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What Santa Clara County’s Dr. Sara Cody knew that led to declaring health emergency

Bay Area

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – “We have some soft signs that the shelter in place is making a  difference and I think there’s reason to be encouraged, and at the same time, we’re not out of the woods,” Dr. Sara Cody said.

Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody says it appears the stay at home order is working to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and not overwhelm the healthcare system.

“Our case counts continue to increase, however, they’re not increasing as fast as they would be increasing had we not had the shelter in place,” Dr. Cody said. 

Dr. Cody was the first in the Bay Area to declare a health emergency on February 3rd and the first in the state to put a stop to mass gatherings back on March 9th.

What did she know that no one else did?

“We were very fortunate in our county in that a team deployed from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and they were able to help us do things like implement a small surveillance project in our outpatient clinics, so we had not a lot of data but a little data with a worrisome signal that we had a pretty high percentage of people testing positive. So it was that little piece of data in combination with looking at patterns elsewhere in the world that spurred us to act,” Dr. Cody said. 

Cody says the focus now is providing health care workers what they need and removing barriers for those who may have difficulty sheltering in place.  

As for easing up, Cody says doing it too soon will lead to rebound in cases.  

“We are looking at our data everyday and trying to learn as fast as we can, are there ways in which we can be more focused and let up in some places but not others and still not get ourselves into trouble and we just don’t know yet,” Dr. Cody said.

Currently, that stay at home order is to run through May 3rd but it could be extended especially considering the governor is now saying California won’t hit its peak of cases until mid-May. 

Watch full interview below:

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