Local News

Santa Clara county extends shelter in place orders

by Alaina Fox

News Editor

As some areas across the country begin to reopen nonessential businesses and consequently experience spikes in cases of COVID-19, Santa Clara County ordered an extension of the shelter-in-place mandate until May 31 to reduce the spread of the virus. California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that beginning Fri., May 8, California can start the “gradual reopening of lower-risk workplaces with adaptations including bookstores, clothing stores, florists and sporting goods stores, with modifications.” However, Santa Clara County plans to adhere to the previous, stricter laws.

The extension maintains the same regulations as the mandate from Apr. 29, which followed and expanded upon the original Mar. 31 order. Businesses allowed to operate must continue to “implement social distancing, face covering, and cleaning protocols.” While not a legal requirement, the county strongly urges that any individuals leaving their homes for essential activities wear face coverings.

Though other Californian counties will partially reopen given Newsom’s update, Santa Clara county is adamant that the continuation of strict measures is a necessity for the public’s health. Dr. Sara Cody, the Santa Clara County Health Officer, told the Mercury News, “With the economic and social destruction everyone’s endured, I for one am not going to squander the sacrifices everyone’s made. If we lift too soon, there’s no reason to think we wouldn’t have exponential spread. Our whole population is susceptible and at risk.”

As of May 3, 2,231 people in Santa Clara County have contracted COVID-19. The virus has killed 115 residents, and 140 are currently hospitalized. San Jose has had the most confirmed cases of any city in the county with 1,484 residents testing positive. On the opposite end, Los Altos and Monte Sereno have the fewest confirmed cases: fewer than 10 in each area. Los Gatos specifically has had 22 cases. The county emphasizes, however, that “Community transmission is believ​ed to be widespread throughout Santa Clara County. Limited testing capacity means case counts represent only a small portion of actual cases within each city.​​” 

The county frequently updates their website with new data for those wanting to stay informed. For general information, the main site www.sccgov.org/covid19 provides refreshers on a broad range of topics, including testing, social distance protocols, face coverings, and steps to take if a person suspects they are sick. 

(Sources: Santa Clara County, Mercury News, NBC, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom)



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