CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (CBS SF) — A Contra Costa County Health Services official on Tuesday warned residents that the coronavirus is actively being transmitted in the county as the number of cases continued to rise.

Dan Peddycord of Contra Costa County Health Services opened his Tuesday afternoon remarks by stating bluntly, “We would like to share that we believe COVID-19 is circulating in our community.”

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Peddycord said that as of Tuesday Contra Costa has nine confirmed cases of coronavirus with one presumptive positive case that is waiting for CDC confirmation, bringing the total number of cases to ten.

Six of those cases had no known travel history outside of the U.S. or contact with another known positive coronavirus case, meaning that the virus had been spread through community contact.

Two of the ten cases were passengers aboard the Grand Princess cruise that happened Feb. 11-21. Two additional cases were found to have had contact with known coronavirus cases.

Additionally, six of the passengers who tested positive for coronavirus from the Grand Princess cruise ship voyage that docked in Oakland Monday were being treated in Contra Costa County hospitals. None of those passengers are in serious condition and samples from the patients have been sent for testing.

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Peddycord said that Contra Costa County Health Services “will now increasingly be focusing on community acquired cases,” with efforts shifting from containment to mitigation with officials giving new recommendations to protect the community.

Dr. Rohan Radhakrishna outlined the county’s new recommendations.

People at higher risk of serious illness — those over age 50 and suffering underlying medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or chronic lung diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) as
well as those who are immunocompromised — should not go to mass gatherings such as parades, sporting events, religious services, celebrations and concerts where people are within arm’s length of each other and there are 50 or more people.

Organizers for events that would draw more than 50 people were advised to cancel or postpone their events.

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So far, county officials have not made any recommendations as far as closing schools, though the new suggestions said if a confirmed case of coronavirus was found at a school, the department would work with the school and district to determine the best solution, including possible dismissal and cancellation of classes.