SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – As Santa Clara County marks exactly two years since its first COVID-19 case, officials have noted progress in containing the increase in omicrons and announced changes. changes to medical orders related to testing.
On Monday, the county ordered all private healthcare providers to provide COVID-19 testing to patients within 24 hours of request and return results within 72 hours. hours, as part of a broader effort to remove the “burden” of testing and immunization from the county.
The updated health order comes on the two-year anniversary of the official discovery of the first COVID-19 case in the county. Under an order dating from September 2020, the county only requires healthcare providers to respond to requests by the end of the next day.
Monday’s order, published by District Attorney James Williams, prohibits health care providers from redirecting requests to other providers or government agencies.
On January 14, the county revealed that it was conducting a disproportionately high number of tests and asked members of the public to report testing problems to their provider to scccovidconcerns.org. At the time, Williams said continued violations could result in fines.
On Monday, Williams revealed the Palo Alto Health Foundation, Sutter Health, Kaiser, El Camino Hospital and others, had all received warning letters.
Monday’s order also expands options to include home tests and essential workers.
“It allows healthcare providers to use both antigen and PCR testing, which previously required only PCR testing,” Williams said. “And instead of requiring routine surveillance testing of essential workers, testing will now be required under guidance from the California Department of Public Health, as well as from the County Department of Public Health.”
Since a patient returned to the South Bay from Wuhan, China, infected with COVID-19 on January 31, 2020, Santa Clara County has recorded more than 283,000 cases and more than 2,000 deaths.
However, several key indicators seem to be trending in the right direction.
Overall hospital admissions are decreasing. The positivity rate has dropped from 17% to 12% since Jan. 9. And the 7-day rolling average has fallen by a third since the winter peak, from 5,066 on Jan. 9, to 3,312 in Monday.
“We are on our way down. We are on the way downhill. I’d say we’re about halfway down, not down as fast as we were going up, and our path has gotten a little more winding,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County Public Health Officer said.
Cody said the transition of testing and vaccines from the county to private healthcare providers will happen “in the coming months,” but did not give a specific timeline. Cody emphasized that Omicron is the 5th wave, but may not be the last.
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“What we can predict is that we will continue to see peaks and valleys. Of course, we won’t know how long those peaks will come and how hard or relatively easy those peaks will be, but we do know that they will,” Cody said.
https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2022/01/31/santa-clara-county-covid-19-2-years-later-health-testing-order-revised/ Santa Clara County marks 2 years since first COVID-19 case; Modifying Test Orders – CBS San Francisco