UPDATE 6/15/2020, 11:45 a.m. -- Late Friday, June 12, 2020, Alameda County Health Officer, Dr. Pan, responded to the request from the mayors with this letter. The County will not permit the cities of Livermore, Dublin, and Pleasanton to serve as a pilot area to move further along in the reopening plan, separate from the remainder of Alameda County. That same day, the County issued a press release announcing plans to allow outdoor dining, all retail, limited religious services, and other activities starting June 19.
June 5, 2020
Dr. Erica Pan, Interim Public Health Officer
Alameda County Public Health Department
1000 Broadway, Suite 500
Oakland, CA 94607
RE: Consideration of a Sub-Regional Approach to Revising the County’s Shelter in Place Order
Dear Dr. Pan,
Today is an important milestone. We have spent 76 days of sheltering in place in the County of Alameda. This is half of the current year of 2020. During this time, you have cautiously moved to relax restrictions and we believe you plan to further ease restrictions again today.
The communities of Eastern Alameda County, Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore, are three of five cities that comprise the Tri-Valley Region. The other two Contra Costa County communities are the City of San Ramon and the Town of Danville. We identify, work, travel, shop, socialize and function interchangeably as a defined subregion.
All of the Eastern Alameda/Tri-Valley communities have a relatively low case rate, when compared to more impacted areas of Alameda County. And, now we understand that our Contra Costa communities in the Tri-Valley region are now able to advance further into Phase 2, including the allowance of inside retail, the opening of swimming pools, dog parks, outdoor dining, outdoor gatherings of up to 100 for religious purposes, as well as sports practices for their youth groups.
As cities, we have worked tirelessly in our communities during this SIP, particularly with our business community and with our families who are eager to return to a sense of normalcy. We have paid for, in partnership with Stanford Healthcare, a testing facility for our residents that need and wish to be tested. We have now tested more than 3,000 people. Our positive rate is less than 1.5%. We are supporting our non-profit partners to feed homebound seniors, hungry families and are paying for shelter for those that need it. We are doing our part and making a difference.
You continue to state that you follow the data. Based on our continual review of the Dashboard, the average weekly case count (in the last three weeks) in Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore are .66, 3, and 3.6 respectively. This sub-region does not warrant the same level of restriction that may be necessary in other places. Couple this with the fact that our next-door neighbors – divided by a residential street, can move more freely into Phase 2.
Compliance will become a bigger issue without a change in strategy. Our business community will need to reopen in order to stay alive and we will find it difficult to effectively enforce the more restrictive orders. We will face even more intense political pressure from our business community to re-open and we are already seeing that occur now.
We urge you to consider a more refined, sub-regional strategy. Not only will this reflect the data, it will allow regions of the County to reopen and provide you with the needed evidence/data that areas, like ours, can open safely and responsibly. This will also be helpful in giving you more confidence as you make decisions about more impacted areas in the County.
Let us be your pilot area. Let us prove to you that we can navigate COVID-19 safely, that it is just as safe to shop at a local music store and gift shop, as it is to shop at Walmart and Home Depot. Let us prove that kids in team practice is no different than essential workers’ children in day camps.
We know that a shift in strategy is not easy, but we are in unprecedented times that require adaptive thinking. We believe that if you were to assess Eastern Alameda County as a sub-region, the data proves our communities should re-open and get our economies moving forward again.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts and we would be open to hosting a constructive dialogue with you to take the next steps. Thank you for your continued work to support the public health of Alameda County.
City of Dublin
City of Pleasanton
City of Livermore