COVID-19 Update 1

county seal

A message from:
Board of Supervisors
Susan S. Muranishi, County Administrator
Colleen Chawla, Director, Health Care Services Agency
Joe Angelo, Director of Human Resource Services

March 13, 2020

We thank you and appreciate the contributions you are making to ensure the health and safety of Alameda County residents during the COVID-19 outbreak. Your contributions are as important now as ever. All of you comprise the County's safety net system, providing and supporting essential services that Alameda County residents need and rely on. Continuity of these services in this time of high need is vital. We have compiled the information below to provide you with additional information and guidance to ensure that we can continue to support our community and each other in this evolving situation.


The United States is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease by a novel coronavirus that has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally. The virus is commonly referred to as 2019-nCoV, and the disease caused by the virus has been referred to as COVID-19.

COVID-19 has been detected in persons throughout Bay Area Counties who have no known travel history or links to other persons with known COVID-19. The occurrence of these cases suggests that there is community transmission in the Bay Area, and health departments, healthcare providers, and other institutions should prepare for strategies to prevent and respond to COVID-19.

Protecting Yourself and Others

There are steps you can take to protect yourself and others.

  • Stay home from work if you are ill. Consult your personal physician if you have a fever. Remain off work until you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a disposable tissue, if available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Get your flu shot to protect against flu or symptoms similar to COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands often with liquid soap and water and rub for at least 20 seconds.
  • Keep sick family members at home until symptoms resolve.
  • If you are going to travel, check the CDC's Traveler's Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you travel.

Physical Work Environment

Our facilities and maintenance staff continue to be vigilant about cleaning and disinfecting all common areas. Below are suggested measures each of us can take in our work area.

  • Perform routine environmental cleaning:
    • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
    • No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
    • Use disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before use.
  • To address some of the questions we have received, attached is a listing of frequently asked questions. For additional information, you can refer to the Public Health Department's website:

Alameda County's Response

  • On March 10, 2020, the Board of Supervisors ratified the local public health emergency that had been declared by our Interim County Health Officer.
  • Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) is taking proactive steps to protect the health of county residents by making recommendations intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community and protect the most vulnerable among us from severe illness.
    • ACPHD's emergency Department Operations Center (DOC) has been activated since the end of January.
    • ACPHD issued guidance for large events, schools, and people serving homeless individuals, and has been monitoring the Grand Princess cruise ship operation.
    • Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services (OES) has deployed the virtual Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to assist ACPHD with the response.
    • Health Officer Order 20-01 was issued to prohibit non-essential mass gatherings at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.
  • Elected and Appointed Agency/Department Heads are reviewing their emergency response and contingency plans. We are also incorporating best practices outlined in the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) Interim Guidance for Administrators for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), February 2020 and preparing for the possibility of temporary school closures and the resulting impact to our workforce for those with school-age children in K-6.

Disaster Service Workers

As you know, all County employees are designated by State law as Disaster Service Workers (DSWs). This means that when the County declares a local emergency, employees may be deployed to different work sites than usual or be asked to perform work duties or tasks that are different from their regular work responsibilities. No one will be assigned duties they are not qualified or trained to perform. If you have questions about the responsibilities of a DSW, please speak with your department's human resources team (see Agency/Department Human Resources Contacts list attached).

To learn more, watch this video: Disaster Service Worker Overview