Contra Costa County reached 1,100 confirmed COVID-19 cases as the number of residents tested rose sharply this week.
Data reported by Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) reported 11 new cases Wednesday, May 14, a 1% daily increase in total cases. For the prior seven days, the daily growth rate has averaged 1.2%. By comparison, new cases grew at a rate of 20.7% a day in March and 4.2% a day in April.
Contra Costa ranks 14th out of the state's 58 counties based on the number of confirmed cases. The highest number of cases are found in five Southern California counties: Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, Orange and San Bernardino. Bay Area counties – Santa Clara, Alameda, San Francisco and San Mateo – occupy the next four positions. Kern County rounds out the top ten.
The number of COVID-19 tests per day exceeded 1,000 for the first time on May 14 when 1,144 were completed in the county. While this is still only half the county’s goal of 2,200 tests per day, it does represent a significant increase in volume. The county averaged only 323 per day in April, and the month-to-date average for May is 586 tests per day.
The county recently made testing available to anyone interested in being tested. Previously a resident needed to have some symptom related to COVID-19 to receive a test, but that requirement has since been eliminated.
“We are now offering testing to anyone who wants it regardless of symptoms or no symptoms as of this week,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, county health officer. “We still don’t know how many people with symptoms are not being tested. While we are trying to spread the word that anyone with symptoms should get tested and anyone without symptoms who wants a test can get tested, some people may still be following out-of-date advice to stay home if not too sick that was being given out when tests were in short supply.”
Drive-through test sites are available in Antioch, Pittsburg, Concord, Martinez and San Pablo. Three recently opened walk-in sites are located in Brentwood, Walnut Creek and Pinole. Residents can call 844-421-0804 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily for an appointment at any Contra Costa site.
The number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 stands at 33, with five deaths reported so far in May. Deaths in the county peaked over a 12 day period from April 8 - 19 when 15 fatalities were reported. Since then, less than one death every two days has been recorded.
The number of patients hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19 is currently 20, less than half the number that were hospitalized one month ago when the number of hospitalizations peaked at 44.
In East County, there are 94 confirmed coronavirus infections in Antioch, 63 in Brentwood, 42 in Oakley, nine in Discovery Bay and one on Bethel Island.