SAN JOSE, Calif. - San Francisco’s City Hall and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara are among the many landmarks illuminated Tuesday. It’s part of a nationwide tribute to the 400,000 people who've died from COVID-19 in the United States.
On the eve of Joe Biden’s inauguration as the 46th president, national landmarks including the Lincoln Memorial and Empire State Building lit up in amber symbolic for a candle.
In the South Bay, San Jose City Hall, San Jose Civic Auditorium and Avaya Stadium were all in gold. At Levi’s Stadium, the interior and exterior stadium lights and video boards illuminated.
"We are here with communities around the county that are remembering those we have lost," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.
In a virtual ceremony, San Jose city leaders held a moment of silence. Councilwoman Sylvia Arenas and her family fully recovered from the virus.
"None of us required hospitalization and was not very grave but that is not the case for many families," said Arenas.
57-year-old Patricia Dowd of San Jose was first American to die last February. Almost one year later, another family going through similar grief. 37-year-old restaurant owner Harjeet Singh from San Jose died of covid last Friday visiting family in Panama. He died one month shy of his daughter turning one. A GoFundMe has been set up to help her: https://www.gofundme.com/f/PanamasGracie
"It’s shocking news, he was the life of the party and the way that I think everything that happened to him it's just hard for us to accept," said Family Friend Sheree Chand.
Right now, ICUs remain crowded and rollout of the vaccines has been slow. Small businesses are closing their doors and children are distance learning.
"Nearly a year later since we were sheltered in place we still don't know much about COVID-19 other than we know it has changed our lives forever," said San Jose City Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco.
On Tuesday, Santa Clara County’s Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said hospitalizations are trending down yet three times higher than the summer. The county is studying a new variant and trying to secure more vaccines.
Dr. Cody also said that the county is expecting more COVID-19 deaths in coming weeks. This month alone, the county has averaged 100 deaths per week.