Dear Friends,

The past few holiday seasons have been challenging, to say the least, and it is a great feeling to once again be able to fully participate in the traditions we look forward to during this time of year. We are thankful to all of you for doing your part to keep our community safe during the pandemic, whether it was masking up and getting vaccinated, helping to deliver meals and groceries, teaching students remotely, or working on the frontlines of our health systems.

While there is much to celebrate, please remember to not let your guard down. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is very much still with us, and hospitalizations are once again on the rise. In addition to COVID, the flu and RSV are circulating in our community and each can be just as dangerous. The good news is, we know how to keep ourselves and our loved ones protected from all of these illnesses, and we encourage you to continue the following healthy practices:

• Get your flu and COVID vaccines, as well as the updated COVID booster.
• Monitor for symptoms and stay home if you are sick.
• Test for COVID before attending a gathering or travelling.
• Keep your gatherings outdoors or in well-ventilated spaces.
• Wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask whenever you are in indoor public spaces or around high-risk individuals.
• Know how to access treatment right away.
• Wash your hands often.
• Cover your cough and sneezes.

You can find more information and resources by visiting the Alameda County Public Health Department’s website:

It is also important to remember that, while the holidays are generally a happy time, for some, they can be especially stressful or lonely, taking a toll on one’s mental wellbeing. If you or someone you know needs mental wellness support, there are many resources available in our community that are here to help. Visit our District 5 Mental Wellness Resources page for the full list HERE. Don’t be afraid to reach out – your mental health is part of your overall health and should not be ignored.

It is a great privilege and honor to serve the residents of District 5, and it has been wonderful to see more of you in person this year after a long hiatus. We look forward to seeing even more of you in the coming year.

Wishing you a joyful holiday season, and may the new year bring you good health and happiness!

-Keith Carson & District 5 Staff