Santa Clara County reached another “sobering milestone” in the fight against the novel coronavirus, as the number of deaths from Covid-19 surpassed 1,000 on Jan. 13.
“Our hearts go out to everyone in our community who has lost a loved one due to Covid-19,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer and Director of Public Health for the county. “One thousand deaths is a devastating and tragic milestone for our community. We mourn each life lost, and our goal continues to be to save as many lives as possible.”
Cody added that Covid-19 “continues to be extremely widespread in our county and throughout the state.” The total number of Covid-19 cases in Santa Clara County is 87,045, according to the county’s coronavirus data dashboard. The total death count is 1,011 as of Jan. 13.
“Even though we’ve all been sacrificing for almost a year to fight this virus, prevent infections, and return to our normal lives, we must remain vigilant or we will see more deaths and extreme challenges for our hospitals and healthcare systems,” Cody said.
As of Jan. 13, five percent of ICU beds at local hospitals were available, according to county staff. Forty-seven percent of the occupied ICU beds are in use for Covid-19 patients.
The surge is a strain on hospital staff and is forcing “difficult decisions in care management,” county staff said in a press release. The strain is also leading to longer wait times to enter area hospitals.
Still, the county’s vaccination plan forges ahead, as all healthcare providers are in the process of vaccinating healthcare workers in Phase 1A. Some have expanded eligibility to residents age 75 and older.
“However, even with the hope of increased volume of vaccine distribution, it will take many months to reach a high level of coverage and protection throughout the community,” says the county’s press release. “Individual actions matter and can help change the course of the pandemic: social distancing, consistently wearing masks and staying home except for essential activities are still our best tools to limit the spread of the virus.”
For more information about the vaccine and how to schedule appointments, visit the county’s website sccfreevax.org.