‘Let’s choose who lives and who dies’: Contra Costa County assesses current reopening timeline after increase in cases

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, California (KGO) – Contra Costa county health officials are evaluating whether the county should continue its current reopening schedule. On Friday they revealed an increase in COVID-19 cases in the county.

“My biggest concern is that we start using beds that are not ICU patient beds. We have to start using nurses who are not ICU trained, and we are going to choose who lives and who dies,” said the infectious disease specialist. UCSF Dr. Peter Chin-Hong.

In the past week, the number of COVID-19 patients in this county’s hospitals increased 42 percent.

Without a vaccine, Dr. Chin Hong is very concerned about the pressure that more cases will have on the local health system.

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“I’m concerned about enough medicine for people. We’ve talked about antiviral Remdesivir before. We only have limited Remdesivir that we got from the government, when Gilead donated the rest of his supplies to the government. When we ran out of Rendesevir, then we ran out,” said the Dr. Chin-Hong.

Contra Costa County data also suggests that younger people play an important role in increasing these new cases. In June, 55 percent of the cases were age 40 or younger compared to 38 percent for that group in April.

“We need to take a little more proper precaution. I think people should stop being selfish and start and follow the rules,” said San Lorenzo resident Sarah Banuelos.

Avital Beauty Lounge opened on June 17 and now manager Jeru Fend is asking for the county to intervene.

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“A step back on things that are open. Shutting down the service industry like ours where people are touched. We shouldn’t be touching ourselves right now. It’s not safe, no matter how much they are disinfecting,” Fend said.

Other business owners say they are ready to increase security measures.

“As far as the business is concerned, we are having difficulties. We would like to remain open,” said ExpectAsian owner Jampa Wangdu.

Contra Costa County health officials said they are closely monitoring the data and will announce a decision on its reopening on Monday.

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