Health officers from four Bay Area counties and the City of Berkeley today are expressing their support for Santa Clara County’s new health order restricting higher-risk activities to reduce the likelihood of hospitals becoming overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
Santa Clara County officials estimate that hospitals in their county will reach or exceed capacity in the coming weeks if they do not take decisive action to stem the spread of COVID. Given their situation, Santa Clara County officials announced they would enact new rules for businesses and residents, which went into effect on Monday, Nov. 30.
The new rules reduce the number of customers allowed in stores at a given time, limit hotels to only essential travel and require travelers coming into Santa Clara County from distances greater than 150 miles to quarantine for 14 days. They also temporarily prohibit youth, collegiate, and professional contact sports in Santa Clara County.
While health officials in neighboring Bay Area counties say they haven’t reached the same critical point as Santa Clara, they may also have to take similar actions soon in order to preserve remaining regional hospital capacity to treat both COVID and non-COVID medical conditions, such as severe illnesses caused by flu. A month ago, there were 262 people hospitalized with COVID in the Bay Area; as of yesterday, that number had nearly tripled to 759. That’s why Health Officers in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, San Francisco, and the City of Berkeley are expressing their unified support for Santa Clara County’s decision.
“What we see in the South Bay today, we may soon see across the whole Bay Area. These actions will help slow the spread of COVID in Santa Clara County and beyond.” said Dr. Nicholas Moss, Alameda County Health Officer.
Moss and other Health Officers urged people to continue taking basic safety precautions to protect themselves and others from COVID:
• Wear face coverings when around people you don’t live with.
• Stay home as much as possible. If you must go out, limit yourself to essential activities, such as grocery shopping or getting healthcare.
• Avoid mixing with people from other households.
• Maintain physical distancing from others.
• Wash your hands regularly.