Yesterday, health officials announced that Alameda County moved from CDC’s “Low” (Green) COVID-19 Community Level to “Medium” (Yellow). To comply with California’s face masking guidance, homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and cooling and heating centers must now reinstate universal masking requirements for all staff and residents, and Alameda County correctional and detention facilities are now subject to both local and statewide masking requirements. Indoor masking continues to be required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in health care settings and long-term care facilities. Also, in alignment with state and CDC
guidance, residents who are at risk for severe illness and their household members are recommended to wear a
mask in crowded indoor public places.

Daily reported COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising rapidly. As of December 8, the seven-day average case rate is 21 cases per 100,000 residents and 149 residents are in the hospital with COVID-19. COVID-19 spreads through the air and residents who are not masking should now consider wearing high-quality, well-fitting masks again to reduce the risk of infection. Masks protect both the wearer and those around them. Children under age 2 should not mask.

“We have observed worsening increases in COVID-19 case reports and hospitalizations since October,” said Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss. “Taking actions like masking and staying home when sick can prevent spreading illnesses like COVID-19, flu, and RSV and help protect our health care system from strain.”

This season, get the updated COVID-19 booster, test if symptomatic or exposed and before and after gathering, stay home if sick or positive, and keep gatherings small and outdoors or increase ventilation indoors to limit the impacts of COVID-19.

Everyone, 6 months and older, should also get their annual flu vaccination now. No vaccination is available for RSV but masking, washing hands often for 20 seconds at a time and covering coughs and sneezes add layers of protection against RSV and flu.

Free medication to prevent hospitalization is available to most adults and some teens with symptoms (even mild)
and a positive COVID-19 test. Talk to a health care provider about treatment options or visit If support is needed to understand treatment options, please call Alameda
County’s Community Support line, 510-268-2101.

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