Santa Clara County to Announce New Reopening Order Despite Uptick in COVID-19 Cases

Santa Clara County officials are expected to issue a new health order for reopening next week, despite an uptick in COVID-19 cases across the region and state.

“I anticipate issuing a new order next week that will mark the end of our sector-specific strategy and the beginning of a new phase, where many activities will be allowed to resume with appropriate risk reduction measures in place,” Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said in a video released today. “And, of course, many high-risk activities simply cannot safely resume here or elsewhere anytime soon.”

Dr. Cody didn’t get into specifics, but said the new mandate would be announced sometime in the middle of next week and go into effect a few days later in order to give businesses some time to readjust.

Meanwhile, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced today that her city would hold off on moving onto Phase 3 of reopening. Contra Costa County health officials are also reconsidering whether they should slow reopening as the number of COVID-19 cases in the Bay Area continues to grow.

In her statement today, Dr. Cody acknowledged that the South Bay has seen an increase in cases along with a small uptick in hospitalizations. “However, thanks to the efforts and sacrifices of our residents, the prevalence of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County remains much lower than most other places,” Dr. Cody said.

As of today, the county has reported 3,984 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 155 deaths.

This week, the number of new cases in Santa Clara County hit triple digits on three different days—something that hasn’t been seen in quite some time as the number of new cases was declining. On Friday, the county also reported that 78 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 43 in acute hospital beds and 31 in the ICU. The number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU has doubled over the last week and a half with just 15 patients in the ICU on June 17. None of the patients are currently on a ventilator.

Santa Clara County health officials have also decided to change their methodology for how they report on the number of tests conducted.

Previously, health officials only reported each individual who was tested. But now that health officials are encouraging frontline workers to get tested frequently, they’ve opted to change reporting methods to include each new test.

Since the start of the pandemic, the county and private labs have conducted 166,229 tests. The positive test rate is currently 2.75 percent and has slowly increased since May.

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.

5 Comments

  1. Per the County coronavirus dashboard as of 3:45 p.m. PDT on Friday, June 26, only 72 people were hospitalized with the virus in Santa Clara County, not 78 as reported in this story. (Perhaps a half dozen people were released in the past few hours, because deaths are holding steady at 155).
    Further, about 950 hospital beds (nearly half) in the County are vacant, meaning there is simply no cause for alarm due to a slight “uptick” in hospitalizations. Because the lock down was initiated and justified to “flatten the curve” and to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed, the local data does not justify a continued local lock down.

    Also, the reporting of rising “cases” of the coronavirus is effectively meaningless and therefore misleading. More testing recently — including now of asympomatic persons — necessarily obtains more positive test results. The fact of a positive test result says nothing about the health or contagiousness of the person testing positive, many of whom are asymptomatic and the vast majority of whom have not required hospitalization. A Stanford antibodies study suggests the virus has been in this County since 2019, months before the lock down or any social distancing — or testing. There were always more cases than the data showed. Indeed, the CDC estimates that some 20 million people nationally who have not been tested have the virus, and these people are not hospitalized and not dead. Likely the untested asymptomatic persons are young and lack co-morbidity factors so are not particularly at risk for hospitalization or death. Further, the more “cases” found without significant rises in hospitalizations or deaths the better, because it promotes eventual herd immunity. That’s the situation here in Santa Clara County, so there is no disconnect between rising “cases” and a relaxing of the lock down. Quite the contrary.

  2. > That’s the situation here in Santa Clara County, so there is no disconnect between rising “cases” and a relaxing of the lock down. Quite the contrary.

    Excellent points, Mr. Gagliardi.

    However, you should realize that you’re talking to a lot of dullards in San Jose and Santa Clara County.

    You should probably repeat your points four or five times, use ALL CAPS, talk in a loud voice, use animal pictures or cat videos to make your points.

    Expect that it’s going to take awhile to get anybody’s attention.

    • This comment is right on, we are deaking with paranoid power-drunk dim wits who assume the power under the guise of care for our safety. Totally 1984. Bombard them with demands to reopen, one clear message per email, they need to hear it loud and clear, end the yoke, let businesses live and stop fear mongering

  3. Maria Rutenburg is a Redwood City resident who wants to paint “MAGA 2020” on your city streets. Maria Rutenburg thinks that BLM is a political statement.

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