Santa Clara County Public Health Officer, Dr. Sara Cody sat on Monday for a one-on-one virtual interview with reporters to answer questions about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
You can find some answers to our questions below.
Question: Have we bent curves, doctor?
Answer: I do not think that we have peaked. All I can say is that we have slowed things down. So, for example, if you look at it from the start – like right around when we place the shelter-in-place sequence – the curve, it grows fast. The number rises slightly every day. Now that we’ve been running the order for more than two weeks, what you can see is that growth has slowed. So, we are still growing, but we are not growing that fast. But this works. We see some gentle signs that this works. Remember, the goal here is to slow down and spread things. So, for example, it’s better to have one new person who needs a hospital bed, one new person for 14 days, than to have 14 people on the same day need a hospital bed. So we put this in place so we can slow it down so that when people are sick, they will be ready to take care of it.
Question: What will be your benchmark? What do you see when you start to open the door if you want and allow people to start normalizing everyday life?
Answer: So this is a very, very, very difficult question. As you remember, it is very difficult to put this in place, it is very difficult to put this in place. I would say that the actions taken by everyone collectively have slowed things down. It would be very difficult to know how to let, how to manage the time and where to do it. As we have since the beginning of this epidemic, we look for experiences in other parts of the world that have gone through this – what works and what doesn’t. And, so, I can tell you that in locked places, this extreme shelter like we have, if you take it all off at once, everything will recover. And the reason is because our entire population, more or less, is vulnerable. That’s a new virus. Nobody has immunity. So, if you are exposed, you will still be sick.
Question: Can you leave our viewers with some positive thoughts? What can they look forward to in the coming days, the coming weeks?
Answer: What I will say to our viewers is that collectively, everyone in the Santa Clara area has done what they can to do their part, to slow the spread of infection, and collectively we have been able to do that. So, collectively, we can protect health care for our friends, neighbors and family members to have it when they need it. We are not coming out of the forest. We must continue to do it. I hope everyone can take care of themselves because we are together for some time to come. So, good work so far, and we must continue to do it.
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