- Virus transmission in the county is rated as widespread by the governor's reopening regime, which places the area in Tier 1 and keeps schools and most nonessential businesses closed.
- Over the past seven days, the county has reported an average of 176 new cases per day, a 61.7% increase from two weeks ago. Over that same period, there have been 0.7 deaths per day.
- The number of hospitalizations is growing. There are now 70 patients with a confirmed case, an increase from fourteen days ago.
- San Pablo has the highest concentration of new cases with 1,897 reported per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks.
The latest trends
Experts say the true number of people infected is unknown and likely much higher than official tallies.
Over the past week, the county has averaged 176 new cases and 0.7 new deaths per day. The number of confirmed infections is currently doubling every 81.9 days.
State and local officials are closely watching the latest figures as they weigh when and how to reopen. Over the last seven days, officials have reported 1,232 new cases, which amounts to 109 per 100,000 residents.
Mapping the cases
Cases have been reported in 30 of Contra Costa County's cities and communities.
Cases per 100,000 residents over the last 14 days
Explore the latest data statewide by visiting our comprehensive dashboard.
Hospitals and patients
Lockdown measures aim to slow the virus in hope of preventing hospitals from being overrun.
To keep tabs on capacity, officials watch out for rapid increases in the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients.
There are now 70 patients admitted to county hospitals with a confirmed case of COVID-19, according to the latest figures from the state. Of those, 24 are in an intensive-care unit.
Officials also closely monitor the number of beds open in intensive-care units. In late July, the state changed its tracking method to exclude beds that are only for infants from the count.
There are currently 37 staffed and available beds in Contra Costa County according to the latest government data.
Nursing homes have become a tragic focal point of the coronavirus outbreak. California's Department of Public Health has listed 45 skilled nursing and assisted-living facilities in Contra Costa County that have reported COVID-19 cases.The state last updated the list on November 20. Officials withhold the precise number where there are 10 or fewer cases. The numbers reflect cumulative counts.
Learn more about those we've lost by reading Times obituaries of Californians who have died from coronavirus.
Reopenings and restrictions
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s reopening system classifies counties into four tiers based on metrics developed by state officials. Which tier a county falls in determines what can be reopened.
Contra Costa County is currently in Tier 1, which keeps schools and most nonessential businesses closed.
Most nonessential indoor business operations are closed
Some nonessential indoor business operations are closed
Some business operations can open with modifications
Most business operations can open with modifications
The state is now using three statistics to judge counties. With some exceptions, metrics must surpass the benchmark for the next tier in order to loosen restrictions. The latest numbers, along with tier reassignments, are released each Tuesday.
The first is called the adjusted case rate. It takes new cases in a recent seven-day period — excluding cases at prisons and jails — and adjusts for population. In some areas, that number is modified to account for the volume of testing. Contra Costa County's most recent adjusted case rate was 10.
The second metric is the positive test rate, which is the percentage of tests for the virus that come back positive. Contra Costa County's most recent positive test rate was 3.7%.
The third metric measures whether positive tests in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods have significantly exceeded a county's overall rate — a disparity that's been widespread during the pandemic. The statistic is known as the Healthy Places Index. Citing the strain of the recent surge in cases, the state has paused its use.
Based on its current tier in the state framework, here’s what is allowed to open in Contra Costa County.
Tier 1: Widespread risk
- Aquariums Open outdoors only with modifications
- Bars, brewpubs and distilleries (with no meals provided) Closed
- Cardrooms Open outdoors only with modifications
- Carwashes Open with modifications
- Child care Open with modifications
- Concert venues Closed
- Day camps Open with modifications
- Dine-in restaurants Open outdoors only with modifications
- Family entertainment Open outdoors only with modifications for kart racing, mini-golf, batting cages
- Food banks, gas stations and convenience stores Open with modifications
- Gyms Open outdoors only with modifications
- Hair salons and barbershops Open indoors with modifications
- Higher education Closed for indoor lectures and student gatherings. Some courses conducted in certain indoor settings, like labs and studio arts, may be open
- Hotels for tourism and individual travel Open with modifications
- K-12 schools Closed for in-person instruction, but distance learning is allowed
- Libraries Open with modifications. Max 25% capacity
- Movie theaters Open outdoors only with modifications
- Museums Open outdoors only with modifications
- Nail salons Open indoors with modifications
- Nonessential business offices Work remotely
- Pet groomers and landscapers Open with modifications
- Places of worship and cultural ceremonies Open outdoors only with modifications
- Professional sports without spectators Open without live audiences with modifications
- Racetracks without spectators Open outdoors only with modifications
- Retailers Open with modifications. Max 25% capacity
- Shopping malls Open indoors with modifications. Max 25% capacity. Closed common areas, food courts
- State and local government Open with modifications
- Takeout restaurants Open with modification
- Tattoo parlors Open indoors with modifications
- Theme parks Closed
- Wineries Open outdoors with modifications
- Zoos Open outdoors only with modifications
Shutdown orders have closed businesses and put thousands out of work. As parts of the economy reopen, some people have regained employment, though many remain jobless. The unemployment rate in Contra Costa County is 9.3%, lower than the state average.