Like you, I’ve been closely following the COVID-19 pandemic and learning about the steps that governments and individuals can take to reduce the risk to our community. I’m writing to share a quick update and encourage District 10 residents to take common sense steps to reduce the spread of the virus and support each other through this crisis.
First, I want to thank the Public Health Department for taking the difficult but important step of closing all public schools in Santa Clara County, which was announced this morning. Public officials will be working to mitigate the immediate impact on families that lack access to childcare and sufficient nutrition. Aggressive steps like school closures are hard on families with young children, but will save lives in the long run.
At this stage, we each have a responsibility to slow the spread of infection and give our healthcare system time to provide treatment to those already infected. Unfortunately, due to significant testing gaps, we do not have a reliable count of cases at this time. It is likely that COVID-19 has been spreading mostly undetected in our community for weeks, meaning that we likely will see a significant increase in cases and the strain on our healthcare system in the days ahead.
You can help our community and reduce the impact of COVID-19 in the following ways:
- Social distancing: Avoid public gatherings, stay home as much as possible, maintain a distance of six feet from other people when in public and do not shake hands. If you are experiencing symptoms, immediately self-isolate at home and contact your healthcare provider. Santa Clara County has an excellent FAQ page that addresses social distancing, what to do if you’re feeling symptoms, etc.
- Diligent hygiene: In addition to avoiding handshakes, wash your hands with soap and hot water (or alcohol-based sanitizer) frequently and avoid touching your face, especially your nose, mouth and eyes. If you are experiencing symptoms, wearing a face mask, washing hands and self-isolating can reduce the spread to family and others with whom you are in contact while seeking medical care.
- Be a good neighbor: Buy what you need to spend more time at home over the next few weeks, but don’t hoard basic supplies like toilet paper and soap. Check in on older neighbors who may need help and may be scared to leave the house. Talk about the situation with your children and help them process it. Read the CDC’s guidelines for maintaining mental health during this epidemic. Donate to our local food bank, which is working to ensure everyone in our community is fed despite loss of income, school closures, etc.
The weeks ahead will test our resolve, but I know we will overcome this challenge by supporting each other and taking personal responsibility for adopting best practices. Fortunately, we already know that social distancing and proper hygiene work to slow the spread of the virus based on the experience of other countries. The faster we adapt to these new circumstances, the faster our community will come out on the other side of this crisis and the fewer people who will suffer as a result.
Please reach out with any questions, feedback or requests. My team and I will continue coordinating with Councilmember Khamis’ office, as well as officials at the County, City Hall and SJUSD. I wish you and your loved ones the best in the weeks ahead.
We are a strong community — and our resolve will be stronger than this health crisis. With common sense and a commitment to the common good, we can stay safe and even grow stronger.
I’m proud to be your neighbor and I wish all of you health and safety in these difficult days.
Councilmember-elect, District 10 (cell: 408–891–9708; email: [email protected])