Over the holiday weekend, Alameda County overtook Santa Clara County in its cumulative tally of COVID-19 cases as new cases appear to be growing faster in the East Bay this month than elsewhere in the region.
Since the early days of the pandemic in the Bay Area, Santa Clara County recorded both the first cases of the coronavirus in the region and the most rapidly growing overall tally. But as of last week, Alameda County surged ahead, and as of Tuesday morning has nearly 3,000 cases, while Santa Clara has just over 2,650. This represents a higher per capita rate of infection as well, since Alameda County has a smaller overall population — around 1.67 million compared to Santa Clara's 1.9 million.
Alameda County has been adding new confirmed cases at a faster clip in recent weeks than most of the nine-county Bay Area. Since May 1, the Bay Area on a whole has averaged a 1.76-percent daily uptick in confirmed cases as testing has become more widely available. Alameda County has recorded an average daily uptick in cases of 2.4 percent during the same three-week period — and Santa Clara County's daily growth has only been 0.8 percent since the beginning of May.
On Sunday alone, Alameda County added 90 new cases to its total, after adding 80 new cases the previous day. Over the four-day weekend, the county's total case count grew by 278, or 10 percent overall, as case count growth has slowed elsewhere. Meanwhile, the death toll in Alameda County has not grown rapidly, with only three new deaths recorded since May 15, for a total of 93.
Across the state of California, the new case total has grown an average of 2.5 percent each day in May, and as of this writing it stands at 96,740. That represents just under 6 percent of nation's total confirmed cases to date. By comparison, California has seen 3,774 COVID deaths to date, which represents 3.8 percent of the total national death count.
In the latest revision to the shelter-in-place order by Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Erica Pan, she writes, "The collective efforts taken to date regarding this public health emergency have slowed the virus’ trajectory, but the emergency and the attendant risk to public health remain significant... Evidence suggests that the restrictions on mobility and social distancing requirements imposed by [prior health orders] are slowing the rate of increase in community transmission and confirmed cases by limiting interactions among people, consistent with scientific evidence of the efficacy of similar measures in other parts of the country and world."
Alameda County, along with five other Bay Area counties, began allowing curbside pickup at retail storefronts last Monday, entering Phase 2 of the reopening process. Rural counties across the state are looking to enter Phase 3, which includes the reopening of bars, hair salons, and hotels, sometime in June.