Answering COVID vaccine questions; county taking appointment requests for 65 and older
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Tice pools to close Friday as county falls back to red tier

(Tuesday, Nov. 10) Tice pools will close once again starting Friday, Nov. 13, as a rise in COVID-19 cases dropped Contra Costa County back to the more restrictive red tier.

The California Department of Public Health moved the county back on Tuesday because the 7-day average new cases per 100,000 residents jumped to 5.3 – higher than permitted for counties in the orange tier for a second consecutive week. The county will remain in the restrictive red tier for at least two weeks.

The change in tiers also means starting Friday capacity scales back for retail stores to 50% or 100 people, whichever is lower, indoor shopping malls to 25% or 100 people, whichever is lower and indoor gyms and fitness centers to 10%. Communal indoor pools and indoor family entertainment centers, such as bowling alleys, must close. Outdoor performances are prohibited.

Tice Creek Fitness Center will stay at 15 reservations per session for general use but there will be no group fitness classes or use of the gymnasium for sports until the county moves back to the orange tier.

The change does not affect the ability of schools to reopen for in-person instruction, so long as health guidelines are followed. Outdoor playgrounds also remain open.

All Tice pool reservations from Friday forward will be canceled. Effective Monday, Nov. 16, Hillside and Dollar pools will expand hours from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last reservation starting at 4 p.m. Dollar will be closed for cleaning on Wednesdays from 6 to 9 a.m. and Hillside on Tuesdays from 6 to 9 a.m. Reservations for the expanded hours will open in the reservation system at 7 a.m. on Thursday.

Aqua classes with Cathy Steen will be canceled starting Friday.

With numbers rising, last week the county already had moved indoor dining back to 25% from 50%.

Contra Costa Health Services officials noted that most new COVID-19 cases in Contra Costa are spread within the home, usually with an infected person spreading it to people in their household. Health officials are asking county residents to step up protection measures, especially with the holiday season approaching.

“The most critical way to protect against COVID-19 is to wear a face covering whenever you are near people who do not live with you, and whenever you go in a building that is not your home,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa Health Officer. “Face coverings help prevent people who do not know they are infected from spreading the virus to others. My mask protects you. Your mask protects me. Masks also provide some direct protection for the wearer.”

The county also is concerned about rising hospitalizations. On Nov. 8, 46 people in Contra Costa were hospitalized – the highest one-day total since September.

For more local information about COVID-19, visit the website or call 1-844-729-8410.