Santa Clara County recorded its highest daily case total since the start of the pandemic on Friday. And if the explosive increase in COVID-19-related hospitalizations in the county continues on its current trajectory, Santa Clara County will exceed hospital capacity in just three weeks, health chief Dr Sara Cody said on Friday.
The latest county figures, announced just a day after the state introduced a new overnight stay order, soberly reminds the deadly virus is spreading faster than ever days before a big weekend -end of vacation.
“We are indeed at a critical moment in this pandemic and the choices that each of us makes can make the difference between having enough hospital capacity to take care of all of us, our family and our friends and not enough,” said Cody said during a press briefing. Friday.
The county recorded 407 new cases on Friday, the highest number seen in a single day since March, according to Cody. Meanwhile, the number of hospital patients in Santa Clara County has risen from 110 to 166 – or more than 50% – in the last week alone, according to county data.
The county trends mirror those reported statewide, with California on Thursday having near-records for new COVID-19 cases and deaths. And with the Thanksgiving holiday less than a week away, public health experts and local officials are bracing for a disturbing picture if residents ignore public health advice and reunite with people outside their immediate homes.
“The actions we urge everyone to take are, number one – cancel your vacation plans, don’t travel, celebrate the vacation at home with those close to your household,” Cody said. “… Time is of the essence and we must all act now to bend the curve again to help us overcome this.”
Cody’s remarks came during a press briefing held by mayors and leaders across the county to urge residents to wear masks at all times, stay home for the upcoming holidays, and do get the flu shot. Santa Clara County offers free, walk-in flu shots to residents of the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday through December 12.
“What we don’t want are people in the hospital with COVID-19 and other people with the flu – and worse than that, we don’t want anyone to get COVID-19 and the flu at the same time, ”said Santa Clara County Supervisory Board Chair Cindy Chavez.
Due to the alarming increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, county health officials are once again shifting their philosophy about who should get tested. Demand for tests is at an all time high and officials are no longer advising that anyone who wants a test, should get one.
On Friday, Cody urged residents who just want a test – perhaps so they feel they can travel or attend a small Thanksgiving party – to refrain from getting one in order to allow the ability to test to those who really need it, such as essential workers and those who may have been exposed to the virus.
“Postpone trips and gatherings until we are out of this critical phase and make sure those who really need testing have this ability,” Cody said.
Cases and hospitalizations have grown so rapidly in Santa Clara County over the past three weeks that officials said they were caught off guard earlier this week when the county was sacked two rungs on the plan to reopen. the state at the most restrictive purple level.
As the second wave hits the region, the virus continues to disproportionately affect communities of color. Latinos in Santa Clara County accounted for nearly 60% of cases on Friday, but only 25% of the population. Gilroy and East San Jose are seeing larger increases than elsewhere in the county.
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