Your District 3 office has compiled a comprehensive list of resources to navigate this public health crisis and the distribution of vaccinations. There are many state and local resources available to County of Santa Clara residents - many available for free.
Please see the links below for Resources and Information available which includes transportation options, meal services and delivery, relief for homeowners, renters, workers and employers.
County of Santa Clara COVID-19 update- March 26, 2021:
Update related to the County of Santa Clara’s COVID-19 response efforts. The State of California announced this week that the County of Santa Clara had met the requirements to move into the Orange Tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. As with the shift to the Red Tier on March 3, the County will continue to align with the State’s framework for Orange Tier activities. With this change Orange Tier activities were permitted to resume in County of Santa Clara effective Wednesday, March 24, however, many of these activities remain very high risk even though they are now allowed.
The shift to the Orange Tier also comes as the County continues to make progress on vaccinations despite supply challenges that have created challenging conditions for vaccine providers across the county in ensuring an equitable and efficient vaccine rollout. And because SARS-CoV-2 variants continue increasing in prevalence in the Bay Area and across the country, public health officials also remind community members this week to get tested frequently if they have been at risk of exposure to the virus.
COVID-19 cases in County of Santa Clara
This past week, the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department reported 33 more individuals in the county who contracted COVID-19 have lost their lives. This brings the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the county to 1,934. As of Friday, March 26th, the total case count had reached 114,015, and the 7 day rolling average of new cases (based on specimen collection date) was at 113 cases per day.
As of Friday, there were 107 COVID positive patients hospitalized in Santa Clara County (down from 128 the prior week and 138 the week before that). Of these hospitalizations, 35 were in the ICU. COVID positive patients now occupy 8% of all ICU beds, and 21% of beds are currently available. More data can be found through the Public Health Department’s Data Dashboards.
County of Santa Clara moving into Orange Tier of state’s blueprint for a safer economy
The County announced on Wednesday that County of Santa Clara had met the requirements to move into the Orange Tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Effective Wednesday, March 24, Orange Tier activities were allowed to resume, and included the following changes:
- All activities authorized under the State’s Orange Tier, including indoor dining, can resume in accordance with State capacity limits and safety protocols, including:
- Indoor dining at maximum 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer;
- Retail stores indoors with modifications;
- Gyms and fitness centers indoors at maximum 25% capacity, with indoor pools open
- Movie theaters at maximum 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer
- Family entertainment centers indoors at maximum 25% capacity with modifications for areas of increased risk of proximity; and
- Zoos, museums, and aquariums at 50% maximum indoor capacity.
The County’s October 5th Risk Reduction Order, which requires everyone to follow all State orders and guidance, maintain distance, and wear face coverings as much as possible, remains in effect. The Order also requires all businesses and other entities to maximize telework, post a Social Distancing Protocol outlining specific COVID-19 safety plans, and promptly report any cases to the Public Health Department.
Updates on County vaccination efforts
The County announced on Thursday that it is still waiting for adequate vaccine supply from the State to utilize its vaccination capacity, despite the State’s announcement that vaccine eligibility would expand to Californians age 50 and over on April 1 and then include individuals age 16 and over on April 15. The County and the State of California reached an agreement on Wednesday that will permit the County to continue to work directly with the State on vaccine distribution, rather than through the Blue Shield of California, and the memorandum of understanding will allow the County to continue to share vaccines with community clinic partners. The County and other vaccine providers throughout County of Santa Clara have built an extensive network that can deliver 200,000 vaccinations per week once doses become readily available, and this includes one site that can vaccinate up to 15,000 people per day, multiple locations with capacity to serve thousands per day, and pop-up sites focused on communities and workers most at risk from COVID-19.
Vaccine data from the California Department of Public Health’s California Immunization Registry (CAIR2) now show that 68.9% of county residents age 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with 518,430 total residents now partially or fully vaccinated. These data reflect strong progress towards the County’s goal of vaccinating at least 85% of residents age 16 or older by August 1, 2021. The data also continue to reflect the ongoing need to focus vaccination efforts on ensuring equitable access for those at greatest risk of serious illness and death, and those at greatest risk of exposure to COVID-19.
The State of California establishes when different populations are eligible to receive vaccine, and information on the State’s vaccine prioritization is available on California's vaccination website. The latest updates on vaccine eligibility and how to schedule an appointment are available on the County’s website at sccfreevax.org, including information on when those newly eligible can start to schedule vaccine appointments. Residents without internet access or who need additional assistance can call 211 for assistance in multiple languages. Appointments fill up quickly, but new appointments will be regularly released as vaccine supply allows, and community members are encouraged to check regularly.
Board of Supervisors received COVID-19 staff report on March 23rd
On Tuesday, March 23rd, the Board of Supervisors received a presentation from the Public Health Officer and County Administration related to the current status of COVID-19 in the County of Santa Clara. Dr. Jeff Smith, County Executive, began the presentation by providing an update on the status of Kaiser patients who had a vaccination appointment with the County Health System transferred back to Kaiser, indicating that the County staff are working to ensure that any of the patients whose appointments were reassigned either have an appointment with Kaiser or another appointment that they can keep.
County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody provided the Board with an update on the local pandemic, indicating that lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to decline in Santa Clara County and the number of COVID+ hospitalized patients continue to decrease, but hospitalizations remain elevated. Dr. Cody also reported that the testing rate in Santa Clara County remains higher than the state median, and that testing positivity is decreasing. Dr. Marty Fenstersheib provided an update on vaccinations in the County of Santa Clara, indicating that vaccine allocations from the State are not meeting the County’s capacity, and new appointments have decreased as a result. Dr. Fenstersheib indicated that their remains uncertainty regarding Blue Shield’s role as the Third-Party Administrator for the State’s vaccine provider network, and that the State is currently directing 40% of the vaccines to 400 zip codes across the state, none of which are in the County of Santa Clara.
Dr. Rocio Luna reported on the County’s mobile vaccination efforts to bring vaccinations closer to medically vulnerable populations, low-income seniors, and communities and workers most at risk from COVID-19. Brian Darrow with the Office of the County Executive provided an update on the County’s vaccine outreach program, reporting that the County’s Expanded Residential Outreach Program launched on March 8th and that the coordinated campaign is focused on the highest priority census tracts and provides general COVID education, as well as testing and vaccination education and scheduling. Dr. Ahmad Kamal provided an overview of healthcare system preparedness, reporting that COVID-19 hospitalizations have plateaued, and the County is working with hospitals to obtain more samples for sequencing to detect SARS-CoV-2 variants in the community. Dr. Kamal reported that although new hospitalizations have decreased, the average length of stay for COVID+ patients has increased, and that the County is monitoring these trends that may suggest an increased severity of illness.
Click here to view the full meeting agenda and related materials, and the webcast of the discussion under the item is available here and a copy of the presentation slides has been attached to this message.
COVID-19 testing remains critical as more variants are detected locally and across the country
As SARS-CoV-2 variants continue increasing in prevalence in the Bay Area and across the country, County public health officials reminded community members this week to get tested frequently if they have been at risk of exposure to the virus. New cases of concerning variants have been detected in the County of Santa Clara, including those linked to variants B.1.351 and B.1.1.7 – which were first identified in South Africa and the United Kingdom, respectively. Testing remains free, easy, and confidential, and is available seven-days-a-week and there are a number of options for different needs, including appointment or walk-in, drive-through or walk-up, and specimen collection by nasal swab or saliva. Frontline workers should get tested at least once a month and up to once every two weeks, and continue testing even after being vaccinated.
Residents can book an appointment for the Fairgrounds or the various rotating city sites, and appointments can be made in Vietnamese, Chinese, Spanish, or English. Visit www.sccfreetest.org to search for an available site by City or Date, or to see the complete list of available County testing sites.
Additional community-based and state-operated testing options
Roots Community Health Center and Gardner Health Services continue to organize free, community-based drop-in COVID-19 testing events every Wednesday. Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) provides similar community-based testing every Friday at their Story Road site. No appointments are necessary, and all individuals are served regardless of insurance or immigration status.
- Gardner Health Services: Mexican Heritage Plaza, 1700 Alum Rock Avenue, San José, 95116. For more information, call 408-457-7100.
- AACI Health Center: Story Road Clinic: 749 Story Rd, #50, San José CA 95122. For more information, call 408-975-2763.
In addition, there are several testing sites now operated OptumServe, a State contractor. These sites are free but require appointments. Visit here or call (888) 634-1123 to schedule an appointment:
- Independence High School (drive through): 617 N. Jackson Ave., San José.
- Mount Pleasant High School (drive through): 1750 S. White Road, San José.
- Gilroy Civic Center: 7351 Church St., Gilroy
- Gavilan College: Social Science Building, 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd, Gilroy CA 95020.
- Grange in Morgan Hill: 40 E 4th Street, Morgan Hill CA 95037.
- James Lick High School: 2951 Alum Rock Ave., San José.
If you should be in need of any assistance beyond what is available or additional questions, contact us anytime at [email protected]. Thank you, be well, stay safe and healthy.
County of Santa Clara COVID-19 toolkit
Sign up to be a community outreach partner. County of Santa Clara COVID-19 toolkit is a resource to help stay connected about updates, information and changes as we continue reaching our community about COVID-19. Signing up will help us stay safer as we work to overcome this public health crisis - together. Thank you.