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Friday, January 14, 2022

In This Edition:


I hope this finds you well.

With a high demand for COVID-19 testing locally and throughout the nation, the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department is offering guidance to those unsure of what kind of test to use and whether or not they need one.

The testing options are a PCR test, typically administered in a clinic or drive-through operation; and an antigen test, which are also available for home use.

The County recommends that the antigen tests be used for purposes of shortening isolation or quarantine periods for those who have tested positive or been exposed to a person with COVID.

Positive antigen results should be recognized as valid – there is no need for a follow up PCR test at a healthcare or County facility.

In addition, people who have previously tested positive within the past 90 days should not get tested again during that time frame unless they have new symptoms – in which case they should use an antigen test.

You SHOULD get tested if: 
•    You have new symptoms that might mean you have COVID: Fatigue, headache, body/muscle aches, cough, fever, sore throat, and/or congestion. 
  • Please note that if you have new symptoms and you are at high risk for severe illness from COVID because of other medical conditions, older age, or having a compromised immune system, it is especially important to get tested because if you test positive, you may qualify for early treatment to reduce your risk of severe illness.
You MAY CONSIDER getting tested if: 
•    It’s been 2-5 days after you have a known exposure to someone with COVID, especially if you are unvaccinated or have symptoms.
 
You SHOULD NOT get tested with PCR testing if: 
•    You have already tested positive by a home/antigen test. Assume you have COVID and isolate accordingly. Do not get tested again at a testing lab – it is unnecessary and uses resources that could be used to test another individual.
•    You have tested positive in the last 90 days. You do not need to get tested again unless you are newly symptomatic or required to quarantine—if this is your situation, use a home/antigen test.


The County also reminds patients of all healthcare systems that they have a right to a test from their provider if they have symptoms or have been exposed to an individual who has COVID-19.

Large healthcare systems remain subject to the Health Officer’s Testing Order. If you are symptomatic, or you are a close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you have a right to a test from your healthcare provider within one day if you call to schedule an appointment. If you are having issues or challenges getting a test from your provider please report them to www.scccovidconcerns.org so the County can follow up with the provider. 


COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, free, and widely available to everyone 5 and older.

Almost 83% of eligible Santa Clara County residents, including children ages 5-11, have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. We remain a national leader in vaccination rates.

However, there are still thousands of eligible Santa Clara County residents who have not gotten vaccinated.


All County Health System mass vaccination sites and all general community-based mobile sites are vaccinating anyone ages 5 and older. Children between 5 and 17-years old need to provide a signed consent form from a parent or legal guardian. For County-operated sites, the consent form is available here.
 
The most up-to-date information about how and where to get vaccinated can be found at www.sccfreevax.org.

Many locations readily accept walk-in patients. Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are all available within the County. Additionally, many doctor offices and pharmacies provide COVID-19 boosters.

Vaccinations through the County are no-cost to the public, insurance is not required, and there are no immigration requirements.

Residents without access to the internet can make vaccination appointments by phone for the County Health System sites through the Valley Connection Call Center at 408-970-2000 or by dialing 2-1-1.  

The Call Center is open Monday through Friday from 7am to 9pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 4:30pm.  Assistance is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and multiple other languages.

You can also get vaccinated at pharmacies throughout the County, including many Walgreen's, CVS, and Costco locations.
 
 
Free COVID-19 Appointment Testing
  • Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, Parking Lot A (across from Gate B):
    • 344 Tully Rd., San Jose
    • Saturday, January 15, through Monday, January 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
    • Tuesday, January 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • San Martin Testing Center:
    • 90 Highland Avenue, San Martin
    • Monday, January 17, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Tuesday, January 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Residents can make appointments (often same day) and find more testing locations throughout the County at www.sccfreetest.org or by calling 2-1-1. 
Santa Clara County COVID-19 Case Numbers, Hospital Capacity, and Testing Dashboards Can Be Found Here
The American Red Cross is facing a national blood crisis – its worst blood shortage in over a decade, posing a concerning risk to patient care. This crisis is also impacting us here in Santa Clara County, and throughout the Bay Area.

Blood product distributions are outpacing donations. At times, as much as one-quarter of hospital blood needs are not being met.

Please visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to schedule your blood or platelet donation appointment.


Why is this happening? The pandemic has impacted the national blood supply and the current surge in COVID-19 cases may compound the already dire situation.

The Silicon Valley Red Cross also needs indoor facilities of at least 1,500 square-feet for blood drives. Community centers, faith-based locations, schools, open conference and multi-purpose rooms, retail spaces, and hotels all work well.

If  you have an indoor facility in Santa Clara County that can be used for a Red Cross blood drive please contact Ken Toren,
 Ken.toren@redcross.org.

 
Caltrain’s annual Celebration Train will not be running on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year due the to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Foundation is offering multiple virtual events through January 17 in celebration of Dr. King's life and work.

You can also join Our City Forest in honoring Dr. King, who manifested some of America’s best values in his work, by committing to a service opportunity on January 17. This community planting will take place near the North segment of Cottonwood Lake inside Hellyer Park. You can find more information and register here.


Silicon Valley Reads 2022 kicks off this month. This year's theme is The Power of Kindness, Resilience & Hope.”

Three memoirs were selected, with each embodying this theme from a different perspective. They include:
  • See No Stranger* by Valarie Kaur: A synthesis of wisdom and a chronicle of personal and communal history, See No Stranger is part memoir, part practical guide to changing the world. Author Valarie Kaur, renowned Sikh activist, filmmaker, and civil rights lawyer, ignited the hearts of millions around the globe by sharing her compelling story and declaring Revolutionary Love as the call of our times: a radical, joyful practice that extends to others, to ourselves, and to our opponents. A #1 Los Angeles Times best seller. *adult content
  • Enough About Me by Richard Lui: Richard Lui made the difficult decision to leave his dream job as an NBC News/MSNBC anchor to help care for his ailing father in San Francisco. It was a difficult time, and through the challenge he realized that doing this selfless act had a positive overall impact on his well-being. He decided to dig deep into exploring acts of compassion from the lens of a reporter. Part scientific, part emotional, his journey is one that many will relate to.
  • A Dream Called Home by Reyna Grande: A beautifully written immigrant’s story that quickly engages the reader. Reyna crosses the border at 9 years old and perseveres through many difficulties to find her way to UC Santa Cruz. With a passion for writing and the resilience to push forward, her story enlightens us to the challenges so many confront in making a home in America.
All three award-winning authors will participate in a virtual panel discussion hosted by the Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley and moderated by Sal Pizarro of the San Jose Mercury News on Thursday, January 27th at 6:30 p.m. The authors will share their compelling stories which give hope to the future. Pre-registration is required for this event. The public can register for this free event and hundreds more at www.siliconvalleyreads.org/events.

For young readers, four books were selected to accompany the main selections. The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates (pre-K- K), The Girl in the Gold Dress by Christine Paik (1st-3rd grade), SHINE! by JJ and Chris Grabenstein (4th-8th grade),and Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorrum (High School). Schools and libraries will be hosting virtual visits from three of these authors.

This year, events will be a combination of both virtual and in-person, as guidelines allow.

Partnering with libraries, schools, and community organizations, more than 130 free events are scheduled and accessible to the public throughout the months of February and March. Events for all ages include author visits, book discussions, meditation, yoga, tai chi and compassion classes, teen conversations, arts and crafts for children, explorations of faith including a tour of the San Jose Sikh Gurdwara, story walks, art exhibits, museum tours, read alouds in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Mandarin, celebrity readings by County Supervisors, an in-person movie screening of Sky Blossom followed by a discussion with director/author Richard Lui, and many more programs around kindness, resilience, hope, and the 2022 book selections.

All are welcome and encouraged to join! See the full schedule of events and register online at www.siliconvalleyreads.org/events.

 

Be well,
 
Cindy
 
Copyright © 2022 Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, All rights reserved.


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