difference."

"Compliance will become a bigger issue without a change in strategy," they added. "Our business community will need to reopen in order to stay alive, and we will find it difficult to effectively enforce more restrictive orders. We will face even more intense political pressure from our business community to re-open and we are already seeing that occur now."

The mayors' letter, addressed to Pan, was also sent to all three city councils, county supervisors Scott Haggerty and Nate Miley, the director of ACPHD and the director of the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency.

"We look forward to hearing your thoughts and we would be open to hosting a constructive dialogue with you to take the next steps. Thank you for your continued work to support the public health of Alameda County," the mayors said to conclude their letter.

Comments

Nick MacKenzie
Avignon
on Jun 8, 2020 at 2:21 am
Nick MacKenzie, Avignon
on Jun 8, 2020 at 2:21 am

Be careful with re-opening. I fully understand the needs of economy and the fact that people need to work but make sure you have clear guides as what is allowed and what is not. Re-opening without a clear guidelines and safety measures can result in a real disaster. Take one step at a time. Also, an important thing to remember? If you open too much, if you lift too many restrictions and the virus hits again then you won't be able to close the county again.
Looking at how people behave and how agitated they got, once is enough. You won't be able to induce another lockdown in the same peaceful manner.


Web Link


Ed
Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 8, 2020 at 5:43 am
Ed , Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 8, 2020 at 5:43 am
Jake Waters
Birdland
on Jun 8, 2020 at 8:23 am
Jake Waters, Birdland
on Jun 8, 2020 at 8:23 am

Thank you Mayors for speaking out. We of the sane public have been waiting for your response, your pushback to these destroying, harsh, unsupported measures that continually are destroying people’s lives and livelihoods. Pleasantonians are panicking over the numbers, but fail to realize the more they test, the more they will find that most of us are asymptomatic, and that is a good thing. That is what you want.

Stanford Valley Care had two Covid19 patients back in March and have had no activity since. They prepared a full floor on the third floor to address Covid19, and it is empty. They have cut hours of nurses drastically. So much for panic. John Muir hospital has handled more suicides than Covid19 patients. Please tell me where the crisis is in our hospitals in California.

Now we have to wear masks when we are out? The masks that are ill fitting, useless, and not maintained or cleaned by the majority of those that wear them? The social distancing rule is up to 30 feet? Seriously? Social circles? Who wrote these ludicrous rules, Liberal Arts majors?

It’s time for all of you to come up from the dark, damp basements of your homes, and into the light. You have a greater chance of being injured by The fast food you eat than being infected by Covid19.


Reality
Mariposa Ranch
on Jun 8, 2020 at 8:53 am
Reality, Mariposa Ranch
on Jun 8, 2020 at 8:53 am

Let's get real - media reporting is very skewed - they keep saying the number of cases continue to increase, but they failed to say how many cases are cured. The number of covid-19 cases will never be zero, just like the number of flu cases will never be zero. We should be more concern with the number of true covid-19 deaths - that's the critical number. We just need to take precaution in what we do and move on with our lives. Businesses should be able to resume. Swimming pools should be able to open. DMV offices should be able to open. Government offices should open to serve the public requests. Stop over-reacting, but instead act smart!


Wombat
Downtown
on Jun 8, 2020 at 10:01 am
Wombat, Downtown
on Jun 8, 2020 at 10:01 am

It’s a topsy-turvy world when Jake Waters writes a well written post that makes so much sense!


Member
Stoneridge
on Jun 8, 2020 at 11:02 am
Member, Stoneridge
on Jun 8, 2020 at 11:02 am

Whoever wrote "be careful while reopening" and "you won't be able to close the country again"...This is AMERICA!! We've been being careful for almost 4 months. And, we should never think about closing the whole country again. Quarantines are for those who are sick and vulnerable / the elderly population. I do hope this never happens again. And, let's be real...If you can't get what you need here in the tri valley area, people will and are going to Danville, San Ramon etc. where you can actually live your life again. We need FREEDOM not power and control.


Jake Waters
Birdland
on Jun 8, 2020 at 11:31 am
Jake Waters, Birdland
on Jun 8, 2020 at 11:31 am

@Wombat and 'making sense' is an oxymoron.

More to the point for the Mayors. We have just experienced a number of demonstrations in the Tri-Valley area, (2 in Pleasanton, which will drive the point), where thousands upon thousands of people congregated together without social distancing (very tired of this manipulative word) and many, I mean many not wearing masks. Apparently that was acceptable, not a threat to our safety, and no concerns of infection. They were allowed a choice, unlike the rest of us. The Covid19 virus knew to stay away from these groups of people, I imagine.

So, with that said, why can't the rest of us congregate outside, in restaurants and bars, and more. Why can't we be treated to take precautions. Do we not have the correct agenda? Cause? This social upheaval has shown to the rest of us how NOT serious this virus has become anymore then the regular flu we experience every year.

Just my perception of things.


Patsy
Highland Oaks
on Jun 8, 2020 at 12:16 pm
Patsy, Highland Oaks
on Jun 8, 2020 at 12:16 pm

Again. Stop the insanity and start the civic disobedience. Stop ASKING for permission in a letter and just DO IT. I fail to see how sitting by like a bunch of sheep serves any purpose. Declare your commitment to align with Contra Costa County and get on with it.


William Dengler
Old Towne
on Jun 8, 2020 at 3:14 pm
William Dengler, Old Towne
on Jun 8, 2020 at 3:14 pm

You're killing my business you liberals.


Debby
Birdland
on Jun 8, 2020 at 8:58 pm
Debby, Birdland
on Jun 8, 2020 at 8:58 pm

Thank you, Mayors!
30 feet in the open and only 6 feet indoors - you've got to be kidding!!?! When did Alameda change the 6 ft.

I'd like to know if I had been exposed - if so, I was one of the asymptomatic (at least no fever) back in March & no testing because no fever. I'm fine now.

I think you have more people protesting just to get out more than a protest of the killing of George Floyd. I'm glad the protests in Pleasanton were peaceful - similar to our high school's march to the US embassy against the killing of the Kent students (May 1970). Looting is not a protest but a crime. The Pleasanton protests did close businesses for a day - no property damage (at least not in the complex where we own a shop.)

I need a critical business to reopen before I stop working from home - my hairstylist. I'm not particularly enamored by going naturally blond (shimmering white). Oh, to be a brunette again.

Let the Tri-Valley be a showcase and please Tri-Valley don't commute on BART during this time. BART says it's cleaning and making space (read - removing seats ), but it had been a petri dish and I don't think they've improved much. Their previous cleaning was something like 1/3 trains a day.


Michael Austin
Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 8, 2020 at 10:10 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 8, 2020 at 10:10 pm

Opening Up!

Flash Back To year 1974 - McDonalds Menu:

1/4 Pounder with Cheese .70
1/4 Pounder .60
Big Mac .65
Filet of Fish .48
Cheese Burger .33
Hamburger .28
French Fries .26
Large Fries .46
Shakes .45
Hit Chocolate/Coffee .15
Ice Cream Cone .20


Wow
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2020 at 7:06 am
Wow, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2020 at 7:06 am

Open your business. Go back to work. If anyone says anything. Simply say I'm not working I'm protesting.
Done!


Ed
Downtown
on Jun 9, 2020 at 7:13 am
Ed, Downtown
on Jun 9, 2020 at 7:13 am

Coronavirus: Asymptomatic spread 'appears to be rare,' WHO official says

Web Link

Explore the Fox News apps that are right for you at Web Link.


PO'd
Foothill Farms
on Jun 9, 2020 at 9:34 am
PO'd, Foothill Farms
on Jun 9, 2020 at 9:34 am

Quiet!! An "interim" health director speaks.

Alameda allows "social bubbles"??? Absurdity abounds!


Vic-tah
Mission Park
on Jun 9, 2020 at 3:40 pm
Vic-tah, Mission Park
on Jun 9, 2020 at 3:40 pm

From what I'm hearing from first responder friends you REALLY don't want this disease. Yeah, the vulnerable can stay on lockdown. But as shown in the states which opened earlier, the number of cases and deaths are spiking. Walking downtown last night, few were wearing masks. I'd be very leery of jumping ahead too fast, but I understand the drive, economically and socially, to do so. Be careful what you ask for.


Jan
Ironwood
on Jun 9, 2020 at 4:07 pm
Jan, Ironwood
on Jun 9, 2020 at 4:07 pm

What a pathetic bunch we have In Pleasanton from the mayor on down. No guts to stand up for the people & businesses here who are SO DONE with being held hostage & wearing masks. Erica Pan is worthless...what are we paying her for this crap!! The mayor needs to find his backbone & listen to the people of Pleasanton because we are DONE!! We know how to protest too so unlock our city NOW!!!


Dublin Resident
Dublin
on Jun 9, 2020 at 6:48 pm
Dublin Resident, Dublin
on Jun 9, 2020 at 6:48 pm

Dublin Mayor is a joke He took a knee, mask off -- closely surrounded by 20-year-olds facing off to our police. Those 20-year-olds screaming at the police to join them taking a knee. The police allowed this peaceful protest. Protecting the city is not done on their knees. Dublin mayor is a joke... I suppose his support from Alameda County Sheriff Offices may end? Wasn't it enough these police escorted and allowed the major intersection in Dublin to stop for 20
= minutes during rush hour?


BobB
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2020 at 8:41 pm
BobB, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2020 at 8:41 pm

How hard is it to wear a mask? Just put on a mask.


Pleasanton Parent
Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 9, 2020 at 10:10 pm
Pleasanton Parent , Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 9, 2020 at 10:10 pm

BobB,
You can wear a mask. Don’t push your fear onto me.


BobB
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2020 at 10:16 pm
BobB, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2020 at 10:16 pm

@PP,

Nothing to do with fear. Just good manners and consideration for others. It is just plain impolite not to wear one when you are in an enclosed space.


Billie
Mohr Park
on Jun 10, 2020 at 7:27 am
Billie, Mohr Park
on Jun 10, 2020 at 7:27 am

What we mask wearers are NOT pushing out are our germs. Instead of mocking those who wear masks, how about a simple "thank you".


Pleasanton Parent
Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 10, 2020 at 9:28 am
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 10, 2020 at 9:28 am

Billie,
Not mocking you - wear your mask all you want. Don't make me.

BobB,
Nope, not a thing. What would be courteous, polite, and considerate is staying home if you're sick. But if you want to wear a mask when you're also healthy, you can. I'm not.


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Vintage Hills
on Jun 10, 2020 at 10:06 am
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
on Jun 10, 2020 at 10:06 am

PP, if wearing a mask is how we are allowed out and about, then simply wear the mask. It is not that difficult.


highdiver
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2020 at 5:03 pm
highdiver, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2020 at 5:03 pm

It has been one week since the letter to the Health Department.No response. Typical government. Make take a few more weeks to get a response and I suggest they re-mail the request as certified mail this time if wasn't done that way the first time.


highdiver
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2020 at 5:44 pm
highdiver, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2020 at 5:44 pm

Just read the City of Pleasanton update, appears outdoor dining and retail will be allowed in Alameda county on June 19th.


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