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San Mateo County falling short on key metrics needed to greenlight reopening economy

Original post made on May 14, 2020

Curbside retail pickups will soon be allowed in San Mateo County. But what other conditions must be met for more businesses to open? In short, a lot, and San Mateo County has a long way to go. Here's our breakdown.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 14, 2020, 11:44 AM

Comments (12)

8 people like this
Posted by Penny fo ya thot
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 14, 2020 at 12:26 pm

Can't pass the basic test, can't reopen just to have to shut down again when cases Spike.

16 people like this
Posted by Rob Caughlan
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 14, 2020 at 12:30 pm

Good story! Congratulations on keeping us up to date.

5 people like this
Posted by Question
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on May 14, 2020 at 12:34 pm

Is it deaths "with" Covid or deaths "of" Covid?

24 people like this
Posted by Westridge7
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on May 14, 2020 at 12:57 pm

Extremely well written and helpful article. Thank you Almanac News, very much appreciated.

It highlights, however, that Governor Newsom's criteria were not well thought out when promulgated. "Deaths in 14 days" makes no sense whatsoever. The proper ?s are is hopsital/ICU capacity adequate to handle current capacity + surge, and is nursing home regulation and management adequate to handle same. If those answers are yes - then invariably, and unfortunately, as is always the case, some people will die. The testing/1000 residents is also nonsensical if to date we've only been focused on (indeed in most instances PERMITTED) testing for people with symptoms. By definition we don't hit those high threshholds because - not enough people in the county are symptomatic. The real question is is the county able to "test more" as more people appear - one quote suggests yes, there is adequate capacity to do that. Re our rates/1000, its impossible for us to evaluate these without more information, which presumably public health officials have. For instance, its quite possible that 50 of the 60 most recent positive tests came from extensive testing at 2 nursing homes + 1 jail. Those are things that need to be jumped on immediately, contained and treated, but it should not mean that 700,000 others of us are unable to move forward, with all appropriate caution, accordingly. I would say that it is very disappointing that 10 weeks into this, the county has only managed to assemble 40 contract tracers. Somebody in county administration is failing in their job, and by doing so is continuing to put our overall county wellness in unnecessary jeopardy: health, quality of life and economy. It appears that on the most critical factor - hospital capacity - we are in excellent shape. County resources could and I trust are being aggressively deployed to make sure our nursing care facilities are providing A-level support to their residents. Our homeless are being resourced. Governor Newsom has already had to 'walk back' elements of his directive because, again, he was not meticulous in its drafting. That's fine/life goes on. I believe that San Mateo should be permitted to open further. We all understand what we need to do to protect our selves and others and need to move forward.

10 people like this
Posted by Julie Brown
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 14, 2020 at 2:08 pm

I wholeheartedly agree with the comment above. Zero deaths in 14 days is like asking the population to not drive until there are zero car accidents/deaths from car crashes in 14 days. Secondly, people are not going for tests. Stanford drive up testing is now asking for volunteers to be tested because it's crickets over there - no one being tested, and testers sitting around looking at their phone.

10 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 14, 2020 at 2:36 pm

I'm glad that the state has established smart and clear rules for opening more businesses. These rules give county officials clear guidance on where more resources and effort is needed. I hope that this article can be updated every week until the crisis is over. Reopening business too early could lead to catastrophic fatality rates.

3 people like this
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 14, 2020 at 3:38 pm

These guidelines are intentionally very difficult to meet so that most counties do not get ahead of the state. The state will proceed to reopen according to its own timetable, and will undoubtedly not require 14 days without a death in a county. That would lead urban counties to be locked down permanently.

29 people like this
Posted by Joe and the Openers
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 14, 2020 at 3:59 pm

> These guidelines are intentionally very difficult to meet

Awww, Joseph, really? What guidelines would you use?

Most importantly, what level of outbreak would you agree warrants a second shutdown? I never hear the 'openers' tell us what is an acceptable loss, or what they will agree to for prevention of the second wave.

That's assuming you *do* want to prevent the second wave, of course.

1 person likes this
Posted by Torn
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on May 14, 2020 at 6:06 pm

I am so torn about shelter in place continuing and reopening at a quicker pace. I am pretty sure that I can go back to work and be personally responsible for not spreading or catching covid 19 by practicing social distancing, wearing a mask and cleaning regularly in my work environment. I really believe that collectively we can practice a personal responsibility and be safe.
There is a great unknown if we will have a 2nd wave if we reopen but, do it practicing social distancing, wearing masks, etc. When the virus spread originally before lockdown, we were not doing those things. So if we do those things this time will the virus spread at an unacceptable level?

8 people like this
Posted by Barbara Wilcox
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 14, 2020 at 7:12 pm

Thank you for this fair, objective article. We need fewer deaths and a lot more epidemiological data before I'd feel comfortable dining or shopping the way I used to do.

FYI there's a free training for contact tracers on Coursera, offered by Johns Hopkins. I'm taking it because I want to be able to help if the county can use me. Shame on your competition for calling such workers "busybodies."

Like this comment
Posted by JBresnan
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on May 15, 2020 at 9:37 am

Excellent article! Keep up the good work.

Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on May 18, 2020 at 11:25 am

Is there a publicly available dashboard somewhere, where these metrics can be tracked? It would be great to be able to follow along, for both San Mateo and Santa Clara counties (and, in fact, all of California).

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