Window sign that says "Sorry we are closed"

Business Openings Delayed As CC Health Officials Urge COVID-19 Testing

Window sign that says "Sorry we are closed"

Businesses including bars, gyms and museums that had been cleared to reopen July 1 in Contra Costa County will remain closed for the time being.

By Michael J. Fitzgerald

The planned reopening Wednesday of a variety of businesses and activities will be delayed until the COVID-19 outbreak is better contained, Contra Costa Health Services announced Monday.

The businesses and activities that were scheduled to open included previously cleared bars, personal services that don’t involve close contact with the face, indoor dining, gyms and fitness centers, limited indoor leisure activities and museums, hotels for tourism and individual travel.

County officials said recent data shows an increase in COVID-19 in the community making the delay in openings necessary.

“With the sharp rise in community spread and hospitalizations, it does not make sense at this time to open additional business sectors that could further accelerate community transmission,” health officials said. “These businesses and activities will remain closed in Contra Costa until county data indicate that the spread of the virus has slowed, as measured by at least a week of stable case numbers, hospitalizations and percent of tests that are positive. Trends will be monitored and evaluated daily.”

The seven-day average of newly identified COVID-19 cases increased from 38 a day to 87 a day, health officials noted. COVID-19 tests that came back positive increased from 4% to 6%. They said these numbers point to a true increase in community spread, not just higher numbers because of increased testing.

“We are also seeing a shift with more young people testing positive,” they said. “In June, 55% of people testing positive in Contra Costa were 40 years and younger, compared to 38% for that group in April.”

County officials also asked that people get tested for COVID-19 soon.

“Testing is the only way to find out if you are carrying the virus and interrupt its spread,” they said. “We highly encourage everyone who lives and works in the county to get tested, even if they have no symptoms.”

On Monday, CCHS opened its eighth community COVID-19 testing site at Kennedy High School in Richmond. To make an appointment for a fast, convenient, free test at any site in Contra Costa, call (844) 421-0804 or visit — online scheduling is available at most sites.

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