Bay Area officials urge caution as flu season approaches

cellular image of novel coronavirus with the word Oakland above
Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

Avoid high-risk activities to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, Halloween

Bay Area health officials have urged residents to get flu vaccines now to avoid packing hospitals and clinics this week. With new influenza strains circulating each year, officials recommend the shot for everyone ages six months or older. 

People with flu symptoms may also require a COVID-19 test this year due to similar symptoms. 

Bay Area immunizations of children have fallen this year, according to public health officials, who recommend additional vaccinations as part of an annual flu shot visit. 

Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) provides no cost flu shots. Alameda County also has a list of no cost flu shot locations.

Avoid Trick-or-treating and parties this Halloween

With Dia de Los Muertos and Halloween approaching, health officials recommend residents celebrating these holidays to only participate in “lower risk activities.” Certain activities, like crowded parties, haunted houses, or handing out candy door-to-door is higher risk and may not be permitted. 

Officials recommend residents “stay home” and “keep it small.” Lower risk activities may include: visiting pumpkin patch while wearing a mask and keeping physical distance, or virtual costume contests. 

See more recommendations.

Weekly COVID-19

Alameda County reaches “Orange Tier”

Last week, Alameda County moved from Red to Orange as a result of decreasing case and positivity rates. Orange Tier counties can open additional sectors, with restrictions, but County is exercising caution. 

“We are glad to see improving case rates and decreasing test positivity, including among our communities of color, but we caution residents that cases can rise very quickly, as we saw during the summer surge,” said Dr. Nicholas Moss, Alameda County Interim Health Officer. “Especially with flu season coming, if we see spikes in COVID-19 cases and a rise in hospitalizations, we will take action to limit the spread and protect public health including resuming restrictions if needed.”

Additional activities may be permitted next week. Last Friday, outdoor activities re-opened, including playgrounds.

Every Monday and Thursday, Rasheed Shabazz and Momo Chang produce the Oakland ‘Rona Roundup, COVID-19 related stories impacting the Town.

Author Profile

Rasheed Shabazz is a multimedia storyteller, urban planning historian, and youth development professional based in the Bay Area. He is co-director of Oakland Voices. He recently completed his Masters of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley. 

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