ALAMEDA COUNTY, CA. - As part of the consent calendar during its March 2 meeting, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors authorized a purchase order with Dublin’s Cobalt Equipment Inc. for emergency vaccination equipment.
The equipment will be used for the COVID-19 vaccine mega point of dispensing (POD) to be operated by Alameda County Health Care Services Agency (HCSA) and its health system partners at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.
The approval, with a purchase amount of $47,112, also authorized the waiver of the county’s competitive procurement process; approved a budget adjustment of general fund appropriations fully offset by Federal Emergency Management Agency revenue; and authorize the auditor-controller to make necessary related budget adjustments.
According to a staff report, Alameda County Health Care Services Agency (HCSA) is working with local health-system partners to administer COVID-19 vaccines through the PODs. From Feb. 14 through May 15, HCSA and its partners have and will continue to operate a COVID-19 POD at Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. The plan is to administer up to approximately 6,000 vaccines per day, six days a week, ensuring ramp up of vaccination of community members in Alameda County.
“Vaccinating our communities is a critical component of the strategy to reduce COVID-19-related illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths and to help restore societal functioning,” stated representatives in the report. “HCSA’s role at Alameda County Fairgrounds’ COVID-19 vaccine mega POD will include ensuring equitable access to vaccination by developing uninsured or nonpatient registration process, walk-up access for public transportation, and language access; as well as providing additional vaccine supply and additional on-site support staff as needed ... This equipment is necessary and exceeds what the Fairgrounds has on-site to support the POD.”
Given the urgent need to expand COVID-19 vaccinations in the county, HCSA also requested the board waive the competitive procurement process for these services.
“Increasing access to COVID-19 vaccination services in the county, especially across diverse communities, is key to addressing health disparities resulting from the pandemic, as well as implementing a safe reopening plan,” read the report.
The purchase was approved unanimously, and there were no public comments made by constituents at the meeting.
Before the meeting adjourned, Dr. Nicholas Moss, the county health officer gave an update to board members regarding the state of the county’s COVID-19 rates and responses.
“Our daily reports of cases are much lower than they were,” he said. “It does appear to me that it may be leveling off — that we're not decreasing as much as we were. I don't see any evidence of increasing cases yet. That's been a concern, but nationally, certainly not locally. We'll be watching that closely.”
According to Moss, test positivity has similarly declined at 2.4% overall, and 3.7% are most socioeconomically disadvantaged census tracks.
“Testing rates have declined, but the decrease in test positivity is reassuring that our surge really has eased,” he said. “Our testing rates are still very high, around 9,000 tests per day, so that's still higher than our pre-surge levels. Hospitalizations also improved, as they have done over the past month.”
For more information about the county’s COVID-19 standings, visit http://bit.ly/3viRK1Y.