Today at 11am, Santa Clara County officials Cindy Chavez (Board of Supervisors President), Dr. Sara Cody (Health Officer and Director of Public Health), James R. Williams (County Counsel), and Michael Balliet (Business Engagement Branch) appeared to alert the public to a recent spike in countywide COVID-19 cases.
Recently, Santa Clara County was downgraded to the Orange tier (“moderate”), meaning our viral rate of spread had decreased and thus more forms of business and public gathering were permitted.
But yesterday, Sunday, brought about a near-record COVID-19 daily case count of 358, which was second only to the 385 total from July 15. Sunday also saw Santa Clara’s COVID-19 hospitalizations go up by 10 percent.
“As a community, we have to work together to keep these numbers down or we’re going to have more restrictions in our community,” said Supervisor Chavez during today’s announcement.
Dr. Cody spoke of how rising case numbers are often followed by a surge in hospitalizations. Currently, the County is working with region hospitals to prepare.
“In the last week we’ve seen a steep rise, more like a surge. And that concerns me — and that concerns all of us — because it could be that we’re in for a large surge that could be difficult to control,” said Dr. Cody.
Today, Santa Clara County also joined health officials in nine other counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, and the City of Berkeley) to issue recommendations for safer holidays and travel. Officials do not recommend nonessential travel, which includes holiday travel, due to the increased chances of getting infected.
In a press release, health officials also advised people to “celebrate safely this year and protect yourself and your family by including masks, keeping a distance, and staying outdoors.”
At today’s press conference, Dr. Cody went as far as to urge people to stay at home for the holidays and only celebrate with their immediate households.
Meanwhile, as outdoor temperatures drop, indoor activity will rise, meaning a more heightened risk of disease transmission.
“There is an end in sight,” promised Dr. Cody. “It’s just not next month or the month after that. So please keep wearing your face coverings, keep staying at home to the greatest extent you can, keep your activities outdoors, and keep your distance.”