On this episode, I chat with Contra Costa County Board of Supervisor Diane Burgis about the county response to COVID-19. Burgs talks about the progression of the virus in the county and how the Bay Area came together for an identical policy, importance of shelter in place and walking the line between health versus economy. We get into a variety of topics from resources available, to Alternative Care Facilities, Mental Health, Farmers Market, what the “going outdoors” recommendation actually means, and much more.

Here is the timestamps within the interview on he topics covered.

  • 01:09 – Burgis highlights how the coronavirus has changed her daily schedule and impacts to county business. Basically, it keeps changing as they try to slow the curve so people need to pay attention to information being released.
  • 04:10 – Different rules for different communities. The approach of the Bay Area counties coming together for identical policy.
  • 06:30 – We discuss COVID-19 testing and the numbers keep rising with data as it becomes available. Burgis explains how they are trying to be proactive.
  • 07:57 – Importance of shelter in place and social distancing. Burgis explains the difficulty in walking a fine line between health and safety versus the economics of the economy. They also anticipating conversation with the agricultural community as crops get closure. Resources are available for help such as small business loans, unemployment, financial support. We discuss the impact on small business
  • 12:45 – Small business that are open, check with insurance companies for steps on working if you remain open. Burgis highlights some things to look for.
  • 12:55 – Discuss Farmers Market and how to keep it open while ensuring social distancing. Burgis highlights the importance of good practice good hygiene and social distancing to protect others.
  • 17:38 – Burgis explains the Alternative Care Facilities in both the City of Martinez and City of Pittsburg to provide more beds and resources. She also explained how in Antioch, there will also be a facility at the Fairgrounds.
  • 21:10 – Is there an estimated timeline of when the county will receive more supplies from the State. Burgis explains they are seeking donations, attempting to get supplies. There is no timetable since supplies are limited across the world. The county is really encouraging donations and soon will accept financial donations.
  • 23:50 – We discuss mental health and how it will become an issue the longer we are going through this health emergency. Burgis says resources are available, Call 2-1-1 which is the crisis hotline.
  • 27:01 – No one knows how long this is going on, people are just going to adjust. Burgis highlights the county is working on what this will mean, a lot will depend on data and how effective social distancing is. She highlights this could be a while longer and is easier to say than do. She recommends self-care and realize how important it is.
  • 29:27 – The Outdoors: we discuss the big debate about going outside. Burgis explains what going outside and exercise actually means. It also comes down to people’s common sense and personal responsibility. We discuss what exactly is common sense, self-awareness, and need to be a good human being.
  • 37:03 – I go over how Supervisor Burgis staff has created an incredible list of resources for all types of needs and updated information. Highly recommend signing up for her newsletter.
  • 38:50 – We get into the rhetoric that is out there. Examples of LA Mayor wanting to shutoff water and power to non-essential business. Burgis explains law enforcements response to what the shelter in place directive. It comes back to common sense and working to flatten the curve. We talk about utilities, power, she also explains do not flush the wipes down the toilet.
  • 41:30 – We talk about illegal dumping and impact COVID-19 is having on county employees.
  • 43:18 – Burgis explains the biggest thing she has learned during this COVID-19 response that would have never crossed her mind.
  • 45:44 – I explain how Contra Costa Health Service communications should get an A+ w/single negative is they won’t release city list. Burgis explains why the city list is not being released.
  • 48:38 – Burgis says this is a grave situation that is about to get really service. Right now it is to gain some control and prevent it from being much worse than it could be.
  • 50:18 – As we close, Burgis plugs the US Census and encourages people to do the census as a 5% under-count of Contra Costa County could result in a loss $500 million to $1 billion to the county.
  • 52:48 – Closing

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Resources:

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For other questions, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

Links to Other Health Organizations:

This a rapidly evolving situation with new information emerging every day.

For the latest updates, please visit our website at coronavirus.cchealth.org

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