Joint Statement from Contra Costa Health Services and Martinez Unified School District Regarding Local COVID-19 Preparations
We want to thank our community for its support and vigilance as we respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We know this is a difficult time for many and we appreciate the sacrifices being made by everyone in Contra Costa County to protect the community. By staying home and practicing social distancing, Contra Costa residents are helping “flatten the curve” so our hospital systems aren’t overwhelmed and people can get the care they need when they need it.
Nonetheless, we can’t stop preparing for the surge of people with COVID-19 we are likely to see over the coming weeks. Contra Costa County currently has 131 confirmed cases.
Contra Costa County has been exploring and preparing “alternate care sites,” facilities to care for people with less complicated medical needs. These alternate care sites could provide community members a safe place to receive care. We are preparing Pittsburg Health Center to possibly serve as an alternate care site, including identifying staff and bringing in necessary equipment and supplies.
Contra Costa County recently requested supplies from the federal government to help establish an alternative care site at Alhambra High School in Martinez. We expect the shipment of beds, medical equipment and other supplies to arrive within the next few days. The proximity of the high school to Contra Costa County Regional Medical Center is important to our ability to run the site efficiently.
Contra Costa County is working to identify shelters for people who are unhoused. We have identified a number of hotel rooms and other resources throughout Contra Costa County that will be used in this way.
We are still figuring out the details of how these alternate care sites will operate. We are likely to identify additional sites in the coming days. Our hope is that we won’t ever have to use these sites because of the protective actions we’ve taken, like the stay-at-home order, that will stem the tide. As we hope for the best, we still must prepare for the worst.
Statement from Superintendent CJ Cammack, Martinez Unified School District
Martinez Unified has just been officially notified by federal, state, and local agencies that part of Alhambra High School is being considered to create additional spaces for providing care. As you all know and understand, in any emergency situation, schools are regularly used by agencies such as the Red Cross and other temporary emergency services. Given the immediate proximity to Contra Costa County Regional Medical Center (County Hospital), it is understandable that AHS would be a location identified for this purpose. Both as a district and as a community, we have a legal obligation as well as a moral and ethical obligation, to provide the highest level of cooperation during this time.
As we support the care of patients in our community, I remain committed to ensuring the health and safety needs of our students and staff of AHS. Please know that prior to any student and/or staff use of AHS facilities the entire school campus will undergo a comprehensive cleaning process to ensure the entire campus is cleaned, disinfected, sanitized, and properly prepped for safe and secure use by students and staff. Just as I am committed to doing our collective part to support our county and the overall COVID19 response, I am equally committed to ensuring the AHS campus will be a safe place for all staff and students, prior to reopening for any school-related functions.
If anything highlights the importance of our collective actions to stay home and the magnitude of our current health crisis related to COVID19, it is this development. We must continue to work together, in ways we might not have ever imagined to be part of the solution. I have been so proud of the resiliency and grit our staff, students, and community, have shown over the last few weeks. Throughout Martinez, the AHS Bulldogs represent the courage of our students, the commitment and professionalism of our staff, and the passion of our community. I am confident these pillars of Alhambra High School will be evident for community members and medical staff during these challenging times. Together, as a community, we will welcome these guests with grace, compassion, and empathy.