News

Coronavirus weekend update: Cases in Santa Clara, San Mateo counties rise by the dozens

As cases rise, state bans vehicle access at state parks to control crowd surge

The number of coronavirus cases sharply rose in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties over the weekend. As of Monday, San Mateo County has 309 cases and six deaths. Santa Clara County has 646 cases, 72 of which were reported on Saturday and Sunday, and 25 deaths.

Santa Clara County has the most people with the coronavirus compared to the eight other Bay Area counties. The county's 646 cases as of Sunday afternoon make up over a quarter of the region's total cases. The county's death count more than doubled and now stands at 25, five of which were reported on Saturday.

The total of COVID-19 cases in San Mateo County had grown to 239 on Friday. By Monday morning, the number of confirmed cases had risen to 309. The county also recorded five deaths over the past week, raising its death toll to six.

Stanford University is now aware of 29 people who are connected to the Stanford community either as faculty, staff, students or postdoctoral students and who have received positive COVID-19 test results.

To control crowds, state bans vehicle access at all 280 state parks

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California State Parks announced on Sunday that it is temporarily closing vehicle access at all 280 state parks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The department issued the restriction following a noticeable increase of visitors at parks statewide over the start of the weekend.

"On Saturday, many state parks once again experienced visitation surges that made it impossible for the public to implement appropriate social/physical distancing practicing," according to the announcement.

The Parks Department recommends that residents stay close to home when going outdoors. "This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach," according to the announcement.

The department said it will continue to monitor visitation at all state parks, and if the current restrictions are not sufficient to protect public health, additional measures may be taken to fully close parks, including trails, bathrooms and other amenities.

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For more information about park closures, go to the State Parks COVID-19 Resource Center.

Ventilator acquisitions increase and positive cases rise

Gov. Gavin Newsom held a press conference at the Sunnyvale manufacturing plant of Bloom Energy on Saturday to highlight work the company is doing refurbishing ventilators. On March 16, Newsom called for 10,000 additional ventilators to meet a projected surge in serious COVID-19 cases. Since making the plea, the state has procured an additional 4,250 ventilators toward that goal, he said.

Bloom's CEO K.R. Sridhar said the company shipped 80 refurbished ventilators to the state on Friday — on top of 24 it originally shipped — and was shipping another 120 on Saturday. The company expects to increase production in the next weeks to handle 250 per day.

Bloom is also refurbishing 170 broken ventilators received by Los Angeles from the federal stockpile. That shipment should be delivered on Monday, he said.

Newsom said the state had a 105% surge in the number of people in intensive care units between Friday and Saturday, more than doubling from 200 to 410 cases. Hospitalization rose from 746 to 1,034 patients — a 38.6% increase. He added that while those numbers may be startling, they are much lower figures overall than in other states.

He strongly urged the public to continue to shelter in place. It is the only way to prevent further deaths and spread of the disease and to not overwhelm the hospital system.

San Mateo County closes its parks

All San Mateo County parks have been closed until further notice due to a sharp increase in visitors despite the shelter-at-home and social distancing orders enacted to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, county officials said on Friday.

The county had kept 17 of the 23 sites it manages open before Friday.

An increase in visitors last weekend and observations of park and trail use over the past several weeks led to the closure order.

"The decision to close parks is not easy, especially now when people are looking for outdoor experiences, but the safety of San Mateo County residents must always be a priority," said San Mateo County Parks Director Nicholas Calderon. "In that spirit we had to take this action."

Data collected from mid-February to March 25 showed increases of 50% to 300% in park use following the shelter-at-home order.

Park staff also noticed people gathering in groups and failing to keep a safe distance, county officials said.

"We have a limited amount of time for the shelter-in-place order to truly save lives," County Manager Mike Callagy said. "The sheer number of people crowding our parks and driving to reach them made them unsafe for our community. I appreciate the desire for our residents to get outside and enjoy our open spaces, but we cannot have them descending on our parks in large groups now."

Entrance gates and parking lots will be locked and notices will be posted that the parks and trails are closed.

Patrol of parks will continue during the closure.

Read our latest updates on the coronavirus crisis here.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

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Coronavirus weekend update: Cases in Santa Clara, San Mateo counties rise by the dozens

As cases rise, state bans vehicle access at state parks to control crowd surge

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 9:40 am
Updated: Mon, Mar 30, 2020, 8:50 am

The number of coronavirus cases sharply rose in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties over the weekend. As of Monday, San Mateo County has 309 cases and six deaths. Santa Clara County has 646 cases, 72 of which were reported on Saturday and Sunday, and 25 deaths.

Santa Clara County has the most people with the coronavirus compared to the eight other Bay Area counties. The county's 646 cases as of Sunday afternoon make up over a quarter of the region's total cases. The county's death count more than doubled and now stands at 25, five of which were reported on Saturday.

The total of COVID-19 cases in San Mateo County had grown to 239 on Friday. By Monday morning, the number of confirmed cases had risen to 309. The county also recorded five deaths over the past week, raising its death toll to six.

Stanford University is now aware of 29 people who are connected to the Stanford community either as faculty, staff, students or postdoctoral students and who have received positive COVID-19 test results.

To control crowds, state bans vehicle access at all 280 state parks

California State Parks announced on Sunday that it is temporarily closing vehicle access at all 280 state parks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The department issued the restriction following a noticeable increase of visitors at parks statewide over the start of the weekend.

"On Saturday, many state parks once again experienced visitation surges that made it impossible for the public to implement appropriate social/physical distancing practicing," according to the announcement.

The Parks Department recommends that residents stay close to home when going outdoors. "This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach," according to the announcement.

The department said it will continue to monitor visitation at all state parks, and if the current restrictions are not sufficient to protect public health, additional measures may be taken to fully close parks, including trails, bathrooms and other amenities.

For more information about park closures, go to the State Parks COVID-19 Resource Center.

Ventilator acquisitions increase and positive cases rise

Gov. Gavin Newsom held a press conference at the Sunnyvale manufacturing plant of Bloom Energy on Saturday to highlight work the company is doing refurbishing ventilators. On March 16, Newsom called for 10,000 additional ventilators to meet a projected surge in serious COVID-19 cases. Since making the plea, the state has procured an additional 4,250 ventilators toward that goal, he said.

Bloom's CEO K.R. Sridhar said the company shipped 80 refurbished ventilators to the state on Friday — on top of 24 it originally shipped — and was shipping another 120 on Saturday. The company expects to increase production in the next weeks to handle 250 per day.

Bloom is also refurbishing 170 broken ventilators received by Los Angeles from the federal stockpile. That shipment should be delivered on Monday, he said.

Newsom said the state had a 105% surge in the number of people in intensive care units between Friday and Saturday, more than doubling from 200 to 410 cases. Hospitalization rose from 746 to 1,034 patients — a 38.6% increase. He added that while those numbers may be startling, they are much lower figures overall than in other states.

He strongly urged the public to continue to shelter in place. It is the only way to prevent further deaths and spread of the disease and to not overwhelm the hospital system.

San Mateo County closes its parks

All San Mateo County parks have been closed until further notice due to a sharp increase in visitors despite the shelter-at-home and social distancing orders enacted to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, county officials said on Friday.

The county had kept 17 of the 23 sites it manages open before Friday.

An increase in visitors last weekend and observations of park and trail use over the past several weeks led to the closure order.

"The decision to close parks is not easy, especially now when people are looking for outdoor experiences, but the safety of San Mateo County residents must always be a priority," said San Mateo County Parks Director Nicholas Calderon. "In that spirit we had to take this action."

Data collected from mid-February to March 25 showed increases of 50% to 300% in park use following the shelter-at-home order.

Park staff also noticed people gathering in groups and failing to keep a safe distance, county officials said.

"We have a limited amount of time for the shelter-in-place order to truly save lives," County Manager Mike Callagy said. "The sheer number of people crowding our parks and driving to reach them made them unsafe for our community. I appreciate the desire for our residents to get outside and enjoy our open spaces, but we cannot have them descending on our parks in large groups now."

Entrance gates and parking lots will be locked and notices will be posted that the parks and trails are closed.

Patrol of parks will continue during the closure.

Read our latest updates on the coronavirus crisis here.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

Comments

SantaClara to follow?
Barron Park
on Mar 28, 2020 at 11:19 am
SantaClara to follow?, Barron Park
on Mar 28, 2020 at 11:19 am
8 people like this

Why hasn’t Santa Clara followed suit? Seems our public places should also be closed to help communicate the importance of sheltering in place. It’s sending a funny message to leave the parks open while asking everyone to stay indoors.


Roy M
Downtown North
on Mar 28, 2020 at 1:16 pm
Roy M, Downtown North
on Mar 28, 2020 at 1:16 pm
13 people like this

I think Santa Clara County will eventually follow suit. San Mateo County in general has been more aggressive than Santa Clara County in its actions.


Data
Crescent Park
on Mar 28, 2020 at 1:57 pm
Data, Crescent Park
on Mar 28, 2020 at 1:57 pm
7 people like this

Santa Clara County population: 1,927,852

574 cases as of Friday, death count at 20.



Old Joe
Barron Park
on Mar 28, 2020 at 2:08 pm
Old Joe, Barron Park
on Mar 28, 2020 at 2:08 pm
9 people like this

From PAOL updates:

“Of the 574 people with COVID-19, 53%, or a little over 300, are male and 46%, roughly 264, are female. A majority of the cases are people between 41 and 50 years old, which made up 21% of the total. Here's a full breakdown by age group:

• 20 years old or under: 3.5%.

• 21 to 30 years old: 9.9%.

• 31 to 40 years old: 17.8%.

• 41 to 50 years old: 21.4%.

• 51 to 60 years old: 19%.

• 61 to 70 years old: 12.4%.

• 71 to 80 years old: 9.2%.

• 81 to 90 years old: 4.4%.

• 91 years old or over: 1.2.%.

• Unknown: 1.6%

The county also reported one more person died of the disease, bringing the death toll to 20, 70% of which were male and 30% of which were female. Of the total, 75% had pre-existing conditions and 15% had none.

Here's a full breakdown of the people who died by age group:

• 41 and 50 years old: 5%.

• 51 and 60 years old: 20%.

• 61 and 70 years old: 25%.

• 71 and 80 years old: 20%.

• 81 and 90 years old: 30%.


John
Woodside
on Mar 28, 2020 at 2:08 pm
John, Woodside
on Mar 28, 2020 at 2:08 pm
13 people like this

While I understand the need to exercise caution, the park closures are stupid. Government says it's OK to walk around the block in our neighborhood -- where the population density and traffic flow are clearly higher -- so it makes no sense to restrict park visits where we hardy encounter anyone at all.

We've taken dozens of walks all over town, parks and beaches these past weeks. People are doing a good job of social distancing, very diligent.


Old Joe
Barron Park
on Mar 28, 2020 at 2:11 pm
Old Joe, Barron Park
on Mar 28, 2020 at 2:11 pm
18 people like this

Again, can we please get clear that the problem we face is the overwhelm of the medical system due to so many critically sick at the same time. We cannot stop the deaths and were past the point of trying to do that anyway. What we are trying to do is slow the rate of infection so we can keep the number of sick manageable.

You should also be aware that Doctors are getting sick and therefore reducing the care availability. My neighbor is a nurse and her husband is an emergency room physician. She is the most depressed I’ve ever seen her about the situation. They think society does not get it.


Data
Crescent Park
on Mar 28, 2020 at 2:28 pm
Data, Crescent Park
on Mar 28, 2020 at 2:28 pm
6 people like this

I'd like to see info on specifically Palo Alto's situation. When I go to The Market at Edgewood, there aren't many shoppers and everyone is keeping their distance.

@John: Sure, many people follow the social distancing rules but rules/laws are made for the few who don't follow. Case in point: In 2007 at Great America, a mom/daughter didn't watch their 4 year old in the wave pool and he died. A WAVE POOL and a 4 year old who could easily get knocked over by the waves! Thus, every kid under age 10 thereafter had to wear a HUGE, uncomfortable life vest. Irresponsible behavior of one person ruined the fun for everyone else.


Data
Crescent Park
on Mar 28, 2020 at 2:38 pm
Data, Crescent Park
on Mar 28, 2020 at 2:38 pm
14 people like this

Clarifying, where is the data from Stanford and Palo Alto PAMF on infections of COVID-19, influenza, and deaths of Palo Altans? How are we doing?


sonia
Mountain View
on Mar 29, 2020 at 9:56 pm
sonia, Mountain View
on Mar 29, 2020 at 9:56 pm
2 people like this

Visitors at Shoreline Park have not been following social distancing. Firstly, the trail is not that wide. Secondly, only one trail is open that leads to the rest of the park trails. And finally, swaths of people with infants in strollers and young kids running all over the place throng the park.


Nayeli
Midtown
on Mar 30, 2020 at 9:43 am
Nayeli, Midtown
on Mar 30, 2020 at 9:43 am
2 people like this

@Old Joe: Thank you for that breakdown of COVID-19 cases.

I wonder if there are any stats that mention two other variables:

1.) Cases directly or indirectly related to international travel; and,
2.) Deaths by age-range related to individuals with preexisting conditions.

It seems that these variables -- especially the latter -- would be very important to know. From what I understand, individuals with certain preexisting health issues are at a much greater risk of complications and death.

If, as you point out, 25% of the deaths are not associated with preexisting conditions, then this is a very important thing to consider. It means that even healthy people are dying due to COVID-19.


SCC Data
Charleston Gardens
on Mar 30, 2020 at 10:56 am
SCC Data, Charleston Gardens
on Mar 30, 2020 at 10:56 am
2 people like this

You can find Santa Clara County Data at their dashboard here: Web Link

You can see that "deaths by 1 or more comorbidities" is 68% of all deaths, with another 16% unknown. So 16% of deaths are known not to be associated with the presence another condition.


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