Evelyn Ho: Good morning, I'm Evelyn Ho Lead PublicInformation Officer with the County of Santa Clara Emergency Operations Center.
I'm wearing a face covering right now but I'm going to remove it so it'seasier for everybody to hear me and especially our American sign language interpreters today.
We are ensuring social distancing in our EmergencyOperations Center and wearing the face coverings that we've asked you all towear as well but will remove it for ease of speech for today.
This morning I'm joined by Dr.
Sara Cody our Health Officer and Public HealthDirector but before we turn to her I wanted to provide you an update on casesin the county of Santa Clara.
As of last night at 5:00 p.
, we have1793 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County and 65 deaths.
We know that yesterday there was a system issue with the data reporting so the datadashboards were not updated yesterday.
They will be updated later today toreflect both days, both yesterday's case count and today's case count.
The case count that I provided is the most accurate as of 5:00 p.
Additionally, our laboratory testing dashboard will be updated as well later today because that information was not available yesterday.
Also yesterday we added an additional dashboard on our data site that includes the number ofconfirmed COVID cases associated with long-term care facilities.
We have a particular emphasis and effort in addressing cases and potential outbreaksin long-term care facilities and are providing that data to you on a dailybasis of the total number of cases and facilities that have one or more casesassociated in the long-term care that could be a staff or a resident.
Long term care facilities include skilled nursing homes, assisted living, independent living, and boarding care facilities.
So we hope that information is of use to you all.
And now I wanted to it over turn it over to Dr.
Cody for this morning thank you for joining us.
I know there's been a lot of discussion on the national andstate level about the shelter in place orders.
And I wanted to ask, locally inSanta Clara County and in the Bay Area, who makes the decisions about whathappens next and where we go from here Dr.
Sara Cody: Thank you for the question.
In California, the local county public health officer has the authority and the power to make decisions and those decisions are made in the interestof the public to protect the public's health.
So, for example the orders thatwe've had here in Santa Clara County starting with the ban on mass gatheringsorder that I issued on March 9th and culminating in the shelter-in-placeorder that I issued alongside colleagues around the Bay Area on March 16th.
Those are health officer orders and they are to protect the public health.
So, in California the local county health officer has that authority to take those actions.
Ho: And given what we've seen, the impacts of the shelter-in-place orderbut also given what we know about the novel coronavirus and its circulation, what do you begin to see of what could be coming next with regard to the shelter-in-place order.
Cody: So, we know that our shelter-in-place order here in Santa Clara County and across the region has made a difference.
We have been able to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
We've been able to not only preventinfections but hospitalizations and deaths.
But we also know and I think thatthe figures that Evelyn just shared really highlight this that we stillsee increases in our case counts every day, we see increases in fatalities everyday, and we are by no means out of the woods.
So our collective action hasslowed the spread but we have to keep at it.
It is not the time to let up.
If we let up what we will see is a resurgence in cases.
This has been the experience inother parts of the world and we've been watching this pattern carefully.
So I also want to address and acknowledge that the shelter-in-place order also has health harms, right.
Sheltering in your home, not being able to work if you can'twork from home, children not being able to attend school.
All of those things have an impact as well so what we're doing and what we're looking at is weevaluate the shelter in place order is looking through our healthlens as we always do to try to understand what are the healthbenefits of the shelter-in-place order and what are the health harms of theshelter in place order and trying to navigate as we go forward what the bestroute is to overall offer the best protection for the people who live inour county and who live in the region.
Ho: Thank you.
And what would you say as we continue under the order that is through May 3rd, currently, what's the mostimportant thing that we should be doing today for both people who are workingand people who are able to shelter in place at home? Cody: So as I've said many times the most important thing that each of us needs to do is to the greatest extentpossible reduce your contact with other individuals.
So, of course wherever youlive you have contact with the people in your household that's your stable groupas much as possible try to stay with your small stable group and not have anycontact that you don't absolutely need to have with others.
So for example, even if you need to go out to the grocery store someone from the household needsto go the grocery store or the pharmacy or whatever to perform some essentialactivity, do it as infrequently as you can and for the shortest period of timethat you can manage because all of that reduces the chance that you will getCOVID-19 from someone else or that if you have COVID-19 that you will pass italong to someone else.
Every day we're learning more about thisvirus and what we know now is that one, people can shed the virus and spread itto others for up to 48 hours before they become sick with symptoms and two, thereare a number of people, that we don't have a precise number, but a number ofpeople with the infection who never have any symptoms at all.
So just trying to determine about who's infectious and who's not based on their symptoms missesa lot of people either because their symptoms haven't yetdeveloped or because they're simply not going to develop symptoms.
And I think that really underscores the reason for our the shelter-in-place order and why it's necessary and why it's infact effective because it reduces the chance that any one of us who might beinfected passes it along to someone else and that is still incredibly important.
It's important now.
It will be important a month from now and probably longer.
Ho: Thank You Dr.
Cody and thank you for reminding us of that the importance ofour individual actions to the collective good of protecting lives and protectinghealth of our entire community.
So, thank you for joining us today and I wanted to remind everybody that the health officer order for the inventory and reporting oflarge quantities of personal protective equipment, the deadline for that is today at 11:59 p.
So please visit our website at sccphd.
org/CV19PPEto find those minimum reporting requirements and to report on that online survey there.
The reporting form is available in multiple languages onthat website and all individuals entities and businesses that have largequantities are required to report that PPE.
That information allows us to knowwhat we have available locally within our community so as we move forward fortunately, we have not seen yet a large surge on our Hospitalcapacity, but as we prepare for that it allows us to know what PPE might exist already in our community.
Thank you for joining us in that participation ofboth knowing what we have in PPE our continued sheltering in place, our individual choices, and contributions to our collective good.
Thank you and have a good day.