COVID-19 : SHUTDOWNS, BANS & MORE
With more than 79 confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases reported in Santa Clara county with more than half of those cases being suspected as "Community Transmission" cases, Santa Clara County's Public Health Officer, Dr. Sara Cody issued new directives and guidance to help contain the spread of the virus within the local Bay Area community. Here are some key takeaways:
BAN ON ALL GATHERINGS OF MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE till April 4, 2020.
The County Public Health Department issued mandatory order prohibiting public or private gatherings of more than 100 people. This order will take effect at 12:00 a.m. on March 14, 2020 and will remain in place for at least three weeks.
A “gathering” is any event or convening that brings together people in a single room or single space at the same time, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, conference room, meeting hall, cafeteria, theater, restaurant, bar, or any other confined indoor or confined outdoor space.
A “gathering” does not include normal operations at airports or spaces where persons may be in transit. It also does not include office environments; classrooms; medical offices, hospitals, or clinics; or retail, pharmacy, or grocery stores where large numbers of people may be present, but it is unusual for them to be within arm’s length of one another.
BAN ON ANY GATHERING OF 35-100 PEOPLE UNLESS CERTAIN CRITERIA ARE MET
Public Health is also banning gatherings of 35 to 100 people unless certain conditions are met to reduce the likelihood of transmission at those events.
If a gathering is necessary for essential societal functions, it is your responsibility to:
Stop anyone who is sick with fever or respiratory symptoms from attending.
Ensure that those who are at higher risk for serious illness do not attend. Provide people enough physical space so that they can stay more than arm’s length apart from others. Ensure that there are adequate supplies for hand washing including soap, paper towels, and waste receptacles and urge attendees to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used. Direct attendees to:
Avoid close contact with other people.
Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth.
Cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue - if available - or into their elbow.
Clean surfaces with disinfecting wipes or other standard cleaners before, during, and after the event.
CLOSURE OF ALL SCHOOLS IN SANTA CLARA COUNTY FOR THREE WEEKS
In order to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and "Flatten the Curve" of transmission within the local Bay area community and so as to not overwhelm healthcare facilities, the County Superintendent of Schools and all district superintendents in the County have decided to close schools to students for three weeks beginning Monday, March 16, 2020. This school closure is designed to provide schools with the time needed to create long-term plans to operate in ways that facilitate social distancing, provide all necessary hygiene and cleaning supplies, ensure adequate staff time and resources to follow public health guidance, and create plans to address the possibility that a significant portion of their staff will need to stay home sick if they contract COVID-19. Although children have not shown to be in a high risk group for the COVID-19 virus, these measures were necessary to mitigate the possibilities of community transmission. The County Superintendent recognizes the negative effect of school closures on children and their families and also upon the groups of students who rely heavily on services being made available through the school system and hence the following guidance has been issued:
Guidance for All Schools in Light of Closure:
The County Office of Education and local school districts are working to provide support to students and families during the period they are closed. Even when closed, we expect schools to do all they can to:
Continue to provide free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch to all eligible students;
Continue to provide academic instruction to students who are at home, including those who have no access to the internet, computers, or school supplies;
Provide parents with resources to appropriately support the education, development, and wellbeing of students; and
Provide families with resources regarding access to emergency childcare, particularly in families where parents are healthcare providers or are otherwise providing essential services to the community.
UPDATED GUIDANCE TO EMPLOYERS/ WORKPLACES & BUSINESSES
Employers are responsible for taking steps to make it more feasible for their employees to work in ways that minimize close contact with large numbers of people.
This guidance is designed to both protect employees and all members of the public with whom they come into contact at work.
Employers should immediately:
Ensure employees who are sick do not come to work.
Suspend nonessential employee travel.
Minimize the number of employees working within arm's length of one another.
Cancel all large in-person meetings and conferences, or hold them via telephone or video conference.
Comcast is offering FREE internet during this difficult time to low income households and also bolstering internet connectivity bandwidth in several areas to help the community stay connected virtually during the time of “social distancing”.
Starting Monday, Comcast is putting in place two program enhancements to help low-income families.
Here is the breakdown on the packages:
Low-income families in the Comcast service area can sign up for 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month.Also, we are increasing Internet speeds for the Internet Essentials service from 15/2 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps for all new and existing customers, which will be the speed of the service going forward.
To sign up, applicants can simply visit www.internetessentials.com. There are also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.
To stay informed and be in the know, tune into Radio Dehotties every morning 9am and 5pm (1310AM/92.9FM) and streaming 24/7 on www.radiodehotties.com.
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