The number of new corona virus cases recorded every day has begun to decline in Santa Clara County, but efforts to manage the public health crisis are just in its infancy.
After about 50 to 70 new cases are reported in Santa Clara County every day during the first half of April, the number has declined over the past week because the Department of Public Health added only 27 on Tuesday, bringing the total area to 1,946 since the pandemic began.
Dr. Sara Cody, the district’s public health officer, told Santa Clara County’s Board of Trustees Tuesday that analyzing case data, improving testing and preparing for additional surges would cost her efforts in the coming months.
“It will be slow and stable,” Cody said during a video conference. “COVID-19 is something that we will manage for a very long time, months and years. We anticipate this is not the only improvement, we will have another surge that is likely to come if we have too much so we must be extra careful to develop information systems so we can monitor what we do. “
Eighty-eight people died after testing positive for the new corona virus in the most populous Gulf area after five new deaths were recorded on Tuesday.
Cody said the aim of the joint shelter order issued by the six March 16 Bay Area districts was to prevent infection, hospitalization and death and create additional time for the health service delivery system to prepare for a surge in COVID-19-positive patients. .
He said Tuesday that the area was “in reasonably good condition,” but warned that the number of new corona virus cases tracked every day had only decreased to the point that matched the number of cases tracked when the shelter order at its initial place was implemented.
“I just want to remind everyone that the level of community transmission or the amount of virus circulating in our community, is not less than when we placed an order,” Cody said.
Cody noted that because testing capacity was just beginning to develop, Santa Clara County might have tracked “a small percentage” of the total cases in the region. With new cases beginning to slow down, Cody said the Department of Public Health could begin to focus its efforts on communities in areas that have been severely hit by coronaviruses.
Regional executive Jeff Smith said Tuesday data compiled by county shows there is a higher mortality rate among men, a higher mortality rate among people aged 50 years or older and a very high mortality rate between those aged between 70 and 80 years.
Smith added that certain ethnic groups also bear the burden of a pandemic.
“We have noticed a large number of deaths in the Latinx population, 33% of our deaths are there,” Smith said. “We also see a large population of deaths in Asian populations, 31% there.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau estimates, Latin / Hispanic contributed 25% of the population in Santa Clara County, while Asians accounted for 38% of the population.
Cody and Dr. Jennifer Tong, who heads the health services branch in the district’s Emergency Operations Center, also spoke at length about how COVID-19 has affected long-term care facilities including skilled care facilities.
“During the first week of April, we saw a significant increase in the number of COVID-positive cases in our skilled care facilities, especially among the three skilled care facilities,” Tong said.
According to published data by the California Department of Public Health, facilities in Santa Clara County with the largest outbreaks are Valley Rehabilitation Center, Cedar Crest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Canyon Springs Post-Acute.
Thirty-one of the 88 COVID-19 deaths in Santa Clara County were residents or staff members in long-term care facilities, including 29 who lived or worked in skilled care facilities. On Tuesday, 45 of the 175 people treated in hospitals in Santa Clara County with new coronaviruses were residents or staff members in skilled care facilities.
Apart from accelerating mass testing for residents and staff members at the facility where there was a coronavirus outbreak, Tong said the county had begun adding staff at the facility with county employees working as disaster service workers and “agent traveling staff” who came to the county through requests to the state of California.
Long-term care facilities represent only one gathering arrangement at the Department of Public Health where physical distance is more difficult and regional resources will be “mobilized.”
“Prisons, homeless shelters and communities where there is a higher level of density in housing are being monitored,” Cody added.
Cody said providing more testing in this community was very important, but determined that important people with coronavirus symptoms were given a PCR test that identified COVID-19.
Serological tests that look for antibodies or signal the body that someone already has a corona virus are “very interesting, but it’s a bit too early to know how we will use it.”
“We were not prepared enough to use (serology tests) for me, Sara Cody, to be tested, I have antibodies, therefore I am fine and I am not at risk for infection for a very long time and I am fine, “Cody said.” We are not at that place yet. “
Smith told the Board of Trustees that Santa Clara County “had the best response to the COVID crisis in the Bay Area, if not the country,” before Cody added, there was still much work to be done.
“Because we flatten the curve, that doesn’t mean we are finished,” Cody said. “Because we are far, far, far from complete.”