Fourth case of coronavirus found in Santa Clara County | News | Palo Alto Online |

News

Fourth case of coronavirus found in Santa Clara County

Woman is a 'household contact' of the county’s third case

In order for all area residents to have important local information on the coronavirus health emergency, Palo Alto Online has lifted its pay meter and is providing unlimited access to its website. We need your support to continue our important work. Please join your neighbors and become a subscribing member today.

UPDATE: Three more cases of coronavirus have been reported in Santa Clara County. Read the story here.

---

The fourth case of coronavirus was reported Saturday in Santa Clara County, county public health officials said.

The fourth case involves a woman who is a "household contact" of the woman who is the county's third case announced Friday, according to a statement issued Saturday afternoon.

The woman who is the county's fourth case, who is not in the hospital, has isolated herself at home.

The third case involves an older woman who has chronic health conditions and was hospitalized for a respiratory illness, public health leaders said. El Camino Health confirmed she received care at its Mountain View hospital.

The department did not provide more details about either case due to medical privacy and to protect their identities.

The news comes a day after Palo Alto Unified was notified of a school district parent who was exposed to someone with coronavirus. In response, the district sent home the parent's two children who attend Palo Alto High School and JLS Middle School, Superintendent Don Austin said in an email to families.

The county's first two cases were reported in late January. A county resident who traveled to Wuhan, China, returned by plane at Mineta San Jose International Airport on Jan. 24 and has since recovered. The second case involves a woman who traveled from Wuhan to the county on Jan. 23 where she visited family.

In the first two cases, the patients had mild symptoms and did not require hospitalization but they remained in quarantine, according to public health leaders.

To prevent infection, people are encouraged to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when hand-washing is not available. People should cough into a tissue or an elbow, not their hands, then throw the tissue away and wash their hands. They should avoid touching their faces.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by the Almanac, Mountain View Voice and Palo Alto Online here.

---

Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

34 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 29, 2020 at 4:59 pm

In addition to the precautions mentioned in this article, please stay home if you are sick. This included the common cold and flu. Employers should help out by offering sick people paid sick leave even if that is not their normal policy. Thank you.


20 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2020 at 5:02 pm

So we don't know whether this fourth case is the parent of the two students sent home yesterday. We obviously hope this isn't the case.

Supposing it is, the students have already spent some time in school. What other activities have these students been doing and what about their friends?

Let's not suppose though and just keep washing our hands and using sanitizer. BTW, everywhere is out of sanitizer, toilet paper and low on dry goods and canned goods. So how and where is the sanitizer to be found? There used to be wipes outside grocery stores for people to wipe the carts before using them. These have gone. Grocery carts, money (cash), etc. can be very germy. Let's get some more practical support here.

And as for re-using grocery bags and cups, water bottles, etc. now is the time to rethink some of this. We have to stay healthy and stop the spread of the virus. Let's be realistic now.


33 people like this
Posted by DTN Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 29, 2020 at 6:03 pm

I'm having trouble understanding what responsible human being would send their children to school if they believe they might have been exposed to the virus. Seems reckless and selfish. But maybe I'm just dizzy from the fumes from all these disinfecting wipes...


5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Feb 29, 2020 at 8:05 pm

If you go to the CDC website this virus doesn’t seem to be spread by contact as much as it is spread through the air. So someone can cough or sneeze 6 feet away from you and you’ll be at risk. Definitely stay home if you are sick and avoid anyone who is coughing....


7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 29, 2020 at 8:30 pm

Now is the time to reconsider doing away with keypads.
I have always thought they were unhygienic since they were invented.
Clearly the inventors did not take microbiology in college.
As for wearing gloves, some journals are reporting that the virus can survive on surfaces for 9 days.


23 people like this
Posted by Jane Doe
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 29, 2020 at 11:37 pm

I find it irresponsible of the authorities to not disclose the town and possibly the neighborhood where people who have tested positive live. Their first priority should be to protect the overall population and I do not see how disclosing town and neighborhood violates the privacy of the sick persons.

Along with the disclosure of the more precise location, people should be given advice on how to protect their household.
As it is, with the lack of geographical specificity, people can easily imagine they are not closely concerned when maybe they should be.

Local authorities are acting irresponsibly


19 people like this
Posted by household contact - house cleaner
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 1, 2020 at 12:05 am

household contact - house cleaner.
WHY NOT JUST SAY IT STRAIGHT?


7 people like this
Posted by Phil
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 1, 2020 at 10:07 am

'Household contact' can be an individual who had resided in the household for at least 7 consecutive days during the 3 months prior to the diagnosis.


3 people like this
Posted by Meaning
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 1, 2020 at 10:29 am

The fourth patient showed no symptoms, yet was tested. This means the family involved is careful and conscientious.


3 people like this
Posted by KT
a resident of another community
on Mar 1, 2020 at 11:25 am

The county discloses the exact neighborhood or location of the patient, only if the county doesn't know where the patient had been to and so is needing people's attention. If the situation is fully understood and controlled, and the patient didn't lie about his/her traces, there is definitely no need to reveal any identity regarding the patient. As a community, virtually and physically, we have the capacity to weather and we trust each other.


3 people like this
Posted by ABC
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 1, 2020 at 12:43 pm

Corona virus is here. It doesn’t matter where the cases are. Time to keep a cool head and be careful. There’s not much else to do. It’s just like the flu. It’s hard to know who has it, there could be people with mild symptoms who never get symptoms and what not.


20 people like this
Posted by Jane Doe
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 1, 2020 at 12:57 pm

@KT

I see. So, this positive person has never been outside her home in her neighborhood/town. She has not gone shopping at her local grocery store, ever, in the last month or so for example. And we are supposed to believe it.

@ABC

Other countries take measures to try and contain the spread of the epidemic, at least until there is a lull in it and/or a vaccine to address it. In the US, it is head in the sand: Let us pretend nothing unusual is happening (we do not our cherished stock market to go even lower, this is the priority it seems). Let us risk having hundreds of thousands of people die of this (I am thinking especially of our elders, such as the residents of that nursing home in Washington state), let us not test too many people of course, and see what happens. Great strategy. Oh, and I forget, let us then send bills of thousands of dollars to anyone who was tested after all... This truly is why we need Medicare for All in this country.

Good luck everybody


4 people like this
Posted by What Me Worry?
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 1, 2020 at 2:14 pm

This is an unresolved pandemic. Some people will come down with it while others die.

Such is life...and it goes on.


8 people like this
Posted by M.D.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2020 at 3:03 pm

People are contagious with ANY virus prior to having symptoms. Colds, flus, they are all contagious prior to symptoms.

The difference with coronavirus is that it can stay on a surface for 9 days vs. other viruses at 24 hours.

Don't touch eyes or mouth to allow the virus into the body.

Cough or sneeze into your elbow/arm sleeve, not hands!

Use Purell in your car.

Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds upon returning home.

Use a paper towel to grab the bathroom door handle, use a knuckle or elbow to press buttons. We really should be wearing gloves, not masks!


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park
on Mar 1, 2020 at 3:19 pm

Influenza Pandemic Preparation and Response: A Citizen’s
Guide clearly describes, in lay terms, the actions that
each of us can take.

Web Link

Here is an excerpt:

The main responsibility for effective infection control rests on the contribution of each individual toward reducing the spread of the virus. This means staying vigilant in regard to one’s own health through proper hand and respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette, and social distancing, and staying at home if one is ill. This also means educating others about how to care for themselves and their community.
Basic infection control procedures:
Steps to prevent the spread of infection
Clean hands frequently and thoroughly using soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs.
• This should take at least 20 seconds, or the time it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice.
• Alcohol-based hand rubs are effective against influenza virus and are not as drying as soap and water. They can be used effectively unless your hands are visibly soiled.
• Remember to clean your hands before preparing or serving food, brushing or flossing teeth, inserting or removing contact lenses, or treating wounds and cuts.
• Clean hands after any contact with potentially infectious individuals, coughing and sneezing, using the bathroom, caring for a sick person, after taking off masks and gloves, or taking out the garbage. Cover your coughs and sneezes and ask others to do so as well.
• Use a tissue or cough and sneeze into your elbow or sleeve. The new trend is to use your elbow!
• Wash hands after sneezing/coughing, and disposing of the tissue in a waste basket. Keep living and work areas surfaces clean.
• Frequently clean commonly used surfaces, such as the TV remote, doorknobs, telephone, and kitchen and bathroom counters with regular disinfectant. You can also use bleach (1 cup bleach + 1 gallon water)
• Wash dishes with soap and warm water. Practice social distancing.
• If you or anyone in your home is ill, or if you may have been exposed to an ill person, stay at home and isolate yourself as much as possible.
• Stay in a separate room with good light and ventilation. • Assign one person to care for the sick to minimize spread.
• Avoid crowds and public gatherings.
• Don’t send sick children to school. Wear protective covering if exposed to potentially contagious individuals.
• Wear gloves and a mask when in contact with sick persons. Depending on proximity, a respirator may be used.
• If masks aren’t available, you can use layers of cloth to reduce droplet transmission.
• If gloves aren’t available, you can use household rubber gloves that have been disinfected using bleach and water (1 part bleach to 10 parts water)

Did you know there is a scientific method for washing your hands? According to the CDC, hand washing is the “most important means of preventing the spread of infection.”

Here’s how to wash them well and perhaps avoid a cold or the flu. Wash your hands for 20 seconds or the time is takes to sing `Happy Birthday’ twice. Instructions • Step 1: Turn on the sink and get your hands wet with warm water. • Step 2: Use plenty of soap and rub hands together vigorously for at least 10 seconds. • Step 3: Wash palms, backs of hands, wrists, fingers and under fingernails. • Step 4: Rinse hands thoroughly with warm water. • Step 5: Dry hands with a clean towel or paper towel. • Step 6: Turn off the sink with the towel - this prevents reinfection of your hands.


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous1
a resident of another community
on Mar 1, 2020 at 7:09 pm

Ok the notion that the entire dxhool was not possibly exposed is stupid . Only the classrooms the student was in we’re not affected. Every kid he cane in contact with who came in contact with others again were exposed. Drinking fountains. Barhroons gym?? Also the custodians having to clean? Did the accept being exposed or were they given any extra equipment or trading in virus clean up . I am betting they used on dirty towel to wipe from room to room . This school still has no emergency plan for normal emergencies. Isn’t there some outside protocols. Shouldn’t they be washing desks and doorknobs already? Keon story makes it seem like it is being really cleanest. Let’s see if the black doors and grime that has been there for years ya gone on mon. Maybe kids there have super immunity because school has been so dirty already. Let’s hope


1 person likes this
Posted by Anonymous1
a resident of another community
on Mar 1, 2020 at 7:15 pm

It would be so simple to post classes on skype in real times for kids who are sick. Teachers need to make it easy to stay home instead of giving punitive damages especially for missed labs. Grades or the flu or exposing virus to others? Looks like they chose their grades. The school needs to control its punitive teacher.s and have better plans instead of reacting with patch ups after a disaster. They could have lessened or avoided with thought and prevention.


1 person likes this
Posted by DavidZ
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 2, 2020 at 1:47 am

CDC Influenza Pandemic Severity Index: Web Link
Category 1: Fatality Rate < 0.1% - Seasonal Flu, Swine Flu (H1N1 - 2009) prediction: < 90k US deaths
Category 2: Fatality Rate 0.1% - 0.5% - Hong Kong Flu(H2N2 - 1968/69) prediction: 90k to 450k deaths
Category 3: Fatality Rate 0.5% - 1% 450k to 900k deaths
Category 4: Fatality Rate 1% -2% - COVID-19 seems like it is in this range. prediction: 900k to 1.8M deaths
Category 5: Fatality Rate 2% or higher - Spanish Flu (1918) prediction: > 1.8M deaths

Pandemic Stages to Guide Government Action: Web Link

Stage 0: Animal outbreak in At-risk country
Stage 1: Suspected human outbreak overseas
Stage 2: Confirmed human outbreak overseas
Stage 3: Widespread human outbreak in multiple locations overseas
Stage 4: First human case in North America
Stage 5: Spread through out United States
Stage 6: Recovery and Preparation for Subsequent Waves

Recommendation for a Category 4 pandemic which has moved beyond stage 4:

1. Voluntary isolation of ill at home
2. Voluntary quarantine of household members with ill persons
3. Social distancing for children (close schools for <= 12weeks), reduce out of school mixing
4. Recommend decrease social contacts, reduce density of public transit, postpone large gatherings and events, modify work schedules (staggered shifts, work from home)


3 people like this
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 2, 2020 at 7:48 am

ok. I just read the article from kron and it seemed they hired a "crew" was the crew told they were possibly being exposed to the virus? What measures were taken? Did the custodians have training in cleaning possible corona virus and were they kept safe just even as a practice for them? Were the kron crew who were taking pictures of the clean up realizing that they were also possibly exposed? Is it an unusual action to wash surfaces at the school? Isn/t this done already or is there just layers of all manner of bacteria on desks and bathroom doors.

Who checked to see if it was actually cleaned? Would love to see KRON go back an look.

Still just wash hands and have doors open. Wait. there are people on campus from the outside! maybe just stay home. Seems like a good excuse to just avoid school and have some time off.


Like this comment
Posted by Chingona
a resident of another community
on Mar 2, 2020 at 1:27 pm

For all the comments going thru here ,I'm responding to the know it all person sayn that it was stupid of those kids to b sent to school knowing that others might b sick with C.V. maybe that parent DNT knw exactly what she/he had at the time..No ONE KNWS from one day to the next exactly what's happening! Every1 has families friends,jobs,and so on but DNT blame anyone as we knw that Trump should of put a better plan in motion like he did with NewMexico..thrs is hundreds of sick ppl here in the U.S. sick and it's our gov respondsability to make sure every county has enuf of the supplies that all ppl depend on including hospital care and it neighborhood clinics!also another thing IT IS NOT ANYONES BUSINESS whr anyone that is sick has to have the address put out thr that's totally harassment plain n simple!!how would anyone feel say ur address has been put out thr and thn those families getn harassed bout being sick! Have some common COMPASSION!!!


5 people like this
Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 2, 2020 at 1:43 pm

I am a parent of Palo Alto High Students. I would like to know at the soonest possible time:

1. When did the parents of the two student knew that they were exposed?
2. How much transmission of the virus could have taken place between the time they were exposed to the time when they were taken out of school?

For number one above, if the parents knowingly risked the health and lives of the other students and teachers, they should be severely punished. I hope no kids or student suffer because of their irresponsible actions.

Concerned Parent of Palo Alto High


4 people like this
Posted by Family Friendly
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 2, 2020 at 2:02 pm

@Concerned:

I agree that knowingly exposing others to the virus should be treated as a criminal matter. However, everything I've see so far seems to indicate that young, healthy people are not at risk from this virus. The dead are apparently mostly the elderly and those with serious pre-existing illnesses.

Hopefully, for high-schoolers themselves this will be just another flu-like illness to try to avoid.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay up to date on local coronavirus coverage with our daily news digest email.

Drive-thru farmers markets? The Peninsula's food industry pivots to the new normal.
By Elena Kadvany | 8 comments | 5,938 views

Coronavirus: Plan ahead now for a big outbreak
By Diana Diamond | 22 comments | 4,726 views

The first few seconds after awakening; before I remember the virus
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,962 views

How COVID-19 Affects Communities
By Jessica Zang | 19 comments | 1,639 views

Can you Stay Healthy without Making More Trash?
By Sherry Listgarten | 2 comments | 1,260 views

 

DEADLINE EXTENDED

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 10, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

Contest Details