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Coronavirus  Update -4/3/2020
Newsletter interns: Anika Jain, Nicole Lu
The Coronavirus Info Page

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Reality Check with RIshi Weekday Podcast Series@6:30pm

WEEKDAY VIDEOCAST @6:30pm PST. Meeting link
Email RIshi if you have an interesting topic to discuss at this podcast

#RealityCheckwithRIshi Weekday Podcast Series@6:30pm. We have been talking about coronavirus and how we come to grips with the new reality of shelter in place, the social distancing, new norms. We see many examples of how we are pivoting to survive or set a new course in an ever evolving world, more so today than perhaps any other time in our lives.

With adversity there is opportunity. We also also discuss how neighbors are helping neighbors during this pandemic with the launch of the Neighborhood Pandemic Preparedness Team (NPPT). We are empowering neighbors to take charge - become neighborhood leaders- and help with the challenges that the pandemic is throwing our way.


3/30 Political Monday. Topic: Cullen Tierman discusses a presidential campaign experience

3/31 Health Tuesday. Topic: Coronavirus town hall meeting #4 with healthcare practitioners

RSVP at to attend

- Dr Surabhi Narayan MD,  Geriatrician, hospice physician

Department quality lead , department of continuing care

- Dr. Rajesh Behl, M.D., Award Winning Cancer Specialist, Sutter Health

- Dr. Srimathi Venkataraman Associate chief of psychiatry Santa Clara Kaiser Permanente, Geriatric Psychiatrist

- Dr. Parimala Selvan, Chief of Geriatrics and continuing care Redwood city Kaiser Permanente, Geriatrician

4/1 Wellness Wednesday Topic: Kelvin Lwin, Seeker of ancient wisdom relevant to the modern era

4/2 Tech Thursday Topic: Meet Dave Holt, Principal @ Dave Holt Consulting, Our innovation economy in the "After Coronavirus" world

4/3 Family Friday Topic: A youth policy discussion


4/6 Political Monday with community leader Yogi Chugh community engagement and activism and the call to action for us now to work as “one community” in handling the impacts of Covid 19

4/7 Health Tuesday Topic: Coronavirus town hall meeting #5 with healthcare practitioners

4/8 Wellness Wednesday with Simi Arora Building Resilience during Anxious Times

4/9 Tech Thursday with Navin Chaddha, Mayfield Ventures discusses the future of Silicon Valley innovation after Coronavirus.

4/19 Family Friday - Fun family games

Sheltered in Place - what can you do and what you should not

Express your love for our healthcare professionals

Our health care workers are contributing and taking care of Americans during this pandemic.They are all at risk, but they are doing whatever they can and it is time to recognize their selfless efforts and their great work.

Can we show our love?  Create a piece of art and email what you create to and we will publish it online and on social media.

Here are suggestions:
- Please post on social media appreciating their yeoman service. You could make a powerpoint slide with some words and color, take a screenshot and upload it on social media. Make sure you tag “Rishi Kumar” on your social media posting.
- Children at home can use their creativity to create colorful and artistic placards and display on their windows, on lawns, windows, walls

Host a Block Party for your neighbors

How about organizing a neighborhood block party since everyone is home anyway? We just ran one in our neighborhood and it was a huge success. Below is the suggested email you can send to your neighbors. Go to and establish a free zoom account and send the zoom link below for the video meeting or you can use a meeting link I have established for you.
As we walk around the neighborhood - maintaining the social distancing, we see many new faces…or perhaps we haven’t seen each other for long

So how about a block party ??

WHEN: Date and time

WHERE: Zoom online meeting

Bring out the appetizers and your favorite drinks, park yourselves on your favorite chair (in your backyard) and let us have our block party

Here is the meeting link  (or create your own zoom account and include details below)

To join this video call, click on this link

If you are camera shy, just call 301 715 8592 or 929 205 6099 and use meeting id 545-373-5113 to dial in with audio only.

Let us chat about being sheltered in place, a few stories of how neighbors are helping each other, and bond with our neighbors


Take the Online Screening Now

If you have any symptoms, you can screen yourself now for Coronavirus 

This link takes you to Project Baseline, an online health-information platform run by Google subsidiary Verily,. This pilot web site offers COVID-19 risk screening and testing for high-risk individuals. The site is limited to residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties only.

Here is another option for an online test

Resources to Answer Your Questions


The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with world public health. They have both up-to-date situation reports on cases around the globe, plus a list of widely circulating coronavirus myths.


JAMA is a peer-reviewed medical journal published by the American Medical Association. They currently have studies on coronavirus, including a report on 72,000 cases from China's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The CDPH is the state department responsible for public health in California and enforces some of the laws In the California Health and Safety Codes. Updates on the latest cases in California and what the state is doing to protect the public as well as answers to commonly asked questions about the virus are available here and information on state guidance on preparedness for schools is available here.

Unemployment Help

If you are unable to work due to having or being exposed to the Coronavirus, you can file a Disability Insurance claim here: EDD Disability Insurance claim.

If your hours have been reduced or your employer has shut down operations due to Coronavirus, you can file an Unemployment Insurance claim here: EDD Unemployment Insurance claim.

If you are working fewer hours or not working because your child's school is closed and you need to care for them, you can file an Unemployment Insurance claim here: EDD Unemployment Insurance claim.


These are a few of the news sites working hard to cover the coronavirus: The New York Times, Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The San Francisco Chronicle. SFGATE is a free news service and has a new page dedicated to coronavirus updates.


The CDC is is the leading national public health institute of the United States and has a wealth of information including virus facts that cover symptoms and what to do if you're sick, tips on preventing spread, answers to commonly asked questions and updates on cases in the United States (Note: This page may not be up-to-date with all patients in the country with positive tests.)


MedlinePlus provides health information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.


The FDA is a federal agency responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the control and supervision of everything from medications to vaccines. The agency has updates on coronavirus' impact on the medical supply chain, as well as updates on medical countermeasures, vaccines and therapies.

Difference between EIDL and PPP

Pandemic Leadership

Corona-gate presents the ultimate leadership test. Op-Ed piece by John Kao in San Jose Mercury news March 10, 2020.
What is good leadership in a crisis?

  1. Contextual intelligence for timely action e.g Fighter pilots who excel in Observe, Orient, Decide and Act
  2. Moral Intelligence - Being clear about values that shape our purpose. Example Leadership that takes charge in protecting ife
  3. Social Intelligence - Our values in how we interact with others
  4. Moral Intelligence - How we influence others beyond our authority to compel
  5. Generative Intelligence - Birth new ideas and realize value from them. Example, drive through Coronavirus testing in South Korea. Includes New technological offering
  6. Transformative Intelligence - Create and drive a roadmap for change that motivates people to act and align efforts.

Good leadership on crisis means combining all of the above

“Prayer for a Pandemic” by Dr. Cameron Wiggins Bellm of Seattle, Washington

May we who are merely inconvenienced

Remember those whose lives are at stake

May we who have no risk factors

Remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home

Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close

Remember those who have no options.

May we who have had to cancel our trips

Remember those that have no safe place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market

Remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home

Remember those who have no home.

As fear grips our country,

Let us choose love.

During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,

Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.

How can I help my neighbor? How can I become a neighborhood hero?

Join the Neighborhood Pandemic Preparedness Team (NPPT)

Join the NPPT team that is helping neighbors and doing our bit to deal with this Coronavirus crisis.

Join hundreds of our volunteers who are helping their neighbors during this pandemic.

Agenda: You will get trained with our Neighborhood Pandemic Preparedness Program.

Here are current NPPT activities


Join the Neighborhood Pandemic Preparedness Team (NPPT)

Join the NPPT team that is helping neighbors and doing our bit to deal with this Coronavirus crisis.

Sign-up today at (search for NPPT, fill the form and submit) and we will invite you to get trained. We will help you launch a NPPT in your neighborhood. We conduct daily noon training sessions. Join the NPPT team and together let us take a proactive approach to this crisis.

      In the face of the increasingly serious Covid-19 pandemic, many people are wondering what they can do to help themselves and their neighbors get through. How about joining the Neighborhood Pandemic Preparedness Teams, or NPPTs, made up of community volunteers and modeled after the Neighborhood Safety Watch Program and the Emergency Preparedness programs. The premise being that we are all in this together and can do our bit. We must look out for each-other, especially for our seniors, who are the most vulnerable. We are asking neighborhood leadership teams to get involved and take charge. Our volunteers are calling neighbors if we can help with picking up groceries or medications. Face-to-face contact is of course discouraged in favor of posting “I can help” emails on  neighborhood email groups/NextDoor. Some of our neighbors may be off the grid and our volunteer team is even dropping a flyer at their doors.

We are currently piloting many projects under NPPT.

Please do take the coronavirus survey to provide us your input

Sign-up today at (search for NPPT, fill the form and submit) and get trained. We will help you launch a NPPT in your neighborhood. We conduct daily noon training sessions. Join the NPPT team and together let us take a proactive approach to this crisis.

Stories of neighbors helping neighbors

Paula gets the help from her immediate neighbor. Paula was delighted when she found the grocery bag sitting on her porch. "It was a wonderful service for our household of 70 somethings to get groceries delivered today by a volunteer! With our shopping list,  she got what we needed and delivered it to the porch where I had set out the cash reimbursement. We are now set for many more days! I hope more people who are sheltering in place (our middle-aged children are insisting on it!) use the service. It's a way to make this big metropolitan area feel like a small, friendly neighborhood."

Chinese American seniors from Saratoga get the help I want to say a big thank you to a few people. I posted here a few days ago, asking if anyone knows of a network like this in Saratoga because my 78-year-old uncle was going out everyday to pick up his lunch from the senior center. Dublin Vice Mayor Arun Goel reached out to me and offered to connect me with Saratoga City Council Member Rishi Kumar for Congress 2020. Long story short, Councilman Kumar was able to arrange for his community volunteers to work with the Sunnyvale Senior Center to deliver these daily lunches to seniors in the area. I can't tell you how much seniors like my uncle rely on these delicious and healthy meals. My uncle already received his first delivery today. Thank you to everyone for pulling this together so quickly so we can keep our beloved seniors safe.

How Coronavirus Spreads

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Building masks and donating them to healthcare professionals
The Neighborhood Pandemic Preparedness team requests your help to build masks for our healthcare professionals? Here is how you can help

These masks will be donated to Valley Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente.

Visit, scroll down all the way to the bottom of this page and submit the form, and our volunteer team will get in touch with you. Join our daily noon call and we will train you.

You can support the County of Santa Clara Health System by donating funds or supplies. They are currently accepting donations of new supplies for hospital staff, including personal protective equipment, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and other items.

Donate your masks to medical professionals

Medical Center is currently accepting NEW supplies for use by hospital staff. These supplies include personal protective equipment (i.e. N95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, gowns), disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and other items. To see a complete list, click here.

Donations can be delivered to our office between the hours of Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at 2400 Clove Drive, San Jose (on the campus of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center). Questions? Call 408-885-5299 or email

From an ER Doctor. If you have extra gloves, masks, N95 masks, Lysol wipes, purell.... Please give them to a doctor or a hospital. I'll graciously accept them. We need them desperately. And you'll be at home anyways. Do NOT hoard them at home. Treat your healthcare workers like limited resources too. Too many doctors are getting sick. We've been reusing masks for multiple shifts.. you'll be fine with only one at home too.

Free Delivery from CVS
Follow this link

Virtual Tours

Here  Take a look at just some of Google’s top museums that are offering online tours and exhibits. Museums around the world are also sharing their most zen art on social media to help people cope with staying home. And if that's not enough culture for you, New York's Metropolitan Opera will be offering free digital shows every night at 7:30 p.m. from March 16 through March 22

Tax Deadlines Postponed to July 15th

Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers

In accordance with this order, the State Public Health Officer has designated the following list of

“Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to help state, local, tribal, and industry partners as they work to protect communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.

How to Practice Social Distancing

For the new guidelines released by the White House, click here.

For clarifications and FAQ on social distancing, click here.

Gardener and Pool Service

The most recent order mentions this in allowed services

xiii.   Arborists, landscapers, gardeners, and similar service professionals, but only to the limited extent necessary to maintain the habitability, sanitation, operation of businesses or residences, or the safety of residents, employees, or the public (such as fire safety or tree trimming to prevent a dangerous condition), and not for cosmetic or other purposes (such as upkeep);

Utility Consumer Protections During California COVID-19 Outbreak

You will not have power turned off, or lose water, phone or broadband service during the coronavirus crisis, thanks to CPUC's ruling. If you have difficulty paying PG&E bill, call 1-800-743-5000. Broadband providers are lifting their data caps to help us all. VTA will not be collecting fares from riders for the duration of the crisis. Express Lanes on Interstates 580 and 680 and 237 are free.

Financial Assistance for Low-Income Residents Affected by COVID-19

Financial Assistance for Low-Income Residents Impacted by COVID-19 - apply here

The Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System has temporary financial assistance available to help low-income residents who have lost income and are unable to pay rent as a result of COVID-related impacts.

The COVID-19 Financial Assistance program is an initiative of the Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System. Your application may be processed by any of the nonprofit partner agencies that participate in this system.

Who Is Eligible for Assistance? To qualify for assistance, you must meet all 3 criteria outlined below:

1. You must be a resident of Santa Clara County

2. Your household income must be less than 80% of the average median income (AMI):

Size of Household: Maximum Income

- 1 person $72,750

- 2 people $83,150

- 3 people $93,550

- 4 people $103,900

- 5 people $112,250

- 6 people $120,550

- 7 people $128,850

- 8 people $137,150

3. You must have a documented loss of income related to COVID-19 impacts due to health, employment, or school/child care closures


Households will need to submit basic documentation to verify eligibility, including: ID, income verification, and documentation of the COVID-19 related loss of income.

4. For more information on who qualifies please click on the following link Covid19 FAQs.…/Covid19-Finanical-Assistance-Ap…

What will Eligible Households Receive?

Eligible households will receive direct financial assistance, based on documented loss of income as a result of COVID-19 impacts, up to a maximum of $4,000 of lost income per month. Assistance may be requested once per month for the duration of the public health emergency, as long as the household continues to experience an economic impact and funds are available. Basic information and referral to area services will also be available for households.

If you have questions about how to complete this application, please call 408-780-9134 or email:

In-person: Appointments can also be arranged by calling the hotline.

Donate to Silicon Valley Residents Affected by COVID-19


The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is already hurting so many Silicon Valley residents. Particularly hard hit are those families and individuals who can least afford a medical or financial crisis. The Silicon Valley Strong Fund - a partnership between the City of San José and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation - will work to address these economic impacts.

Now is the time for residents, businesses, and the government to partner together to help. Please give generously! To give to this initiative, follow the instructions below:

Silicon Valley Strong

Go to:

Click on the "Donate" button

Select the option to "Use this donation for residents."

Thank you for joining with us to protect vulnerable residents. We are all in this together.

What can you donate to Valley Medical Center?

“We are currently accepting new supplies for use by hospital and clinic staff and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Hospital & Clinics, O’Connor Hospital and St. Louise Regional Hospital.  These supplies include personal protective equipment (i.e. N95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, gowns), disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and other items.  Review the list below for details.  Equivalent supplies from other manufacturers will be accepted.  Any quantity, including very large amounts, are accepted.  No opened boxes or materials past use date/expired, please.”

Click here to donate.

Where to get a Coronavirus Test in the Bay Area

List of Bay Area locations where testing is available:

-Kaiser Permanente

-Stanford Medicine


-John Muir Health

-Carbon Health


-Hayward Fire Station

-One Medical

-Sutter Health

-Verily (the life sciences arm of Google)

For more info:

D.I.Y. Handsanitizer

Home-made sanitizers, such as these versions in USA Today, the Oregonian and the Verge, all share the same basic formula. Here are the ingredients:

—1/3 cup of aloe vera gel

—2/3 cup of 99% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)

—Mixing bowl

—A spoon or whisk

—A clean, empty container, like a plastic travel bottle or a pump bottle.

Safety Precautions when Dealing with Groceries

Should I keep my groceries in the garage or on the porch for 3 days?

This is patently ridiculous. Are you really going to keep your milk, your ice cream, your deli meats outside for three days? This also has very important food safety implications. This sounds like a recipe for disaster, or at the very least spoiled food.

There is a tiny nugget of truth in this advice, because we know that the virus is slowly inactivated at room temperature, with a half-life of about eight hours. But this advice presumes that all groceries are contaminated, and that simply touching the groceries will make you sick, neither of which are true.

Do I really need to disinfect all of the individual boxes & baggies everything came in?

I think that this is also advice that does not make scientific sense. If you are concerned about the outside of food packages being contaminated, I suggest that you wash your hands and/or sanitize your hands before you sit down to eat any food that you might've taken out of those containers. And guess what, washing your hands before you eat is a best practice even when we're not in a pandemic!

Washing fresh produce with soap? Soap should absolutely not be used to wash food. Soap is not designed for food. As mentioned in the linked thread, soap can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea if ingested.

Current recommendations by scientific experts, including the FDA, say to wash fresh fruits and vegetables in cold water. See my earlier answer for more details.

Are reusable bags risky?

Many people use reusable bags as a responsible choice. We do this in my family as well. It's a best practice (even before the times of pandemic) to wash your reusable bags on a regular basis.

While it is theoretically possible that a reusable bag may pick up germs, including coronavirus while in the grocery store, the biggest threat that anyone faces is someone else in the store who has COVID-19. I would suggest that you keep your grocery bags in the car, so you have them handy the next time you go shopping.

If you're concerned that your bags might have coronavirus on them, you can wash them. You should also wash your hands after you have finished putting all your groceries away. This was also good advice even before pandemic.

What I can do to reduce risk when grocery shopping?

Many grocery stores are offering hand sanitizers at the entrance, and are offering to sanitize grocery carts. Both great ideas, and customers should take advantage if available.

My other advice is to make a list, and know what you want, and move quickly and efficiently through the store, picking out the items on your list.

Practice appropriate social distancing, trying your best to keep 6 feet (1.8 metres) away from other shoppers. If there is hand sanitizer available, I also use it when I'm exiting the store, and then I'll use it again at home once I've finished putting all my groceries away and returning my reusable shopping bags to the car.

Donald Schaffner is a microbiologist and expert on food safety from Rutgers University.

This expert response was published in partnership with independent fact-checking platform Read all responses to the question here.

Senior Store Hour

Safeway: 7am - 9am on Tuesday and Thursday of every week (some stores open at 6am)

Target: First hour of every Wednesday

Walmart: One hour before stores open to general public on every Tuesday

Whole Foods: First hour every day

Online Learning options for your child at home

High School seniors

AP Updates

SAT Updates

ACT Updates

Virtual High Schools are Coming

Many school districts are working to set up a plan for online learning to support all students

A Family Virtual Vacation

Need to Get Outside? These 5 National Parks Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take From the Comfort of Home

Online College Admissions Webinar
In wake of this pandemic and current “ shelter in place” situations people are not able to get back to routine. Here is a free webinar for high school parents about “ college admission roadmap”

Why not educate yourself during this interim period and start researching schools
Zoom webinar on March 24 from 6:30- 7:30 PM

Declutter and Organize
100 Best Organizing Tips for the Tidiest Home Ever

How to Store Your Winter Clothes

10 Marie Kondo Organization Tips That Will Change Your Life

31 fun family games

Here is a great link.
Download fun game apps such as:

 - Heads Up

 - Family Feud Live

 - Fibbage

 - Piccolo

Adult Party Games...Game night at home every night

Here is a link to explore which has game recommendations.

Housing and Homelessness

If you are low-income and need assistance to stay housed, the Homelessness Prevention System (HPS) program provides temporary financial assistance (e.g. rent, deposit, or utilities payment) to low-income families or individuals who are struggling to maintain their housing. You can also visit 2-1-1 for homeowner, tenant, and landlord assistance.

If you are a San José State University student who is being affected by campus closure, and need assistance for housing and resources, please contact SJSU Cares.

If you are experiencing homelessness and your access to resources are being affected by Coronavirus, please check out shelter services with: City of San Jose's Homelessness Response Team, CityTeam, and Sacred Heart.

Online Groceries


Please be aware that there have been reports of people going door or door pretending to test for the COVID-19 virus. There is NO legitimate agency or organization that is doing this and this is likely an attempt at a distraction burglary. Note this as an information for awareness. Unfortunately, some people will try and take advantage of the current situation.

See the picture below, reportedly from Stockton, of such scammers, con artists, who pretend to be testing for COVID-19. It could happen anywhere. If someone comes to your door saying they are testing for this, close your door, DO NOT let them inside your home for any reason and immediately call the police.

Here are resources for Small Businesses affected

A number of measures are being passed or implemented by the state government to support workers and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These resources include access to capital and lost wages and mortgage and tax deferments.

The Work Sharing Program is offered to companies as an alternative to layoffs. They allow employees to receive unemployment benefits while still keeping their current jobs. A number of requirements must be met in order for companies to be eligible for the program, including hours and wages being reduced by between 10% to 60%.

Small Businesses Resources

Here is a list of resources available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The list includes Federal, State, Local, Nonprofits, and Private resources.
List from CA State Treasurer Fiona Ma’s office

Small Businesses Survival - Webinar

The COVID-19 Small Business Survival Q & A recordings are now available on the Alameda County Small Business Development Center website. Please visit the following link to access the recordings. ZOOM Seminars

 Please note the questions from the sessions are being compiled and will be placed online. Please visit our Helpful Links and Tools page under Resources for more details. (

Defense Production Act - we need equipment

Yesterday, the President invoked the Defense Production Act of 1950, which gives him the authority to incentivize companies to make products deemed necessary to combat nationwide threats.

We need more life-saving ventilators, respirators, and personal protective equipment for our healthcare professionals - and manufacturers in Texas can help us achieve this.

Disaster Loan? Zero Interest Bridge Loan?

The US Small Business Administration made Santa Clara County eligible for Small Business Disaster Loan Assistance (PDF) to provide relief from COVID-19 impacts. They can also connect eligible businesses and nonprofits with resources to help prepare the loan paperwork.

If your business has suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus, you can apply for a low-interest federal disaster loan.

New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin has canvassed experts and concluded that the best approach would be a zero-interest “bridge loan” to all businesses and self-employed people as long as they keep most of their workers on staff. It is probably the right course of action, massively expensive but cheaper than a full-blown Great Depression.
Is something coming to California soon? Please email

Assistance for Small Businesses

The application can be submitted now.

“The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.”


VIDEOS: Town Hall Meetings and Info on CORONAVIRUS

Here are our video archives:


Service for Seniors

IAMFINE.COM supports the fight to cope with COVID-19 with Free service

With the global spread of coronavirus, many people are being asked to help protect themselves and their communities through self-isolation. This can be an especially frightening prospect for elderly people that live alone.

Iamfine is announcing that as of today, it is waiving its fees for new customers as its way of supporting the fight to cope with the spread of the virus.

         Iamfine is an automated daily phone check-in service that calls a person who lives alone once or twice a day at a predetermined time and prompts them to press 1 to confirm they are ok. If they miss their scheduled check-in, then I Am Fine will alert the user's list of friends and family and others by email, text or a call.

         “Does anybody know that I am ok?” This can be a real concern for the elderly who are now being asked to socially distance themselves from their community. Iamfine provides the reassurance that their list of prearranged contacts will be alerted if they miss their check-in call even if they can not be in close contact.

         Iamfine was created by two brothers caring for their mother in 2012, and has since grown to deliver over 1 million calls. It provides service directly to the public and to organizations that are responsible for the wellbeing of larger groups.

         For more information on how I Am Fine can assist you or your community, visit and use code APRIL2020.

Flushing Issues

Let us keep things simple please. Only TP is flushed, nothing else - “Flushing wipes, paper towels and similar products down toilets will clog sewers and cause backups and overflows at wastewater treatment facilities, creating an additional public health risk in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Even wipes labeled “flushable” will clog pipes and interfere with sewage collection and treatment throughout the state.”

Report Price Gouging

No price gouging please during California’s declared state of emergency. If you are a victim, report it with the District Attorney’s Office Consumer Protection Unit at (408) 792-2880

How to Get Tested for the Coronavirus in the Bay Area

If you’ve got mild cold-like symptoms, stay home and self-isolate. You’re not a priority for scarce testing.

If you’ve got moderate to severe symptoms, or if your illness worsens, you can get a test – especially if you’re over 65, have underlying medical problems, had contact with a known case or recently traveled outside the U.S. Your doctor will coordinate your testing through a local community clinic, emergency room or drive-through test site. If necessary, you’ll be hospitalized.”

US Faces Shortage of Ventilators and other Medical Supplies

Inadequate supplies of protective masks, ventilators, intensive care beds and other medical resources are forcing mass closures of schools and businesses and restrictions on everyday activities as public officials rush to slow the virus so America’s medical system isn’t overwhelmed.”

Total Cost of Covid-19 Treatment

“A few days later, Askini got the bills for her testing and treatment: $34,927.43.”

“Public health experts predict that tens of thousands and possibly millions of people across the United States will likely need to be hospitalized for COVID-19 in the foreseeable future. And Congress has yet to address the problem. On March 18, it passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which covers testing costs going forward, but it doesn’t do anything to address the cost of treatment.”

America’s healthcare system is vulnerable: U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has speculated that vaccines might not be affordable to all and dismissed the idea of using price supports to ensure that poor people would have access to the vaccine despite taxpayers funding of this vaccine project. Will America be selective in who we protect and are we really willing to create exposure for the whole population as a result? A significant healthcare issue can bring the economy down to its knees while wiping out a large population group as well.

Dianne Feinstean and 3 of her Senate Colleagues Sold off Stocks before the Coronavirus Crash

“The report said the transactions involved a significant percentage of the senator’s holdings and took place about a week before the impact of the virus outbreak sent stock prices plunging to the point where gains made during President Trump’s term in office were largely erased.”

Coronavirus Stimulus Package Spurs a Lobbying Gold Rush

The lobbyists have always had easy access and now they are making sure that they get the fair share. Coronavirus or not - they are hard at work.

“While the halls of the Capitol are eerily quiet, lobbyists are burning up the phone lines and flooding email inboxes trying to capitalize on the stimulus bills moving quickly through Congress. President Trump has already signed into law a coronavirus relief package including funds to provide sick leave, unemployment benefits, free coronavirus testing and food and medical aid to people affected by the pandemic.”

Coronavirus Stock Market Crash

Goldman Sachs now says US GDP will shrink 24% next quarter amid the coronavirus pandemic - which would be 2.5 times bigger than any decline in history.”

Goldman Sachs dramatically cut its US economic forecast and is now expecting gross domestic product to decline by 24% in the second quarter of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. A drop of that size would be a record, nearly 2 1/2 times the 10% drop seen in 1958.”

Coronavirus Puts Real Estate on Brink of Collapse

“When real estate tycoons trash talk their own market, you know something’s wrong.

Tom Barrack, the Los Angeles real estate tycoon, has a stark review of the commercial property market amid the coronavirus economic meltdown.

‘On the brink of collapse.’”

Younger Adults Make up a Big Portion of Hospitalizations in U.S.

“New C.D.C. data shows that nearly 40 percent of patients sick enough to be hospitalized were aged 20 to 54. But the risk of dying was significantly higher in older people.”

American adults of all ages — not just those in their 70s, 80s and 90s — are being seriously sickened by the coronavirus, according to a report on nearly 2,500 of the first recorded cases in the United States.”

How South Korea Crushed the Coronavirus

America’s leadership, especially Trump, took a very different approach to the coronavirus outbreak illustrated in a new Reuters report. While South Korea quickly developed tests and sent them out to nearly 300,000 of citizens over the past seven weeks, officials in the U.S. have still only issued about 60,000 tests — including the faulty ones initially sent out by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Meanwhile, Trump repeatedly lied about the outbreak and downplayed the danger the new coronavirus posed, wrongfully claiming that it would vanish on its own or calling it a hoax propagated by Democrats and the media.”

Bidet Sales Soar

But the behavior has now given rise to a whole new consumer craze: Americans are buying bidets in droves. The hygienic toilet fixture that has been de rigueur in European countries for ages is finally making a splash stateside.

“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we’re seeing record-breaking traffic and sales with no signs of slowing down,” a spokesperson for bidet manufacturer BioBidet told Yahoo Lifestyle.”

Santa Clara Convention Center is a Coronavirus Hospital

“The city of Santa Clara is transforming its convention center into a temporary hospital for up to 250 COVID-19 patients with non-emergency symptoms who may need it. The space is stocked with beds and enough medical supplies and medicine for at least three days.”

Lost Sense of Smell Indicates Coronavirus

Doctor groups are recommending testing and isolation for people who lose their ability to smell and taste, even if they have no other symptoms.”

Anosmia, the loss of sense of smell, and ageusia, an accompanying diminished sense of taste, have emerged as peculiar telltale signs of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and possible markers of infection.”

FDA Offers New Test that can Detect Coronavirus in 45 minutes

The US Food and Drug Administration announced it has authorized the use of the first rapid diagnostic test that could detect the novel coronavirus in approximately 45 minutes.

The authorization was made Friday and tests will begin shipping next week, according to a statement from California-based Cepheid, the company manufacturing the tests.”

Malaria Pill Could Potentially Treat Coronavirus

A malaria pill from the 1940s has caught the eyes of doctors, analysts, and even Elon Musk as a potential coronavirus treatment.”

“The drug is chloroquine, a widely prescribed anti-malaria pill that was first approved in the US in 1949. Early laboratory research and anecdotal reports about using it for people with COVID-19 have shown encouraging signs that it may work to fight the virus.”

“A nationwide trial is underway to see if the drug hydroxychloroquine can prevent disease in people exposed to the novel coronavirus. A second trial will test to see if the drug can prevent severe disease in people who are already showing COVID-19 symptoms.”

James Dyson’s 15,000 Ventilators for the Pandemic Fight

James Dyson designed a new ventilator in 10 days. He's making 15,000 for the pandemic fight.

Dyson has received an order from the UK government for 10,000 ventilators to support efforts by the country's National Health Service to treat coronavirus patients.

James Dyson, the company's billionaire founder, confirmed the order in a letter to employees shared with CNN on Wednesday.

How Coronavirus Compares to Other Pandemics

*Mortality Rate = percentage of people who die from the disease

**R naught = number of people the disease spreads to per one infected person

Coronavirus Mortality Rate*: 4.5%

Coronavirus R naught**: 5 people

2009 H1N1 Mortality Rate: 0.02%

2009 H1N1 R naught: 1.5 people

1918 Flu Pandemic Mortality Rate: 2.5%

1918 Flu Pandemic R naught: 1.8 people

SARS Mortality Rate: 10%

SARS R naught: 2 to 5

MERS Mortality Rate: 35%

MERS R naught: 0.5 people

Measles Mortality Rate: unclear

Measles R naught: 12 to 18

Ebola Mortality Rate: about 2

Ebola R naught: exceeds 50%

Abbott Launches Test to Detect Novel Coronavirus in 5 minutes

“ABBOTT PARK, Ill., March 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the fastest available molecular point-of-care test for the detection of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), delivering positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes. The test will run on the company's ID NOW platform, providing rapid results in a wide range of healthcare settings such as physicians' offices, urgent care clinics and hospital emergency departments.”

Estimate for How Many Can Die from the Coronavirus in the Bay Area

“On Friday, Santa Clara County Executive Jeff Smith, who has a medical degree and whose job includes overseeing the county’s public health department, blasted San Jose officials for unveiling a controversial projection that the virus would kill 2,000, even with the most stringent social distancing. Up to 16,000 would die, the city reported, if nothing was done to stop the spread.”

Tesla Ships Free Ventilators around the World

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is offering to ship to hospitals a critical piece of medical equipment in short supply during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic: ventilators.

‘We have extra FDA-approved ventilators,’ Musk wrote on Twitter this week. ‘Will ship to hospitals worldwide within Tesla delivery regions. Device & shipping cost are free.’

Ventilators are life-saving devices that assist breathing, an especially critical device for treating a respiratory infection such as COVID-19.

These ventilators were purchased by Tesla from China. ‘China had an oversupply, so we bought 1,255 FDA-approved ResMed, Philips & Medtronic ventilators,’ Musk said.”

Palo Alto CEO Forfeits his Salary to Prevent Layoffs

Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora said Tuesday on CNBC that he will forfeit his salary and maintain staff as part of the network security provider’s coronavirus response plan.

‘We have committed to no COVID-19 layoffs in our company because people are very insecure, people are concerned about whether they’ll have a job once this economic thing comes back around,’ he said in a ‘Mad Money interview.

To take it a step further, Arora said he, the company and the company’s board would contribute a total of $4 million to a fund to support wage earners, such as cafeteria and security staff, and has asked employees to donate up to $1 million to the pot.”

Rishi Kumar: “These are stories that tell me that ‘we will get through.’”

CDC Considers Sending Memos to the Public to Wear Facemasks

Masks will be the new norm soon:

“Federal officials debating whether to recommend that face coverings be routinely worn in public are responding to increasing evidence that infected people without symptoms can spread the coronavirus, according to internal memos provided to the White House by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Simple cloth masks that cover the mouth and nose can prevent virus transmission from such individuals when they are out buying groceries or seeking medical care, according to the memos obtained by The Washington Post.”

Update: It is official! Wear masks!

Bay Area Officials urge residents to wear face masks or coverings in fight against coronavirus.

Beijing Comes out of a 2 Month Coronavirus Lockdown

“Beijing is emerging from a roughly two-month coronavirus lockdown, forcing people to adapt to a new way of life. WSJ’s Julie Wernau shows us how she’s changed her daily routine to protect herself from the virus.”

Bay Area Prevents Coronavirus Surges in 2 weeks of Social Isolation

“SAN FRANCISCO — State leaders and doctors are cautiously optimistic that the Bay Area's early moves to lock down residents two weeks ago have prevented surges of coronavirus patients from overwhelming the region's health care capacity thus far.”

6 Million Unemployment Claims Last Week

“The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits shot to a record high of more than 6 million last week as more jurisdictions enforced stay-at-home measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic, which economists say has pushed the economy into recession.”

FAQ from Santa Clara County
Source is here and here

Questions about Sheltering in Place

What does it mean to “shelter in place?”

The term “shelter in place” means to stay in your home and not leave unless necessary for one of the exceptions listed in the Order (discussed more below).

What is the difference between “sheltering in place” and “social distancing”?

Sheltering in place is a more rigorous form of social distancing.

Sheltering in place means you:

You should also maintain 6 foot distance from other people as much as possible, wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds each time (or use hand sanitizer), frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces, and stay home if you are sick.

Can I leave home to visit friends or family members if there is no urgent need or I am not performing an essential activity?

No.  For your safety as well as their safety, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.

Can I still get my mail and deliveries?

Yes.  You will still be able to get mail and other deliveries at your home.

Can I still order the things I need online and have them delivered to my residence?

Yes.  Businesses that deliver goods or services directly to residences are “essential businesses” that may continue to operate.

Can I go out to do laundry or have my laundry done?

Yes.  Maintain social distancing.

Can I get my prescriptions or other health care needs?  Can I leave home to go to the pharmacy to get my prescription filled?

Yes.  Drug stores and other medical supply stores are allowed to operate.  When possible you should have prescription medicines and health care supplies delivered to your home.

What if I need to get healthcare from my medical provider?

You can still get your health needs addressed.  Contact your health care provider to see if they are providing regular services.  Some services, especially elective procedures, may be postponed or canceled.  If you are feeling sick, please first call your doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center.  Do not go to the emergency room of a hospital unless you are having an actual emergency.

Can I still seek non-essential medical care like eye exams, teeth cleaning, elective procedures, etc.?

Generally you should postpone non-essential medical and dental care if possible.  If it can wait, then wait.  Check with your provider for specific guidance.  They may cancel services.  You should not expose yourself or others by pursuing health care or maintenance care that can wait a few weeks.

Should I stock up on food, necessities like toilet paper, and on medicines?

No.  You will continue to be able to purchase these items.  Stores selling necessary items like grocery stores, pharmacies, and hardware stores will remain open.  Please continue to buy normal quantities of these items on the same schedule you normally follow.   This will ensure that there is enough for everyone.

What should I do if I’m sick?  If I or a family member need immediate medical attention, can I leave home to go to the doctor or hospital?

If you are feeling sick, first call your doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center before going to the hospital.  Do not go to the emergency room of a hospital unless you are having an actual emergency.  But you can and should seek medical advice if you or a family member is sick.  If it is not an emergency, please contact your primary care provider to determine next steps.  Also, you can check online resources to help you assess symptoms if you are worried about whether you or a loved one has COVID-19.   You should check for more information.  Call 911 or go to an emergency room if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Can I leave home to care for my elderly parents or friends who require assistance to care for themselves?  Or a friend or family member who has disabilities?

Yes.  Be extremely cautious when providing care to vulnerable people and ensure that you protect them and yourself by following social distancing guidelines such as washing hands before and after, using hand sanitizer, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance when possible, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue.

Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility?

You may visit a hospital or other healthcare facility only for the purpose of obtaining health care services and supplies.  Non-essential visitations are barred.  Do not visit a nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or residential care facility other than for the purpose of securing care.  People over 60 years of age are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

What if I can’t get out of the home?  How can I get supplies and food?

Please contact friends, family, or others you know who can provide support.  They are allowed to pick up any of your needs.  You can also order food and other supplies, and have them delivered to your home. If you think you might be eligible for meals on wheels, call 408-350-3246 to start the eligibility intake process.

Can I leave home to go to my church, synagogue, or mosque?

No.  For your safety as well as the safety of your fellow worshippers, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.  Places of worship may offer remote access to services, such as by emails, video streaming, or teleconference.

The Order prohibits non-essential travel on foot or bike -- does that mean that I can’t go on a walk or take a bike ride?

No.  The Order allows you to go outside for exercise so long as you maintain social distancing (more than 6 feet from persons who are not part of your household).  This includes activities like walks or hikes or bike rides or going to a park.

Can I leave home to exercise?

If you will be outdoors and not in close contact with other people, yes.  Otherwise, no.  Fitness centers, exercise gyms, recreational centers, golf courses, and public pools are not allowed to operate.

Can golf courses remain open?


I become anxious when cooped up in my house.  Am I allowed to go to a park or on a hike?  Can I travel to a County park or open space?

Yes.  Spending time outside improves mood and well-being, and is particularly beneficial to children.  You can go for walks, go to the park, and engage in other similar activities, but you should maintain social distance (more than six feet away from persons who are not part of your household) to avoid spread of the virus.

Can I go shopping for things other than food/groceries?

Yes.  You can shop for anything that is related to health care, hardware supplies, supplies needed to telecommute, and supplies essential to safety and sanitation.  But you should minimize unnecessary trips.

Can I go to a bar/nightclub/theater?

No.  Entertainment venues are not allowed to operate.

Can I go to a restaurant, café, coffee or tea shop, ice cream shop, or other foodservice location?

Yes, but only to pick up food.  You cannot dine, eat, or drink in or around the facility.

Can I walk my dog/pet?

Yes.  Be sure that you distance yourself at least six feet from others who are not part of your household.

 Can I go to a vet or pet hospital if my pet is sick?

Yes.  Please call first to determine if the vet has any restrictions in place.

I don’t cook—how can I purchase meals?

Restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and similar establishments are encouraged to remain open to supply meals to the public via delivery and carryout.  You can also purchase prepared foods at grocery stores, supermarkets, certified farmers’ markets, convenience stores, and other such food retailers.

How can I access free or reduced price meals for myself or my family?

Schools, soup kitchens, food banks, and other entities that provide free or reduced priced food or meals to the public are encouraged to continue providing these services.  You must pick up and take away the food or have it brought to you.  Do not eat on the premises.

Can I take my kids to the park and can we use playgrounds?

The Order allows you to engage in outdoor activities, provided that you maintain adequate social distancing.  While we encourage use of parks, we strongly discourage the use of playgrounds because they include high-touch surfaces, and because it is typically not possible to maintain social distancing at playgrounds.

Can I carry out a court-ordered visit with my kids?

Yes.  The Order exempts travel by court order or law enforcement.

Questions About Businesses, Employment, and Government Operations

Will all business offices and stores be required to close?

No.  “Essential businesses” may keep their facilities open (and are encouraged to keep them open) to continue providing essential services and products to the public.  Employees may leave home to go to these jobs.

Non-essential businesses may keep facilities open only to maintain minimum basic operations, such as maintaining the value of an inventory, keeping the site secure, or ensuring that employees are able to work remotely.  The Order does not prohibit any employees from working from home.

 What are “Essential Businesses”?

 The Order provides the following list of “Essential Businesses”:

  1. Healthcare Operations and Essential Infrastructure;
  2. Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supplies, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;
  3. Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;
  4. Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;
  5. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;
  6. Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities;
  7. Banks and related financial institutions;
  8. Hardware stores;
  9. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses;
  10. Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
  11. Educational institutions—including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities—for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible;
  12. Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;
  13. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out. Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and take-away basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not allow the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site;
  14. Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home;
  15. Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate;
  16. Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences;
  17. Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order;
  18. Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;
  19. Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children;
  20. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities;
  21. Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as allowed. To the extent possible, childcare facilities must operate under the following mandatory conditions:
  1. Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer (“stable” means that the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day).
  2. Children shall not change from one group to another.
  3. If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other.
  4. Childcare providers shall remain solely with one group of children.

What if my business is not considered an Essential Business?  Does this Order require that I shut down my business facility?

You and your employees are allowed to perform “Minimum Basic Operations” at your workplace, so long as employees maintain a distance of six feet from one another to the greatest extent feasible.  Minimum Basic Operations include maintaining the value of inventory, ensuring security, and ensuring that employees can work remotely.  Other than to maintain “Minimum Basic Operations,” employees can only work remotely from their residences.

Does this Order require that schools shut down?

This Order requires that all schools stop holding classes at physical locations within the County.  However, schools may provide distance learning to their students.  Employees of schools may go to work for the purpose of providing distance learning to their students.  Schools can also continue to offer students free and reduced-price lunches for takeaway or delivery, which many schools are doing.

I work for Apple, Google, or another large technology company that provides products and services that the public needs to access critical services.  Is my company being completely shut down?

No.  However, most employees of such companies will need to work from home.  Anyone who must work onsite to maintain “Essential Infrastructure” for the community or to maintain “Minimum Basic Operations” as described in the Order may continue to work in the workplace so long as they are maintaining social distancing.

Will this order prevent companies working on vaccines and testing for COVID-19 from continuing to do that work?

No.  The Order exempts any business that is performing work related to the delivery of healthcare.

I am in the business of manufacturing food that I supply to grocery stores and other food retailers.  Am I required to shut down?

No.  All suppliers of essential businesses are allowed (and encouraged) to continue operating.  This includes businesses that supply food goods and prepared meals to grocery stores and other food retailers.

Does the Order require that businesses stop work that is necessary to our health care system?

No.  The Order exempts any business that is performing work related to the delivery of healthcare.

Can my company continue construction on a healthcare facility?

Yes, the Order exempts any business that is performing work related to the delivery of health care.

Can my company tend to its labs under this Order?

You and your employees are allowed to perform “Minimum Basic Operations'' on site at your workplace, so long as employees maintain a distance of six feet from one another to the greatest extent feasible.  If tending to the company’s labs is necessary to maintain the value of inventory, the Order allows for this work to continue.  Other than that, your lab may only operate if it performs work exempted in the Order.

My business principally manufactures, supplies, or repairs cell phones. Can it operate?

Yes.  If your business is primarily engaged in supply or repair of cell phones or other telecommunications devices, then it is essential and may continue to operate under the Order.

Are non-profit organizations allowed to continue operating?

If they provide essential services as described in the Order, then yes they can and should continue providing those services.  This would include non-profits operating food pantries, providing housing for homeless residents, and providing other critical services.

What if some of the work my business does at its facility is essential and some is non-essential?

Your business can continue to operate its facility to carry out its essential business functions. You must maximize remote work and comply with social distancing requirements at the facility. The facility cannot continue to carry out non-essential business functions.

I operate a “big box store” that sells some clothing in addition to groceries, electronics, and hardware.  Do I need to shut down the part of my store that sells non-essential supplies?

No.  You may keep your entire store open if it primarily sells essential goods and supplies like food and telecommunication supplies.

What if I have a cafeteria at my worksite.  Can it continue to operate to serve workers who are carrying out work exempted in the Order?

The Cafeteria can operate like other food facilities.  It can serve food to the remaining employees, so long as the employees take the food away and do not eat it in the cafeteria.  The cafeteria should follow the social distancing requirements in the Order.

Is the local government shutting down?

No, essential government functions will continue, including first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, and law enforcement.  Other government functions or offices may be subject to reduced schedules or may be closed as part of the effort to fight the spread of COVID-19.

I work for the government—Can I continue to go to work?

Government employees can continue to go to work if they are designated as essential employees by their employer.  Each government entity is responsible for determining which of its workers are essential workers.

What do I do if my employer requires me to go to work?

Many businesses are not allowed to operate under this Order.  Essential Businesses, as defined in the Order, are allowed (and encouraged) to continue operating.  If your work is not an Essential Business, you are not allowed to go to work and your employer is not allowed to require you to attend except to sustain Minimum Basic Operations, as that term is defined in the Order.  You may work from home if your work allows.

I work in a hospital or medical clinic, but I’m not sure I’m essential.  Should I continue to work?  What if I’m over 60?

ALL employees of hospitals, clinics, and other organizations that provide healthcare, provide services to healthcare organizations, provide needed supplies to healthcare organizations, or otherwise maintain healthcare operations of all kinds may continue working.

Both the County’s Order and the Governor’s recent guidance allows essential workers over 60 to continue working, even though others in that age group are being directed to stay home.

What do I do about my kids?  I have to work.

If you work for an Essential Business, as described in the Order, you can and should continue to work.  Certain employers, schools, and community organizations will be providing childcare for employees of essential businesses.  You may also employ a nanny or babysitter to provide home-based care for your kids.

Can bike repair shops continue to operate?

Yes, bike repair shops are treated as an essential business (the same as auto repair shops) because they are necessary to facilitate essential travel.

Can my company continue to provide janitorial services?

Yes, janitorial services are allowed as necessary to health and sanitation.

Can grocery stores, farmers markets, and other food retailers remain open?

Yes.  Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and similar food retail establishments are encouraged to remain open to provide food and pet supplies to the public.  When visiting these establishments, please help retailers maintain at least six feet minimum distance between patrons, including by providing ample space while shopping and waiting in line.

If my child’s school is providing food or meals, can I leave home to go to the school to pick up the food or meals?


I operate a food facility-- what practices should I follow to keep my patrons safe?

Follow the best practices for allowable food facility operations included in the Department of Environmental Health’s “COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Measures for Food Facilities”:

Notices to Food Facilities [PDF]

Read the Department of Environmental Health’s Letter advising on the effects of the Order on food facilities:

Letter to Food Facilities​ [PDF]

Visit the Department of Environment Health>Novel Coronavirus>Informational Links for COVID-19​ for the latest practices.

Consult the Public Health Department’s website​ for additional up to date information.

Can warehouses and distribution centers that supply businesses that ship and deliver stay open?


I work for an essential infrastructure organization—can I leave home to go to work?

Yes.  You can go to work to maintain and operate essential infrastructure, including public works construction, construction of housing (in particular affordable housing or housing for individuals experiencing homelessness), airport operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services).

What construction is allowed to continue?

The Order only exempts construction of housing, public works, and medical and health care-related facilities.

What if I want to go to work at a physical location in the County and I’m not sick?

Unless your work is exempted in the Order, you cannot go to work at a physical location in the County.  You may work from home for any business if your employer allows it.

Can I operate a business that sells things that can be delivered to people’s homes? Can I shift more of my business to a delivery model?

Deliveries can continue to be sent to people’s homes, and you may adjust your business model accordingly while this Order is in place.

My business provides critical services and products for the federal government that we are required to provide on a time-certain basis--can we continue to manufacture these products?

Employees and contractors of any governmental entity may continue to provide the services and products if the governmental entity determines that they are necessary to carry out an essential governmental function.

I work in a cemetery-- can I go to work?

Yes, cemeteries are essential infrastructure.

Are daycare facilities allowed to operate?

Daycare facilities may operate, but only if they comply with the mandatory conditions set forth below and only to provide daycare to the children of employees who are exempted under the Order.  This includes employees of essential businesses, employees who are providing for minimum basic operations of non-essential businesses, and governmental employees providing essential governmental functions.

To operate, daycare facilities must comply with the following mandatory conditions:

Can home service workers who clean homes continue to provide their services?

Home service workers may provide their services if necessary for health and sanitation.

If I operate a non-essential business with a retail storefront, am I allowed to re-configure my business to deliver products to people’s homes?


I am a nanny. Will I get in trouble if I go to work?

The Order allows nannies and babysitters caring for a child in the child’s own home to continue working.


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Questions About Travel

Can I get a ride in my favorite rideshare/on demand service or a taxi?

Yes, but these services can only be used for “essential activities,” to get to and from work to operate “essential businesses,” or to provide “essential governmental functions,” which are defined in the Order.  Keep in mind that being in close quarters in a vehicle that has been shared with many others should be avoided if possible.  

Can I take public transport (bus, subway, train)?

Yes, but public transit can only be used to perform “essential activities,” to get to and from work to operate “essential businesses,” or to maintain “essential governmental functions.”  When using public transport, you should maintain at least 6 feet distance from one another (2 or 3 steps away), including if you are on the bus or on trains.

Am I allowed to leave the areas covered by this Order to travel to/from a job outside the Bay Area?  Does the Order allow me to leave the County?

Yes, but only to perform “essential activities,” operate “essential businesses,” or to maintain “essential governmental functions,” as those terms are defined in the Order.  Otherwise, the answer is no because that puts you and others in the community at risk.

I am currently on vacation outside the County—Does the Order allow me to return home?


If I’m outside the county travelling for vacation or business, am I allowed to come home?

The Order allows you to return home.

I’m visiting and staying in a hotel, with family/friends, or in a short-term rental.  What should I do? Can I go home?

Yes, you can leave the County for the purpose of returning home.                 

If I am currently outside the County, can I travel into the County?

You are subject to the same restrictions for travel as individuals currently in the County.  You may travel into the County to perform “essential activities,” work to operate “essential businesses,” or maintain “essential governmental functions” as those terms are defined in the Order.


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How We’re Protecting Homeless People

What does yesterday’s order mean for Santa Clara County’s homeless population?

According to yesterday’s legal order, businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals are considered essential businesses. Individuals experiencing homelessness are strongly urged to obtain shelter. In addition, governmental and other entities are strongly urged to make such shelter available as soon as possible and to the maximum extent practicable. They are also urged to utilize social distancing requirements in their operation.

What is Santa Clara County doing to protect the homeless population from COVID-19?

We know that the spread of the COVID-19 could be particularly dangerous for those experiencing homelessness. Individuals without stable housing not only face greater difficulty taking preventative actions, but they are generally already in poorer health than other Santa Clara County residents. Over the last few days Santa Clara County has disseminated guidance, in multiple languages when possible, to sheltered and unsheltered persons and to agencies operating temporary shelters, outreach programs, day centers, supportive housing program sites, and affordable housing developments. The City of San Jose has delivered handwashing stations, portable toilets, clean water and arranged for refuse pickup at 14 locations with relatively large groups of unsheltered persons. We are also developing options and plans for other cities in Santa Clara County.

In addition, we’ve updated protocols for and have supplied outreach and mobile healthcare teams to help ensure unsheltered individuals are properly connected to available resources, information, and medical assistance, when necessary. The County is in the process of organizing volunteers to assist with this effort. The County’s $2 billion healthcare system is also available to help anyone in need, whether the individual is uninsured, homeless, or facing other economic challenges.

The County is working to expand temporary shelter capacity to increase social distancing and establish protocols to better separate at-risk individuals staying at existing shelters. We’re also working to provide basic needs at shelters, such as hygiene kits, medical supplies, and washers and dryers. And we are identifying places for those who are homeless or residing in a shelter to isolate when necessary.

We continue to collaborate with Public Health, the Office of Supportive Housing, Valley Health Plan, our partner cities, and other jurisdictions.


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What if I’m in a line and there isn’t six feet between me and others?

You should still try to maintain at least six feet between you and others.  When that isn’t possible for short periods, do your best to keep the duration short.  And be sure when in line you don’t sneeze or cough onto people.  If needed, cough or sneeze into your shirt or into an elbow with clothing on, not into your hand.  

What if my plumbing gets stopped up or there is another problem with necessary equipment at my home?  How will I access those sorts of services?

Call your plumber or building manager. This Order allows service providers like plumbers, electricians, and exterminators to keep working and providing their services to the public. To obtain supplies for a DIY solution, you can also visit your hardware store, which is allowed to stay open under this Order.

What do I do about my loved one who needs care from me?

You are allowed to provide care or to help out with getting supplies for loved ones, even if they do not live in your household.  But do not provide care or pick up supplies if you are sick and someone else can help them.  If you are sick, please try to self-isolate or take other steps not to expose anyone else to your illness.

What happens if I don’t comply with this Order?

This is a legally enforceable order issued under California law. It is a crime to violate this Order, and you may be punished by a fine or imprisonment for doing so.

Why is this Order in place?

This Order is in place to address the ongoing spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 in the Bay Area.  At this point in the global pandemic, the virus has a foothold in all the jurisdictions that issued this Order.  There is substantial community transmission of the virus, which is easily spread between people.  One big challenge in controlling the transmission of the virus is that many people who have it don’t have symptoms or have mild symptoms.  But they can easily spread the virus even if they don’t feel ill.  And the virus lasts a long time on many surfaces (from hours to days).

Unfortunately, this virus can cause severe symptoms in some people and can also be fatal.  Some who get the virus, especially those over 60 years old, those who have weak immune systems, and those with various medical conditions (see below for a full list), can end up with serious complications that include fever, pneumonia, and even in some instances death.  There is no approved treatment or cure for COVID-19.  That means that people who get very sick need medical intervention such as oxygen or help breathing.

Because the virus spreads so easily, without dramatic intervention like this Order, it would result in so many people needing medical attention in a hospital setting that our hospitals will be overwhelmed.  We may not have enough beds or equipment to adequately care for the most seriously ill.  And our health care workers and other first responders are also at risk, and if they get sick there are fewer people to provide health care and first response services.  For those reasons, it is critical that we now do everything in our power to slow down the spread of the virus.  Doing so will help to “flatten the curve” to slow down the spread of the virus and help our health care system not be overwhelmed.  If this succeeds, it means that there will be health care available for those who get sick with COVID-19 or who need emergency medical care for accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other serious medical conditions.

We all have to do our part now to protect everyone in the community.  The best way to do that is to “socially isolate” yourself at home to avoid further spread of the virus.

Why now?

This Order is being issued now because the infection rates in the six most populous counties of the Bay Area suggest that the situation is critical and will worsen quickly, especially without rigorous intervention.  Some jurisdictions believe their health care systems are overwhelmed or may start becoming overwhelmed in the next week.  For those jurisdictions, the spread has to be slowed to the maximum extent possible.  The sooner these extreme measures are taken, the more effective they are because of how the virus spreads.

NEWSLETTER March 9, 2020


Important Resources

Updated Guidance for the General Public

San Mateo County’s Public Health Officer Update - worth reading

Updated Guidance for Childcare and Schools

Updated Guidance for Workplaces and Businesses

Updated Guidance for People at Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19 Illness

Updated Guidance for People who are Sick

First death from CoronaVirus in Santa Clara County

Mandatory Order Canceling Mass Gatherings

Important Resources

Please remember that the novel coronavirus response and recommendations are evolving and changing rapidly.

For the most current information, check and subscribe to Public Health's website and social media pages:


Instagram: @scc_publichealth

Twitter: @HealthySCC

Updated Guidance for the General Public

 Even if you are not ill, do not visit hospitals, long term care facilities, or nursing homes, or other settings with vulnerable populations. If you do need to visit one of these facilities, limit your time there and keep 6 feet away from all patients and employees of the facility at all times.

 Do not go to the emergency room unless essential. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you have symptoms such as cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular doctor first for instructions.

 If you are sick, stay home and away from others in your household to the degree you are able.

 Practice excellent personal hygiene habits including washing your hands with soap and water frequently, coughing into a tissue or your elbow, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Stay away from people who are ill, especially if you are at higher risk for serious illness.

 Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects (like doorknobs and light switches). Regular household cleaners are effective.

 Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you’ve just washed your hands.

 Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, and manage your stress to keep your immunity strong.

 Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.

 CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

 Face Masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility). Stay informed. Information is changing frequently. Check and subscribe to Public Health's website and social media pages:

Updated Guidance for Workplaces and 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.

 Maximize flexibility in granting sick leave so that sick employees are able to stay home.

 For service/retail industries, ensure updated procedures and protocols for frequent hand washing/sanitizing; enhance cleaning of high-touch surfaces and items with disinfecting wipes and other standard cleaners; ensure adequate supply of soap and paper towels; ensure frequent emptying of waste bins; and post signage regarding these procedures for staff and patrons.

 Stop requiring a doctor’s note for sick employees, as healthcare offices may be very busy and unable to provide that documentation right away.

 Consider use of telecommuting options for appropriate employees.

 Consider staggering start and end times to reduce large numbers of people coming together at the same time.

Updated Guidance for People at Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19 Illness

The County Public Health Department strongly urges that persons at higher risk of severe illness to:

Stay home as much as possible

Avoid traveling on cruises and airplanes.

Follow all guidance for the general population including by staying away from gatherings of people.

Those at higher risk include:

o People, regardless of age, with underlying health conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or chronic lung diseases like COPD, as well as those with severely weakened immune systems.

o Older adults. The risk begins to increase over 50 and increases significantly with age, with persons over age 70 and 80 in the highest risk categories.

Updated Guidance for Childcare and Schools

The County Public Health Department is not recommending closing schools at this time. If a staff member or student in a specific school is confirmed to have COVID-19, the Public Health Department will consider, based on the specific facts and circumstances of that case, whether closure of that school is warranted. The reason we are not recommending school closures at this time is because children have not been shown to be a high-risk group for serious illness from this virus. As much as possible, children should be allowed to carry on with their education and normal activities. We encourage all school officials to carefully review and follow the CDC’s guidance for

K-12 schools and childcare centers, as well as our recommendations for canceling certain gatherings and events, which also apply to schools. Schools in our community will need to make decisions about postponement or cancelation of specific activities. Some children have underlying health conditions, such as severely weakened immune systems, that put them at higher risk. Caregivers of children with underlying health conditions should consult with healthcare providers about whether their children should stay home from school.

Schools are responsible for taking the following steps:

Teachers and staff with any fever and/or respiratory symptoms should not come to work. Teachers and staff should self-screen (i.e., check themselves for subjective fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as cough) for symptoms each morning before interacting with students.

Ensure sick leave policies that allow teachers and staff to stay home if they have symptoms of respiratory infection.

Implement staggered recess times to limit the number of students who are together; and, if possible, group recess by classrooms to reduce opportunities for mixing.

Consider alternatives to group programming within the school including any large or communal activities such as assemblies and large-scale sporting events.

Alternate approaches which limit close contact may include conducting assemblies via webcasts or intercom announcement and limiting the number of spectators who can attend sporting events.

Limit visitors to the school by not allowing those with symptoms of fever and/or respiratory infection.

Updated Guidance for People who are Sick

Stay home when you are sick. Do not go out in public when you are sick and, especially, do not visit long-term care facilities, nursing homes, or hospitals (unless you are seeking care yourself). Avoid medical settings in general unless necessary. If you are ill with fever, cough, or trouble breathing, call your doctor's office first before going

and let them know your symptoms.

First death from Coronavirus in Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County, CA - The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department is announcing the first death from COVID-19 in the county. The person who passed away was an adult woman in her 60s, had been hospitalized for several weeks, and was the third case of COVID-19 reported by the County Public Health Department on February 28, 2020. She was the first person in the County confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 without any known history of international travel or contact with a traveler or infected person, suggesting she contracted COVID-19 in our community. The patient died at El Camino Hospital on the morning of March 9, 2020. The Public Health Department expresses its sincere condolences to her family and friends.

Mandatory Order Canceling Mass Gatherings
- only for Santa Clara County

Earlier this evening the County of Santa Clara Public Health Officer announced a mandatory order requiring cancelation of mass gatherings in the County between March 11, 2020 through March 31, 2020. A mass gathering is any event that brings together 1,000 or more people in a single room or single space at the same time. This includes auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, large conference rooms, meeting halls, cafeterias, theaters, or other confined indoor or outdoor spaces.


A mass gathering does not include normal operations at airports, shopping malls and centers, or other spaces where 1,000 or more persons may be in transit. It also does not include typical office environments or retail or grocery stores where large numbers of people are present but it is unusual for them to be within arm’s length of one another.


***For Gatherings and Community Events of Less than 1,000 People***

At this time, the Public Health Department is strongly urging postponing or canceling gatherings and community events of less than 1,000 people where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another. If you can’t avoid bringing groups of people together, the Public Health Department is placing responsibility on event organizers to:


In addition to the requirements and guidance related to events, the Public Health Department has released updated guidance for the workplace, people at higher risk for severe novel coronavirus illness, childcare and schools, people who are sick, and the general public.

San Mateo County’s Public Health Officer update

This is a difficult message to share, but it is important to recognize how difficult the times ahead may be and how you must now take assertive action to prepare for them. Our local situation surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing rapidly.  COVID-19 is spreading in our community, the extent of which is unclear. It has likely been spreading for weeks, perhaps months. I have no reason to believe that how it’s spreading in other countries won’t be replicated to some degree here. We now all need to take assertive actions to inhibit the spread of this new virus. Some of those actions are described below. I advise that individuals, schools, business, and all other sectors of our community take immediate steps to change behaviors and take definitive action.

Our lives will be significantly disrupted by the measures needed to respond to a global pandemic. A pandemic is a global occurrence of an infectious disease. A pandemic is a disaster with unique characteristics. The two most important differences between a pandemic and other disasters are that the whole world is going through this disaster at the same time, and people may become fearful of other people. The current COVID-19 outbreak clearly has the potential to turn into a severe pandemic.

County Health continues to work with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our state and local partners to manage testing and monitoring of persons who have been exposed to COVID-19. But our focus is rapidly changing from a containment strategy (identifying cases and contacts) to one of community mitigation—taking steps to lessen the broad impact of the disease. County Health and our public and private partners are taking steps to increase our ability to respond and are planning for a sustained response to COVID-19.

How the world operates during a pandemic is different from how the world operates normally. This is not business as usual. With a pandemic comes significant disruption to supply chains (the process of how things get from where they are made to where they are used), transportation, and travel. Even if the disease is not rapidly spreading in our area, we may face difficulty obtaining the goods and services we are accustomed to, public events may be canceled, and our ability to travel might be restricted.

San Mateo County Health continues to advise that the steps to prevent the spread of flu will also guard against the spread of COVID-19: cover your cough and sneeze, wash your hands frequently, avoid shaking hands and touching your face with unwashed hands, and if you are not feeling well or are experiencing cold, flu, or other symptoms, stay home from school or work. If you are mildly ill, there is no need to contact your primary care provider as they are very busy right now. If you are significantly ill, contact your primary care provider.

Here are the most important things for you to consider to improve your personal and organizational preparedness:

What matters most is how households, neighborhoods, community groups, businesses, and other organizations prepare. What does that mean? Preparedness equals self-sufficiency. The government will help where it can, but it may have a limited ability to respond directly to you due to the scale of the disruptions.

Individual and community preparations should focus on three tasks—reducing each person’s chance of getting sick (see both individual and more general public health recommendations both above and below), helping households with basic survival needs during a pandemic, and minimizing and coping with larger disruptions in how the normal day-to-day world works.

All businesses and other organizations should now be done reviewing their continuity of operations plans for how they will operate if their employees are unable to work and how they will interact with members of the public and prepare to implement these plans soon.

All medical facilities and providers should be done reviewing their surge plans for how to handle increased numbers of patients and be prepared to implement.

Getting ready for a pandemic is largely about preparing for possible shortages. In a pandemic, supply chain disruptions are inevitable but are also unpredictable.

Since it contains vital supplies, a good start is to make sure your earthquake kit is up to date and ready to go. Of course, having supplies beyond the typical earthquake kit is a good idea. What you decide to have on hand is based on your individual and family situation and your individual preferences.

One likely shortage will be medications. You should attempt to obtain a couple of months supply for your critical medications.

If you have other critical supply needs, you should conserve them and stock up on them now.

Now is also the time to think about how you will care for loved ones at home if they or you are sick and how you would limit spread within the family.

Frequent and appropriate hand-washing is far from a perfect solution, but it’s easy, under your control, and has no significant downside.

Like washing your hands, wearing a surgical mask may help a bit, but you need to know that surgical masks don’t offer much protection when they are worn by people who are well. They are most helpful when worn by those who are already sick so that they are less likely to transmit the disease to others. Surgical masks and masks offering higher levels of respiratory protection are already in short supply and should be prioritized for use in health care settings.

You should use a barrier, such as a paper towel or tissue, to touch commonly touched surfaces, such as any door handles or elevator buttons.

Change from my previous message: I am now asking for the implementation of the activities below at this time.

All non-essential gatherings should be canceled, postponed, or done remotely. Unfortunately, at this time, I have no standard definition of “non-essential” or “gathering” to guide your decisions.  Use your best judgment.

Stop shaking hands.

Increase in the amount of remote working or teleworking to the extent possible especially for those who appear at higher risk for developing the disease, those over the age of 60 and those with comorbid conditions.

Under all circumstances, stop touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth with your unwashed hands.

I am not asking for the implementation of these activities, but these are the types of activities we may need to implement in the future:

School closures. Schools are an essential gathering. School closings present a particularly vexing social distancing dilemma but may be necessary to protect public health. Once school closings occur, they may be extensive and extended.

Social distancing—staying at least 6 feet away from all other people—should be attempted where possible.

Rationing (a formal process of prioritizing distribution and use) of critical supplies may need to occur.

To get ourselves through the hard times that may be coming, your community may need volunteers. Think now about the skills you have and how you can help your community. Heed the call should volunteers be requested.

Other public health interventions that have been used with some effect in other countries include commandeering of both real estate or personal property, conscription, curfew, and cordons. It is unlikely that these interventions would be used here due to practical considerations.

Issues around testing for COVID-19. You may have received incorrect information from the federal and state government on March 4, 2020. San Mateo County does not currently have testing available independently of the state and CDC. The amount of testing that is available through the state and CDC is severely limited. Should testing become more widely available, testing will be prioritized based on healthcare infrastructure concerns, risk of exposure, and/or very sick hospitalized patients. Tests will not automatically be given upon request or by a physician’s order. This may change as testing capacity evolves over the next few months.

Scott Morrow, MD, MPH

San Mateo County Health Officer

March 5, 2020