Report: Santa Clara County Could See More than 2,000 Daily COVID-19 Cases by August

New projections released by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia PolicyLab show that Santa Clara County could report more than 2,000 daily cases of COVID-19 by August.

The study, which was done by a team of researchers from the hospital and the University of Pennsylvania, uses social distancing data from cellphone GPS, population density, health demographics and weather as indicators in 519 counties across the United States.

But the latest modeling, which was released earlier this week, shows an increasingly bleak picture for Northern California.

By July 25, the model projects that Santa Clara County will reach quadruple daily digits with 1,071 new cases of COVID-19. A week later, that number is expected to nearly double with 2,068 new cases on Aug. 1.

The latest projections run through Aug. 3 and top out at an estimated 2,478 new cases for that day. In comparison, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department reported 139 new cases of COVID-19 on July 9 for a total of 5,678 total cases.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia PolicyLab predicts that Santa Clara County will reach 2,000 daily cases of COVID-19 by August.

Predictions for neighboring counties, however, show significantly fewer cases. Alameda County, which has a population of roughly 1.6 million people compared to Santa Clara County’s 1.9 million residents is expected to report 359 cases on August 3. On July 7, Alameda County reported 94 cases of COVID-19.

In a July 8 blog post, Dr. David Rubin, Dr. Gregory Tasian and Jing Huang discuss issues with the country’s fragmented response to the virus, which includes quickly reopening and lack of sweeping mask policies.

In the Pacific Northwest and California, the researchers said that the data shows “masking alone, particularly if enforcement and adherence were lacking, could not protect them when the gathering sizes increased and restaurants began to fill.” (That’s not to say that masks don’t help, but they must be universally used in conjunction with physical distancing).

While face masks are required in public in Santa Clara County, enforcement efforts have been minimum. In May, San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia told the City Council that his officers wouldn’t enforce the city’s own face mask law.

When asked about the new modeling, Santa Clara County Deputy Executive David Campos declined to comment.

“This is not the first time we have seen projections with these kinds of estimates,” he said. “We have our own analysis of the current data and can't react to every projection that may not necessarily be based on what's happening in Santa Clara County.”

County officials did not immediately respond to a request to review the analysis.

Grace Hase is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @grace_hase. Or, click here to sign up for text updates about what she’s working on.

19 Comments

  1. > Report: Santa Clara County Could See More than 2,000 Daily COVID-19 Cases by August

    Viruses spread. It’s what viruses do.

    Haven’t people figured that out yet?

    A virus is just a big chemical molecule that has randomly evolved so that living cells will replicate it.

    Copy machines make copies of papers. Living cells make copies of viruses.

    Viruses will spread through a population, from human to human, until a certain percent of the population has become immune (The “herd immunity threshold”).

    Masks and social distancing ONLY affect whether the virus spreads slower or faster. But eventually, the same percent of the population will become infected and then immune.

    Masks and social distancing ONLY increase the economic costs and misery of reaching the “herd immunity threshold”.

  2. No doubt this is the latest doomsday model that will prove to be a gross exaggeration in its predictions. Why does anyone bother to report the results of these models, since they are wrong much more often than weather predictors.

  3. “Cases” are rising? Big deal. Testing has accelerated recently, so of course there are more positive test results. In the absence of a corresponding rise in deaths, or hospitals being overwhelmed, neither of which is even remotely true in Santa Clara County, more positive test results for the coronavirus is a good thing. It means that the virus is far less deadly than previously presumed and also that we are that much closer to herd immunity.

    Not to mention, the epidemiological modeling for the virus has been woefully wrong from the get-go, so there is no reason at this point to give credence to any alarmist “model” of future events. Please stick to reporting news, not promoting fortune tellers with ouija boards.

    • I know, Don, but the majority of people don’t understand that. Cases do NOT = deaths. How many articles would lead with a headline “No Deaths In Santa Clara County This Week” (or day, month)? None.

    • People are NOT dying of the virus, at least not in large numbers in Santa Clara County.

      In five months since the first known death in February 2020 (confirmed by subsequent autopsy), until July 10, 2020, only 166 people are reported to have died in Santa Clara County of COVID-19, barely more than one per day.
      https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/dashboard-cases.aspx

      Over 40 percent of the deaths (73) have been in long-term care facilities, where reportedly ordinary life expectancy is less than two years. People who live in these facilities are generally old and in poor health, even in the absence of the virus.
      https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/dashboard-long-term-care-facilities.aspx

      • You hit on a point I have been saying ever since this began: “(confirmed by subsequent autopsy)”.

        Colorado, after many of us blasted the validity of those initial numbers for being inaccurate, because we know how death certificates are written, Colorado went back and looked at, and re-evaluated their numbers DOWN, because coroners were being told to put out the cause of death COVID-19. Dying WITH a virus is much different than dying DUE TO a virus.

        Will Santa Clara County step up to the plate and do the same re-evaluation? I doubt it.

  4. The R is the key metric to track in all this — COVID is not going away and our inadequate policy response at a national level is to blame.

    Federalism, which overall is good, has also meant that the USA has been governed like 50+ separate entities.

    A pandemic requires a coordinated response. We need to shut down and give out something like Andrew Yang’s freedom dividend (bond yields are nice and low) to keep the economy afloat while we get a handle on this public health crisis.

  5. Nearly 2 million people in Santa Clara County. 166 people have died of The Vid. 146 of them had one or more underlying health conditions (aka comorbiditie). Less then 20 didn’t. So potentially in the entire County, 20 people have died from The Vid.

    I think 3x that died from vehicle accidents in just San Jose.

    Of the 166 about 112 were over 70 years old.

  6. Yes, elderly people pass away from cancer, heart disease, other ailments. But if they pass away now, it is NEVER listed as cancer, it is listed as COVID

    So the numbers are hugely inflated.

    • Partly accurate. The relevant number here to look at is underlying health conditions. While the final demise may have been due to the VIrus, the person dying was likely to have died with something else in short order.

      Depending on the stats, about 75% of the people dying had underlying health conditions.

  7. People listen to the one who knows not to these fools above! Proverbs 12: 15-25. Stay at home; avoid air travel; avoid indoor and outdoor dining, keep social distance, wear a face mask. BE SAFE!

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