Santa Clara Co. Recommends Event Cancelations, Reduced Travel as Coronavirus Spreads

The Children’s Discovery Museum in downtown San Jose temporarily shut down because of the novel coronavirus. As did a local preschool and the city’s senior meals program.

Sunnyvale quarantined some police officers potentially exposed to the disease from performing CPR on a 72-year-old man. Lockheed Martin told its 4,000 Sunnyvale employees to stay home for a few days after one of them tested positive for COVID-19, the highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

A Women’s Leadership Policy Summit hosted by Santa Clara County and youth job fair called Pathway to Climate Smart Careers sponsored by the city have been postponed while the Tech Interactive called off two events set for this weekend. Nvidia shifted its GTC 2020 conference online just days after Facebook called off F8—both of which would have taken place at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

In an email to attendees earlier this week, TiEcon organizers urged people to “say hello, namaste, bow, or bump elbows instead of shaking hands” during the May 8 to 9 event at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo proposed a moratorium on evictions to protect tenants impacted by layoffs and business closures caused by the outbreak. Gov. Gavin Newsom told insurance companies to waive out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing.

Sequoia Capital, one of the world’s leading VC firms, called it the “Black Swan of 2020.”

As the U.S. government botches testing and lags behind other developed countries in responding to COVID-19, the pandemic is taking a huge toll on the global economy.

This week, the number of cases surpassed 100,000 worldwide and 24 in Santa Clara County, prompting widespread travel cancelations and supply chain disruptions. The stock market freaked out while the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates by half a percentage point to show investors that the central banks are taking this seriously.

Locally, warnings about COVID-19 have grown more dire.

Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody—the first of her ilk to declare a local emergency in California—issued revised recommendations Thursday about how to slow the spread of the virus. The guidelines advise canceling large gatherings such as conferences, concerts and sports games and to avoid person-to-person contact.

“Our cases to date indicate to us that the risk of exposure to the virus in our community is increasing,” Cody said at a press conference Thursday, where she told reporters to expect the number of cases to increase in the days to come.

Cody and County Counsel James Williams—who’s in charge of the county’s emergency response—also asked employers to suspend non-essential work travel, minimize employees working close to one another and allow them to work from home if possible. They also advised employers against requiring doctor’s notes for people on sick leave because the healthcare system is overburdened already.

Schools should remain open, however, because children have not shown to be as vulnerable to the virus as people aged 50 and up. That said, Dr. Cody told school leaders that it may be necessary to cancel some school events and that caregivers of children with chronic health conditions should ask a doctor whether it would be best to stay home.

Meanwhile, Dr. Cody added, the general public should practice proper hygiene, washing hands and avoiding facial contact. They should also avoid visiting hospitals and nursing homes as much as possible to avoid exposing medically fragile people to the disease.

“We understand these recommendations will have a tremendous impact on the lives of people in our community,” county officials wrote in a press release. “Public Health is making these recommendations in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on the best information we have at this time, to protect the public’s health. This is a critical moment in the growing outbreak of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County when such measures can potentially slow the spread of the disease.”

For the latest updates from county public health, click here.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. It is time for a little perspective.

    The website for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that currently, the coronavirus is responsible for a total of 11 deaths in the U.S., out of 164 cases reported in the entire country.

    By contrast, currently there are 34,000,000 confirmed cases of influenza (the flu), resulting in 34,000 hospitalizations and more than 20,000 deaths.

    According to the CDC, since 2010 the flu has caused between 12,000 and 79,000 fatalities annually.

    The mainstream media’s endless harping on the coronavirus is similar to its endless harping on ‘The Russians!’™

    The U.S. population is currrently ≈330,000,000. Out of that number the coronavirus has caused eleven (11) deaths.

    The flu is responsible for 34,000 deaths this year (last year the flu caused 61,000 deaths), but there’s hardly a word from the media reporting on a number thousands of times greater.

    Can you say, “Fake news”? I can…

    • > Santa Clara Co. Recommends Event Cancellations, Reduced Travel as Coronavirus Spreads

      As an indicator of what the Santa Clara County authorities view as the appropriate level of alarm:

      1. the authorities have NOT called for the closing of California’s southern border and interruption of the flow of unscreened, potentially infected, Democrat voting “undocumented migrants”.

      2. the authorities have NOT closed down, removed, sanitized and convincingly banned any of the urban micro-squalor villages known to be vast open-air petri dishes of viral and bacterial contagion.

      3. the authorities have NOT deployed a single drop of hand sanitizer, a respiratory mask, or a full body bio-hazard containment suit on the person of any resident “homeless person” in the county. They continue to roam the commons just like free range chickens and broadcast whatever infections microbes they damn well please.

      The authorities are not really alarmed, folks.

      Go back to your homes and worry about Russian meddling in the elections, now that we don’t have to worry about “Mike” Bloomberg medding in the elections.

  2. Cheap and completely unfair charade to prohibit evictions. Ms Wadsworth, her compatriots in the press, ill advised academic activists, and union money beholden politicians laughed through causa justa in 2017, as an extension to the equally ill advised rent control ord in 2015, which triggered an eviction epidemic. Now at an eye popping, Memphis like rate of 10000 a year.

    Well, coronavirus can theoretically be blamed for any financial short fall, so why would anyone pay rent when the city decides if they are to be evicted? Of course the city will consider every claim justified, and stop the bleeding they caused in 2015-2017.

    Why would anyone pay rent when we all know this “moratorium” will go on indefinitely and once it does actually end, tenants get four months to pay back rent, like that will ever happen. I can see the vulture capitalists circling now, waiting to feast on mom and pop foreclosures at virtually zero percentage interest.

  3. It’s a bad case of pneumonia. The people that are dying have serious health issues that were most likely going to manifest themselves in short order without the virus.

  4. We really are living in “the Matrix”.

    Specifically, we are living in the Stupidity Version of the Matrix.

    Governor for Life Gavin Newsom, member of the California oligarchy, has declared a health emergency in California because of the coronavirus.

    Does the “California coronavirus health emergency” require closing Disneyland? N-O-O-O-O-O ! ! !

    Does the “California coronavirus health emergency” require closing the mammoth Pasadena flea market? N-O-O-O-O-O ! ! !

    Does the “California coronavirus health emergency” require closing the Berryessa flea market? N-O-O-O-O-O ! ! !

    Does the “California coronavirus health emergency” require closing NHL games? N-O-O-O-O-O ! ! !

    Does the “California coronavirus health emergency” require closing business conventions? N-O-O-O-O-O ! ! !

    Does the “California coronavirus health emergency” require closing NCAA March Madness games? N-O-O-O-O-O ! ! !

    Does it suspend all of the STUPID and DANGEROUS “single use bag” bans in California? N-O-O-O-O-O ! ! !

    Really woke, community minded, save-the-planet eniro-wackos can CONTINUE to bring their reusable, feces laden, coronavirus infected re-usable shopping bags to the Safeway, snap them open in the checkout land, and shove them in the face of the poor, hapless Safeway checkout clerk.

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH big-hearted, smartest-person-in-the-room progressives.

    Open borders!.Homeless camps for free-range hobos. Microbe infested “reusable shopping bags”. You people are REALLY TRYING to end modern civilization and bring back the plague.

  5. I remember heard James Williamstekl a story of how he grew a beard to appear more masculine and gain more respect. Seems like the little fat guy at the top, County Exec Smith, is doing the same. Who needs masks when your filthy beard will capture and retain all airborne germs. Good luck, losers.

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