By Len Ramirez

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — In an interview with KPIX 5, Santa Clara County’s public health officer urged the community to continue to obey the shelter in place order because, she said, it’s working.

“Our epidemic is not growing as fast as it had been growing before the shelter in place order,” said Dr. Sara Cody. “We’re not out of the woods, but there are a few little sparkles of optimism.”

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Santa Clara County had some of the first cases of community-spread COVID-19 in the country. Cody shouldered the responsibility of calling the first shelter-in-place order in the U.S. – a decision that turned sports arenas and shopping malls into ghost towns, and threw tens of thousands of people into unemployment.

But Cody said the sacrifices are flattening the curve.

“The shelter in place order and other actions we have taken, have helped slow things down,” said Cody. “We don’t look like other places in the country where cases are growing exponentially. Infection sare not growing exponentially here.”


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But cases are still growing. Santa Clara County has surpassed 1,200 cases, with 42 deaths. 17 new cases were reported Monday and there have been three new deaths.

But Cody said the key difference is the number of new cases is not surpassing the county’s ability to hospitalize and provide the best care for the patients.

“We have capacity in our hospital beds, in our ICU beds, and with our ventilator supply,” said Cody. “However, it’s still so important we each do everything we can to reduce our contacts with each other so that when one of us needs that ventilator, we’ll be able to have access to it.”

Despite a sliver of optimism, Cody does not anticipate lifting the shelter-in-place order for now.

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“One thing we know from other countries is that if you have an aggressive shelter in place order and then you lift it, and don’t have anything else in it’s place, you will see a rebound,” Cody said.