With Silicon Valley reporting an increasing number of confirmed coronavirus cases, the Santa Clara County health officer issued a rare legal order prohibit mass meetings of 1,000 or more people.
Santa Clara County, with 48 confirmed coronavirus cases and one death on Wednesday, has the highest number of confirmed infections in California. After declining an earlier recommendation to stop mass meetings at the end of last week, San Jose Sharks said the team would respect by the new county order at SAP Center in downtown San Jose, which is enforceable by the county sheriff and city law enforcement agencies.
"We are clearly facing a historic public health challenge," said doctor Sara Cody in Santa Clara. Press conference Monday at night. "The number and type of cases to date indicate that the risk of exposure to this virus in our community is increasing."
There has been a rapid increase in the number of confirmed cases in Santa Clara County, from 11 cases on Thursday to 43 on Monday and 48 on Wednesday. Of the total, 21 in Silicon Valley are believed to have been infected by someone unknown in the community, and not infected by traveling to an area where the virus is circulating, nor by being infected by someone with a confirmed case of infection.
“As our emerging data says that we have a broader community than was apparent until five days ago, we need to take more actions to slow the spread of disease and protect the public, ”said Cody.
Cody acted on Monday night, just hours after announcing the first death in Santa Clara County, that of a 60-year-old woman with underlying medical conditions. The patient was the first in the municipality of Santa Clara to be identified as infected by the virus by an unknown source, which means that it was the first sign that the virus started to spread in the community.
It is not clear why Santa Clara County is seeing a particularly rapid increase in cases compared to other municipalities. Coronavirus cases may be increasing sharply elsewhere, but the lack of testing capacity is frustrating the authorities' ability to track the spread of the disease. More tests have recently been made available in Santa Clara County and, "as we test more people, we discover more cases. And we anticipate many more cases, as commercial laboratories go online to test for this disease," said Cody.
Older adults and those with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, asthma, heart, lung or kidney disease, and those with weakened immune systems, are at a much greater risk of serious illness and death. The virus can cause serious illnesses, moving from the throat, nose and sinuses to the lungs and airways, where it hijacks these cells, destroying them and spreading more copies of the virus throughout the body.
About 19% of people infected with the virus can suffer severe or critical symptoms, according to an analysis of nearly 45,000 patients in China. About 5% have critical symptoms and half result in death.
Health officials have expressed strong concern that the virus will enter more nursing homes or long-term care centers like the one in Seattle's Kirkland suburb, where 19 people associated with a single nursing home, Life Care Center of Kirkland, died of the virus. coronavirus. There are 22 deaths across Washington state.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that imperative nursing homes accelerate infection control. "You saw what happened in the Seattle area – this is not the last time that will happen," said Fauci in a video interview Friday with the Journal of the American Medical Assn.
Now that the authorities have lost the ability to contain the virus to a limited number of people in California, social detachment or the call to avoid crowds and keep people away by six feet, is now one of the only tools that public health authorities have to slow the spread of the virus.
"It is easier for a hospital to take care of a new infection a day for two weeks than to have 14 infections in a day," said Cody. "Sudden increases in infection may exceed the outbreak capacity of hospitals and healthcare systems."
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo urged the public to comply with public health guidelines and recommendations, such as encouraging patients to stay at home.
“These are difficult days. And the next few weeks will be difficult for everyone in our community, ”said Liccardo. "And I am confident that if we take care of each other and work together, we will be collectively stronger than this virus."