As of Sunday, April 26, Santa Clara County had reported that 100 of its residents had died from COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.
Countywide, 2,084 people have tested positive for the virus. Of those, 73 live in Milpitas.
Last Friday, Milpitas became the first city in the county to institute a mandatory mask order for those working in or entering stores or other businesses.
About a week prior, the results of a Stanford University antibody test were released, estimating that up to 4% of county residents had already been infected with the coronavirus, which is 85 times the confirmed number. Three thousand people were tested for virus antibodies in the study, the results of which were controversial since it was not peer reviewed, its sample grouping might not have been truly representative of the population, and antibody testing can yield high percentage estimates when only a low amount of people have in fact contracted the disease.
The Stanford test‘s accompanying downward revision of the virus’s death rate, which speculated it could be under 0.2%, was also controversial in light of the test’s general instability and inconclusiveness. That number, if accurate, would mean the novel coronavirus is only marginally deadlier than the flu, the death rate of which is 0.1%. Other coronavirus death rate estimates have ranged from 0.6% to 3.4%. The fact that the Santa Clara data was gathered after shelter in place provisions were started could also skew its general accuracy.
Of those who have died in Santa Clara County, 91% have been at or above the age of 51. Sixty-three percent of the deceased have been 71 or above. Despite these figures, people of any age can contract and spread the novel coronavirus, hence the importance of social distancing measures, sheltering in place, wearing masks, and routinely washing one’s hands.