Santa Clara County officials on Monday reminded the public to wear face coverings and practice social distancing as the county experiences a "sharp uptick" in reported COVID-19 cases.
The county on Sunday reported 358 new cases — the second highest daily total, behind only July 15 when 385 cases were reported. "Nearly all" of those new cases came from samples that were collected over the past week, with roughly half coming in the past three days, according to the county.
On Sunday, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the county increased by nearly 10%, the county said.
"This surge in COVID-19 cases is not what we want to see going into the fall and winter holiday season," Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said in a statement. "New cases and resulting hospitalizations are increasing locally, regionally, as well as statewide and across the country and the world. These trends serve as a stark reminder that COVID-19 is all around us. Each and every one of us needs to redouble our efforts to keep our community safe."
While the county enjoys the expanded reopenings that come with being in the orange tier, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Cindy Chavez reminded residents and businesses to "be especially vigilant" when it comes to following social distancing measures.
"Everyone appreciates the additional options that come from being in a less-restrictive tier," she said in a statement. "But we all need to be mindful that being in that tier doesn’t mean some activities do not come with certain risk, and that risk is greatly magnified if businesses and customers do not follow the rules in place to help keep them safe."
As winter weather forces people inside, the county stressed that indoor activities are riskier than outdoor activities.
"Indoor dining, gathering in private homes with people outside of one's household, and becoming complacent with 'pandemic fatigue,' all elevate the risk of COVID-19 transmission," the county stated.