News

Record-breaking COVID-19 cases prompt new health restrictions

Changes in Santa Clara County include mandatory travel directive; San Mateo County falls into the purple tier

Stores, such as those at Stanford Shopping Center, must limit the numbers of customers indoors to 10% of their capacity due to additional Santa Clara County COVID-19 restrictions that start on Nov. 30. Embarcadero Media file photo by Veronica Weber.

Record-shattering numbers of daily new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Santa Clara County have prompted worried health leaders to issue new directives, the county health department announced on Saturday, Nov. 28. As the deadly virus continues to spread, San Mateo County officials meanwhile also announced their county has slipped into the state's more restrictive purple tier and ordered a nighttime curfew.

State health officials had already put Santa Clara County back into the purple tier as of Nov. 17 to try to curb rapidly escalating coronavirus infections, but county health leaders are now taking further restrictive steps.

As of Nov. 29, Santa Clara County had 34,292 COVID-19 cases, 476 deaths and a seven-day rolling average of 417 new cases per day. In addition, 272 people were hospitalized with the virus -- a jump of 50 people in just two days. Of these, 74 were in intensive care units and 186 out of 631 ventilators were in use. To reduce the likelihood of a surge in hospitalizations that would exceed the capacity of hospitals within the county, Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody announced new mandatory directives that accompany her prior Risk Reduction Order and take effect Monday, Nov. 30, at 12:01 a.m.

"This pandemic is like a high-speed train, and our projections tell us that we are on target to derail by the third week of December if we don’t apply brakes right now with all our collective might," Cody said.

The changes limit many stores and facilities to a maximum of 10% capacity indoors, prohibit contact sports and reduce the size of outdoor gatherings to 100 people. The county is also strongly discouraging residents from leisure and nonessential travel and requiring anyone returning to the county from travel of more than 150 miles to quarantine for 14 days. The new mandatory directives will remain in effect until at least Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. unless they are extended.

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"I am gravely concerned by the continuing surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations," Cody said in a statement. "The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in our county has doubled in just the past couple of weeks, and we are at risk of exceeding our hospital capacity very soon if current trends continue. During this critical time of surging COVID-19 transmission in our community, I urge every resident to exercise caution and to the greatest extent possible, minimize contact with anyone outside of your immediate household."

The new orders include:

Capacity limits for indoor facilities: Stores and other facilities open to the public will be limited to 10% capacity indoors. Grocery stores, drug stores and pharmacies will be allowed to operate at 25% capacity indoors to ensure adequate access to food and medicine.

All facilities open to the public must establish a metering system to ensure the capacity limits, such as by posting an employee at the facility entrance to track the number of people entering and exiting.

Outdoor gatherings: Gatherings continue to be allowed only outdoors, with a maximum of 100 people. The state limits such gatherings, however, to First Amendment protected activities, such as religious services or protests.

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Professional, collegiate, and youth sports: All recreational activities involving physical contact or close proximity to people outside one's household, including all contact sports, will be temporarily prohibited. The new directive effectively bans San Francisco 49ers practices and games at Levi's Stadium. People can continue to engage in outdoor athletics and recreation where social distancing can be maintained at all times.

Cardrooms: Cardrooms are temporarily closed.

Hotels and other lodging facilities: Hotels and other lodging facilities will be open only for essential travel and for use to aid isolation or quarantine.

Quarantine post-travel: Leisure and nonessential travel are strongly discouraged, and a new mandatory directive on travel will require people to quarantine for 14 days upon return to the county after travel of more than 150 miles.

Health care workers traveling into the county to provide care or patients traveling into the county to obtain treatment are exempted from this requirement.

San Mateo County

San Mateo County also moved back into the state's purple tier on Saturday after it had previously been in the less-restrictive red tier since late September. A statement issued by the San Mateo County Emergency Operations Center announced the new designation and a nighttime curfew, both to begin on Nov. 30.

All indoor retail spaces, including shopping malls, are restricted to 25% of capacity and indoor restaurant dining is prohibited. A full list of what's regulated can be found here.

The county is also under a curfew order that extends from 10 p.m. through 5 a.m. San Mateo County has seen an 85% spike in COVID-19 cases between October and November, according to county health data.

"This is not unexpected considering the virus is surging across the state," Supervisor David Canepa said in a separate statement. "That being said, we have doubled the rate we are testing and are now second in the state behind only San Francisco in the rate that we do test. We are well-positioned to handle the surge considering the hospital capacity we have and resources needed to battle COVID.

"As the holidays approach, we must double down on the core behaviors of frequent hand washing, socially distancing, avoiding crowds and most importantly wearing our damn masks. It's on us to take the personal responsibility to protect our families, friends and neighbors from this very deadly disease."

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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Record-breaking COVID-19 cases prompt new health restrictions

Changes in Santa Clara County include mandatory travel directive; San Mateo County falls into the purple tier

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Sat, Nov 28, 2020, 3:19 pm
Updated: Sun, Nov 29, 2020, 6:36 pm

Record-shattering numbers of daily new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Santa Clara County have prompted worried health leaders to issue new directives, the county health department announced on Saturday, Nov. 28. As the deadly virus continues to spread, San Mateo County officials meanwhile also announced their county has slipped into the state's more restrictive purple tier and ordered a nighttime curfew.

State health officials had already put Santa Clara County back into the purple tier as of Nov. 17 to try to curb rapidly escalating coronavirus infections, but county health leaders are now taking further restrictive steps.

As of Nov. 29, Santa Clara County had 34,292 COVID-19 cases, 476 deaths and a seven-day rolling average of 417 new cases per day. In addition, 272 people were hospitalized with the virus -- a jump of 50 people in just two days. Of these, 74 were in intensive care units and 186 out of 631 ventilators were in use. To reduce the likelihood of a surge in hospitalizations that would exceed the capacity of hospitals within the county, Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody announced new mandatory directives that accompany her prior Risk Reduction Order and take effect Monday, Nov. 30, at 12:01 a.m.

"This pandemic is like a high-speed train, and our projections tell us that we are on target to derail by the third week of December if we don’t apply brakes right now with all our collective might," Cody said.

The changes limit many stores and facilities to a maximum of 10% capacity indoors, prohibit contact sports and reduce the size of outdoor gatherings to 100 people. The county is also strongly discouraging residents from leisure and nonessential travel and requiring anyone returning to the county from travel of more than 150 miles to quarantine for 14 days. The new mandatory directives will remain in effect until at least Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. unless they are extended.

"I am gravely concerned by the continuing surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations," Cody said in a statement. "The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in our county has doubled in just the past couple of weeks, and we are at risk of exceeding our hospital capacity very soon if current trends continue. During this critical time of surging COVID-19 transmission in our community, I urge every resident to exercise caution and to the greatest extent possible, minimize contact with anyone outside of your immediate household."

The new orders include:

Capacity limits for indoor facilities: Stores and other facilities open to the public will be limited to 10% capacity indoors. Grocery stores, drug stores and pharmacies will be allowed to operate at 25% capacity indoors to ensure adequate access to food and medicine.

All facilities open to the public must establish a metering system to ensure the capacity limits, such as by posting an employee at the facility entrance to track the number of people entering and exiting.

Outdoor gatherings: Gatherings continue to be allowed only outdoors, with a maximum of 100 people. The state limits such gatherings, however, to First Amendment protected activities, such as religious services or protests.

Professional, collegiate, and youth sports: All recreational activities involving physical contact or close proximity to people outside one's household, including all contact sports, will be temporarily prohibited. The new directive effectively bans San Francisco 49ers practices and games at Levi's Stadium. People can continue to engage in outdoor athletics and recreation where social distancing can be maintained at all times.

Cardrooms: Cardrooms are temporarily closed.

Hotels and other lodging facilities: Hotels and other lodging facilities will be open only for essential travel and for use to aid isolation or quarantine.

Quarantine post-travel: Leisure and nonessential travel are strongly discouraged, and a new mandatory directive on travel will require people to quarantine for 14 days upon return to the county after travel of more than 150 miles.

Health care workers traveling into the county to provide care or patients traveling into the county to obtain treatment are exempted from this requirement.

San Mateo County

San Mateo County also moved back into the state's purple tier on Saturday after it had previously been in the less-restrictive red tier since late September. A statement issued by the San Mateo County Emergency Operations Center announced the new designation and a nighttime curfew, both to begin on Nov. 30.

All indoor retail spaces, including shopping malls, are restricted to 25% of capacity and indoor restaurant dining is prohibited. A full list of what's regulated can be found here.

The county is also under a curfew order that extends from 10 p.m. through 5 a.m. San Mateo County has seen an 85% spike in COVID-19 cases between October and November, according to county health data.

"This is not unexpected considering the virus is surging across the state," Supervisor David Canepa said in a separate statement. "That being said, we have doubled the rate we are testing and are now second in the state behind only San Francisco in the rate that we do test. We are well-positioned to handle the surge considering the hospital capacity we have and resources needed to battle COVID.

"As the holidays approach, we must double down on the core behaviors of frequent hand washing, socially distancing, avoiding crowds and most importantly wearing our damn masks. It's on us to take the personal responsibility to protect our families, friends and neighbors from this very deadly disease."

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

Educator
Registered user
Midtown
on Nov 28, 2020 at 3:57 pm
Educator, Midtown
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 3:57 pm

I think we should close the schools for in-person learning until after the winter break.

I’m terrified to go back into my classroom on Monday, knowing many of my students traveled and visited family over Thanksgiving break. I did not get to see my family.


Agree with closing schools
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 28, 2020 at 4:38 pm
Agree with closing schools, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 4:38 pm

I agree that PAUSD schools should close. I am very upset with how little PAUSD has done in secondary schools to support in-person learning when they could. But this is a good time to be smart and move back to distance. I hope PAUSD will open up at all levels when cases and positivity are back down.


Alvin
Registered user
Professorville
on Nov 28, 2020 at 4:41 pm
Alvin, Professorville
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 4:41 pm

This puts a smile on my face. By all means, shut everything down for foreseeable future. Burn down the house to kill a fly. Not because I buy into the lies and hysteria - never have - but this will further wreck the local and state economy, especially the small businesses, without saving one Covid life. Watch for the collapse come January '21 after the holiday shopping season.


Agree with closing schools
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 28, 2020 at 5:07 pm
Agree with closing schools, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 5:07 pm

@Alvin:

The CDC (and similar organizations around the globe) reports that there have been many more deaths in 2020. Here is the data for the US: Web Link

Is it your view that the measurements are wrong and there haven't been more deaths? (The CDC is guilty of "fake news".)

Or that there have been more deaths, but not because of coronavirus? (The doctors and nurses are guilty of "fake news".)

Or that there have been more deaths, they are due to coronavirus, but it's not big enough to worry about?

Or that it is fair to worry about this in some places but not in Santa Clara County or perhaps not in Palo Alto, because our situation is better than the country's?

Evaluating risk is hard and at some point closing schools and businesses does more harm than good. But what is that point? My take: I think schools should be open as much as possible, far more than they have been. I am very disappointed with PAUSD. But at this point and with travel and holidays looming and testing scarce, teachers and parents may be anxious enough that PAUSD can win some points by closing now and then pressing much harder on opening once cases and positivity are back down, which could happen by mid-January.


Anonymous
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 28, 2020 at 5:57 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 5:57 pm

Can any medical professionals please comment on the northern Santa Clara County situation, including Palo Alto? This is a large county. There is the county covid “dashboard” which does not display well on my device, so while it seems PA is in far better shape than most of the rest of the county far to the south and east, I thank you in advance for your insights and interpretation.


chris
Registered user
University South
on Nov 28, 2020 at 7:09 pm
chris, University South
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 7:09 pm

Anonymous,

You refer to northern Santa Clara County. But please note that Palo Alto is adjacent to East Palo Alto. PA may be 20 miles from East San Jose bit it is 0 miles from EPA. Do not base your thinking on county borders that are not enforced.


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 28, 2020 at 7:32 pm
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 7:32 pm

16.5% of SCC ICU beds currently have COVID-19 patients in them (and 7.4% of non-ICU beds do), and new draconian measures are called for? Something doesn't add up here. And I won't be self-quarantining if I travel more than 150 miles away from home. Time for some good old-fashioned civil disobedience.


Concerned Alumni
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on Nov 28, 2020 at 7:43 pm
Concerned Alumni , Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 7:43 pm

Close the schools!! This is so irresponsible it’s mind blowing! When the school board went against the concerns of teachers and forced reopening of elementary schools, they promised transparency. There have been many covid cases at elementary schools in Palo Alto as well as parents sending their students to school after testing positive themselves and there has been NO transparency. Staff and teachers are not told about the family positives and other students and families are being exposed! Especially as the cold weather forces students indoors. This is going to get out of control very quickly. PAUSD and school board- DO BETTER. Local cases are higher than when schools closed in the spring. You were elected to take care of our students, what the heck are you doing!?!


Chris C.
Registered user
Community Center
on Nov 28, 2020 at 7:56 pm
Chris C., Community Center
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 7:56 pm

@Concerned Alumni -- to put numbers on it, there have been 2 student cases and 4 staff cases in PAUSD during this pandemic, according to the PAUSD Covid dashboard (Web Link As I understand it, there have been no known infections of students in the school so far.

Are you aware of cases that are not reflected in that dashboard?


Agree with closing schools
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 28, 2020 at 7:58 pm
Agree with closing schools, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 7:58 pm

Tim, that 16% metric is up from 8% just two weeks ago. If ICU COVID beds are doubling every two weeks, at what point would you get concerned? Keep in mind how long it takes to turn the ship and how long COVID patients stay in the ICU. Or do you believe this metric will flatten naturally on its own? If so, why?


Diana
Registered user
Community Center
on Nov 28, 2020 at 9:10 pm
Diana, Community Center
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 9:10 pm

Closing elementary schools is not warranted. PAUSD is operating elementary schools with lots of precautions, there is also ample data showing very limited spread among young kids, and the benefits are enormous. PAUSD also had a minimal number of cases as shown in their dashboard. Parents should be extremely cautious and avoid travel and exposures (hard to monitor, but most are doing this). Listen to the experts and keep the elementary schools open.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 28, 2020 at 10:20 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 10:20 pm

1. “I’m terrified to go back into my classroom on Monday”
I would be too if I were you in your shoes. If you have sick leave you should consider taking it. Some families want schools open and want teachers to work in person, but how many traveled or had out of state visitors come to their house against CDC guidance? How many families had large gatherings for Thanksgiving against CDC guidance? Did they wear masks? Did they think about the teachers?

2. “Not because I buy into the lies and hysteria - never have - but this will further wreck the local and state economy, especially the small businesses, without saving one Covid life”
I am sorry the pandemic is inconveniencing you. The health measures being put in place are being put in place to save lives and help the hospitals not be over run with patients. [Portion removed.] Please provide an actual way to balance the economy with health as no one else seems to have the answers. Just because you or anyone you know hasn’t been infected with COVID, doesn’t mean other people in your community haven’t. [Portion removed.]

3. “I am very disappointed with PAUSD”
Why are you so disappointed with PAUSD? They opened elementary schools which they shouldn’t have. They will try to open the middle schools and high schools as soon as possible which they shouldn’t do either. Do not blame PAUSD for the pandemic. It takes a big headline that reads “Record-breaking COVID-19 cases prompt new health restrictions” for families to finally get the message and to stop with the school re-openings. Don Austin is being irresponsible. I am not sure how this would all work, but I’m pretty sure the county would have to step in to shut the schools down again because I doubt he would even consider it.

4. “Staff and teachers are not told about the family positives and other students and families are being exposed!”
Although I agreed with the sentiments of your post about “close the schools”, where are you getting your information from? There is a dashboard for reporting of COVID cases. In fairness, are you only stating your opinion about teachers and families not being alerted? This part of your post wouldn’t surprise me “as well as parents sending their students to school after testing positive” but please provide evidence.

5. “Closing elementary schools is not warranted/there is also ample data showing very limited spread among young kids”
First, the schools do not run in a vacuum. The adults run the school and although it’s great that the kids seem to have less mortality than adults do with COVID, the adults shouldn’t have to risk exposure. Just as the previous poster accused parents of sending students to school knowingly with positive tests, please provide this ample data of limited spread of Covid by kids. Kids are being infected.

Web Link

Key statement:
Over two weeks, 11/5-11/19, there was a 28% increase in child COVID-19 cases (256,091 new cases (927,518 to 1,183,609))

5. “Listen to the experts and keep the elementary schools open”
Which experts are saying this? Maybe these experts are wrong. Why are all other indoor activities closed and even considered dangerous by these experts (gyms, restaurants etc) and close when SCC goes to purple tier, yet it’s somehow ok for schools, an indoor activity, to be opened? I don’t get it. You can argue obviously that eduction is more important than any sort of recreational activity, but how is it actually SAFER when the virus is airborne and teachers are stuck inside for hours at a time with students and are sharing the same air?

This will be the hardest part of pandemic. In an abundance of caution for staff and student safety, the schools should be closed. The Dark Winter is now here.


Hank Z
Registered user
JLS Middle School
on Nov 28, 2020 at 10:40 pm
Hank Z, JLS Middle School
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 10:40 pm

@Agree with closing schools: I would argue that PAUSD should continue with planning for further school openings in January. As @Chris C. observes, PAUSD data so far suggests this can be achieved safely. Science shows that children are unlikely to spread the virus, especially younger ones (Web Link

PAUSD is already gently preparing us for closures until after the summer. In Europe, education has been prioritized consistently and schools remained open, even during spikes far higher than we are currently experiencing in Santa Clara without major school-related outbreaks. Keeping schools closed for another 9 months simply unacceptable.


Bert
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 28, 2020 at 10:59 pm
Bert, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 10:59 pm

For those saying "close PAUSD", have all of you actually seen what is going on at our schools and in our classrooms? I have to commend the teachers and staff at our elementary schools for doing an excellent job with the safety protocols. In comparison with how outdoor dining is done downtown, how youth sports are operating, and the "group" activities one commonly sees around our neighborhoods, I feel quite safe having my kids in school (hybrid program K-5). There are protocols in place that would dictate when a classroom would temporarily be shut down, when a school would shut down, when the district would suspend the entire hybrid program. Just because our county is seeing a very concerning spike in cases (and it clearly is not evenly distributed across the county), we should not shut it all down. Certainly, it may influence decisive action should the case metrics increase - but in the absence of indications that things are heading south within the district, this would be feeding into the narrative of "hysteria" and "hypocrisy of using science only when convenient" that those on the far right use to foment further discord and conflict.


Jane
Registered user
Ventura
on Nov 28, 2020 at 11:09 pm
Jane, Ventura
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 11:09 pm

Our officials are very slow learners, aren't they. 10 months of this?? And what has it gained?

The virus is not going to be stopped and we have to stop acting like it is the only risk we have ever lived with in history.


Vee
Registered user
Community Center
on Nov 28, 2020 at 11:14 pm
Vee , Community Center
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 11:14 pm

Campus closures should be considered because of the many families and teachers/staff that did travel during the week off in Nov.
This will help quarantine efforts.
Think everyone stayed hime?
Think again.


Alvin
Registered user
Professorville
on Nov 28, 2020 at 11:51 pm
Alvin, Professorville
Registered user
on Nov 28, 2020 at 11:51 pm

@Agree with closing schools: "Is it your view that...
"Or that there have been more deaths, but not because of coronavirus? (The doctors and nurses are guilty of "fake news".)
"Or that there have been more deaths, they are due to coronavirus, but it's not big enough to worry about?"

I appreciate your thoughtful response. It's actually a combination of the two. I think there were more deaths in March and April of 2020, similar to a bad flu year, but after that, excess deaths were similar or even less than average of previous 5-10 years, with most excess deaths among younger people dying at home from suicides, drug overdoses, heart attacks, and strokes - with the last two due to deaths from untreated illnesses thanks to cancellation of "elective" procedures. These are not Covid but lockdown related deaths. I wish there was some reporting here and other places on all the non-Covid deaths caused by destructive lockdowns.

Also, even as CDC reported, of all total Covid deaths, 6% were Covid alone. Vast majority were elderly people with at least two comorbidities. I would cite from CDC but the data is often buried and not in user-friendly format. The Covid reporting is highly suspect due to PCR tests at 40-45 amplification cycles, which even Dr. Fauci himself said anything above 35 is meaningless (false positives).

I also think the epidemic ended in April/May, with almost nothing in the summer, and normal resurgence of seasonal flu and cold viruses, but nothing to panic about.


Alvin
Registered user
Professorville
on Nov 29, 2020 at 12:15 am
Alvin, Professorville
Registered user
on Nov 29, 2020 at 12:15 am

@The Voice of Palo Alto: "I am sorry the pandemic is inconveniencing you. The health measures being put in place...[to] help the hospitals not be over run with patients. Your posts are always so negative....Please provide the solution instead of always complaining."

First of all, the pandemic is not inconveniencing me at all as I can work from home full-time, so it's not about me but the community that I think about.

The hospitals are not being overrun. That was the original rationale for the "15 days to flatten curve" measure that was overblown. What's happening is now regular seasonal increase in ICUs and deaths that we experience every year during flu and cold season. Hospitals often run near capacity during this time of year. That's not news to me.

You want solutions, I would have followed the WHO 2019 public health guidelines for epidemics and pandemics back in March and April, but not anymore Web Link

No quarantining of exposed individuals, masks not proven to reduce transmission for even symptomatic individuals, no business lockdowns or school closures, isolation of sick individuals (stay home if you're sick), and other common sense measures accumulated from decades of public health knowledge and experience.

Finally, yes, I am negative of late. I tried to reassure people here back in March, April and May that this was not that bad, that masks and lockdowns were not necessary, and that we are destroying the economy and more lives by forcing shutdowns and causing massive unemployment. This is not the first or last corona virus. Sometimes I was censored.

But I've now come to a point where I've given up trying to make my arguments on this topic. And again, I am least inconvenienced. Not just because of the luxury of working from home, but because I don't care about the virus, I don't wear masks in public, and I live more free and secure than the rest of you. I will shake hands and hug anybody (unless I'm sick). Sneezes, coughs, by all means, lay it on me. Working on the front lines around sick people, at school with a room full of kids, or in grocery stores with the unwashed masses - sign me up! I am jealous that these workers receive daily and healthy amount of viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms from others that the rest of us are not receiving - which is bad for our immune systems. So there you have it.


Dennis
Registered user
Palo Verde School
on Nov 29, 2020 at 10:19 am
Dennis, Palo Verde School
Registered user
on Nov 29, 2020 at 10:19 am

We should not give into fearmongering. The schools are doing a really good job following the safety guidelines. People should take practical steps like masks, distancing, being mindful and use common sense.

We tried a very aggressive lockdown earlier in the year and that did not eradicate the virus. Doing more lockdowns is not the answer, but protecting sensitive people, providing support to those who need and allowing people to decide on their own should be the solution.

For people who want to stay home, we should allow them to stay home and self quarantine instead of forcing everyone else.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Nov 29, 2020 at 10:56 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Nov 29, 2020 at 10:56 am

The medical profession knows darn well that the virus spreads faster in cold weather, and people spend more time indoors. They knew this was coming, and should've been prepared.


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 29, 2020 at 1:39 pm
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 29, 2020 at 1:39 pm

According to the PRC (if they are to be believed), Covid-19 has been eradicated due to stringent government measures.

Is the American embrace of personal freedoms (compared to totalitarian forced lockdowns) a primary reason the coronavirus simply hasn't subsided in this country?

Web Link


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 29, 2020 at 1:54 pm
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 29, 2020 at 1:54 pm

Lee Forrest, "According to the PRC (if they are to be believed), Covid-19 has been eradicated due to stringent government measures."

Yes, as I'm sure you already know, stringent measures obviously work very well, and the PRC employs them for many different things. Mostly notably, they've also used them to eradicate Islam from people's brains by "quarantining" citizens whose brains have it until it clears and they can re-enter society. That stops the spread. It does wonders for political dissent, too! Maybe we should give it a try?


Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 29, 2020 at 5:05 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Nov 29, 2020 at 5:05 pm

All of this data is way out of context. Even the dashboards that Santa Clara County puts out to the public are misleading.

Web Link

1. Deaths are only shown in aggregate. Makes the line go straight up, doesn't it?

2. COVID-19 case numbers from March are shown as absolute numbers, and not as a percentage of tests being done.

3. Note that hospital data is limited by 30-day averages. Give us the data that goes back to March so we have the proper apples-to-apples comparison. Is it because the number of ICU beds have been reduced? Remember back in the spring, they were repurposing regular beds into ICU beds. What happened to them? And, by the way, what is the normal ICU bed occupancy in non-COVID-19 times? Give us the data from the past 5 years so we can make a good comparison.

4. Note that we still have 88% of ventilators available in Santa Clara County. Wasn't the worry that we would run out of them?

5. 7-day rolling average test positivity rate is claimed to be 3.3%. I'm going to bang this drum until it breaks, but are they still using the flawed approach of Cycle Threshold of over 35? Even Fauci says that >32 is not infectious. WHY ARE THEY STILL NOT DISCLOSING THIS DATA?

There are gaping holes in the data they're showing the public. Anyone with basic math knowledge can see these gaps.

Again - Lies, damn lies and statistics.


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 29, 2020 at 8:36 pm
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 29, 2020 at 8:36 pm

Me, "Note that hospital data is limited by 30-day averages. Give us the data that goes back to March."

That data is available on the Dashboard, but lives under the very last link, "COVID-19 Data Tables."

Web Link


Gary G.
Registered user
Palo Alto Hills
on Nov 30, 2020 at 9:13 am
Gary G., Palo Alto Hills
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 9:13 am

We have a moral and legal obligation to follow the rulings of our pubic health officials. The Supreme Court spoke, there is an exception for valid religious expression. That right is not unlimited, the government must have a compelling state interest and use the least restrictive means, and religious worship is a fundamental right. Thus, they can require social distancing and masks in doors like hospitals. Shopping, playing high school sports, eating at your favorite restaurant is not a fundamental right, and the state may use a rational basis test. That is how our legal system works, and it works to protect people. Civil disobedience regarding public health care mandates are poorly thought through. Despite the challenges, we should be resigned to do what is right. We should seek to be Good Samaritans. This is a time for public safety and we have to learn from the challenges. We have to put aside our personal desires. Students and families with students need school support. A great deal is psychological, and students should not be given F's for late homework of any sort, and every attempt should be made to encourage work completion and grade advancement in these difficult COVID times.


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 30, 2020 at 10:16 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 10:16 am

>"We have a moral and legal obligation to follow the rulings of our pubic health officials. The Supreme Court spoke, there is an exception for valid religious expression...and religious worship is a fundamental right.

^ 'pubic health officials'?

OK & that said...does valid religious expression also apply to 'super speader' wedding gatherings consisting of 7,000 attendees?

The 'originalist' SCOTUS majority appears to believe so.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Nov 30, 2020 at 11:35 am
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 11:35 am

Current updated COVID-19 mortality data (since the crisis began) for Santa Clara County:

Web Link">Web Link

SANTA CLARA COUNTY
Residential Population: ~2 Million

34,292 total COVID-19 cases
- 1.7% of total county population has been infected
- 72.1% of cases are under the age of 50

476 total COVID-19 related deaths
- 1.39% of total infections (including comorbidities) led to death
- Between 0.16-0.25% of total infections (without comorbidities) led to death
- 0.02% of total county population has died from COVID-19 (including comorbidities)
- Between 0.0027-0.0044% of total county population (without comorbidities) have died from COVID-19
- Between 81.7-88.6% of all deaths -- between 389-422 -- due to comorbidity (preexisting health issues that led to death)
- 6.3% of deaths under the age of 50 (most from comorbidities)
- 69.5% of deaths over the age of 70
- Between 54-88 of the 476 total deaths are not due to comorbidities, with most of those non-comorbidity deaths over the age of 80

Web Link">Web Link


Schools Serve Students NOT Teachers
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 30, 2020 at 12:01 pm
Schools Serve Students NOT Teachers, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 12:01 pm

If I hear one more "educator" or "teacher" talk about being terrified to go back into the classroom in Palo Alto to teach I'm going to scream. There are MILLIONS of people working since March, who never stopped, serving YOU! You should be in the classrooms doing your jobs serving those families whose parents are working for you (doctors, nurses, all the health care admin, grocery store, truckers bringing you your food, pilots, flight attendants, all those who work in airports (delivering your packages), mail, construction, bankers, cooks in restaurants, etc etc). And Palo Alto's numbers are TINY.

I'm an educator working with over 100 students per week for months and I'm FINE! Teachers need to just put on their masks and stop whining. Fauci says schools need to be open, UNICEF says schools should be open, SCC Health Dictator Cody even says schools should be open. Huge study from across the nation by Brown Univ says schools are NOT spreaders. Even NYC schools did an about face and said they are reopening their schools AND fazing out hybrid learning! If NYC can do it, little 'ole Palo Alto teachers can do their jobs in the K-12 classroom too.

The stats are clear. Schools should be open. Article from Wash Post TODAY written by the Brown Univ Professor who is doing the nationwide study with plenty of stats showing that schools are NOT spreaders and those students who are losing the most already have the most to lose, the education gap is widening for minorities. So any teacher who argues for schools to be closed is knowingly arguing to harm those students (so please don't be carrying a BLM sign at the sign time you're arguing keep schools closed): "To determine whether schools are superspreader locations, we need to be able to calculate the infection rates in those schools and evaluate them side-by-side with infection rates in the community. Unfortunately, this is difficult, for several reasons related to limited data-keeping. But New York state has recently started publishing comprehensive data for all schools that allows for this comparative analysis. What it shows should make us optimistic that schools are not sources of superspreading."
Web Link

Great info from Harvard Professor (in public health) about how American schools get an F for their slow reopenings and students should NOT be online anymore: "We are failing. Kids out of school — and I’m talking about K-12 schools — is a national emergency, and it is not being treated as such. The conversation on schools has gotten very reductionist in terms of in-classroom risk. That risk is important, but it actually can be managed and very few are talking about the risks of kids being out of school. The consequences are devastating."
Web Link

NYTimes quote from city's top health director: “You are less likely to encounter somebody with infection in a school than you would be outside the school, and not just by a little but by a lot,” Dr. Jay Varma, the mayor’s senior adviser for public health, said last month."

[Portion removed.] The data is clear. The priority is keeping schools open.


Agree with closing schools
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 30, 2020 at 12:32 pm
Agree with closing schools, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 12:32 pm

@SchoolsServeStudents: I agree with everything you wrote. I was suggesting they could close now during the holiday period in exchange for opening up at all levels soon afterwards. But either way I could not agree more with you. PAUSD must reach an agreement with teachers to come back to school ASAP after the break. Otherwise all their talk about equality and SEL is only just that, talk.


Palo Alto parent
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Nov 30, 2020 at 1:14 pm
Palo Alto parent, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 1:14 pm

What is this war on young kids?! First reactions should be - stop the adults' entertainment, the traveling, the gatherings, close down retail stores, convenience stores - we don't need so many for essentials, we can switch to deliveries. But in-person school for elementary students is essential! Kids need it for their health and well-being. They only just got it part-time, and through amazing efforts from educators, staff, and parents. Safety measures are plentiful and thorough. This shouldn't be the target of covid despair!


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 30, 2020 at 2:05 pm
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 2:05 pm

From an LA Time story today: "Of particular concern is the state's intensive care capacity. Currently, about 75% of the state's 7,733 ICU beds are occupied — with 1,812 of them filled by coronavirus patients."

Clearly, COVID-19 isn't the problem; rather, other illnesses are causing ICUs to fill up much more than the COVID is. So how about addressing those bigger problems first with preventative measures? Why wreck the economy over one of the smaller problems?


Schools are essential
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Nov 30, 2020 at 2:10 pm
Schools are essential, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 2:10 pm

Just to remind everyone, PAUSD is one of the very, very few school districts in Santa Clara Country (and in the Bay Area in general) that has its elementary schools open even though its just the hybrid 2/3 days schedule.
As to teachers being horrified - I think it is perfectly justified to be horrified. I have a child in elementary school doing hybrid now; and while I think that the protocols and the way they are implemented are really good, I am horrified every time I read something like a reply by Alvin up above - how he doesn't do any of the things he is being asked to do (such as wearing a mask or distancing) because he doesn't believe that epidemiologists and other medical professionals know better then he does, having read a couple of articles on the subject. How many others are out there? What are the chances of some being parents at our school? Scary stuff.
We absolutely should prioritize schools over just about anything else. We also need to be aware of the fact that there are people out there who are not complying with health orders; who are actively endangering all the rest of us.

@Nayeli - thank you for posting the statistics. The numbers are high. One thing I want to mention is comorbidity which exists in the covid death case is NOT the cause of death, which is something that is often mistakenly thought of. Someone with a heart condition or diabetes wouldn't be dead if it wasn't for Covid.


Schools are essential
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Nov 30, 2020 at 2:45 pm
Schools are essential, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 2:45 pm

@TimR
Little lesson in methods and statistics for you.

ICU beds are there to be occupied by patients who are in need of intensive care. Thats what they are for.
Statistically speaking, in the month of November, over the past 5 years, occupancy rate of ICU beds in CA has been at about 64%. That is what it is normally. Because people get sick with other things; get into accidents; get cancer; suffer from all sorts of other ailments.
Right now, ICU beds occupied by Covid19 patients is at 23%. This is extremely high. All other ICU uses are actually down compared to average Novembers in the last 5 years. But the ICU bed occupancy with Covid19 patients is increasing. All else being equal, we are running out of ICU beds BECAUSE of increase in Covid19 patients.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Nov 30, 2020 at 3:21 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 3:21 pm

If anything, I think that the fact that between 54-88 people (WHO DID NOT HAVE A COMORBIDITY) in Santa Clara County (population ~2 Million) have died from COVID-19 is very reassuring.

A few weeks ago, we cross-tabulated the deaths by age with the deaths by comorbidities and found that there have been just four deaths -- but zero non-comorbidity deaths -- under the age of 30 in Santa Clara County. This is helpful when considering the health of our county's children.

Thus, the conclusion is that this pandemic is primarily killing two groups: The elderly and individuals with preexisting comorbidities (primarily pulmonary and hypercoagulability).

I do think that our county's response should be based upon actual risk assessment with viable statistics in mind. This is a terrible pandemic. However, there is consequences for every action -- including the shutdown of the economy, schools, etc. The primary risk groups are the elderly and individuals already suffering from preexisting health conditions.


Educator
Registered user
Midtown
on Nov 30, 2020 at 3:33 pm
Educator, Midtown
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 3:33 pm

Schools serve students...

I am teaching back in-person in my classroom, and I have every right to be terrified. Today one of my students shared that he traveled out of state and stayed in a hotel with family friends. For all of my best efforts, I still have parents send their kids to school sick. I’ve had to send multiple students to the office with coughs, which luckily have turned out not to be Covid, but what if they were? Kids are getting runny noses that leak through their masks. I look away for a moment and a student is standing right next to me. Should these things not terrify me?? Just because other people are working too, and are likely terrified too, doesn’t negate my feelings. Have some empathy.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 30, 2020 at 3:45 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 3:45 pm

[Portion removed.]

2. “If I hear one more "educator" or "teacher" talk about being terrified to go back into the classroom in Palo Alto to teach I'm going to scream.“
Teachers have every right to be frightened and to be able to feel the way they feel about COVID. Some people are risk averse and many people are scared. [Portion removed.] Why should teachers be shamed? Are teachers responsible for the pandemic? No. It’s so terrible that the teachers are nervous for their safety and the safety of their families? The IHME projection model is now projecting 2500 deaths per day nationally(on the low end of the projection) in December.
Web Link

3. “You should be in the classrooms doing your jobs serving those families whose parents are working for you (doctors, nurses, all the health care admin“
[Portion removed.] Great, workers are working! Teachers are also working. They are just not working in the manner in which you want, which is in person. Those workers working in person have also been infected and have died during the pandemic. Here is “the white shoes” dedication for nurses that died of Covid:

Web Link

4. For the long part of the rest of your post citing the experts, the data collector that was fired from Florida because basically Florida was allegedly trying to hide data about infections in the state has been tracking school infections in Florida. Here is the link to the article:

Web Link
Key statement:
Jones hopes the more pressure put on school districts, state and federal leaders will lead to a universal tracking system for COVID-19 cases and schools. Not just on the state level, but a national database. Currently, there isn't.

So basically there is no national tracking system in place for school reporting and granular data about quarantines and infections aren’t always being tracked or reported. So basically people that claim schools are so safe are doing so with very little data to back it up. You just latch on to the word of some of these so called “experts” and run with what they say if it fits the “reopening schools and that teachers should tough it out” as it fits your agenda or thought process you have of reopening. [Portion removed.]
Schools are allowing small hybrid groups back with a ton of safety protocols in place and there are still infections being recorded. Then the so called experts say “look the schools are safe!” Are they really safe? All indoor facilities such as gyms, bars, and restaurants need to close for any indoor activities but a classroom held indoors is safe? Also, if schools were allowed to fully reopen like you want them to the floodgates would open and the infections would sky rocket.

5. “I'm an educator working with over 100 students per week for months and I'm FINE”

I know you can’t, and you aren’t expected to divulge where you work, but this is very hard for me to believe that this is taking place during the pandemic. If it is true [portion removed] I would say you are putting yourself in grave danger and to be careful.

Finally, the experts at MIT released a tool this morning that measures how safe you would be indoors with someone infected with COVID. Please for anyone that disagrees with my posts use the tool and come back and tell me how safe it is to be indoors with someone infected with COVID. I think I will trust these experts and not the ones you cited @ Schools Serve Students.

Web Link

Families were just told not to have Thanksgiving together and to not travel for Thanksgiving by the CDC. Also, Newsom just warned earlier today of new potential lockdowns like we had back in March and yet you still think it’s time to reopen schools?
Web Link

It’s time to rethink your position. Vaccines are on the way. I think everyone can hold out a few more months.


Schools are essential
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Nov 30, 2020 at 3:46 pm
Schools are essential, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 3:46 pm

@Nayeli - SCC have used really drastic strict measures to make sure we have very few deaths on our hands. We are an example of actual success. Lets not mess it up, please. I am a parent and I have elderly parents. I want life to go back to normal as much as the next person. But I do not believe sacrificing old people or people with pre-existing conditions is the way to go.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Nov 30, 2020 at 4:58 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 4:58 pm

@Schools are Essential - Oh, I agree. I don't think that we should "sacrifice" anyone to the pandemic. However, I also think that the response by the city, county and state could be focused upon those at greatest risk of death.

COVID-19 is a pandemic. By the time this pandemic has faded from crisis to history, I think that many more people will have contracted it. The good news is that nearly everyone who contracts the disease will get better. Healthy children aren't at risk of death. Healthy adults aren't at risk of death.

The two groups that are at risk are the elderly and those with preexisting conditions. Yet, even most of the elderly who contract this coronavirus will get better. The greatest risk, of course, are those with specific preexisting health issues -- namely pulmonary and hypercoagulability problems.

I think that the county should be proactive in safeguarding THOSE individuals at greatest risk above all else. The quarantines should focus on those individuals -- setting them apart from others. The county should provide services to those individuals.

I would argue that the county's and state's efforts should include free delivery services (supplemented by the county) and everything else that would allow such individuals to shelter-in-place without risking infection. It would be nice if those at risk could be offered unemployment and utility assistance so that they can shelter in place.

At the same time, the rest of us should not see society brought to a halt when the risk to our health is limited. We should certainly be proactive about taking care of ourselves, our families and preventing the spread of COVID-19. The county should even restrict individuals from going around those at risk.

However, I believe that schools, offices, etc. can (and should) be open -- especially if they take measures to insure a clean and non-spreading environment. This would obviously mean quarantining anyone who has contracted COVID-19. However, it would also mean restricting at-risk individuals from being on-site.

Again, only four people under the age of 30 have died from COVID-19 (and all four had comorbidities). While it seems like this could be a testament of SCC measures, it seems like this is a similar issue in most places across the United States. While many people will contract COVID, very, very few will die from it (with a lottery-type of chance for individuals without preexisting conditions).

No one should be sacrificed to this pandemic. However, I also think that the livelihood, education or economic well-being of millions in our county should not be sacrificed to a disease that truly claims relatively few victims for the grave. We can focus on safeguarding those at risk without destroying society to do so.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Nov 30, 2020 at 6:02 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 6:02 pm

I agree that the elderly and those with comorbidities are "most at risk." But being overweight is a comorbidity (especially if you have heart disease, diabetes, etc.) along with it. 2/3 (or higher) of Americans are overweight or obese. So there are a LOT of Americans with comorbidities. Thankfully, my husband and I aren't one of them.

There are more at risk people than some people think. We're all at risk, but not all of us are high risk (age, comorbidities, etc.).

Can you imagine the lawsuits if the County told obese people they have to shelter in place while the rest of roam freely. Get real.


chini
Registered user
Midtown
on Nov 30, 2020 at 7:41 pm
chini, Midtown
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 7:41 pm

Many data analysts out there but not necessarily correlating the correct set of data to inform public about decisions. That misinformation has been rampant during the pandemic as never before - Dr. Atlas on Tucker Carlson on FoxNews.

Here is the correlation: Hospitals are full, hence the lock down.
It is not about business, schools, etc. etc. The theory behind lock down is to prevent any
additional infections, accidental or otherwise, by limiting interactions between people.
IOW, if you get infected and need hospitalization, you may end up in a makeshift tent, with overworked nurses, doctors, etc.

Throwing in extraneous data such as positivity rate etc. might make it sound more esoteric than what it actually is but it causes confusion. Simply put, it is a failure to contain the virus by developing and distributing fast reliable tests/testing for COVID19 and promoting uniform healthy habits.

Therefore, after the shut down gets lifted it will be status quo, except that hospitals may not be full, and they can admit new patients. They (powers) did not use the first shutdown to develop and distribute tests/test methods, and it doesn't look like it will happen this time either.

Opening schools because children do not transmit the virus is a bad application of data analysis - that is analysis out of the wrong end. Children do not walk to and from schools, esp. elementary schools, in isolation. They are normally accompanied by adult parents - dropping them off and waiting to pick them up after school. Wouldn't that group of adults potentially spread the virus?

There is no question that everyone would like to go back to the normal life. And it is especially hard on kids. But, the folks like Dr. Atlas, Betsy DeVos, and others who claim to value education so much now may not so enthusiastic when advocating for more funding to schools so they can be safe, and run well funded education programs.

My best guess is that when the hospital beds free up the lockdown will be lifted but the virus would continue to spread until the next lock down....and so on.


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 30, 2020 at 8:04 pm
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 8:04 pm

Hmm...weather, temperatures, & space permitting, could some classes (with the possible exception of lab courses) be held outdoors?

Possible sites...parks, soccer/football fields, schoolyards etc.

Though the coronavirus is still at large, regular interaction with other children is an important part of a normal socialization process.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Nov 30, 2020 at 9:38 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Nov 30, 2020 at 9:38 pm

@ Jennifer - Being overweight is NOT a comorbidity when it comes to COVID-19. There is NOTHING to indicate this. Rather, obesity can be a factor for severe illness when it comes to COVID-19 (as is true for smoking, sickle cell disease, pregnancy and cancer).

Such things present an elevated risk of severity from COVID-19 -- but they are not a definitive link to death. The link to death is primarily for those with pulmonary and clotting issues. Now, some people with those issues ALSO have the pulmonary and clotting issues which are tied to the highest mortality risks from COVID-19.

I am not saying that the state or county should mandate that individuals with real preexisting conditions should be forced into any type of house arrest or internment. Rather, the issue is one of SELF-QUARANTINE.

If you understand that you're at an increased risk of mortality from COVID-19, then it would be wise to self-quarantine. This is not rocket science; yet, it is also very much understood by statistical analysis of COVID-19 mortality data.

My point is that there are TWO groups who are at a much higher risk of mortality -- the elderly and those with preexisting medical issues (primarily pulmonary and hypercoagulability issues). However, even most of those individuals who contract COVID-19 will still recover.

The stats simply show that they are at a much higher risk of mortality than the rest of us (for which mortality rates are so low that such risk is negligible). As the county reports, just four people in Santa Clara County under the age of 30 have died from COVID-19. All four of these victims had comorbidities.

Out of the 476 people who have died from COVID-19 in Santa Clara County, just 54-88 of them had no known comorbidities. Thus, in a county of about 2 Million residents, we've had between 54-88 deaths from COVID-19 that were not from comorbidities -- and most of those deaths were elderly victims.

The county should focus on safeguarding those elderly and at-risk individuals with complicit preexisting health issues through proactive measures (e.g., unemployment assistance [during self-quarantine], delivery services, at-home medical consultation, etc.).


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Dec 1, 2020 at 7:24 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 7:24 am

As of July 2020, the CDC recently refined its risk category for Covid-19, stating that obesity was a big a risk factor for Covid-19 as having a suppressed immune system or chronic lung or kidney disease.

Obesity is a huge risk factor.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Dec 1, 2020 at 8:24 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 8:24 am

Why is obesity so common in Covid-19 patients?

A hormone that connects the body's metabolism and immune response system may explain why Covid-19 is so dangerous for people with obesity.

The problem for people with obesity is that their leptin levels are always high, and that can affect the response to a Covid-19 infection.

Elevated leptin levels hamper the body's ability to fight off infections in the lungs and elsewhere.

Fat tissue in people with obesity might contribute to activating fewer infection fighting cells and why those cells die more quickly.


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 1, 2020 at 8:47 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 8:47 am

OK...a BMI of 30+ is considered obese & 40% of Americans fall into this category.

While all body types are suceptible to contracting Covid-19, there appears to be correlation between a higher % of obese people contracting & dying from the coronavirus.

So what does this tell us? Are these infection cases directly attributable to one's diet & lifestyle, genetics, age and/or all of the above?

People with healthy lifestyles & recommended BMIs are also contracting Covid-19. Barring serious pre-existing conditions, is their survival rate higher...regardless of age?

If so, countless Americans may need to re-access their everyday life patterns & drop a few pounds along the way.

Web Link


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Dec 1, 2020 at 11:15 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 11:15 am

43% of Americans are obese, and 34% overweight. Obesity is the one comorbidity you can control. And, yes -- Americans need to lose weight.

Survival rates are higher for people in shape. A 93 year old woman I know (a smoker, but a thin one) survived Covid-19. Her 26 year old granddaughter (who was obese, a non-smoker) died of Covid-19.

Denial that obesity is a comorbidity for Covid-19 doesn't help. There are many articles explaining why obesity is one of the main comorbidities. In Mexico, obesity is the number one comorbidity.

Fruits and vegetables...


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 1, 2020 at 11:59 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 11:59 am

>"Obesity is the one comorbidity you can control. And, yes -- Americans need to lose weight."

^ And most likely why Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem & Weight Watchers are such profitable & successful U.S. businesses.

Only in America.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 1, 2020 at 1:19 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 1:19 pm

@ Jennifer - First of all, no one is "denying" anything. There is a world of difference (in terms of BMI) from being "overweight" and being "obese."

Moreover, obesity in itself is NOT a comorbidity. Rather, there are issues often consequential from obesity that can be a comorbidity. In other words, it is ASSOCIATED with the comorbidities (often by causality or correlation).

There are plenty of obese people who do not die from COVID. The problem isn't the obesity itself. It's whether obesity has led to other health issues that can be a comorbidity.

Yes, people need to lose weight. Thankfully, I am quite fit myself. However, the issue again is in recognizing the actual people at risk and focusing rules to safeguard those rather than (as someone else put it) "burning down the house to kill the fly."

There are people who smugly state that society should completely shut down right now. They are ignorant of both economic consequences upon families as well as the actual medical risks of COVID-19.

The fact is that millions upon millions of people will contract COVID-19 -- and most of them will recover within a week or two. Even our local county health officials instruct those found to have COVID to simply stay home and quarantine themselves (and avoid the hospital unless its a dire emergency).

The people who are actually at risk of dying from COVID-19 are those who are: 1.) Elderly, and, 2.) Those with an potential comorbidity health issues (whether they are obese or not) -- primarily those with pulmonary and hypercoagulability issues.

Nearly everyone else might contract COVID and live through it.

At what point do we question the "need" (or "demand") to shut down society -- schools, businesses, etc. -- when it might be better to simply make guidelines to safeguard those at greater risk of death?


Schools are essential
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Dec 1, 2020 at 2:30 pm
Schools are essential, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 2:30 pm

Nayeli, with all due respect, I do not believe you are correctly interpreting and reading the statistics.
Look, we have a county of about 2 million people, roughly.
If we end up with 20% of people infected at the same time - which we will, if we do not take serious measures, not just isolating the most vulnerable, but isolating everyone from everyone.... - we are talking about 400,000 people with infections.
Lets round the numbers up, and assume that only 2% of people who get infected will need acute medical intervention. Which is more or less the case. Now, we are talking about 8,000 people who will need to be in ICU roughly at the same time. 8,000 is slightly more than the total ICU capacity of the entire State of California. And we are talking of only one out of 58 counties! And we are not the biggest one by population. So, who gets to choose who will get the medical help they need and who won't? This is the problem we are faced with and trying our damn hardest to avoid.

But it does make a good case for schools to be open. We need to teach our children statistics, logic and ability to extrapolate.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 1, 2020 at 4:42 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 4:42 pm

@ Schools are essential - I think that you misunderstood what I wrote. I am NOT saying that there should be no regulations, guidelines, rules or laws regarding the county's or state's COVID-19 response. The county should certainly have guidelines for social distancing, wearing masks, sanitation, etc. Businesses also have a responsibility to maintain healthy environments.

However, I am also saying that the primary rate of mortality from COVID-19 are individuals who are elderly and have preexisting conditions. The most far-reaching policies should be designed with them in mind.

On the other hand, there are very real tradeoffs that include subpar education for schoolchildren and loss of income to many businesses and their employees. I think that there is an ideal middle where concerns about COVID can be relieved from action while not relying upon blanket lockdowns.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Dec 1, 2020 at 5:20 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 5:20 pm

Obesity in itself IS a comorbidity.

"Obesity and diabetes for Covid-19 : Underlying mechanisms and the role of viral-bacterial interaction."

Obesity and diabetes are established comorbidities for Covid-19. Adipose tissue demonstrates high expression of ACE2 which SARS-COV-2 exploits to enter host cells."

"High Blood Pressure, Obesity are Most Common Comorbidities in Covid-19 Patients"

"High blood pressure, obesity and diabetes were the most common conditions among more than 5,000 coronavirus patients in New York City and nearby areas, a new study shows."

Google obesity and comorbidity and you'll find a lot of articles explaining obesity as a comorbidity. I don't think you know what a comorbidity is.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Dec 1, 2020 at 5:44 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 5:44 pm

"The problem isn't the obesity itself. It's whether obesity has led to other health issues that can be a comorbidity."

Sure... tell that to the 93 year old lady at our church whose granddaughter died -- complications of Covd-19 due to her obesity at the age of 26. She had NO obesity related health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, etc. According to her grandmother, she'd been obese less than two years.

Tell that to a friend of mine whose brother died in the Midwest at age 57. He was maybe 30 lbs. overweight, and had didn't have any weight related (or any comorbidities) besides obesity. According to his sister, he wasn't overweight until his early 50s. He was on a ventilator, and his mom (whose husband is an MD) said "Covid didn't kill him. His weight did."

Obesity is a comorbidity to a lot of medical conditions.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 1, 2020 at 6:26 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 6:26 pm

@ Jennifer - Did this girl from your church die from being obese or the COMPLICATIONS that are complicit with it? The complications were the comorbidity.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Dec 1, 2020 at 6:49 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 6:49 pm

Nayeli -- The 26 year old granddaughter isn't a member of our church. Her grandmother is, and I haven't seen the death certificate.

Nothing I try to explain to you that obesity is a comorbidity of Covid-19 will get through to you, or any online articles. That's fine.

I read earlier today that obesity is the comorbidity more strongly associated for Covid-19 in Mexico. Written by Eduardo Hernandez-Garduno.

Not that it matters, but my husband is an MD. I understand comorbidities and why obesity (alone) is a comorbidity for Covid-19. I also understand why weight related diseases (that you're referring to) make it worse. Sadly, obesity is a comorbidity for a lot of diseases that people wouldn't assume -- like COPD. The weight alone does a LOT of damage, and I've exhausted my time on this thread.

Have a nice evening...



Schools Serve Students NOT Teachers
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2020 at 8:59 pm
Schools Serve Students NOT Teachers, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 8:59 pm

Today from Fauci. So unless someone knows more than Fauci and the entire CDC, well, nuff said.

"Fauci said authorities should 'close the bars and keep the schools open' to cut down on coronavirus infection spread"

""If you look at the data, the spread among children and from children is not really very big at all, not like one would have suspected," Fauci added."

Web Link


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Dec 1, 2020 at 10:30 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 10:30 pm

Okay... one last post.

The CDC defines a comorbidity as when "more than one disease or condition is present at the same time." A comorbidity is often a chronic condition that a person can live with, such as arthritis, diabetes or obesity.

So -- yes, obesity is a chronic disease, which makes it a comorbidity to Covid-19 if Covid-19 and obesity are present at the same time in the patient. It really is that simple.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 1, 2020 at 10:34 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 10:34 pm

1. Fauci said authorities should 'close the bars and keep the schools open' to cut down on coronavirus infection spread"

What Fauci is saying here is to try to lower community transmission so that schools would be safer to open. Also, of course children going to school is a societal norm and education should take precedence over people drinking at a bar. At this point in this escalating pandemic likely the only two ways to stop community transmission would be a national lockdown or a pharmaceutical intervention. Please review the meaning of exponential growth. It’s a tough concept that not everyone understands:

Web Link

2."If you look at the data, the spread among children and from children is not really very big at all, not like one would have suspected," Fauci added."
I have already explained to you in my previous post how infections at schools aren’t even being tracked or reported consistently. Fauci should have probably said “based on the available data we have.” Also, as I’ve pointed out many times, it’s great and all that he says “the spread from children to children isn’t very big at all” but the ADULTS work and run the schools. What about the health and well being of the adults considering statistically they would more likely have the outcome of death as opposed to children?

As a side note, Fauci always goes back and forth about schools. It’s a touchy subject obviously and do you really think he wants to be the person that says “Close All Schools!” He’s already received death threats during the pandemic and currently has a security detail.

Finally, I did a quick search and found Covid outbreaks all over the country at elementary schools. Here are a couple of links but you can also search for yourself. These were just the tip of the iceberg:

Web Link

Web Link

So if the schools are so safe as you post, and the experts you cited are all correct, why are there so many cases happening in schools regardless if it’s occurring through community spread or spread at schools? Why do you always forcibly say teachers should work in person? Safety should always come first. Now is not the time to come back. Also, if our citizenry had followed the rules in the first place by wearing masks and all other health guidance, disease transmission would likely be lower generally speaking. You putting this all on the back of the teachers is backwards. The CDC just advised Americans for weeks not to travel or to celebrate Thanksgiving with people outside of their household and yet millions chose to travel and celebrate and ignored the guidance. Why should teachers be put in a dangerous situation every day because families aren’t following the CDC guidance? Why are you so down on teachers for wanting to stay safe? Enough said.

“ a BMI of 30+ is considered obese & 40% of Americans fall into this category/ And most likely why Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem & Weight Watchers are such profitable & successful U.S. businesses.“
America your head is too big and America your belly is too big. Just always remember, America is not the world.

I get edited consistently yet this false and dangerous misinformation was allowed to be posted:
“Healthy children aren't at risk of death. Healthy adults aren't at risk of death.”
Everyone is at risk for death during the pandemic and healthy people and healthy children without health issues have died. It’s just not as common.


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 2, 2020 at 7:12 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 7:12 am

>"Moreover, obesity in itself is NOT a comorbidity. Rather, there are issues often consequential from obesity that can be a comorbidity."

>"Obesity in itself IS a comorbidity."
>"...obesity is a chronic disease,"

^ So in regards to the comorbidity issue/debate, is obesity merely a reflection of a high BMI or an established collective of interelated & oftentimes fatal diseases?

In other words...except for the extra body fat, is it even possible for an obese individual to be medically diagnosed as relatively free of the associated & aforementioned 'comorbidities' that may or may not have a correlation to contracting Covid-19?


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 2, 2020 at 5:32 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 5:32 pm

@ Jennifer - You keep saying that obesity is a comorbidity. However, it isn't a primary morbidity when it comes to people who have died from COVID-19. The cause of death is not going to be "obesity." It's going to be some OTHER HEALTH ISSUE associated with obesity.

However, you're digressing the heck out of my original post's point. The issue is that we can identify that the people dying from COVID-19 are:

1.) The elderly;
and,
2.) Those with a comorbidity.

The county should focus on safeguarding those individuals. If you're convinced that obesity is one of those comorbidities, then, well, okay. I suppose that it doesn't matter WHAT the actual comorbidity is as long as the county's health department would determine (and not some desk chair medical advisors).

The individuals who run that greater risk of mortality from COVID-19 -- including the elderly and those with preexisting health issues determined by the state's and county's health departments (no matter what those issues are determined to be) -- should follow careful instructions on how to stay safe from the disease.

Still, the rest of us could contract the disease but we have very little risk of succumbing to it. We also have little risk of hospitalization.

The focus of all of the state's and county's measures should be to prevent the spread and safeguard those at risk of dying.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Dec 2, 2020 at 8:23 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 8:23 pm

Well... since you insist:

According to the CDC, the top five comorbidities for Covid - 19:

1. Hypertension
2. Obesity
3. Chronic lung disease
4. Diabetes
5. Cardiovascular conditions

Obesity IS a primary comorbidity for Covid-19. If they were listed in order, obesity is number two.



Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 2, 2020 at 9:21 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 9:21 pm

@ Jennifer - There is no need to keep beating dead horses (digressing). I think that WE ALL understand that obesity is a problem that has complicit medical issues that bad (with or without COVID-19).

My point (before, during and after digression) is that we can identify those at greatest risk of mortality -- namely the ELDERLY and those with PREEXISTING MEDICAL ISSUES -- and have a very specific strategy to safeguard them.

The current strategy is like someone else described -- "burning down the house to kill the fly."

People under 30-years-old -- including schoolchildren -- in Santa Clara County are not at any increased risk of mortality. In fact, a total of just four people under the age of 30 have died in our county; and, all four of these victims had preexisting conditions.

Of course, younger residents of our county have contracted COVID at a much higher rate than older residents. Despite this, they represent few of the actual COVID-19 deaths (and most were due to comorbidities). Most of the younger residents who have contracted COVID simply got better.

My point (again and again) is that the strategy should aim to safeguard those who are at greatest risk of hospitalization or mortality. This would include quarantining the elderly and those with already-existent health issues. This is especially true of those with pulmonary or hypercoagulability issues (regardless of the reason -- including obesity).

A good strategy?

I would argue that the county should instruct those specific at-risk residents to self-quarantine (and help them through this). The state should provide ways to assist those individuals through delivery of groceries, necessities, etc. Unemployment should be provided for those at-risk individuals who self-quarantine. I think that the state, county and cities (and utilities) should find ways to help them as well.

Moreover, to stop the spread of COVID-19 to those at greatest risk, I think that the county should instruct everyone else to AVOID individuals with those issues. If they are quarantined, then avoid contact. Give them even greater social distance.

Obviously, there are people who are at-risk and elderly who live with those who aren't at the same level of risk. I believe that the county and state could come up with a response for individuals in those circumstances too -- to avoid making those individuals part of these terrible statistics.

There is no need to go back-and-forth endlessly and argue over semantics about whether obesity itself (and not specific related medical issues from obesity) are the "comorbidity." The issue has been fully understood from the get-go.

My point is that we should target those at greatest risk for the most important means for safeguarding themselves from contracting COVID-19. This would free up hospital space and, of course, keep them alive.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Dec 2, 2020 at 10:04 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 10:04 pm

Nayeli - where you and I disagree is who is greatest "at risk." Studies are coming that it's obese people of all ages, whether or not they have weight related conditions. Not all overweight and obese people do.

When the vaccines come out I read they're recommending vaccines should be available to obese Americans first, including before people over 60. So much for protection of the elderly.

It's sad that America has such an obesity problem is my point. And your safest way of protecting yourself from Covid-19 (if you are obese) is to lose the weight.

A perfect example of how "aware" obese people are to their own risk of Covid-19. I'm seeing elderly men and women in their 80s and 90s (thin) attending church services (indoors and out) while obese members of our church are watching on Zoom. They're scared, and they should be.


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 2, 2020 at 10:51 pm
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 10:51 pm

>"It's sad that America has such an obesity problem is my point.

^ Outside of poor eating habits & sedentary lifestyles, why is obesity an American epidemic of its own?

>"...obese members of our church are watching on Zoom. They're scared, and they should be.

^ Scared or is this also attributable to limited mobility issues? Is convenience & adherence to SIP recommendations other considerations for ZOOM attendance?


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