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.”
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.