COVID-19 Update: Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Date: April 15, 2020 at 8:45:42 AM PDT

Dear Community Partners, We write to provide our latest update related to the County’s COVID-19 response efforts. Top of mind for many people is when can our Shelter in Place Order be eased and what criteria need to be met before we move into the next phase of the effort. This was the topic of the latest press conference held by Dr. Sara Cody. After there is a sustained reduction in cases, we must have adequate hospital capacity to safely serve everyone. This is not only beds but personnel, medical supplies, and personal protective equipment (PPE). While we are unlikely to have enough testing supplies to reach universal testing before we move into a containment approach, we must have a level of testing available to sufficiently assess symptomatic individuals. Along with that level of testing, we will need the resources in place to provide proper isolation and perform contact tracing of those who test positive while using community surveillance to identify subpopulations or clusters where infection rates may be higher.  When and how we move into the next phase of this crisis was also the subject of Governor Gavin Newsom’s press conference. In both the local and state assessments of the situation, it was made clear that our public health orders will not be lifted all at once. Even as we ease some restrictions, we must understand that things will look different than before. For example, restaurants may have fewer tables and classrooms could be reconfigured. We are unlikely to see mass gatherings until fall at the earliest. In his remarks, the Governor referred to this process as tuning a toggle rather than flipping a light switch. We will need to make adjustments and readjustments as things progress. He identified six key indicators that will guide California’s modification of stay-at-home orders. He emphasized that decisions will be science-based and data-driven. He also reminded us that each region in California is unique and that the ultimate decisions will be made by local health officials. These indicators represent the floor of expectations that must be met in the state before we can move onto other strategies.  The good news continues to be that our current interventions seem to be working, but we cannot shelter in place forever. Each decision we make affects health outcomes, the economy, and more. There are many trade-offs that must be considered. This is a marathon, and we are still at the beginning. 

PPE and Ventilator Inventory Due Today – April 15  As a reminder, please help us get the word out about the important Health Officer Order requiring entities and individuals to report large inventories of personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators. This one-time disclosure will help the Public Health Department understand what supplies currently exist in the county and plan for a potential hospital surge and help ensure the health and safety of frontline medical workers, first responders, and patients. A complete list of reportable items, full details of the Order, and the one-time disclosure form can be found at www.sccphd.org/cv19ppe​​. The disclosures can be completed in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Chinese.

Update on Efforts to Provide Support to Workers Our partners at the City of San José announced today that donor commitments to the Silicon Valley Strong effort have surpassed $20 million. Most of the funding raised – more than $16 million – is being allocated towards a COVID-19 financial assistance initiative for residents. The effort is being led ably by Destination: Home and Sacred Heart Community Service. However, funding raised to-date is being vastly outpaced by the enormous demand in the community. More than 4,400 families applied for assistance in the first three days, and as of April 13, there were more than 9,000 additional households on the waiting list. To find out how Silicon Valley corporations, philanthropic organizations, and residents can help during this pandemic, please visit www.SiliconValleyStrong.org. Local Workforce Development Board work2future helps Santa Clara County residents get the skills and coaching they need to find a new job, get a promotion, or start a new career. Their Career Centers have currently shifted from in-person services to remote assistance. Job seekers can visit work2future.org to find employers that are hiring, receive free training (including a metrics learning tool with over 5,000 classes), and enroll in and receive all work2future services online (workshops, career counseling, job search).   Workers seeking help finding benefits and financial assistance can call the newly created Santa Clara County CAN (COVID-19 Assistance Navigation) Hotline at 408-809-2124.  In yesterday’s Daily Public Briefing video, Santa Clara County Office of Labor Standards Enforcement Manager Betty Duong and Fair Workplace Collaborative Director Jessica Vollmer talked about the hotline and updates in benefits available to workers.  Immigrant Workers Facing COVID-19 Impacts  As the COVID-19 virus spreads rapidly, it is more evident than ever that immigrant workers employed by several frontline industries also suffer disproportionate impacts of the health, political, and social crisis. A new study conducted by the Migration Policy Institute documents that immigrant workers are over-represented in several occupations that are vital in the fight against the pandemic and in the non-frontline industries that have been devastated. In its latest newsletter, the Office of Immigrant Relations has gathered information and resources for immigrant communities impacted by COVID-19. Update on Efforts to Serve Unhoused Residents The Office of Supporting Housing has set up a crisis hotline at 408-278-6420 for homeless persons needing shelter or those without adequate isolation. It is answered seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with messages picked up from the evening before. Insurance Commissioner Orders Refunds of Insurance Premiums Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara ordered insurance companies to return insurance premiums to consumers and businesses during the COVID-19 emergency. The Commissioner’s Bulletin covers premiums paid for at least the months of March and April — and the month of May if “shelter in place” restrictions continue — in at least six different insurance lines: private passenger automobile, commercial automobile, workers’ compensation, commercial multi-peril, commercial liability, medical malpractice, and any other insurance line where the risk of loss has fallen substantially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bulletin requires insurance companies to provide a premium credit, reduction, return of premium, or other appropriate premium adjustments as soon as possible, and no later than August 2020. Insurance companies are required to report back to the Department of Insurance all premium refunds they have issued or expect to issue within 60 days, in order to provide oversight and ensure companies are complying with the Bulletin. You can read the full press release here

Webinars

  • Keeping Public Transit Workers and Riders Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic:  Safety is paramount in public transportation and the industry is deeply focused on keeping employees and passengers safe while working and riding public transit during this pandemic. To aid these efforts, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidance for the transit industry, including practical recommendations that should be implemented to ensure a safer environment. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is presenting a webinar to provide guidance and get answers to industry’s top questions from the CDC/NIOSH Worker Safety and Health Team responding to COVID-19. The webinar will be held on Thursday, April 16 at 10:30 a.m. PDT. Register here.
  • Pivoting Your Business:  Businesses that want to learn about changing their business model to survive the pandemic can register for the City of San José’s webinar on pivoting business strategies. Silicon Valley SCORE will show how to think creatively, the owner of Academic Coffee will share his own experience, and eBay will explain how companies can connect with existing and new customers online. The webinar will be held on Thursday, April 16 at  3:00 p.m. Register here
  • Cupertino is hosting a webinar with SBA & SBDC on “Small Business Assistance in Response to COVID-19” on Thursday 4/16 at 11 AM – register online or watch the livestream at www.cupertino.org/youtube
  • San Jose and SCORE Silicon Valley are hosting a workshop on “Pivoting your Business Strategy” on Thursday 4/16 at 3 PM – register and get more info here
  • South San Francisco is hosting a “Virtual Town Hall” with the SBA & SAMCEDA on Thursday 4/16 at 5 PM; Log On: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/134037733, or Dial-In: (571) 317-3122, Access Code: 134-037-733

Additional resources

 FAQs about the Local Health Officer Shelter in Place Order We make regular updates to the FAQ documents for our local Public Health Order as new information becomes available. You can access them in the following languages:

 Note: If you have a concern regarding enforcement of the Order, the County of Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office has established a phone number and email for individuals or businesses to report a non-essential business operating in violation of the Health Officer Order to Shelter in Place. Reports of businesses operating in violation of the order can be directed to pubhealthreferral@dao.sccgov.org, or a voicemail can be left by calling (408) 792-2300 in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.  Please continue to monitor this situation closely. More information and regular updates can be found on theCounty Public Health website and the CDC website.  Any business, faith, nonprofit, or community leader with questions should contactcboliaison@eoc.sccgov.org. Any school-related questions should be sent to schools@eoc.sccgov.org.  Thank you for your essential leadership during this challenging time for our community.

 Jennifer Kutch CBO/Business Liaison County of Santa Clara Emergency Operations Center Website: http://sccphd.org/coronavirus Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sccpublichealth/ Instagram: @scc_publichealth Twitter: @HealthySCC

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Shelter in Place Order can be found here.