COVID-19 Updates - March 25, 2020
COVID-19 Cases in Santa Clara County
The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department announced three new deaths from COVID-19 today, bringing the total number of deaths to 16 in Santa Clara County. The County also reported 54 new cases, bringing our total number of confirmed cases to 375.
Seven Bay Area Jurisdictions Order More Comprehensive Testing Data
This morning, the Public Health Officers of Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties, with the City of Berkeley, announced an order with new reporting requirements for laboratories that test for the novel coronavirus. Laboratories must report results of tests for all residents of each jurisdiction to the ordering health care provider and the appropriate state and local health officials.
Santa Clara County’s public health laboratory, like all public health laboratories, functions as a specialty reference laboratory and as a bridge laboratory to enable testing to occur while other laboratory sectors come on-line. The lab is not structured, physically and otherwise, to scale beyond 100 tests per day. While we know how many patients total are tested each day in our local public health laboratory, we do not know how many people in Santa Clara County, overall, are being tested in other labs.
Currently, labs report only positive results, making it difficult for public health officials to know how many people are being tested overall. The new order requires laboratories to report all positive, negative, and inconclusive results, and information that allows health officials to better locate the person tested. The more comprehensive information will improve health officials’ understanding of the rates of infection and the location of possible infection clusters.
The increase in confirmed cases over time, as well as several other data points, indicate that the virus is now widespread in our county. Until now, the County has only been able to reliably report on total number tests done by the public health lab (1044 samples for 647 individual patients as of March 23). This order will provide us with much better information going forward. You can read the text of the order here Version OptionsEmergency UpdatesHeadline.
Board of Supervisors Pass Countywide Moratorium on Evictions
Today, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors adopted a temporary urgency ordinance to prohibit evictions through May 31, 2020. The order applies to residential and commercial properties, providing protections to renters and small businesses. Under the ordinance, the owner of residential real property or commercial real property cannot evict a tenant for failure to pay rent, if the tenant demonstrates that the failure to pay rent is directly related to a substantial loss of income or substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses associated with COVID-19.
The ordinance is modeled from similar measures adopted by San Francisco and San Jose. Under emergency authority granted by the Governor, the ordinance applies to all 15 cities inside the geographic boundaries of Santa Clara County as well as unincorporated areas. If a local city adopts an ordinance or regulation that is more protective of tenants, that ordinance or regulation will apply.
It is important to note that nothing in this ordinance relieves a tenant of the obligation to pay rent or restricts a landlord’s ability to recover rent due. Upon expiration or termination of the ordinance, tenants must pay all past due rent within 120 days. The Board of Supervisors has the option of extending the end date of the ordinance if the public health emergency persists. FAQ’s in multiple languages are being developed, and we will share them as they become available. In the meantime, you can read the ordinance text here Version OptionsEmergency UpdatesHeadline.
Donation Opportunities for Residents and Businesses
VMC Foundation is accepting donations of funds and supplies for use by healthcare workers in Santa Clara County. Among the supplies being accepted are N-95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, gowns, and many other items. Click here Version OptionsEmergency UpdatesHeadline for more information about how to donate.
Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) has established 3 funds to provide assistance to residents, small businesses, and non-profit organizations within Santa Clara County impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
- SVCF’s COVID-19 Regional Response Fund is working with Destination:Home in Santa Clara County to support individuals and families impacted by COVID-19. Click here and select “Santa Clara County: Destination:Home” to provide support to individuals and families who are suffering from the economic impact of lost wages and other COVID-19 impacts in our community.
- SVCF’s Small Business Relief Fund will provide critical loan and grant funding to small business owners struggling with the impacts of COVID-19. Click here to make a donation to this fund.
- SVCF’s Regional Nonprofit Emergency Fund is providing flexible operating support grants to nonprofit organizations providing emergency-related services or facing unexpected costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as increased sick days for staff, event cancelations, and costs related to hygiene supplies. Click here and select “Santa Clara County” to donate to impacted non-profits in our community. Nonprofit organizations can apply here to become eligible for receipt of these donated funds.
Today, the Board of Supervisors approved $1 million to support the nonprofit fund and $2 million to support impacted residents through the regional response fund.
Red Cross Still Needs Blood Donations During Public Health Emergency
As the coronavirus pandemic has grown, blood drives have been cancelled at an alarming rate. Here in the Northern California Region, more than 82 blood drives have been canceled, resulting in 2,740 fewer blood donations. That is why the Red Cross is asking people who are healthy and do not have COVID-19 symptoms to donate blood now.
Blood banks, blood donation centers, and blood drives are exempt healthcare operations. Blood Services Donor Centers, like the one located at 2731 North First Street in San Jose, will continue to operate at this time using enhanced screening procedures and following government guidelines. The Red Cross is also actively looking for appropriate locations to hold blood drives.
Those who are healthy and eligible to give blood or platelets can make an appointment to donate or drop-in by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
COVID-19 Updates - March 24, 2020
COVID-19 Cases in Santa Clara County
The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department announced three new deaths from COVID-19 today, bringing the total number of deaths to 13 in Santa Clara County. The County is also reporting 19 new cases today, bringing our total number of confirmed cases to 321. Because of limited testing capacity, the number of confirmed cases almost certainly represents a small fraction of the total number of persons with COVID-19 in the county.
Financial Assistance for Low-Income Residents
Destination: Home has raised more than $11 million from private and public sources, including a proposed $2 million contribution from the County, to provide direct financial assistance to those who are facing a documented loss of income because of COVID-19.
Eligible residents must meet these three criteria to qualify for assistance:
1. Resident of Santa Clara County
2. Household gross income less than 80% of the average median income
(e.g. $103,900 for a family of four)
3. Documented loss of income related to COVID-19 impacts due to health,
employment, or school/child care closures
Eligible households will receive up to a maximum of $4,000 of lost income per month. Assistance may be requested once per month for the duration of the public health emergency, as long as the household continues to experience an economic impact and funds are available.
Residents can get more information or apply online at https://sacredheartcs.org/covid19/. They can also call (408) 780-9134.
Federal Medical Station Coming Soon
On Saturday, March 21, the County of Santa Clara announced a partnership with federal, state, and local partners to open a temporary Federal Medical Station (FMS) inside the City of Santa Clara Convention Center. The FMS will have up to 250 beds to care for lower acuity, non-infectious patients. The United States Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response will supply staffing and supplies, freeing up beds and resources at local hospitals to treat more complex cases and patients dealing with serious infections such as COVID-19. Planning for the FMS is underway, and it is expected to open in the next week or two. Download a PDF FMS fact sheet here Version OptionsEmergency UpdatesHeadline PDF Download .
Countywide Bed Count
There are approximately 2,500 hospital beds countywide. About 350 of those are critical care beds. Hospitals are working on plans to increase capacity by converting another 300 plus beds to critical care. Even more capacity is possible if necessary equipment such as ventilators can be secured. However, even with added capacity, our hospitals can be quickly overwhelmed if they experience large surges in patients. That is why it is so important for us to keep up our social distancing efforts.
You can watch a conversation between Board of Supervisors President Cindy Chavez and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center CEO Paul Lorenz about this topic here Version OptionsEmergency UpdatesHeadline.
Public Health Order Enforcement
Last week, a centralized repository for complaints about clear violations of the public health order requiring sheltering in place and the closure of nonessential business was created. For complaints in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, please email the District Attorney’s Office at PubHealthReferral@dao.sccgov.org or leave a voicemail at (408) 792-2300.
A list of what constitutes an essential business can be found in the COVID-19 FAQs at www.sccphd.org/cv19. The County has also created infographic Facebook posts about what business are open and closed during the public health order. You can share them in the following languages: English, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Spanish, and Chinese.
Governor Newsom Requests Presidential Major Disaster Declaration
On Sunday, March 22, Governor Gavin Newsom sent a letter to President Donald Trump officially requesting a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to assist in California’s COVID-19 preparedness and emergency response efforts. The Major Disaster Declaration would include any and all individual assistance programs to assist those affected by the outbreak and lessen the economic impacts of the crisis. The request would provide additional assistance, including but not limited to, mass care and emergency assistance, crisis counseling, disaster case management, disaster unemployment assistance, disaster legal services and Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance. You can download a PDF of the letter here Version OptionsEmergency UpdatesHeadline PDF Download .
FAQs about the Local Health 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: