SAN JOSE (KPIX) — Santa Clara County health officials said Sunday that, within the past 24 hours, they’ve seen 574 new COVID-19 cases. That number is down from the previous single-day case number of 760 cases.
The alarming numbers prompted the county to open for testing even on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and it was very busy at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. All 2,500 test slots were taken and no appointments are required for people exhibiting symptoms.
“No appointment — I woke up, I wasn’t feeling great — they said ‘come down’ and they can squeeze me in,” said San Jose resident Jonathan Parisi.
Parisis was hoping it’s the flu and not COVID-19.
“It’s just a fever, just stomach problems. A little bit of a cough and stuff,” Parisis said.
Parisis said his family stayed home for Thanksgiving and, in the next few days, he’ll be isolating from others until he gets the test result.
“I just want to be safe. I’ve got a wife and kids at home and I’m still working full-time, luckily so don’t want to be spreading it around to other people,” Parisis said.
There were 18 testing booths at the fairgrounds and each one had a short line of cars. Some cars contained families of up to five people all getting tested.
“That’s a lot of people but (the lines are) going so fast,” said San Jose resident Arthur Duong. “The company requires us to go take the test. If we don’t have the result and if we are positive to the COVID-19, we are not allowed to work.”
“We’re definitely seeing more people who have household or workplace contact with someone who tested positive, which is just a reflection of the amount of community spread of Covid currently in our county,” said Dr. Jennifer Tong, associate chief medical officer at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.
Dr Tong was helping oversee the fairgrounds test site on Sunday. She worried a negative result could provide a false sense of safety.
“It is very possible that you could have been exposed to the virus and it is still incubating in your system and you won’t yet have a positive test,” Tong explained. “Quarantining, not being around others when you have a known exposure, is the first step. Then testing around day sevem of that quarantine is the second step.”
That was why Dr. Tong urged those who have recently returned from a trip to wait. She said the test also should not be used to clear people to go on trips.
Starting Monday, Santa Clara County requires everyone who’s traveled more than 150 miles to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Dr. Tong said the fairgrounds will go up to 3,000 test kits a day starting Tuesday and, next week, they’ll have enough kits to test 5,000 people a day.