Santa Clara County bans large gatherings for three weeks

Following yesterday’s first COVID-19 death in Santa Clara County, local health officials are ramping up efforts to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

The County’s Health Officer, Dr. Sara Cody, announced new restrictions Monday evening, requiring the cancellation of mass gatherings for three weeks.

“The strong measures we are taking today are designed to slow the spread of disease,” Cody said.

It marks a change in the approach to COVID-19, as efforts look to mitigating the spread and ensure that mass numbers of coronavirus patients do not overwhelm health departments.

“Today’s order and new recommendations will reduce the number of people who develop severe illness and will help prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed,” Cody continued.

Cody noted Monday evening that more cases of COVID-19 are expected in coming days and weeks, particularly as more widespread testing becomes available.

As of Monday night, Santa Clara County has 43 known cases of COVID-19.

Large gatherings of more than 1,000 people, including concerts and sports games, are banned in Santa Clara County until March 31 unless otherwise updated. It takes effect at 12 a.m. on Wednesday, March 11. Local police and the County Sheriff are able to enforce the ban, which may include criminal penalties.

Airports and shopping malls are allowed to continue operations, and typical office environments are not covered by the ban.

In her remarks announcing the ban, Cody advised that those most susceptible to serious illness from COVID-19, particularly adults over age 60 or those with underlying health conditions, stay home as much as possible.

Last week, Cody and other county leaders announced recommendations for schools, businesses, and more sites aimed at reducing potential exposure and community transmission.

 To see the County’s order, click here. To visit the County’s coronavirus information page, click here.