reopening the bay area

Coronavirus: Bay Area Health Official Says California May Be Reopening Too Quickly

Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody explains why the county is taking baby steps as it moves forward with its plan to reopen.

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Santa Clara County's public health officer was the first in the nation to issue a stay-at-home order due to COVID-19. She is now among a handful making the case that California may be moving too quickly to reopen.

Different parts of the Bay Area are now reopening at different paces.

In Sonoma County, people can now dine in again. In Napa County, residents are now able to get a haircut with barbershops and hair salons allowed to reopen. But in Santa Clara County, the process of reopening is moving much slower.

Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody on Wednesday explained once again why she is OK with baby steps.

"If we make a change and don't pause to see the impact then we are blind to knowing what the next actions may do," Cody said.

Cody also said it could take two to three weeks to fully understand the impacts of lifting restrictions -- for example, allowing construction.

"COVID is like a fire during wildfire season," Cody said. "We know opening things up we may see spot fires, but what we don't want to see is a large fire again."

Cody may not be alone in her call to slow things down.

After a recent spike in ICU COVID-19 cases, Sonoma County said it will slow down its reopening plan as well.

In Santa Clara County, Cody continues to make her case, noting that any new spike is likely to hit the most vulnerable the hardest.

"If we just let the virus go then those who make a low wage with less access to care will be most impacted," Cody said.

But many business owners said they are dying financially and desperately need to reopen. Cody said she understands this is not easy, but may also be the only way to ensure people feel safe when things finally reopen.

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