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Monday, May 11, 2020

In This Edition:

I hope this finds you well.

The costs of sheltering-in-place are all around us: the cancelled graduation ceremonies, the lost jobs, and the closed businesses, but a new report shows just how important it has been.

It estimates that the shelter-in-place order saved more than 7,400 lives in Santa Clara County during its first 45 days. It also concluded that the order reduced the number of hospital visits in the county by more than 81,000 during the same period.

The report was prepared by Drexel University’s school of public health for the Big Cities Health Coalition, a group comprised of the public health directors of the 30 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. and currently chaired by our own public health director Dr. Sara Cody.

You can see the estimates for all 30 metro areas, as well as more information about the report, here.

Sheltering-in-place for eight weeks has been extremely hard on our entire community, and we have still lost more than 125 members of our community. This report shows just how staggering the losses would have been without the decisive action by Dr. Cody and her colleagues in March. It is also a reminder of how much risk there is if we lift the order too early.
Graduation During COVID-19

Now that Mother’s Day has passed this would be the time of year when many of us would be thinking about school graduations, and how best to celebrate that accomplishment.
Sadly, there will be no large campus-wide ceremonies this month with graduates walking down the aisle and caps thrown in the air. I know this is hard for both students and their families but having large gatherings now would be just too dangerous. We have to continue to stay safe and stay healthy by maintaining social distancing.
While large graduation ceremonies cannot happen, there are ways that students can receive their diplomas from the school in the presence of members of their own household. The public health department and the Santa Clara County Office of Education have issued a set of guidelines on making that happen. They include:
  • For most schools, diploma pickup timing should be staggered to ensure social distancing can be maintained and people do not congregate
  • Limit the number of people who can accompany the student to the site, allowing only those currently living in the student’s household to attend
  • Ensure that only one family at a time approaches the graduation station where the student will receive their diploma
  • Family members and school staff need to maintain social distance from each other, spaced at least 6 feet apart. The more space the better
  • All diploma pick-ups should occur outside if at all possible
  • Diploma pickups must be done in a way that ensures there is no congregation of spectators on streets, in parking lots, or in areas surrounding the event location
You can read the full guidelines here. Each school is making their own arrangements. Check with your student’s school to see how they are handling graduation.
On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order mandating that every California voter automatically receive a postage-paid mail-in ballot for the November election.

This is great news. It follows the action the Board of Supervisors took on April 7 when my colleagues unanimously approved my recommendation that the Registrar of Voters and other County staff begin preparing for the possibility of an all mail-in November election.

Mailing ballots to every registered voter in California will go a long way towards ensuring that the election is not adversely impacted by the pandemic, as well as make it easier for all voters, especially those with limited mobility, to participate in one of our most vital rights.

You can read Governor Newsom’s order here.
San Jose’s Children’s Discovery Museum has introduced the Virtual Purple Museum during its COVID-19 closure.

The Virtual Purple Museum includes regular educational broadcasts on Facebook Live, hands-on at-home activities for kids, and resources for parents.

You can find more information and links to all of the virtual offerings here.

The Children’s Discovery Museum is one of the great places in our County for kids and they have provided a lot of activities and options in the Virtual Purple Museum. I hope you can check it out with your family.
Be well,
Santa Clara County COVID-19 Case Numbers, Hospital Capacity, and Testing Dashboards Can Be Found Here
Copyright © 2020 Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, All rights reserved.

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