Cinco de Mayo crowd concerns in San Jose

Large crowds gathered in East San Jose ahead of the Cinco de Mayo holiday and defied the stay-at-home order.  

Hundreds of people did not obey the county health order to shelter-in-place over the weekend. Those people who took part in the celebrations were seen not social distancing and not wearing face masks.

East San Jose resident Carlos Diaz ran a quick errand to the store Sunday when he witnessed the parking lot at the intersection of Story and King Roads, taken over by hundreds of people who were not feet six feet apart, celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

“I was just amazed at the scene,” said Diaz. “It was as if COVID-19 was just a thought. I saw maybe one mask on one person.”

At one point, he said, cars were participating in sideshows. All of it was disheartening especially since Diaz is a business owner.

“We are doing so much to shelter in place and shutter our businesses,” said Diaz. “All for not because other people, reckless behavior is jeopardizing the situation.”

Diaz said he saw a few police officers but not enough to handle the crowd.

“I think it probably would have taken 100 or more officers,” said Diaz. “It was just insane.”

San Jose police were investigating not one but two officer involved shootings and a DUI crash over the weekend. Police plan to deploy additional officers from special operations and patrol for the holiday. However, officers will not be going into crowds to issue citations for violating the health order to avoid confrontations and to focus on more serious crimes.

“What was disappointing and what is alarming is people are starting to let their guard down,” said San Jose Councilwoman Magdalena Carrasco.

Much of Sunday’s bad behavior happened in Councilwoman Carrasco’s district. She said it will be ultimately up to the families to educate and plead with their loved ones to stay home especially since several generations often live under one roof.

“Let’s make sure our grandmothers and our other elders are safe and are there for a long time,” said Carrasco. “Let’s not expose them for one night of fun and celebration.”

Currently, Latinos make up 38% of COVID-19 cases in Santa Clara County. It’s the ethnicity with the most cases. With Cinco de Mayo coming, some people are concerned that number could go up even higher with more at risk.