Coronavirus Live Updates, April 7, 2020: Dr. Cody Talks About the Impact of Sheltering in Place

Scroll from the bottom up to read in chronological order. And click here to catch up on the rest of our coronavirus coverage. 

4:07pm: Room with a view.

San Jose Councilman Lan Diep took his followers through a virtual tour of City Hall today on Facebook Live. Tour highlights included views from the 18th floor and a peek inside the D4 councilor’s office.

Diep was sure to show off his World Wrestling Federation lunch box that he used back in kindergarten and is now displayed on his bookshelf beside a “kryptonite” crystal and a few Captain America figurines.

“This is an authentic lunch pail [from the] WWF, [which] doesn’t even exist anymore,” he remarked. “It’s authentic, not eBay second hand, but actually mine.”

3:52pm: Back on track.

VTA will resume light rail on Thursday, with trains running every half-hour from 6am to 6pm on weekdays. Fare’s still free for as long as long as the stay-home order is in effect.

Service was suspended for a couple weeks after a VTA operator tested positive for COVID-19. The transit authority took advantage of the downtime to deep clean its cars and replace the seat upholstery with durable vinyl.

Keep in mind, though, that the you’re still expected to stay home except for essential travel. That means you should only take advantage of the free public transit if you really, honestly have some errand you need to run or job you need to go to that’s on the county’s list of what’s considered essential during shelter-in-place.

For a reminder about what that entails, click here. For more from the VTA, click here.

12:35pm: The curve flattens.

Source: Santa Clara County Public Health Department

Had the county taken a hands-off approach to the COVID-19 outbreak, it would likely have seen as many as 50,000 cases by early May. And it would have exceeded hospital capacity by tax day (which comes up next week).

However, because Dr. Cody implemented a shelter-in-place when she did, the county is on track to reach about 12,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.

The public health officer—citing modeling from Stanford researchers as well as her own team—told as much to the county Board of Supervisors earlier today (which you can watch at about the 2:08 mark in the broadcast below).

Although there’s a degree of uncertainty around even the most educated prognostications, the modeling suggests that staying at home as much as possible does work, Cody told county supervisors in their second-ever virtual board meeting.

“So, they’re only estimates and lots of factors are in play,” she said. “Most important is our continued collective ability to maintain shelter in place.”

How long will we have to hunker down?

According to Dr. Cody, that depends. We need more testing capacity—something still lacking in the U.S. We need to make sure that our hospitals can adequately care for the patients who need it. And we need robust contact tracing.

Finally, she said, we also need to see a sustained reduction in cases for at least one incubation period. That is, for about two weeks.

To date, the county has confirmed 1,285 COVID-19 cases and 43 deaths. Close to 80 percent of the people who succumbed to the pulmonary disease had a pre-existing health condition that made them more vulnerable to infection. Sixty-seven percent of the deceased were men and and 58 percent were over the age of 71.

Of the overall confirmed infected, 52 percent are men and almost 40 percent between the ages of 31 and 50. About 15 percent are youth or young adults.

As of today, per the county, 276 of COVID-19 patients are hospitalized—91 of them in an ICU and 165 in an acute-care bed. According to the county, none are placed on ventilators at the moment, which 422 of the machines currently available.

To date, 11,607 people in the county of nearly 2 million have been tested for the disease, with just over 200 results still pending.

10:15am: Staying home saves lives.

Santa Clara County’s chief health officer, Dr. Sara Cody, is scheduled to deliver an update about data that show what would have happened had she not issued the nation’s first sweeping stay-at-home order.

County executive Jeff Smith commended Dr. Cody for being at the forefront of recognizing how COVID-19 was already spreading in the U.S. and saving lives by leading the charge with the rest of the Bay Area in issuing social distancing mandates.

Cody and her counterparts in six surrounding counties “are actually saving lives as we speak,” Smith said before introducing her presentation.

10 Comments

  1. It’s called CYA. What has actually happened has fallen fall short of the projections of what would happen, even with taking the lockdown into account. Because it’s beginning to become clear that the cure is going to likely be more painful than the disease, government officials, like this one, are going start attempting to cover for themselves. There’s no reason to believe the projection she’ll be presenting today is any more accurate than those that were used as a basis for starting this in the first place.

  2. The number of Projected Deaths is falling almost daily. So either Trump and his team are doing a great job at saving lives, or this entire thing was blown totally out of proportion by a doom & gloom media and incompetent “professionals”. Which do you think it is?

  3. Oh wow. Breaking news: Dr. Cody thinks her decision-making was really, really, really good and saved us from death and destruction. No hard questions from Supervisors, e.g., was the cost of the measures considered, what is a target date to get the county back to normal, what has been the effect of the lockdown on DV, mental health related incidents. If Cody is going to make decisions that affect all of these areas then she needs to answer these questions. BUT, THERE WERE NO HARD QUESTIONS. Shame on you on the shameless back-patting. We will remember election time. You may have single handedly turned this county purple or red.

    • > BUT, THERE WERE NO HARD QUESTIONS

      Well, maybe not. If the questions were too hard, it might harm her self-esteem.

      “Dr. Cody, How did you feel when you realized that, because of you, the entire county was saved from a terrible, horrible, awful pandemic?”

      “Do you think the selfless efforts of those who saved the county are getting enough recognition?”

      “Do you think it’s appropriate for the entire Santa Clara County Health Department.under your glorious leadership, to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, or should the award be reserved only for individuals?”

  4. No sporting events until Thanksgiving is just NUTS! You will see a rebellion that will take you out of office.

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