"We know that the social distancing takes at least two weeks to have an effect because the incubation time period for the disease is at least two weeks," said County Executive Jeffrey Smith, M.D., at a press conference late Friday afternoon.
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Earlier this week, San Jose city officials released projections based on a European model, suggesting that a staggering 2,000 people in the county could die of coronavirus by June, despite the efforts to contain it. County officials have since disputed those numbers.
"Statistics can be misleading because they're based on presumptions and they don't predict the future. They don't tell us what's going to happen to you as an individual," said Smith. "What's going to happen to you as an individual is going to depend on what you do and what's in your control."
At the Santa Clara Convention Center, a temporary federal medical station is being built to help ease the strain on area facilities. With space to hold up to 250 COVID-19 patients, the center is designed for those who have been discharged from a hospital but are in need of a safe place to recover.
"We expect that patients might be here for as many as two, sometimes three weeks before they are safe to again be among others," said Jennifer Tong, M.D., an executive with Santa Clara County Hospitals and Clinics.
As of Friday morning, the Communications Hill Trail and Staircase in San Jose was closed to the public due to overcrowding and to reduce the stress on first responders. City and county officials say they won't hesitate to close other parks if people aren't practicing social distancing.
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"We want people to stay close to home as much as possible," said County Supervisor Dave Cortese. "We know that one of the beauties of this 48,000-acre county park system is that we have parks that are available close to home for so many people."
The confirmed case count in Santa Clara County is now up to 574. However, because of limited testing, county officials say it represents only a small fraction of those who have the disease.
"The way to make sure that we have fewer people in those hospital beds and that we have fewer people dying is for us to really stick to this social distancing," said County Supervisor Cindy Chavez.
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