Santa Clara County Extends Stay-at-Home Order, Finally Discloses Hospitalization Stats

The Bay Area shelter-in-place order meant to curb the number of coronavirus cases in the region has officially been extended through May 3.

Santa Clara County health officials announced the revised mandate at a Tuesday afternoon news conference in which they shared new social distancing criteria and stricter rules about what kind of construction can continue in the weeks ahead.

County Executive Jeff Smith also took the occasion to release long-awaited data about the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and the availability of ventilators and beds as the South Bay prepares for an influx of patients at its 11 hospitals.

As of end-of-day Monday, Smith said the county has identified 152 confirmed COVID-19 patients in all local hospitals combined, and another 90 hospitalized patients suspected but not yet confirmed of having the virus.

Although there are plans to ramp up capacity if needed, Smith said the county has a total of 1,475 hospital beds available for the expected surge and will open its overflow facility at the Santa Clara Convention Center in the coming days.

“This medical center station will be available for only COVID patients who don’t need acute care hospitalizations but for whatever reason still need some services,” Smith told reporters. “The idea being here that we will move them out of the hospitals, all 11 hospitals in the county, and therefore make more space.”

Out of the 300 ICU beds in the county, Smith said 52 are currently occupied by COVID-19 patients and 119 are available. The county has 611 ventilators in all, of which 209 are being used by COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients alike. Smith said he expects a shipment of 500 additional ventilators in the coming weeks.

Before hospitalization data disappeared from the county’s new coronavirus dashboard, the health department had reported 152 hospitalizations—the same number Smith reported today. The county executive said the online dashboard will be updated with more information in the coming days.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the county has confirmed 890 cases of COVID-19—52 more than a day prior. Officials also reported two more deaths, bringing the local toll up to 30.

Dr. Cody said she hopes the longer, stricter mandates will keep the case numbers low.

Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and the city of Berkley first issued the unprecedented stay-at-home mandate closing down all non-essential businesses on March 16, leaving typically gridlocked roads deserted and once-bustling businesses boarded up. But the declaration—which originally was set to expire April 7—will now last at least another month and with tighter restrictions.

“We have some early indications though that the actions we have collectively taken are beginning to slow the spread,” Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said at the news conference. “The sacrifice that everyone has made has given our hospitals valuable time to prepare for the influx of patients. However, more time and additional restrictions are needed to slow the spread and to further reduce the impact on our local hospitals and healthcare providers.”

In an effort to maintain social distancing guidelines, playgrounds, dog parks and recreation areas such as basketball or tennis courts will be off limits.

Essential businesses—such as take-out restaurants, grocery stores and banks—can continue to operate, but will be required to develop a “social distancing protocol” by Friday. The form, which can be found on the county’s website, asks businesses to detail how they plan to limit crowds, protect employee’s health, increase sanitization and prevent unnecessary contact.

“This will help ensure that even those places that do need to remain open, are adhering to careful guidelines and thoughtful guidelines specific to their own facility to ensure maximized social distancing,” Santa Clara County Counsel James Williams said.

The county’s top attorney added that they’ve tailored the limits on construction, as well. The health department has made exemptions for the following:

  • Projects that are immediately necessary for the maintenance or repair of essential infrastructure.
  • Projects related to healthcare operations.
  • Affordable housing projects where at least 10 percent of the units are income restricted.
  • Specific public works projects that are exempted by the health department.
  • Shelters and temporary housing.
  • Project that will immediately provide services to the homeless or elderly.
  • Construction that needs to wind down so the site can be left in a safe condition.
  • Construction to repair essential businesses or residences.

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen also urged non-essential businesses that are still operating to “please close your doors.”

“Every person who enters your business carries the potential of spreading the virus and endangering more lives,” he said. “Please join the rest of our community, the vast vast majority of our businesses as we stand together through these difficult days.”

The DA’s office has been working closely with local law enforcement agencies to ensure that non-essential businesses stay shuttered. Since last week, San Jose police have issued warnings to hundreds of businesses that were violating the public health order.

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.

34 Comments

  1. > Before hospitalization data disappeared from the county’s new coronavirus dashboard, the health department had reported 152 hospitalizations—the same number Smith reported today. The county executive said the online dashboard will be updated with more information in the coming days.

    The “dashboard” needs to show the status of COVID-19 cases.

    How many cases are “active”? How many cases are “recovered”?

    The daily track of COVID-19 cases is increasingly “yesterday’s news”.

    What matters is how many are currently impacting the healthcare system, i.e. only the active cases.

  2. This is outrageous. We still only know about the COVID illness numbers, we do not know how much of a problem this will be within the general population. Without this data, we cannot know if the very serious economic and social impact of the Sara Cody order is worth the cost. Since Cody admits in the Murky News that she issued her order quickly based on consulting with only a few, how was this decision a well-considered one? How dare she unleash so much misery with so little transparency and so little thought? Was it fun to play God with so many lives Sara? She is almost as bad as Trump.

    It’s maddening that Santa Clara County only releases selective data on its dashboard and even sadder that the dashboard broke down for this story. An example of government not focusing on its mission, but stretching to meddle in residents’ lives. But maybe data doesn’t matter: The other day, Jeffrey Smith was downplaying the importance of statistics. Just imagine a policy person saying data and statistics do not matter. What is next? Nothing matters except what Lord Jeffrey says—again, like Trump?

    It’s clear that Sara Cody and her “cohorts” (as says the Murky News) of Jeffrey Smith, Greta Hanson, Karen Smith, Marty Fenstersheib, James Williams have gone overboard, dictating to all what they can and can’t do. If social distancing is desirable, why not just leave it that? Why force people to do only what they think is essential? Why can’t people go to church or wherever they worship if they are socially distant?

    And why are Sara Cody and her fun group of buddies who run this county not being transparent with the public as they unleash wave after wave of misery, recession, and frustration?

    • Believe me Pat when I say, that the number of available beds and ventilators is extremely underwhelming for what is about to happen in the next two weeks. Church will be the last thing on your mind come Easter Sunday. The resurrection however will be foremost. Looking at today’s report we shall need it. If you wish to leave your home be sure it is worth your life or that of someone you love because that is what it is coming to. Good luck to all.

      • Let’s compare notes in two weeks. There are costs associated with this crazy lockdown that I’m sure Ms. Cody didn’t even think about. My point is simply that the health czars are looking at it solely through the health lens. The Murky News story basically said that Cody awoke with a fright, talked to a few of her buddies, and with their encouragement declared a clampdown that everyone felt bound to follow (which politician wants to be blamed for any death?). The County didn’t question her hard or ask about the cost-benefit balancing, so off she went with a single-minded focus to stop the spread. As the Murky News story said: Because Cody trusted her legal buddies, she was able to be “nimble” i.e. quick, without considering differing points of view.

        But back to the two week check-in: If people are dying in the hospitals of COVID-19, then I suppose you will be right and perhaps we didn’t go far enough.

        If things get better, Cody and the gang will also declare victory though (it worked!). The losers will be the folks who lost jobs, and the businesses that tanked after this pushed them over the edge.

        The true test is comparing our data to another state or county that didn’t go as far.

        • I agree with you whole heartedly Pat. But I might add that Trump has not issued anything but advisory’s. The people taking your rights away are CA Democrats, not Trump.

          • > The people taking your rights away are CA Democrats, not Trump.

            TRUE DAT!

            Trump’s coronavirus policies are basically advice to state governors.

            The governors are the executives who control and operate the state health agencies.

          • Newsom, Breed, Cody, and Liccardo are putting millions of people out of work because for them a few thousand homeless schizophrenic drug addicts are more important than millions of hard working people and small business owners. It’s the reverse of culling the herd—the healthy hardworking ones are sacrificed on the altar of yet another failed plan to save the homeless.

    • Thank you for saying what maybe 1% of the population is willing to say. At this point, Sara Cody is like the sorcerer’s apprentice. Gov. Newson took off on the Bay Area lockdown and made it statewide. For hundreds of years, we’ve been accustomed to due process of law and quarantine those with disease. Now almost everyone accepts fiat law and universal quarantine of those who aren’t sick.

      Since bars and restaurants are shut down right next door to liquor stores and mini marts, why not order an immediate ban on sales of tobacco products? (This country already experienced alcohol prohibition and with a recession in sales tax revenue, we can’t afford to shut down the state lottery.) Even from second-hand tobacco smoke, annual deaths are about the same as from ordinary influenza, opioid overdoses, or vehicular traffic. Tobacco consumption alone beats all of the above combined in deaths year after year, decade after decade — not to mention the effect of concentrated carcinogenic waste in cigarette butts on wildlife.

      So do it now, do it cold turkey. It’s been every public health official’s dream for almost sixty years. Go big or go home. We’ll get it all sorted out some day whenever the courts are open again.

  3. > Dr. Cody said she hopes the longer, stricter mandates will keep the case numbers low.

    Keeping the case numbers low may be the objective for the medical professionals, but they are not in charge of the economy.

    The original objective, that people bought into, was to “not overwhelm the healthcare system”.

    Speaking for the American people, I think the definition of “success” is to get the economy working again, return society to a state of “normalcy” to the extent possible, and leave the healthcare system and health professionals with a situation that is within their capability to handle.

    The assignment is NOT to wipe out coronavirus, it’s to get the economy and society going again, and treat sick people as we always have.

    • If you lose 2.57 percent of the population or 8,506,700 people in the next 10 weeks is it worth it? For one you may not have the workers you once had with the training and expertise to carry on the economy. When you flush your toilets who will be there to keep the WWTP open? When your police are sick and dying, when your first responders have all been eradicated, who then will come to your rescue?

      For the economy to survive we need people to run that economy. First and foremost is the preservation of lives through physical separation. COVID-19 a form of the SARS virus but is more insidious by lying in wait for the victim to touch a door knob or a pen or a handrail. The way it attaches itself for days and weeks to hard surfaces such as plastic ATM buttons or Gasoline pump handles. In credit card readers as an infected card goes in infecting the next hundred that follow. There is no cure. No magic remedy or drug that helps to cure or abate the suffering of those which are unfortunate to catch the virus. Two point five seven percent of the population for San Jose would mean 746 deaths per day every day from week six through week ten. Those are the projections from the public health department for the State of California. Do we dare whistle past the graveyard and disregard the little knowledge that we have about the virus?

      Shouldn’t we be patient instead of rushing out into the street in front of on coming traffic? If you choose to disregard your own health that is okay by me, so long as you don’t infect others. But unfortunately if you get sick then first responders have to take care of you. Your life may be of no import to yourself, but what of the lives of the doctors and nurses which are going to have to save your life? What about the children or grandchildren that will be left behind to sadly watch from Zoom video chat virtual funerals? Will they miss you?

      What about the second round of infections that will come after the first? The flu of 1918-1919 was H1V1. The first year didn’t kill nearly as much as year two. Fifty million people worldwide died of that flu virus, but the worldwide population was only 1.5 billion people. Today the world holds 7.5 billion people. It is entirely possible that you will dodge a bullet this time around, but the second time could be devastating once our health system lies in tatters. It would be best to get the virus now then to wait for a time when ventilators will all be used and PPE no longer available to your support staff in the hospitals.

      Most sirens on those ambulances will grow quite as those first responders get infected, fall ill, or worse. Only then will you look back and say damn if I only listened, if only …….. When whistling past the graveyard it may be wise to watch your step.

      Mr. Trump is not your savior he is your nemesis. Everything Trump has done these past (12) weeks since the COVID-19 gene sequencing was released by China to the world is delay action. I would say he will go down in history as the single most responsible person for the millions of deaths in the US, as well as destroying a great economy and formidable military.

      We will be left to the nations which heeded the dangers of this virus and acted with alarm and haste. Russia is lying in wait for that time when or economy and military is reduced to their level. So far they claim only 2,777 cases while ours is currently at 212,791 cases with 4,759 deaths. Our CFR is currently at 2.24% and rising.

      Just six days ago our CFR was 1.43% compared to the world’s average of 4.53% and rising. The US currently (4/1/2020 4:15 pm pst) has 22.83% of the world’s cases of COVID-19 and 10.16% of the world’s deaths, yet we only have 4.41% of the world’s population.

      Just six days ago we had 82,179 total reported cases in the United States along with 1,177 deaths. We have increased our case count by a factor of 258.94% and our death count by a whopping 404.33% in only six days. What will Easter Sunday look like in twelve days? Anyone want to guess or should I say dare to guess?

      If none of this scares you, then I hope it scares everyone else. The numbers are all we have to go on for now. SARS started out with a CFR (Case Fatality Rate) of only 2% to 3% but then finished at 10% of the cases which were fatal. MERS finished at 34% of the cases which ended in death.

      With the 1918 flu most people died in the second year (1919). Once people let their guard down the virus peeked. The Same will happen here with COVID-19. Once people think it is safe to return to our old ways the virus will come back stronger than ever.

      We need to wait for a viable vaccine. This may take 12-18 months. But until that time comes this virus shall live on and do it’s damage. Let’s please minimize the stress to our health system and subsequent fatalities. Buy time now for a better tomorrow.

      While it may be inevitable that 40-60% of the population gets infected before a vaccine is developed, we must still endeavor to stay the course and buy time for our health system and the people in it.

      Sorry to be so long on the reply, but I truly feel this has not been said enough and that we all need to consider not only our lives but those of us around us that we love and care about, and as well those that we don’t even know.

      Take care, and good luck to us all.

      Bruce

      • I don’t know what your watching Bruce, but you need to change the channel. Start watching and reading something other than what you already are, because your are regurgitating all of the MSM’s scare stats that even an idiot like me can see don’t add up.

        On a different note, were you one of the people calling Trump a racist when he stopped travel from China back in January?

      • > If you lose 2.57 percent of the population or 8,506,700 people in the next 10 weeks is it worth it?

        Stopped reading right here.

        FEAR! FEAR! FEAR!

        WORST CASE SCENARIO!

        You’re scaring the children. You should be arrested for child abuse.

  4. Hope is not a strategy. I would rather err on the side of caution then put people back to work just for the few which have half of the country’s wealth. This is a virus which will strike down the rich as well as the poor. However, the odds are on the side of the poor as they so outnumber the rich by far. Bubbles your plan would create a slaughter of the populas while decimating the economy. I hope the people which hold your view, as shortsighted as it is, are few or nil.

    • I fully understand your fear Bruce and many people share it with you. But rather than wait for the Government to tell you what to do, or the Media to tell you what to think, perhaps you can dig a little deeper and follow the numbers for yourself. If you do, I guarantee it will make you fell better if nothing else.

      Good luck with all this and stay well!

      • I did run the numbers. I have run the numbers every day since January 31st, 2020. First in Wuhan where numbers were available. When we could listen to the nightmarish reports by phone of an employee from the main crematorium in Wuhan. The evidence is clear. The numbers are proving themselves to the public everyday as testing becomes more widespread.

        I and others in San Jose had reported information from China before the main stream media caught on. The stock market is what got everyone’s attention. Not the thousands dying in China.

        The numbers say that we got a late start by some 2-3 months since the virus was reported in China and the rest of the world on December 31st, 2019. We have been trying to get the word out speaking truth to power. I have voiced our concerns to the Bernie Sanders Campaign prior to the March 1, 2020 Rally. I have voiced our concerns through our group to SCCPHD as well as the Mayor of San Jose in regards to the San Jose Sharks games on March 3rd, March 5th, March 7th, and March 8th.

        I am still voicing my concerns here in a public forum. I use my real name and do no hide behind made up names such as “work90” or “outsidethebubble”.

        However, even though you hide yourselves to the public and as well espouse your opinions at a time when we all need facts. It does not change the numbers, the facts, or the science behind it. All you have is your opinion. So you are welcome to your own opinion but not your own facts.

    • > I would rather err on the side of caution then put people back to work just for the few which have half of the country’s wealth.

      So, you would rather see people NOT working.

      Splain sumpin, Bruce:

      Where do you think food comes from?

      • “ Where do you think food comes from?”

        That is a very good question as I have some background in farming. Currently California’s 460,000 farm workers are going into the fields next month to pick your strawberries. Watsonville and the Central Coast will all be busy with farm workers which have migrated here from Mexico and Central America. They have come to pick the California crops which supply two thirds of the vegetables, fruits, and nuts that America consumes. They may get paid up to $26,000.00 per year for their back breaking labor to fill our bellies. They aren’t offered any protection from the virus. If they get sick they are on their own to get medical attention. They could be America’s first responders as much as any fireman or nurse or policeman. Yet they have no safety net. Once this front line for America’s grocery stores succumbs to the virus. It will be up to you and I to work the fields.

        However, I have a better idea. Back in WWII American’s built Victory Gardens. Americans put in a small vegetable garden of lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, herbs, radishes, corn, and whatever they could to help the war effort. We can do the same with are community gardens or turn over some soil in our own back yards. The local elementary school can be a way to distribute the food between growers. Some crops come in early and some later. Kind of a co-op or farmer’s market. Maybe on a Saturday the neighbors can get tomatoes that are ripe and trade for lettuce while waiting for theirs to ripen. It can also become more sophisticated where everyone grows something different so not to have too much of any one item and thereby have less wasted food.

        The farmers on the Great Plains will continue growing corn, soybeans, grains like wheat, rye, barley and oats. They use huge combines and tractors to prepare, plant and harvest their fields. One man can plow with a 16 bottom plow on a John Deere 5020 for eight hours a day without seeing another person. I know because I’ve done it, years ago as summer help for my family. We need to get through this year and wait for that vaccine. Then perhaps we can relax and get back to what was once the old normal. Take care of yourself, as that will help take care of others.

        • > The farmers on the Great Plains will continue growing corn, soybeans, grains like wheat, rye, barley and oats.

          Farming involves a lot of work.

          Remember, Bruce, you’re AGAINST work.

          > I would rather err on the side of caution then put people back to work just for the few which have half of the country’s wealth.

  5. Work90 has requested my numbers:

    In Reply:

    The following are my projections for the dates listed. I would add that these numbers are based on many variables which values are constantly changing. So I would caution a leeway of plus or minus 15% on either side of these projected numbers.

    The work to back these numbers is submitted to San Jose Inside reporter Jennifer Wadsworth at every (6) day period and as well to “San Jose 2019-nCoV Virus (COVID-19)” Group. The group was started by myself on February 9th, 2020 and has many contributors and members. Membership is approx. 1,650 as of today April 3rd, 2020. Members include medical staff, employees of Santa Clara County Public Health Department, and as well contributors within the medical professional field.

    However, these projections while based on real data are mine alone based on a calculus which I alone have performed.

    Number of Cases due to COVID-19 virus (Worldwide)
    On April 7th, 2020 = 1,647,659 (projected)
    On April 13th, 2020 = 2,899,879 (projected)

    Number of Deaths due to COVID-19 virus (Worldwide)
    On April 7th, 2020 = 92,433 (projected)
    On April 13th, 2020 = 180,952 (projected)

    Number of Cases due to COVID-19 virus (USA)
    On April 7th, 2020 = 557,073 (projected)
    (Please note that the worldwide total on March 26th, 2020 was only 526,000 cases, just (12) days prior.)

    Number of Cases due to COVID-19 virus (USA)
    On April 13th, 2020 = 1,420,940 (projected)

    Number of Deaths due to COVID-19 virus (USA)
    On April 7th, 2020 = 21,781 (projected)
    On April 13th, 2020 = 91,650 (projected)

    • > However, these projections while based on real data are mine alone based on a calculus which I alone have performed.

      WORK90 sayeth:

      > I’m sorry Bruce, but in your diatribe you offered no facts and referenced no science. You simply gave us YOUR opinion (and your name i guess).

      WORK90 is right..

      “No science”. Not even a white lab coat.

      • Then the proof will be in the numbers for the referenced dates. You will need to be patient mr bubble. But as you may disagree with my projections you may also put your’s alongside mine. Work90 was the one I was replying to however. He thinks perhaps he has a different outcome and I welcome Work90 to relay his numbers as well, or perhaps it is agreed my numbers are more inline with your thinking?

        • Good Morning Bruce,

          Let’s see what numbers tomorrow brings and discuss them. My guess (just a guess) is that your numbers are also on the high side. My thought process has always been that the exponential spread of this virus has not yet happened anywhere in the world, so i have not believed the models showing that it will spread exponentially.
          In fact they have done just the opposite in places that were hit by the disease early on, such has Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, S. Korea, Vietnam. So my thought has been it will not happen here either, and for the most part it has not. I have other thoughts on its spread as well, but I’ll stick to the numbers for now.

        • > or perhaps it is agreed my numbers are more inline with your thinking?

          No. I don’r agree,

          Your numbers are not inline with my thinking.

          Are you going to do anything to make your numbers more agreeable?

          • In order to reduce these numbers we would have had to reduce our exposure to the virus two weeks ago. Due to the lag time in testing results, incubation, and eventual death what we do today to reduce exposure to the virus will effect the results of the numbers two weeks from now. The case count will only be as accurate as the testing becomes more available. The CFR is related to the amount of cases as well as the deaths. We need to know how far this virus has penetrated our population in order to ascertain whether or not if the distancing is working. We will all need to physically separate from each other. Unless the shelter in place continues, I see no reason why the numbers would not increase exponentially.

            The idea of course is to reduce deaths by slowing the progression of the infected in the population and allow our medical response to ramp up. I see no way that any number of deaths can be seen as agreeable.

            The only way is if we all stick together for our mutual benefit and stay home. Work from home if possible. If not then perhaps growing a garden of food for yourself or others. Everything we can do will help in this effort to reduce the misery and fallout of the effects from what was once called an epidemic when over there. Now described as a pandemic it is not only over there, but also here and everywhere. There are 209 countries and territories now showing cases of the coronavirus. The US unfortunately did not heed the early warnings and fiddled away while Rome burned. We may already be beyond averting total catastrophe and subsequent collapse of this society. When whistling past the graveyard one must watch their step. Wouldn’t you agree?

  6. Bruce, I appreciate your position, but I disagree with all of it at this time based on this virus. And by all accounts our Federal & State Governments led the charge in in getting ahead of this virus, so i really disagree with your opinion on that.

    P.S. I tried to respond to your earlier post but apparently San Jose Inside did not like what i had to say. I personally thought it was very positive, which may be why they didn’t post it.

  7. Trump speaks at the podium at 4:17 pm (PDT) Palm Sunday. He mentions the number of countries that now have cases of COVID-19. “It was 150 countries in his last briefing but is now 180 countries, who would have thought?” A quick check on Worldometers.info shows actually (208) countries.

    Good Friday April 10th, 20120 2:54 pm PDT
    President Donald Trump spoke of himself as being the sole decision maker for the Country in whether or not to open the Country for business as usual and when this will happen. He claims to be able to override the States and as well the local jurisdictions. I don’t think that most Americans will fall for his ruse, however should sufficient numbers do so, then all bets are off for any kind of recovery for citizens or the economy.

    Let’s see how we are doing compared to five days ago.

    Sunday April 5th, 2020:
    Cases testing positive for the virus: 1,270,849 Worldwide
    Deaths due to the virus: 69,380 Worldwide (CFR = 5.46%)

    Cases testing positive for the virus: 336,085 USA
    Deaths due to the virus: 9,602 USA (CFR = 2.86%)

    Today April 10, 2020 (Good Friday)
    Cases testing positive for the virus: 1,689,277 Worldwide
    Deaths due to the virus: 102,288 Worldwide (CFR = 6.06%)
    The CFR increased by 11% within five days worldwide

    Cases testing positive for the virus: 496,828 USA
    Deaths due to the virus: 18,509 USA (CFR = 3.73%)
    The CFR increased by 30% within five days in the USA

    The case fatality rate (CFR) worldwide has been increasing each week since March 15th, 2020 by between 10% to 11%. However, in the United States the case fatality rate has been increasing at an alarming rate of now 30% in only the past five days.

    We are far from having the spread of the virus contained at this point in time. To even entertain the idea of business as normal at this juncture would be comparable only to the Jim Jones massacre in Guyana, where people willingly or not so willingly drank the Kool-Aid laced with poison. First they gave it to their children and then finally to themselves.

    My hope is that the vast majority of Americans have learned from the past and will not drink the Kool-Aid this time around.

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