SCC Health Department Update for May 5, 2020
We write to provide our latest evening update related to the County’s COVID-19 response efforts. The Bay Areawide extended Shelter in Place Order went into effect this morning. Over the weekend, County staff worked swiftly to update our web resources to help our residents better understand the updated guidelines. Thanks to the questions raised by you and your constituents, we have also improved our FAQ page. We want to highlight two sections where we have received many questions: Construction Guidance and Recreational Activities and Facilities Guidance. We will continue to update these FAQs as we hear more from the community.
As today’s daily press conference, Governor Newsom announced upcoming changes to the Statewide Health Order will be coming this Thursday, stating that some counties may be able to transition into the beginning of Stage 2 of the State’s four-stage framework as early as Friday. However, he also emphasized that each region would need to move at its own pace, and that some counties will take longer to get there. Changes to the Statewide Order will not override local orders requiring more specific measures.
In an effort to help counties make further progress on one of the indicators of success, the Governor also announced a partnership with the University of California, San Francisco and University of California, Los Angeles to immediately begin training workers for a contact tracing program. The partnership will include a virtual training academy for contact tracers who will then work with local health departments. The first 20-hour training will begin Wednesday, May 6 with the goal of training 20,000 individuals in two months. The County of Santa Clara is implementing a plan to rapidly expand our contact tracing and case investigation activities and will be evaluating whether these new training resources can support our local efforts.
These topics and more will be part of tomorrow’s Board of Supervisors meeting. The COVID-19 discussion is scheduled to start around 1 p.m. You can watch the meeting online.
COVID-19 Cases in Santa Clara County
Over the weekend, the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department announced 4 new deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths to 117 in Santa Clara County. The County also reported 65 new cases, bringing our total number of confirmed cases to 2,244. That represents a 6.72 % positivity rate across 33,396 total tests with 196 testing results pending.
There are currently 131 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 with 46 of those cases in ICUs. Countywide, there are 880 acute hospital beds, 186 ICU beds, and 1,226 surge beds available. There are 787 of 896 total ventilators available across all hospitals.
New Community Testing Sites and Webpage
Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent announcement that more community testing sites would open across the state focused on underserved communities, the County of Santa Clara, in partnership with the County Office of Education, is facilitating the opening of two new testing sites: one at James Lick High School in East San José (57 North White Road) and one at Christopher High School in Gilroy (850 Day Road). The new testing sites will open later this week. These new sites are part of 80 testing sites statewide operated through a partnership between the state, counties, and OptumServe, a private health services firm.
Testing at the two new sites will be by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, individuals can call 1-888-634-1123 or visit lhi.care/covidtesting. The screening and testing criteria include anyone experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 as well as certain asymptomatic high-risk populations. Testing at these sites will be available to the public regardless of insurance or immigration status. These new sites will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Each site will have the capacity to serve up to 132 individuals daily. Read the full press release about these two new testing sites.
The County has also launched a new online resource for testing information and access at sccgov.org/cv19testing. The page includes information about County and non-government locations where members of the public can be tested. It also includes information about testing for people who do not have insurance or access to a doctor.
Finally, over the weekend, the County Public Health Department released important new guidance for all local healthcare providers regarding which individuals should be tested for COVID-19. Public Health is now recommending providers offer testing to anyone experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 as well as certain asymptomatic, high risk groups.
Public Health Dispatch Newsletter
Over the weekend, the Public Health Department released the first issue of its Public Health Dispatch newsletter with the goal of delivering the latest health information to members of the community. The first issue can be read online. Residents can subscribe here.
Education Resources for Parents
The Santa Clara County Office of Education has posted resources for parents, including at-home learning resources by grade level, guides for talking to children about COVID-19, and accessibility tools for students with special needs.
The County Office of Education’s Inclusion Collaborative has also expanded its resources to include a weekly Family Resource Chat forum where parents can learn and practice education techniques with an Inclusion Training Specialist, exchange information, and connect with each other. The Warmline is also available for free, 8 hours for per day, at (408) 453-6651. Languages include Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Korean.
Emergency Funds for Freelancers and Creatives
For many, slowing the spread of coronavirus means stopping work entirely—and losing months of income. Some self-employed people will not qualify for unemployment insurance, particularly artists who rely on informal, direct cash payments or practice without a business license. With those challenges in mind, KQED has rounded up a list of mutual aid funds that distribute emergency grants to artists, creative professionals and freelancers facing financial hardships.
Locally, SVCREATES has established the Arts Relief & Recovery fund of emergency support for the County’s arts organizations and artists who serve our community. Services range from youth and senior arts programming for our community’s most vulnerable populations, to internationally-known music festivals and, now, virtual music concerts, theatre, dance and visual arts programs. With seed funding provided by the Castellano Family Foundation and a matching donation from the Morgan Family Foundation, the County of Santa Clara, under the leadership of Supervisor Cindy Chavez, is challenging our community to match the County’s $650,000 investment in the arts. The goal is to raise $2 million to $3 million for over 150 artists and nearly 100 small and mid-size multidisciplinary and multicultural arts organizations. Consider donating here.
Face Coverings Required at Mineta San Jose International Airport
Starting today, all members of the public and personnel at Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) will be required to wear a face covering inside airport buildings. The new face covering requirement is in addition to the County’s existing protocols for social distancing and washing hands frequently. For exceptions to the face covering requirement and the latest COVID-19 updates at SJC, visit flysanjose.com/coronavirus.
FAQs about the Local Health Officer Shelter in Place Order
We make regular updates to the FAQ documents for our local Public Health Order as new information becomes available. Your constituents can access them in the following languages:
Any business, faith, nonprofit, or community leader with questions should contact email@example.com.
Any school-related questions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your essential leadership during this challenging time for our community,
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