Santa Clara County modifies travel quarantine policy, prepares for vaccine distribution

Santa Clara County health officials tweaked their travel quarantine policy.

Healthcare and essential workers are exempt, as well as people transiting through the county – such as airline passengers. Still, travel during the holiday period while the coronavirus is spiking is discouraged.

“We know that, that volume of mixing of households and resurgence of cases across the United States could really be an accelerant in leading to much additional growth,” said James Williams, county counsel for Santa Clara County.

He said travel directives are designed to slow current surge in COVID-19 cases. But success hinges on the masses complying on a daily basis.

“We’re making progress in the planning around vaccine distribution in our county,” said Dr. Jennifer Tong, chief medical officer for Valley Medical Center.

Wednesday morning she gave a glimpse into a plan submitted to the state for COVID-19 vaccination distribution.

Santa Clara County is setting up refrigeration units at strategic, county-owned sights to make giving vaccinations more manageable.

The number of doses is still unknown, and can fluctuate based on conditions. I

Initially, healthcare and front line workers will be the first to receive the vaccine.

“Like everyone else, we will receive a limited supply at first. More will be coming over time. It might take many months though before everyone who is interested in getting a vaccine is able to get one,” said Dr. Tong.

Officials stress social staples from the past nine months – washing hands, social distancing, and wearing a mask – are still needed to combat the current COVID-19 surge.

Some South Bay hospitals, including Valley Medical Center, are postponing elective surgery to insure bed space. Valley Med representatives declined comment.

Stanford Health Care emailed a statement to KTVU which read in part, it is, “… carefully managing capacity and collaborating with other Santa Clara County hospitals daily to ensure that all patients have access to care...If capacity requirements should surge due to Covid-19, we have a plan prepared to modify scheduling to accommodate higher inpatient volumes…”

“We want you and your loved ones to get the care that you need at our hospitals if you become seriously ill. We each must do what we can to slow the spread and protect our hospital capacity,” said Dr. Tong.

She explained hospitals in the south and east part of Santa Clara County are at 94% capacity. Everywhere else in the county, it’s 84% of capacity. So, patients are being redistributed to prevent any one hospital from becoming overwhelmed.