Coronavirus: Santa Clara Co. focuses on preventing spread of COVID-19 to seniors

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Public health officials in Santa Clara County announced three new cases of the novel coronavirus Wednesday afternoon, bringing the countywide total to 14. While they expect more cases to be confirmed in the weeks to come, they're especially focused on preventing the spread to seniors.

As fears over novel coronavirus keep some residents from taking part in social activities, others say they'll continue on with their routine. For many, this includes a daily trip to a San Jose community center for a subsidized lunch as part of the city's weekday senior nutrition program.

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"As a widower, I don't cook. This has been a real lifesaver for me," said Monte Sereno resident Jack Lucas. "The onslaught of this coronavirus. I'm nervous about it."

County public health officials have recommended that organizations serving the elderly and medically vulnerable cancel large gatherings such as bingo nights or movie screenings.

"Taking care of yourself means you're taking care of other people," said Los Gatos resident Bernadette Chadwick.

For now, San Jose will continue operating its community centers and senior programs, but say its employees will be extra vigilant about cleaning shared surfaces.

"We're talking about high-touch points (including) handles, doorknobs, three times a day, and at the end of the day, every facility is getting a deeper clean," said Carolina Camarena with San Jose's Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services department.

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Countywide, residents over the age of 50, or those who are in poor health are being urged to avoid large public gatherings such as concerts and sporting events where the likelihood is higher for people to be within an arm's length of one another.

The management at SAP Center released a statement this afternoon to reassure the public that they're taking the matter seriously: "At this time we have not received any information about the Coronavirus that would indicate a need to alter any of our operating procedures or reschedule events."

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