Santa Clara County Bans All Gatherings of 1000+ People After Coronavirus Death

The County of Santa Clara's Public Health Department today issued a mandatory order that requires all mass gatherings of 1,000 or more people in Santa Clara County to be canceled.


Santa Clara County includes cities like Cupertino, Palo Alto, Mountain View, and San Jose, and it is the county where Apple's two main campuses are located along with many of its satellite offices.

Last week, county officials issued guidelines suggesting that companies in the area minimize or cancel large in-person meetings and conferences, but the new ban is a requirement that will prevent any major gatherings.

The ban takes effect at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time on March 11 and for now, will last for three weeks. Santa Clara County is putting the ban in place as it waits for more widespread testing and for more details on how COVID-19 spreads.

"This is a critical moment in the growing outbreak of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County. The strong measures we are taking today are designed to slow the spread of disease," said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County Health Officer. "Today's order and new recommendations will reduce the number of people who develop severe illness and will help prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed. This is critically important for anyone with healthcare needs, not just those most vulnerable to serious illness from COVID-19."

The three-week ban will only last until the beginning of April, but ahead of when the mandatory ban was in place, tech companies had already started canceling events. Both Facebook and Google have canceled planned developer events set to take place in May that would have had around 5,000 attendees.

Apple still has not made any announcements about WWDC, which is typically held in June at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, and the length of this ban will not affect June plans, but with the growing number of coronavirus cases in the county, Apple may cancel the event as a precaution.

Apple could still provide WWDC content in a digital format with online presentations for media and developers, but it's not entirely clear what the company's plan is at this time. We should be hearing soon, as Apple normally announces WWDC info right around this time in March.

The county's decision to blanket ban all events of 1,000 or more people comes as Santa Clara County experienced its first death due to the coronavirus. Santa Clara County has a total of 43 known COVID-19 cases, with more in other counties in the Bay Area.

Related Roundup: WWDC 2020

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
3 weeks ago


This PANIC is going to get much, much worse before it starts to get better.
[automerge]1583811628[/automerge]


Groups of individuals will still have to come together to set the damn event up–can’t all be done remotely and can’t all be done without physical interaction with groups of people.



Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 weeks ago


She isn’t posting anything but the very stuff that causes the panic. It’s sad when people die...I understand that. But the scale is nothing even close to the flu at this point. Imagine if we reported every case of the flu, pneumonia, or any other disease. We live in a world with constant updates from the media and crazy prognostications that extrapolate small data points into 1 in 3 Americans will be infected and you’ll know someone who dies from Covid19.

Social media totally distorts the scale of everything and people speak in these broad strokes that feed off each other until it’s a frenzy.

She’s right...coronavirus isn’t the flu...it’s not nearly as bad.

We should take precautions but we should take precautions for many viruses. I guess we have just given up on containing the flu?


I've seen a lot of this, people comparing COVID-19 to the seasonal flu. But those comparisons typically overlook the important difference which makes COVID-19 something which we should be concerned about to an even greater degree than we are typically concerned about the seasonal flu. (We should also be, and many are, pretty concerned about the seasonal flu itself.)

That difference is the disparate degrees to which humans have acquired immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and various influenza viruses.

The reader's digest version is this. The typical seasonal flu is, to some degree, self-containing. Plus we're able to offer flu shots which help to contain it further. Many humans have had various versions of the seasonal flu and thus have acquired immunity to those versions - i.e., their bodies recognize the antigens of the various influenza viruses and can produce the antibodies needed to fight them. Those influenza viruses mutate, but the antigenic changes typically only amount to what is referred to as drift. The antigens change only a little and are thus often still recognized by the bodies of people who have acquired immunity to that strain of influenza virus.

Over time the mutations can accumulate such that the changes to the antigens of the influenza viruses make them unrecognized even to the bodies of people who have immunity to that strain. It depends on a number of factors, to include how long it's been since someone had that version of the flu and how long it's been since they had a flu vaccine and what viruses were in that vaccine.

But the big picture point is, a lot of humans have some degree of immunity to some of the strains of influenza viruses. This effectively reduces the R0 of those viruses and slows or constrains their spread. Acquired immunity throws up roadblocks to its retransmission. So we see outbreaks of the seasonal flu, but we typically don't see it spread to the majority of the population of the planet. Because of previous infections and vaccines it isn't able to. There's also the effects of warmer weather which effectively arrests its spread every year. We don't know whether that will happen with SARS-CoV-2.

Sometimes an influenza virus mutates dramatically, by means I won't get lost in here, such that it experiences what is referred to as antigenic shift rather than antigenic drift. When that happens, the acquired immunity that people have isn't really helpful. The antigens have changed so much that people's bodies can't recognize them and produce the antibodies needed to fight them. When this happens the seasonal flu becomes something different, something that's able to spread further and - if it's virulent enough - kill many millions of people. The Spanish Flu may have killed a hundred million people in the years following WWI, at a time when there were only 2 billion people on the planet.

COVID-19 is more like the Spanish Flu than the typical seasonal flu. Very few humans have acquired immunity to SARS-CoV-2. So, unlike the influenza strains which cause the typical seasonal flu, it could spread like wildfire to most all humans on the planet. It may also, as it appears now, cause mortality at a higher rate than the typical seasonal flu.

We aren't concerned about COVID-19 and taking drastic actions in response to it because we know for certain that it will spread around the world and cause tens of millions of deaths. Rather, we should be concerned about it because there's a real chance that it could do those things. Maybe it won't, but unlike the typical seasonal flu it could. If it were to spread to half the population of the planet (which is quite plausible), and even if its mortality rate only ends up being 1%, that would mean 40 million deaths caused by it.

On one hand we could take the position... Let's not make these significant changes in the way we go about our daily lives because this virus is already on the loose and we aren't going to be able to contain it anyway. So let's just let it run its course and get on with our lives. But there are a number of problems with that tack. For one, who wants to be among the 10 or 100 million who die? Or among the 100 million or billion who are close to those who die? And what happens to health care systems? We just don't have the infrastructure to deal with the kinds of numbers of sick people which the virus could cause. How many hosptial beds are there in the U.S., about a million?

Or we could take the position... We should significantly alter the way we go about our daily lives for a while so that we can slow its spread and buy ourselves time to develop a vaccine. That way we might save a large portion of the planet from getting it and save 5 or 20 or 100 million lives.

At any rate, COVID-19 is different from the seasonal flu in important ways - i.e., the lack of widespread acquired immunity, the potentially higher mortality rate, the unknowns to include whether summer will suppress its spread. Those differences make it reasonable to be concerned about COVID-19 to a greater degree than, and take actions in response to it which go above and beyond, that which we are and do for the seasonal flu.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 weeks ago


Closing down entire countries to try to contain something that has probably already broken out has diminishing returns.


If only people had taken it more seriously. We should really tell more people to take it seriously.

arn
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 weeks ago


This is going to get much, much worse before it starts to get better.


This PANIC is going to get much, much worse before it starts to get better.
[automerge]1583811628[/automerge]


WWDC will be a virtual thing this year for sure...


Groups of individuals will still have to come together to set the damn event up–can’t all be done remotely and can’t all be done without physical interaction with groups of people.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 weeks ago


The CDC info I see has 18k dying in the US from H1N1, and between 151k and 575k deaths worldwide. We aren’t even close to this number and yet by the hysteria you would think we were.


Because it's not apples to apples. I don't see how this is hard to understand. No one is saying to irrationally freak out, but it makes sense to understand that circumstances are different.

H1N1 had a death rate of 0.01-0.08% (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_flu_pandemic)

People are worried that Coronavirus has a death rate 25x to 200x higher. Maybe it's not quite that high but it seems higher. So that means if it infects the same number of people as H1N1 in the US alone that means 450,000 to 3,600,000 deaths.

the entire country of Italy is on quarantine because of this possibility (and that their health care resources are stretched as is). Is that irrational? Or is it a reasonable precaution to try to prevent a ton of deaths?

arn
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 weeks ago
I'm from Milan and I can tell you many people in Italy thought the virus wasn't that serious. School have been closed for weeks, and students instead of staying at home spent time together, like there were on vacation. Ski resorts were full of people, so were pubs and disco.
Many people tried to minimise, it is not going to kill me, you die only if you are old, etc.
Now the entire country is in a partial lockdown, you can still go to work but if the situation doesn't improve we'll face even worse restrictions. No more weddings, no more funerals. A friend of mine lost her father and wasn't even able to see him at the hospital, she said goodbye on the phone and now he is buried, that's it. Think about that, I'm sure everyone has a grandfather, an old uncle or a family member with some medical conditions. If you get the virus, they will.

The first known patient is finally starting to recover, after 2 weeks in hospital, and he is 38. The majority of death are in elderly people, but just yesterday a 18 old guy was taken to the hospital in serious conditions.
Hospitals are full of people, they opened a military one to civilians and they're going to use hotels to put people in quarantine.
The problem is you have corona virus, but you have other patients. There are going to be less car accidents as people stay at home, but strokes still happen, so you have the usual casualties plus the corona virus. Doctors and paramedics are working around the clock, some of them haven't seen their families since the beginning of the crisis, the government just hired hundreds of new nurses to face the crisis.
Experts called for restricting measures in February and people laughed at them, but they were right.
The economic loss will be huge for us, but the more we wait for a lockdown the worst will be.

Other EU countries and the USA can learn from our mistakes. Place be considerate, avoid crowded places, clean your hands and if you're sick don't leave home. Some people need to go to work, but who can do his job from home should be fully remote for a few weeks.

Sorry for the long post, but I read comments of people who haven't understood how serious the situation is and they reminded me of people in Italy a couple of weeks ago.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Seemingly Unreleased Version of Logic Pro X With Live Loops Appears on Apple's Education Site [Updated]

Sunday March 29, 2020 7:23 am PDT by Hartley Charlton
Update: Apple has replaced the Logic Pro X image with an older version. Original story follows. A seemingly unreleased version of Logic Pro X has appeared on Apple's education site, as spotted by a Reddit user. The image from Apple's education products page shows a 16-inch MacBook Pro running Logic Pro X, but with a familiar interface that looks extremely similar to GarageBand's Live Loops ...

Zoom Updates iOS App to Stop Sending Data to Facebook

Friday March 27, 2020 5:35 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Zoom, a video conferencing app that many people are using at the current time to keep in touch with coworkers while working from home, was sending data to Facebook without disclosing the data sharing to customers. As of today, Zoom has updated its iOS app to remove the SDK that was providing data to Facebook through the Login with Facebook feature, according to Motherboard, the site that...

Apple Suppliers Worried About iPhone Demand, Production Ramp-Up for New iPhones Reportedly Postponed

Friday March 27, 2020 5:56 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Most of the factories in China that supply devices and components to Apple are back to churning out products, but Apple suppliers are said to be worried about how much demand there will be for the current iPhone models and the new iPhones expected in the fall. According to Reuters, a senior official at one of Apple's major supply companies said that orders for quarter ending in March are...

2020 iPad Pro Teardown Provides Closer Look at LiDAR Scanner and Confirms Incremental Update

Saturday March 28, 2020 9:56 am PDT by Hartley Charlton
iFixit today shared a video teardown of the new iPad Pro, which Apple unveiled earlier this month. iFixit found that most of the internals of the 2020 iPad Pro are the same as the 2018 model, confirming that the device is a relatively incremental update. The most notable new feature seen inside the new iPad Pro was the LiDAR scanner, which measures the distance to surrounding objects up...

Apple Watch Series 6 Could Feature Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor, Pulse Oximetry and Sleep Tracking Support

Friday March 27, 2020 11:28 am PDT by Juli Clover
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 set to be released this fall could include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the crown of the device, according to Israeli site The Verifier, which cites "senior sources" who have worked with its staff for a "number of years" as the source of the rumor. It's not clear how the alleged Touch ID fingerprint sensor would be implemented, as the Digital...

Bloomberg: Apple's 5G iPhone Still on Schedule for Fall Launch, But Future Products Could Be Delayed

Monday March 30, 2020 2:40 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple's 5G iPhone is still on track to launch within the company's typical annual fall release schedule, according to a new Bloomberg report on filed on Monday. Signs are that Apple's Chinese-centric manufacturing -- of which Hon Hai is the linchpin -- is slowly getting back on track. The next iPhones with 5G wireless capabilities remain on schedule to launch in the fall, partly because mass...

Kuo: Apple to Launch Several Macs With Arm-Based Processors in 2021, USB4 Support Coming to Macs in 2022

Thursday March 26, 2020 8:19 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple plans to launch several Mac notebooks and desktop computers with its own custom designed Arm-based processors in 2021, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Kuo believes that Arm-based processors will significantly enhance the competitive advantage of the Mac lineup, allow Apple to refresh its Mac models without relying on Intel's processor roadmap,...

Top Stories: Hands-On With 2020 iPad Pro and MacBook Air, iOS and iPadOS 13.4 Released, iPhone 12 Delay?

Saturday March 28, 2020 6:00 am PDT by MacRumors Staff
After last week's flurry of product launches, Apple's new iPad Pro and MacBook Air have started to make their way into consumers' hands, and we've gone hands-on with both of them this week. Apple this week also released iOS and iPadOS 13.4 (as well as macOS, watchOS, and tvOS updates) with a number of new features and improvements. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...

Deals: Huge Refurbished iPhone Sale Discounts iPhone 7, 8, X, XR, and XS (From $120)

Friday March 27, 2020 5:47 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Woot is back today with a big sale on refurbished iPhones, including markdowns on the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Woot. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. As with every Woot purchase, those...

Apple Releases ProRes RAW Beta for Windows

Monday March 30, 2020 9:33 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released ProRes RAW for Windows in a beta capacity (via Mark Gurman), with the software designed to allow ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ video files to be watched in compatible applications on Windows machines. According to Apple, the software will let the files be played within several Adobe apps: Adobe After Effects (Beta) Adobe Media Encocder (Beta) Adobe Premiere...