Santa Clara Co. Ramps Up COVID Testing—With Focus on ESSJ

Santa Clara County has announced a major uptick in COVID-19 testing as the region prepares for a gradual reopening of businesses and services.

Local leaders unveiled the plan earlier this week, launching new testing sites in San Jose at the Police Athletic League (PAL) Stadium and the county fairgrounds. Both sites are operated by Verily, a private lab owned by Alphabet, Inc., Google’s parent company.

Any county resident who wants to get tested for the novel coronavirus disease can now sign up online at projectbaseline.com/COVID19 or by calling 2-1-1.

“Anyone who wants a tests can get tested here at PAL stadium in San Jose,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo told reporters Wednesday. “That is, if you are in the city of San Jose you do not need health insurance, you do not need to pay, you do not need symptoms.”

Those who schedule an appointment can drive up to the PAL Stadium or fairgrounds sites—in addition to the two other appointment-only locations at James Lick High in San Jose and Christopher High in Gilroy—and administer their own test by swabbing the inside of their nose for 10 seconds in each nostril.

“We want people to get tested, it’s so important that you do,” county Board of Supervisors President Cindy Chavez said. “The test is free. Please come and get a test.”

The county is now focusing testing efforts on its most vulnerable and at-risk populations in East San Jose and Gilroy. According to the latest tally, the county has confirmed 2,492 COVID-19 cases and 138 deaths out of 54,179 tests.

“Today we are making history in making sure that this health crisis doesn’t continue to impact one of the most vulnerable communities, not just in San Jose, but really in the entire county,” said San Jose Councilwoman Magdalena Carrasco, who represents San Jose’s East Side. “Of course a pandemic understands no boundaries, but this is the vulnerable community—our essential workers, folks that have little access to medical care, who have continued to work because of different conditions.

Local officials must ensure that testing is accessible, she added. That means breaking down barriers to entry and making it free.

The county’s new head of COVID testing, Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, said the South Bay is “in the midst of a pivot,” with this new increased testing capacity. He also pointed out that about 40 percent of the county’s identified cases have come from East San Jose.

“Up until now, we’ve been really testing people who have been symptomatic and those contacts of those people who have been symptomatic,” he said. “And now, we’re moving to testing people who are at risk who are asymptomatic or without any symptoms whatsoever, who are in areas that may put them at an increased risk.

Fenstersheib also mentioned that for every infected person, about 20 to 40 others would have likely come into contact with that person and possibly been exposed, which warrants increased contact tracing and surveillance of where that person has been.

“And as we move towards opening the county more over the next weeks and months,” he continued, “we know that more people will be out and about and their potential for increasing their risk for getting infected goes up.”

Also at the center of the increased testing, Fenstersheib said, are people who are regularly in public and maybe can’t maintain regular physical distancing, such as first responders, grocers, pharmacists, childcare workers and bus drivers.

With the county now relaxing some restrictions—allowing curbside pickup for retailers, for example—Fenstersheib offered a warning to the public during Wednesday’s news conference: “Expect some additional cases as we begin to open up.”

26 Comments

  1. > “And now, we’re moving to testing people who are at risk who are asymptomatic or without any symptoms whatsoever, who are in areas that may put them at an increased risk.

    Risk factors for coronavirus are:

    1. Democrat governor
    2.Crowded subways
    3. Elevators in highrise buildings.
    4. Putting coronavirus infected people in nursing homes

    How is ESSJ (“East SIde San Jose”?) at any greater risk than any place else in Silicon Valley or the south bay?

    Saratoga has the same Democrat governor as ESSJ, and may even have more seniors than ESSJ.

  2. People Die.

    Get over it.

    New cases does not mean new infections. However we will never end the shutdown because we found more people infected. Why ? Because they were already infected and didn’t know about it. Why ? Because the Virus isn’t as deadly as people thought. If you are young and healthy then you probably don’t have much to worry about.

  3. San José wants to focus on ESSJ which is the area with the greatest COVID-19 cases in the city. However, people has to register online which ignores the language and internet barriers these essential workers have before them. These are the workers that have not stopped working since the shelter in place started and even working double shifts to make up for those who did sheltered in place. These are the construction, gardeners, and those picking up fruits and vegetables. One of these workers who came to my place to perform an essential labor told me he was working 24 hours shifts. He was told he was going to get a two week vacation once the rest would come back from the Shelter in place. When the rest came back, he was told they still needed his services. He could not take vacation time. These are the workers who were turned away from local clinics when they were actually requesting testing and treatment due to presentation of symptoms. At the Tully clinic they were told tests were for health workers only. These people in East San José have learned to treat themselves at home too; COVID-19 beds were not offered to them. Testing them now is going to be hard. The sensitive time has passed. They have learned to live with virus and how to better die from it from home. One woman from this area who survived the virus told me she treated herself eat home. She said at a local clinic they would let her die.

    • > One woman from this area who survived the virus told me she treated herself eat home.

      Most people who “survived the virus” treated themselves at home. It’s normal.

      > She said at a local clinic they would let her die.

      Oh stop it!

      Stop being an ethnic tribalist drama queen.

      Your victimology schtick is pathetic and demeaning to the ethnic group whose voice you are hijacking.

      Do you have papers that prove you’re an authorized spokesman for your tribe?

      • People have a right to express their own experiences Trump Monkey. This was her feelings not mine. I trust my providers. If not, they would not be. If she was denied testing even after she begged for it and relatives were in the hospitals, her feelings are very understandable. She was tested more than a week after she requested the test. If people were expected to treat themselves at home, what was the purpose of those temporary treatment places and beds? My belief is they intended to separate the sick from the healthy. Her family at the hospital died. This is her perception based on her experience.

      • Tracy, that is a very good question. I am not going to be tested unless it is at my provider’s office.

      • I have communicated few of these cases to officials in the county. These people are willing to share their experiences. I have not heard back. Which is typically the case in Santa Clara County. This information will soon be public. These people needed to know if what they had was a flu, cold, or COVID-19. There are several factors in addition to being essential workers that account for this group and San Jose Area high level of exposure, infection, and death. The county knows that. This is why they trying to minimize the harm already done. The tests were meant for those at higher risks since they were also likely to keep spreading the virus. The risk still there since this is the group that continues to work and be all over the community. Nursing places and other related industries are having a hard time getting their workers back to work. The did not test or protect employees or residents. The information about these situations are there already. Thus it is not a personal opinion. The fact that this group accounts for 40% of infections but only a recent 20% of testing is a red flag of testing mismanagement. The barriers place by google being in charge of this testing effort maintain the testing mismanagement behavior. In addition, people have to trade their private information in exchange of this “free” testing.

        • Color me clueless, but what’s the justification for testing *everyone*?

          Certainly for those that present symptoms necessitating treatment in order to guide their treatment program or eliminate a possible cause. Is my mild fever and sneezing due to plague or pollen?

          Testing and tracing for afflictions like Legionairs (contaminated HVAC), cryptosporidium (contaminated water), e-coli (contaminated food), typhoid (contaminated food, water), giardia ( contaminated water) makes sense. Treat the afflicted, identify the source, and take corrective action.

          88-98% of those that test positive for COVID are asymptomatic, but some portion could be contagious. CDC says two separate tests at least 24 hours apart are needed to assay COVID’s RNA. Real world sensitivity is between 66% to 80% based on early May findings i.e., 2 of out 3 times to 4 out of 5 times COVID will be correctly detected.

          And of course a test result could be negative, contract it the next day, and be completely oblivious if asymptomatic. It’s not clear how long one can transmit the virus if symptomatic or asymptomatic.

          Estimates range from 3 days after symptoms disappear to 10 days. Nor is it clear how long immunity lasts. Maybe for as much as a year, but still unclear. And we know it mutates. There are at least 12 different flavors with probably more to appear.

          SCC authorities are bleating about hiring 1,000 people to increase testing and contact tracing. I don’t get the justification to test everyone. I don’t find it on SCC’s site or CDC’s, Will appreciate insight.

          • The justification for testing everyone is allowing Google to have access to everyone through “free” testing! Plus the financial benefit of those involved in this Google run operations.

  4. The signup link requires a Google account with of course attendant privacy risks. Am unaware of anonymous COVID testing as offered for HIV and other STDs.

    Yet another example of monetizing personal information via a free offer.

    The data is ripe for abuse. At one time, such fears seemed relegated to the lunatic fringe. Not any more based on what we’re seeing in the US.

    • > The signup link requires a Google account with of course attendant privacy risks.

      Yes. So?

      Why would anyone be surprised that Google County requires it’s residents to have Google accounts?

      Think of a Google account as being like a voter ID card. It lets Google know where all the mail-in ballot voters in Google County are, and then lets Google use artificial intelligence to examine voters’ web searches and calculate their likelihood of voting Democrat, and then Google can direct the Democrat ballot harvesters to their homes via Google maps.

      Voting in Google County will be much more efficient AND Democrat voter participation will be much higher.

      Your not against efficiency or voter participation, are you?

      • We should just dissolve the city government and rename it Googleville. Let Google run it. You won’t have any rights in Googleville but it will be efficient. Right Now, you have no rights and a messed up local government.

    • Speaking of Google, if the elected public officials of Google County want to maintain any credibility with residents and voters, they need to start getting in the face of the Google oligarchs and demand that they stop censoring the news provided to county residents by Google’s monopoly business operations.

      If Google doesn’t stop acting like an internet bully, they can get the hell out of our community and we’ll take our county back.

      “YouTube censors video in which medical doctors said hydroxychloroquine might help treat COVID-19”

      https://justthenews.com/nation/free-speech/youtube-censors-video-which-medical-doctors-said-hydroxychloroquine-might-help

      • Ditto for Facebook. The concentration of power among Google, Facebook, and Twitter to quash speech alarms me. Breaking them up is one possibility. Prohibiting their censorship seems a better alternative. They use regulated public resources like broadcast spectrum like AT&T, Verizon, etc.

        As much as I generally dislike regulation, it seems something is needed to enforce free speech if we are to maintain a healthy democracy.

        • You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, Google all take down any post on their respective sites that does not conform to the Fauci party line. Since the mainstr3am media are lol in line, they don’t report this violation of free speech.

    • Totally agree with you on the Google fraud taxpayer. The information they would obtain from each person is more valuable than the price of the test. This is why you saw Google’s puppet Sam Liccardo being the face of this effort. Google contributes to LICCARDO’s, Khanna, Kalra, and other well-known politicians. This is how Google secures tax breaks and profits.

    • > The signup link requires a Google account with of course attendant privacy risks.

      Google is a private company.

      At the moment, it chooses not to charge for a Google account.

      Google could change it’s mind at any moment, and start charging.

      What a wonderful business model! Charging people to get access to a government benefit. That’s not cronyism, is it?

      On the flip side, the government could prohibit Google from charging for an account. That would make Google a de facto government appendage.

      So, if Google/YouTube bans videos by medical doctors making the case for hydroxychloroquinone because they are spreading “misinformation”, does that mean that the government is censoring medical doctors AND those people who want to know the alternative facts about HXQ?

    • > The signup link requires a Google account with of course attendant privacy risks.

      Probably ninety percent of internet users use some Google resource at some time: Google Search, GMAIL, Google Maps, Google Photos, Google Chrome, etc.

      All of the Google resources are interconnected. If you use any of them, all of Google knows about it.

      (“Where We Go One We Go All”).

      It has been reported in the past that if Google knows five websites that a person has visited, Google artificial intelligence can figure out — WITH NINETY PERCENT CONFIDENCE — whether that person is likely to vote Democrat or Republican.

      And that’s just from knowing the links to five websites. Google doesn’t just know five websites that a person visits, Google knows ALL of the websites a person visits (Including the naughty ones, e. g., the ones that could lead to blackmail.)

      Google GMAIL can (and does) read all the G-mails you send and receive. GMAIL knows who your correspondents are.

      Most of the people that Democrats correspond with are Democrats (increase social credit score by one)

      Most of the people that Republicans correspond with are probably Republicans (reduce social credit score by one).

      Question:

      Is it OK for Google, a private company, to prepare lists or develop apps that enable and facilitate ballot harvesters to track and collect ballots ONLY from persons with high social credit scores, in other words, Democrats?

      Would it be accurate to call such a practice as “encouraging voter participation”?

      Or, should it be called “corporate interference in elections”?

      If Google receives payment from businesses in Russia (“Russian oligarchs”) would Google be guilty of “colluding with the Russians” and enabling “Russian meddling” in U.S. elections?

      Did Trump win because Google and the Russians WANTED him to win?

  5. Why is the county pushing a vulnerable population to get tested by a company that isn’t giving any guarantee of privacy? What about HIPAA? What guarantee does Santa Clara County give that Verily won’t violate these peoples’ rights under HIPAA?

  6. > YOU ARE A TRUMP MONKEY BUBBLE. You repeat even what he does not eat!

    And the 1.3 million black Americans who voted for Trump? Are they Trump monkey’s, too?\

    Are Diamond and Silk Trump monkeys?

    Is Candace Owens a Trump monkey?

    Is Senator Tim Scottt a Trump monkey?

  7. Lets get those testing numbers ramped up so we can boost postive results and show that Trump is bad orange man.

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