The Alameda County Public Health Department sends out Health Alerts, Advisories, and Updates regarding communicable disease outbreaks, immunization updates, and other public health concerns to Alameda County clinicians and other partners. See recent releases below.

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Advisory

ADVISORY: provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action.

December 02, 2020

Advisory

Influenza and Respiratory Illness 2020-2021

The Health Advisory is designed to help Alameda County clinicians prepare for the influenza season, which generally occurs from November through April. This Health Advisory outlines several actions requested of Alameda County clinicians, emergency departments, pathologists and healthcare facilities.

July 07, 2020

Advisory

FDA Issues Warning About Hand Sanitizer Containing Methanol

On July 5, 2020, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a Health Advisory indicating that serious adverse events have been observed in persons using methanol-based hand sanitizers. The CDC advises consumers not to use any hand sanitizer that has been recalled by the FDA due to the potential presence of methanol, a “toxic alcohol”, as an active ingredient. Methanol can cause blindness and/or death when absorbed through the skin or when swallowed. Currently, most of the recalled products are manufactured in Mexico.

June 17, 2020

Advisory

Updated COVID-19 Healthcare Provider Reporting Requirements for Alameda County

Positive real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for current SARS-CoV-2 infection — not antibody or antigen tests — must be reported to the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD). This Advisory updates reporting requirements for Alameda County Providers and Laboratories.

June 17, 2020

Advisory

Updated Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019

Updated Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Healthcare Provider Reporting Requirements for Alameda County

In accordance with a recent CDC health advisory and as first discussed in the 5/20/20 ACPHD Health Advisory, Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19 is reportable to Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD). This Advisory updates reporting requirements for Alameda County Clinicians, Emergency Departments, Pathologists, and Healthcare Facilities.

May 21, 2020

Advisory

Discontinuation of COVID-19 Transmission-Based Precautions Guidance for Alameda County

Patients and residents at Acute Care Hospitals and Long Term Care Facilities in Alameda County with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection must be isolated or in an appropriate cohort using Transmission-Based Precautions for the duration of their infectious period. Federal guidance for removal of Transmission-Based Precautions offers several different strategies to determine the end of the infectious period. This Advisory describes the criteria that must be met to discontinue Transmission-Based Precautions for patients and residents with suspected or confirmed infection with COVID-19, including individuals who have been diagnosed with asymptomatic infection.

May 20, 2020

Advisory

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19 is now reportable to Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD). Report cases meeting CDC’s case definition for Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) within 24 hours to the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) at (510) 267-3250, Mon-Fri 8:30 am to 5 pm. After hours and on weekends, call Alameda County Fire Dispatch at (925) 422- 7595 and ask to speak to the Public Health Duty Officer on call. Laboratory results must be reported by Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR), fax or secure email within 24 hours.  Please make sure to report as completely as possible, including race and ethnicity information.

May 13, 2020

Advisory

Resumption of Non-Urgent Health Care Services in Alameda County

As Alameda County continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, providers and facilities are encouraged to gradually resume full scope of services when possible and safe to do so, based on California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) guidance.

May 12, 2020

Advisory

Updated COVID-19 Testing Guidance for Alameda County

The following updated guidance for COVID-19 laboratory testing is intended to inform Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) efforts to control the epidemic and aid decision-making by clinicians and other testing providers. The guidance sets out groups that should be prioritized for testing but it is not a requirement to test in these groups. Testing decisions and policies must be flexible to account for ongoing limitations in testing resources and protective equipment. Clinical judgment should be used to guide testing of symptomatic persons. ACPHD typically issues additional testing guidance for certain settings and situations, including outbreaks.

April 08, 2020

Advisory

New COVID-19 Healthcare Provider Reporting Requirements for Alameda County

As of April 7, 2020, a total of 602 COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths have been reported among Alameda County residents, excluding the City of Berkeley. Although the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) continues to conduct individual COVID-19 case and contact investigations, we are prioritizing public health resources towards investigations in settings (e.g., long-term care facilities) or among persons (e.g., healthcare providers or first responders) where there is concern for ongoing transmission.

To ensure that ACPHD prioritizes resources for public health investigations, effective April 8, 2020 we have modified our County’s COVID-19 reporting requirements for healthcare providers as summarized in tjhis Health Advisory.

For more information on testing specifics, please see the full ACPHD Health Advisory:

April 03, 2020

Advisory

Health Care Providers to Disseminate ACPHD Isolation and Quarantine Orders to Patients with Suspected COVID-19

The Alameda County Health Officer issued blanket isolation orders that will apply to all persons diagnosed with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and blanket quarantine orders that will apply to close contacts of cases.  Effective 4/3/20, Alameda County Public Health Department directs Alameda County health care partners to disseminate blanket orders to all patients being tested for COVID-19 or who are presumptively diagnosed with COVID-19 without testing BEFORE they leave the health care facility.

Alameda County healthcare providers should use the procedure described in the Update to request COVID-19 testing by our Public Health Lab (ACPHL). Please limit testing requests by phone to the hours 9am-5pm, 7 days per week.

For more information on testing specifics, please see the full ACPHD Health Advisory:

March 06, 2020

Advisory

COVID-19 Testing Recommended for Symptomatic Persons Who Were Aboard the Grand Princess Cruise

Cases of COVID-19 have been detected among persons on the Grand Princess Cruise that departed San Francisco February 11 and returned on February 21.

The Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) is advising County residents who were aboard the Grand Princess Cruise who have been symptomatic with fever, new cough or difficulty breathing since the cruise to be tested for COVID-19 by their healthcare provider. Testing is recommended even if symptoms resolved. Commercial testing is now available for COVID-19 without ACPHD approval. General updated COVID-19 testing guidance will be posted shortly.

For more information, including Actions Requested of Clinicians, please see the full ACPHD Health Advisory:

January 03, 2020

Advisory

Fentanyl Overdose

The increased availability of illicitly-produced fentanyl, fentanyl-compounds, and fake pills is an emerging and ongoing threat to public health and safety. In 2019, 51 opioid-related deaths were reported in Alameda County from January 1, 2019 to December 16, 2019.

Many fentanyl overdoses occur among persons who may be aware that they are using fentanyl or a related substance. However, there have been recent anecdotal reports in Alameda County of an increasing number of suspected fentanyl overdoses among persons without a history of opioid use, such as cocaine and methamphetamine users. Many persons who choose to use stimulants are unaware of the emergence of fentanyl laced compound drugs in the overall Bay Area drug supply, and the powerful potency of fentanyl. In addition, many opioid pills, which are made to look like real prescription medications, are now made by counterfeiting organizations and may contain fentanyl.

Death from fentanyl toxicity can be more rapid than from other opioids, and overdoses may require more naloxone for reversal than other opioids – prompt peer response is essential. In addition, there are concerns regarding the increase in synthetic opioid and fentanyl derivatives that may be longer-acting, and may not be detected in routine urine toxicology screens. This alert provides awareness and actions for all health care providers in Alameda County to take when presented with a suspected or confirmed opioid overdose case at their facility.

Please see the full Health Advisory for more information, including actions requested of clinicians.

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