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County Clarifies Travel Quarantine, Talks Vaccine Distribution Plan

Today, Santa Clara County revised the mandatory 14-day travel quarantine that went into effect on Monday.

The revisited Mandatory Directive on Travel clarified that health care professionals do not need to quarantine to ensure adequate staffing at acute care hospitals and those traveling to perform essential government functions don’t need to quarantine. Additionally, essential and government employees must quarantine but can leave home to go to work if their workplace needs staffing to perform essential functions.

You do not need to quarantine if you’re just passing through and not spending the night. You don’t need to quarantine if you’re traveling into the county to obtain services from a healthcare facility that are required to quarantine. You may leave quarantine to comply with a court order or make an appearance in a court of law or administrative proceeding.

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The CDC announced new quarantine guidance today, including a 7 – 10-day quarantine instead of 14 days, but James Williams, County Counsel, said they will review the new guidance to see if they need to make any changes to the County’s quarantine directive.

Dr. Jennifer Tong, Associate Chief Medical Officer at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, announced that that the County submitted a vaccine plan to the State. The plan details vaccine management, community engagement, and distribution for doses of COVID-19 vaccine allocated to the County by the State.

“We are working closely with many partners to plan and prepare for vaccine distribution, as part of our commitment to the health and safety of the community,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer for the County of Santa Clara and Director of the Public Health Department.

The County says the initial amount of vaccine provided to the County will be limited. The County will follow the national system directing the first vaccinations to health care workers on the front lines at highest risk of contracting COVID-19. That required prioritization for the vaccine is set by the federal government, with additional guidelines from the State government.

The County’s allocation of vaccine from the State has two components:

  • The County will receive some doses directly from manufacturers for vaccinations at County-operated hospitals and other sites.
  • Certain multi-county healthcare providers will receive vaccine doses directly from manufacturers as directed by the State. The first vaccines are likely to involve complex logistics, such as ultra-cold storage, and only the sites approved by the State or County to have the capacity to manage the complex logistics will be allocated those vaccines.

When it comes to hospitalizations, Dr. Tong shared that five hospitals that traditionally serve the eastern and southern portions of the County collectively have less than a dozen ICU available, and only 44 ICU beds were available countywide. She also shared that one hospital has stopped accepting patients for elective surgeries that would require a bed.

As of Monday, Dec. 1, there were 287 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the County and a total of 1,955 hospitalized patients, filling approximately 88 percent of the total hospital bed capacity in the County.

“With a growing number of COVID-19 patients being admitted to the hospital each day, these numbers are expected to continue increasing,” said the County in a press release.

And lastly, the County also announced today that nine youth have recently tested positive for COVID-19 at Juvenile Hall and William F. James Ranch facilities, as well as four staff members.

On Saturday, Nov. 28, a youth detained in James Ranch tested positive for COVID-19 after reporting symptoms. Subsequently, on Nov. 30, a youth who was detained at Juvenile Hall also exhibited COVID-19 symptoms, was tested and confirmed positive. These are the first confirmed COVID-19 cases at these facilities.

To learn more about the County’s COVID-19 efforts, visit their website.

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