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CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (CBS SF) – Contra Costa County announced a new health order requiring patrons of certain businesses, including restaurants and gyms, to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test starting later this month.
The order (.pdf), which goes into effect on September 22, applies to businesses where people remove face coverings to eat or drink indoors, such as restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. It also applies to all indoor fitness facilities, including gyms, yoga and dance studios.
Officials also announced all workers in businesses affected by the health order must present proof of vaccination or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing starting November 1.
“This order is necessary now to save lives, protect our overburdened healthcare system, and slow the pandemic enough to keep our schools open,” Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said Tuesday.
Contra Costa Health Services issued the order as COVID-19 case rates remain at levels not seen since February as the Delta variant spreads largely among the unvaccinated.
Health officials said there were 15 COVID-19 related deaths in the county from August 25-31. From September 1-7, the county reported 20 virus-related deaths in the first seven days in September, the two highest seven-day totals since March.
Officials said unvaccinated residents have case rates that are about five times as high as the fully vaccinated, hospitalizations rates that are about 16 times higher and death rates that are about 22 times higher.
“Reducing community transmission of the virus now is key to preventing future spikes in cases from overwhelming our county’s hospitals during the winter months,” Farnitano said.
Proof of vaccination would be accepted in multiple forms, including a person’s CDC vaccination card, a copy or photo of one’s card, documentation from a healthcare provider or the state’s digital vaccine record. Negative test results would also be accepted, but only within the last three days.
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