Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) is reporting more than 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday, March 24.
“We expect these numbers to rise,” said Karl Fischer, communications specialist at CCHS. “They could rise substantially. The number I’m talking about is the number of cases that have been confirmed by testing.”
The number of cases has more than doubled in the county over four days, growing from 51 on March 21 to 108 on March 24. Fischer attributed the rapid increase in confirmed infections to a broadening of the testing effort.
“We believe these cases are in the community,” he explained. “More of them are becoming known to us because of testing.”
Determining the number of tests that have been completed in the county has been difficult as the private laboratories that are handling the bulk of the testing effort have only been required to report positive results. A new order enacted by six Bay Area counties on March 24 requires the reporting of all results to the health care provider and the appropriate county health agency. Fischer expects the enhanced reporting will begin immediately.
“This order will ensure public health officials regionally and across the state have access to the information we need to understand, predict, and combat the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County health officer. “Commercial and academic laboratories are important partners in providing testing to our community. Receiving this critical information from those labs will help
To date, CCHS has reported a single fatality related to the coronavirus has occurred in the county. Reported March 19, the patient was a 70-year-old individual who had an underlying health condition and had recently returned from a trip to Europe.
Across the state, more than 2,500 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed along with 53 fatalities.