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COVID-19 Update

2 March 2020

As we know the situation with COVID-19 is rapidly evolving.  The Peralta leadership is committed to keeping you updated with the most current information and we will continue to send email, post in Peralta Gems, and update the Health Services website with the latest information.

Please see below for recommendations from Peralta Medical Affiliate Partners:

  • Noha Aboelata, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Roots Clinic
  • Aisha Mays, MD, Peralta Physician for the Health Clinics


Local Agency—Alameda County Public Health Department


CDC Guidelines:


Guidance for all students and staff:

  1. Practice frequent hand washing (20 seconds with soap).
  2. Avoid touching your face, especially mouth, nose, and eyes.
  3. Sneeze and cough into your sleeved elbow or into a tissue that is discarded into a closed, hands-free trash receptacle (then wash hands again!)
  4. If you have symptoms of a cold, stay home to recuperate! Seek medical attention as needed for worsening or severe symptoms like difficulty breathing.
  5. Do not wear a mask if you’re not sick. And if you are sick, see #4 above and stay home! If you must go out (like to see your doctor), you can wear a mask to protect others. Otherwise there is no indication for wearing a mask at this time. The CDC does not recommend wearing masks at this time. 
  6. Do not hoard masks. Suppliers are struggling to keep up with the demand, raising the concern that healthcare workers, hospitals, etc. won’t be able to replenish their supply. This could lead to the danger of exposure and poor infection control where it’s needed most. Besides, you don’t need to wear a mask (see #5 above).
  7. Do not panic! Panic has negative consequences on your health and mental health and does no good in this situation. Self-care = self-preservation. Take care of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually!

Symptoms of COVID-19 are: cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Unfortunately these are essentially the same symptoms of cold and flu, and we are still in cold and flu season.

Travel health notices are being updated as the situation evolves, but are currently in effect for China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea. Patients with COVID-19 symptoms and a history of travel to these areas within the past 14 days or contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 are considered PUIs or Persons Under Investigation for Coronavirus

A helpful table with guidance on PUIs, as well as travel health notices are being updated on the CDC website here.

For Reporting or Consultation regarding COVID-19 in Alameda County please contact the Acute Communicable Disease Section: 

M-F 8:30-5: (510) 267-3250

After hours and weekends call (925) 422-7595 and ask for the Public Health Duty Officer on-call. 

A couple of other things to note: 

  1. The vast majority of people with cough and fever do not have COVID-19! The clinic providers will provide anyone who is coughing at our sites a face mask. This does not mean that they have Coronavirus, it just means that we don’t want them spreading a cough or cold to anyone else. 
  2. This is allergy season and people are sneezing. Sneezing is not a sign of Coronavirus! Everyone should sneeze into their elbow as described above, both to reduce the spread of germs and to reduce panic. 
  3. Please advise your patients, family and friends who have not already done so, to get the flu vaccine. This will not only avoid the flu, but also unnecessary testing of people for Coronavirus as we are already experiencing challenges in scaling up testing capacity nationwide. 

Our leadership and clinical teams will continue to monitor the situation closely and do our absolute best to ensure that we are as prepared as possible in the midst of this health crisis.

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