Santa Clara County sees record 512 COVID-19 cases in single day, issues 76 business fines
Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, Santa Clara County testing officer, encourages people to get tested at one of the county's many briefings about COVID-19, the most-read topic by readers this year. File photo.

Santa Clara County tallied a record 512 COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period the day before Thanksgiving, and wasted no time cracking down on businesses violating health orders.

As of Nov. 27, Santa Clara County had 32,985 COVID-19 cases and 476 deaths. In addition, 222 people were hospitalized with the virus. Of these, 68 were in intensive care units and 193 out of 624 ventilators were in use.

The soaring case rate raised alarm among health officials as hospitals braced to admit more patients.

“We are really, really concerned,” said COVID-19 Testing Officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib. “All of the metrics that we have been following that have done well in previous months have gone up very steeply.”

In July, amid a previous surge, the highest case rate the county recorded was 385 cases in a single day.

“We do not want to be in a place where we see the kinds of challenges in our hospitals that unfortunately some communities elsewhere in the United States and around the world have had to deal with,” said County Counsel James Williams.

Officials imposed immediate fines to businesses over Thanksgiving weekend for violating the health order. The county stripped away its grace period for businesses to fix issues before being fined and promised to crack down. And it did.

As of noon Nov. 27, the county had issued 76 fines to local businesses. The primary violations were failing to submit and post revised rules about social distancing.

A county spokesperson said businesses will have 30 days to pay a fine and business compliance officers will never ask for money upfront. Officers will have on yellow vests and produce identification.

Meanwhile, the county plans to offer appointment-only COVID-19 testing next week in Los Gatos, Mountain View, Cupertino, Campbell and Palo Alto and will offer flu shots at the same time.

Walk-up testing is available in San Jose and Gilroy next week but flu shots will only be at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose.

The fairgrounds will also be the only testing site open on Nov. 29 during Thanksgiving weekend.

Fenstersheib emphasized people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 need to get tested, especially if they are in close contact with family members and co-workers.

“New studies have shown that a majority of transmissions are caused by people who are asymptomatic and likely don’t know that they are potentially spreading the disease to family, co-workers and anyone they come in contact with,” Fenstersheib said. “They need to know they have the virus so they can isolate and break the transmission chain, even if they don’t feel sick.”

Here is where to get tested:

Appointment and walk-up:

San Jose
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Parking Lot A (across from the blue arch). Drive-through, bike  and walk-up appointments.

Across the street from the fairgrounds main entrance, 344 Tully Road.

Appointments Dec. 1 to Dec. 4, 11:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.; Dec. 5, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will also be testing at the fairgrounds Nov. 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Appointment-only:

Los Gatos
LGS Adult Recreation Center, 208 E. Main St.. By appointment only Nov. 30, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mountain View
Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St. By appointment only Dec. 1, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cupertino
Cupertino Senior Center, 21251 Stevens Creek Blvd. By appointment only Dec. 2, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Campbell
Orchard City Banquet Hall (in the Campbell Community Center), 1 W. Campbell Ave. By appointment only Dec. 3, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Palo Alto
Palo Alto Art Center auditorium, 1313 Newell Road. By appointment only Dec. 4, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pop-up testing sites:

No appointments needed and only for people without symptoms. Influenza test is not included:

San Jose
Emmanuel Baptist Church, 467 N. White Road. Dec. 1 – Dec. 4, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Public Health Story Road Hub, 1775 Story Road. Dec. 4, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Gilroy
South County Annex (formerly Del Buono Elementary), 9300 Wren Ave. Dec. 1 – Dec. 4, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Contact Mauricio La Plante at [email protected] or follow @mslaplantenews on Twitter.

 

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