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Friday, January 21, 2022

In This Edition:


I hope this finds you well.

The County of Santa Clara is offering a limited number of free at-home COVID-19 antigen tests to those who live, work, or attend school in the county, with four distribution locations opening on an appointment basis starting this Saturday, January 22, 2022. Tests are not available on a drop-in basis without an appointment.

Those who live, work, or attend school in the county may sign up through www.sccfreetest.org to obtain four at-home tests. Those able to secure an appointment may choose from one of the distribution locations for pick up at a chosen time, with the first slots available this Saturday.

Each individual will be assigned a unique QR code which must be displayed to receive the tests.

Sign-ups are done through the same www.sccfreetest.org portal used for County clinic testing, and scheduling began earlier today, with a limit of one appointment per person. Each person will receive four iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Tests. Pick-up sites are designed for drive-through operation; however, individuals can also arrive without a vehicle and get the tests so long as they have an appointment.


More than 15,000 appointments will be scheduled between January 22 and January 29. County officials will assess whether this program can be expanded based on availability of tests and the need in the community.

Each appointment will be made for one of four locations: 
•    Hellyer County Park, 985 Hellyer Ave., San José
•    Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Ave., San José
•    Vasona County Park, 333 Blossom Hill Road, Los Gatos
•    Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills (offers evening hours)


Additional kits are being distributed through the County’s outreach teams to disproportionately impacted communities, through nonprofit partner organizations, as well as to first responders and other essential workers.

You can also order at-home COVID-19 antigen tests for free from the federal government.

Up to four free at-home antigen tests per address can be ordered from www.covidtests.gov. You can also order them directly from the U.S. Postal service here

The federal government says most orders will ship within 7-12 days.


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 site – 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.

More than 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 22, through Monday, January 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
    • Tuesday, January 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • San Martin Testing Center:
    • 90 Highland Avenue, San Martin
    • Monday, January 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Tuesday, January 25, 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.

 
Second Harvest of Silicon Valley is seeing a steep decline in the number of volunteers helping them sort and distribute food. Volunteers are critical to their operations — they need your muscles to ensure much-needed food reaches our community!

Second Harvest is providing food assistance to approximately 400,000 Silicon Valley residents every month, a 60% increase over pre-pandemic levels.

If you have a few hours to spare, please consider signing up for a safe volunteer shift. You can make a real difference for our neighbors who rely on Second Harvest for nutritious groceries. Sign up to volunteer
 

The County of Santa Clara Privacy Office will host its fourth annual Data Privacy Day event as a free Zoom webinar from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Jan. 26.

The topic for this year’s virtual event is Smart Communities: Digital Connections and Privacy Protection. Smart Communities are cities, counties, and other entities that use technology such as the internet, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and similar technologies to understand and connect people to services. 

There will be two expert panels to discuss the benefits and tradeoffs of Smart Communities. Panelists will provide an overview on the fundamentals of smart technology, present examples of how these digital tools are used across the country, and explain the need to leverage smart technologies in a way that integrates personal privacy and builds public trust.

You can register for the event at https://sccgov-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_mbAcb11ySGWXTfQLd6o7aA.

For more information on the County of Santa Clara’s Privacy Office, go to https://privacy.sccgov.org or email at PrivacyOffice@sccgov.org

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


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