COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the Bay Area have rapidly increased, with case rates nearly 5-times higher than on June 15, California’s reopening date. Dr. Rochelle Walensky of the CDC reported on July 20 that the delta variant now accounts for 83% of the cases in the US. This year's summer surge is expected to have fewer hospitalizations and deaths thanks to people getting vaccinated. We can still turn this around by getting more people vaccinated and masking in public spaces.
In the California color-tier system retired in June, this would have put us in the purple “widespread” tier. This rapid rise in cases is likely due to reopening more activities, reductions in mask use, people not yet fully vaccinated, and the delta variant, which is quickly dominating California and the rest of the world. Substantial evidence shows that the delta variant is about twice as infectious as the original variant.
For the first time in Alameda County, new COVID-19 case rates among African American residents have become higher than case rates among Latinx residents, following lower vaccination rates among African American residents in Alameda County. In addition to community pop-up vaccination sites, a new door-to-door campaign will launch soon, with vaccinated neighbors doing face-to-face outreach to unvaccinated neighbors in the 23 neighborhoods with the lowest vaccination rates. Click here for more disparity updates.
Vaccines remain highly effective against serious disease from the delta variant, and most new cases are among people who are unvaccinated. We must continue supporting everyone eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Among the partially vaccinated and unvaccinated young people that are most likely to get infected, reports from the UK show that a runny nose, headache and sore throat are the most common symptoms experienced in these milder cases with the delta variant.
On July 16 the Bay Area Health Officers, including Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, recommended for everyone to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status. The Alameda County press release on the recommendation can be downloaded here. While the recommendation focuses on indoor masking, masking is also recommended for everyone in crowded outdoor settings.
Vaccinated people remain very well protected from serious COVID-19 illness with the delta variant, and fully vaccinated people are less likely to get infected and transmit to others. While the risk of mild disease and transmission to others is lower, it is not zero.
With high case rates in the Bay Area, vaccinated people are recommended to wear masks indoors to protect children, people who are unvaccinated and immunosuppressed. People who are immunosuppressed and/or unvaccinated are recommended to wear masks whenever out in public.
COVID and HIV
A new WHO study of over 15,000 global cases of COVID-19 in people living with HIV (PLWH) presented at IAS in July 2021 found that PLWH were 13% more likely to be hospitalized and 30% more likely to die after being hospitalized. Among PLWH, having diabetes, high blood pressure, being male or over 75 years old was each associated with an increased risk of death. This study underscores the importance of prioritizing PLWH for vaccinations.
Fortunately, data from the UK shows that COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective for people with underlying health conditions, including HIV.
Our updated infographics include the new masking recommendation for everyone masking indoors!
The Center for Environmental Health is looking for an Executive Assistant to the CEO . This will be a full-time exempt position. Learn more about the position here.
WORLD is looking for a Clinical Peer Advocate. Clinical Peer Advocates work in partnership with health care providers in the Alameda County Family Care Network and provide mentorship to women living with HIV/AIDS. Learn more about the position here.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation has an opening for their HIV Testing Counselor position. Learn more and apply here.
The Richmond Main Street Initiative is seeking a creative, passionate, and visionary Executive Director with a demonstrated track-record of successful collaborative leadership, fundraising, personnel management, and commercial district management plan implementation. Learn more about the position here.
Capacity for Health (C4H), the national capacity building program of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) is searching for a Program Manager. Please send a resume to Jamila Shipp, C4H Managing Director email@example.com.
Bay Area Community Health is hiring for 2 positions that will manage their HIV prevention and care programs in Fremont and San Jose/Gilroy. The ideal candidate will be passionate about the HIV field with experience managing multiple grants. They are looking for an HIV Prevention Supervisor and an HIV Program Supervisor. Contact Allison at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Internships, Scholarships, funding and more
The HIV Prevention Research Advocate Certification Program is a free, 20-week course designed by the Black AIDS Institute to address the lack of minority representation within research protocol development and participation, and also increase the development of HIV advocacy training in a way that centers Black and Brown people. Learn more and apply here. Contact: Myriam Johnstone (MyriamJ@blackaids.org), Biomedical Research and Education Program Manager, for more information.
Dream Youth Clinic’s Garden of Dreams will have the July Planting Day on Saturday, July 24, 2021 12-2 pm. All youth 13-24 are invited to participate and will receive a $20 stipend. Check out their IG for more. information.
Today!Join UCSF’s Preterm Birth Initiative for their upcoming Collaboratory ‘Police Violence and Birth Outcomes: How Policing in Hospitals and Communities Impacts our Health.’ You’ll hear about how fatal police violence impacts pregnancy and preterm birth, learn about novel research and community organizing working to de-police the hospital. Wednesday, July 21st, 5-6:30pm. Learn more and registerhere.
Black AIDS Institute is hosting a web event to take a look at the Undetectable Equals Untransmittable or U=U movement over the years, as well as discussing the importance of prioritizing people living with HIV in order to finally see an end to this epidemic. The event ‘The Future of U=U in Black America’ will take place on July 22 at 11am. Lear more and registerhere.
Other information & resources
CDPH’s Office of AIDS has shared their July newsletter. Check it out here.
The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) is building a free online jobs board called the EHE Workforce Jobs Bank that will be a centralized place for HIV, STD, and Hepatitis job openings. Funding to end the HIV epidemic in America means thousands of new positions. Organizations with job applications can post them for free by contacting Jas Florentino (email@example.com). People looking for jobs should join our Talent Network. The Talent Network will send out alerts when a new job is posted that matches your interest. It will also allow you to forward any job announcements to friends or colleagues.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has partnered with Facente Consulting to develop a statewide plan for a collaborative, harm reduction approach to preventing and treating HIV, Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) in California. Please respond to this short, 7-question survey to contribute to this plan, a critical opportunity to provide thoughtful and meaningful input at the front end. The survey will be open until August 31. All ideas for traditional public health activities focused on prevention, testing, treatment, care, and data analysis or evaluation, as well as non-traditional approaches are welcome.
Santa Clara County Office of Education have developed and distributed extensive resources to support LGBTQ+ students and families. Share and check out the incredible Resource Guide that they createdhere.
The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley is hosting a Name and Gender Marker Change 101, in partnership with Q corner. This panel discussion will include a brief overview of the laws and process around legal name and gender marker changes in California along with Q&A from experts. Tuesday, August 3rd, 4-5pm. Learn more and register here.
The EBGTZ website will continue to post practice-changing updates, a general EBGTZ newsletter is sent on first Wednesdays and this COVID+HIV newsletter is sent out on third Wednesdays of each month. Please follow and share our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Thank you for all that you do for our communities!
Sophy, Yamini and Sami
Sophy S. Wong, MD, Director
Yamini Oseguera-Bhatnagar, Program Manager
Sami Lubega, MD, Prevention Director East Bay Getting to Zero