On July 2, 2020, California Department of Public Health Officials placed Monterey County on the COVID-19 County Data Monitoring Project watch list in response to elevated disease transmission as indicated by Monterey County exceeding the state’s 14-day case rate threshold of 100 cases per 100,00 residents and by exceeding the state’s threshold for percent change in 3-day average COVID-19 hospitalizations. The 14-day case rate equals the total number of cases diagnosed and reported over a 14-day period divided by the number of people living in the county. This number is then multiplied by 100,000. The percent change in confirmed COVID-19 hospitalized patients is calculated by comparing the average number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients hospitalized over the past 3 days to the 3 days prior. If the County remains on the watch list for 3 or more consecutive days, the State will require that Monterey County close all brewpubs, breweries, bars, and pubs -- both indoors and outdoors -- for at least three weeks. In addition, the State will require closure of indoor operations for the following sectors: dine-in restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, and cardrooms. Outdoor operations may continue with appropriate modifications.
Monterey County continues to work with local businesses, hospitals, clinics, and congregate living facilities to quickly identify and isolate individuals diagnosed with COVID-19. Monterey County Public Health case investigators reach 98% of cases and 97% of close contacts and instruct cases and contacts on how to isolate and quarantine properly. The Department continues to train and reassign additional staff to conduct case and contact investigations as the case rate increases.
“However, there is still much we must do as a community to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” states Dr. Edward Moreno, Monterey County Health Officer. “Wearing a face covering when out in public, staying physically apart from people outside of your household, washing hands frequently, and staying home when sick can help to stabilize our case rate and protect the most vulnerable among us.”
The metrics the State is using to monitor the spread of the virus and county responses to the CDPH COVID-19 Data Monitoring Project team are available on the California Department of Public Health’s website.