Dr. Dean Winslow, an infectious disease expert at Stanford University, praised Santa Clara County officials for their work and says their decision makes sense given some of the unique characteristics that make up the Bay Area's most populous county.
RELATED: When will the San Francisco Bay Area reopen? Track progress on 6 key metrics to reopening here
"You have East San Jose which is much more densely packed," said Winslow. "You have a lot more multi-generational families in housing and in much closer quarters."
The pandemic has disproportionately sickened and caused deaths among communities of color, particularly among Latinos.
Santa Clara County health officer Dr. Sara Cody says the only tool at the moment to protect the vulnerable is to bring down community transmission across the board.
INTERACTIVE: What will restaurants, gyms, flights, stores will look like after COVID-19?
"We don't suddenly have herd immunity, we don't suddenly have a vaccine. We have exactly the same conditions we had in March," said Cody in remarks delivered on Tuesday to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. "If we did ease up, we'd see a brisk return of cases, hospitalizations and a brisk return of deaths, to be quite blunt."
The first stage of phase two allows non-essential services such as curbside retail and office-based businesses, among others, to re-open, unless more restrictive local orders are in effect.
RELATED: Solano, Napa county businesses ask Governor Newsom for permission to reopen
"As counties open up, we will see that people are making decisions based on their own assessment of what their personal risk is," said Dr. Colleen Haight, chair of the economics department at San Jose State University. "If they feel it's safe to go out, it doesn't matter whether your county is closed or not, if you can go to the next county, those people will do that travel."
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here. Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: How close was CA to becoming a NY-level crisis?
- Live updates about coronavirus outbreak in US, around the world
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- How California's COVID-19 cases stack up against other hot spot states
- Everything you need to know about the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area/
- List: Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in the Bay Area?
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Stimulus calculator: How much money should you expect from coronavirus relief bill
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on Asian American community
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on African American community
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on Latino community
- What Bay Area tenants need to know about rent payments, eviction amid COVID-19 outbreak
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US
- List of stores, companies closing due to coronavirus pandemic
- Canceled late fees, free services available amid COVID-19 crisis
- Here's how you can help during COVID-19 pandemic
- How to maintain learning during school closures
- No masks but here are 100+ products that may help protect you against novel coronavirus germs
- Here's a look at some of history's worst pandemics that have killed millions