Santa Clara County public health officials have announced a mandatory three-week ban on any gathering of 1,000 or more people, beginning at midnight Wednesday in response to an accelerating number of COVID-19 cases.
The Monday morning announcement followed news about a 60-year-old South Bay resident dying of COVID-19, marking state’s second death attributed to the disease. Several organizers had already canceled or postponed events, including San Jose’s popular Cinequest film festival.
Also Monday, the cruise ship Grand Princess was allowed to dock in Oakland, as local, state and public health officials began slowly allowing 3,100 passengers to disembark through a rigorous screening and testing quarantine process. On the cruise ship, 21 people—including 19 crew members—tested positive for the disease caused by the new coronavirus, which has swept worldwide after appearing in China in late 2019.
And in Washington, President Donald Trump and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials reported that the U.S. total COVID-19 cases had grown to 423 this week, with 19 deaths across 35 states. Globally, the World Health Organization reported 109,577 confirmed (3,993 new) cases, with 3,809 deaths (225 new) in 104 countries on all populated continents, with more than 25 percent now outside of China.
The Santa Clara County order, signed by county Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody, marked the first of its kind in the nation.“In light of significantly increasing rates of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County, the County’s Public Health Department is taking further steps to protect the health of our community,” a news release about the mandate stated.
“This is a critical moment in the growing outbreak of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County. The strong measures we are taking today are designed to slow the spread of disease,” Cody said. “Today’s order and new recommendations will reduce the number of people who develop severe illness and will help prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed. This is critically important for anyone with healthcare needs, not just those most vulnerable to serious illness from COVID-19.”
Additional information and the Public Health Department’s and CDC’s guidance and recommendations is available at sccphd.org/coronavirus.