‘Worrisome': Santa Clara County Sees Record Jump in Daily Virus Cases

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Santa Clara County saw the highest number of new coronavirus cases in a day Tuesday with 122, and the health officer who was the architect of the shelter at home order says it’s a worrisome trend.

“Recently we’re seeing a worrisome sign that this increase may be accelerating,” said Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody.

She said the rise is likely due to three things: More public areas are reopening, more people are going outside, and there’s an increase in testing.

The county is trying to perform 4,000 tests daily, helped by the SAP Center testing site opening Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday.

But Cody points out a disproportionate number of new cases are occurring in East San Jose and southern Santa Clara County. And nearly half of new cases are presumed to be from the virus unknowingly spread through the community.

“Once COVID transmission begins to accelerate it’s very, very hard, difficult to contain and slow down,” Cody said.

Hospitalizations are up slightly in the South Bay, at 61. Doctors are monitoring that and testing positivity rates to track the spread.

“But in Southern California, and in California in general, we’re seeing an increase in test positivity rates, which suggest it’s beyond just the amount of testing,” said UCSF Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong. “And more concerning, we’re seeing an increase in hospitalizations, about 15% above where we were last week.”

It’s been nearly three weeks since Santa Clara County opened indoor retail and outdoor dining. On Friday, health officials can start assessing the data to see if more will reopen or not.

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