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Bucking California's relaxed guidelines for large venues, Santa Clara County to keep stadiums, theme parks closed

State's decision to allow large venues to reopen is 'unconscionable,' county executive says

Audiences at professional sporting events such as San Francisco 49ers games, held locally at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, won't be allowed anytime soon in Santa Clara County, officials said Oct. 20. Photo by Naveen Venkatesan/Unsplash.

Professional sporting events will not be allowed to have audiences and theme parks will not resume operation anytime soon in Santa Clara County, despite the state's decision that allows them to reopen, county leaders said on Tuesday afternoon.

County leaders said they would not relax their restrictions on theme parks and sports venues for some time, citing the trajectory of rising COVID-19 cases throughout the nation and warnings by federal and state officials that this fall and winter could see a dramatic rise in infection rates.

"We want to make it clear that superspreader events will not be allowed within the county of Santa Clara," county Executive Jeff Smith said during a press conference in San Jose on Tuesday afternoon.

The California Department of Public Health released new guidance and made updates to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy related to COVID-19 on Tuesday at noon. Professional sporting events at outdoor stadiums and racetracks may resume outdoor operations if their county is in the "orange" tier (also known as Tier 3, indicating a moderate risk level) with capacity limited to 20% and in the "yellow" tier (also known as Tier 4, indicating a minimal risk for COVID-19) with capacity limited to 25%. Ticket sales must be limited to customers traveling within a 120-mile radius. The guidance applies only to professional sports. It doesn't apply to youth or adult recreational, amateur, semi-pro or collegiate sporting competitions, according to the state guidance.

"The changes in the state's guidelines regarding professional sports in our opinion is really quite dangerous," Smith said. "You just do the math. Twenty percent of the number of capacity at Levi's Stadium means just under 14,000 people could attend a football game there, and if you look around the county and around the region within 150 miles of this county there are areas and communities that have positivity rates of COVID that are in the 8% range. Ours in this county happens to be around 1%."

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He estimated that somewhere between 250 and 1,000 people out of the 14,000 who would attend a football game at Levi's Stadium would be infected.

"There is no question — this is dangerous. This is the worst thing to be doing at a time when California is beginning to see some light. This amounts to another step backwards," he said.

While the state is allowing theme parks such as California's Great America in Santa Clara to reopen under the "orange" tier, Santa Clara County has chosen to keep the venue closed for now. Photo by Stephen Yeargin obtained via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

The state has also allowed theme parks with an overall capacity of less than 15,000 to resume limited operations if their county is in the "orange" tier of the state's blueprint for reopening with capacity limited to 25% or 500 people, whichever is fewer. The smaller parks may only open outdoor attractions, and ticket sales must be limited to visitors residing in the same county as the park. All theme parks may resume operations if their county is in the "yellow" tier at 25% capacity, according to the state guidance.

The venues must have advanced ticketing systems and preassigned seating to help maintain physical distance. Tailgating parties and other activities that encourage mixing of different households in parking lots and other areas must be discouraged, and guests should be advised against yelling, singing and booing, which would spread the virus into the air. Face coverings are to be mandatory.

The state guidance allows local health officers to institute more stringent rules tailored to local conditions.

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County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody tried to convince the state that reopening the venues where thousands would gather "is a really unwise idea," Smith said. She was unsuccessful.

"It's not a matter of reasonable scientific decision-making instead of political decision-making," he said.

"We must all continue to prioritize reducing the spread of COVID-19, creating conditions that will allow our businesses, schools and other community organizations to operate safely. As we see COVID-19 rates rising in states across the U.S., and as we enter the winter months when risk will increase, we cannot take chances with the health and wellbeing of our community and forfeit the many sacrifices that have been made to slow the spread of COVID-19," the county said in a statement.

Speaking for himself and not for the county, Smith said that the state's new guidance "not only boggles the mind, it is unconscionable."

There is a model to have games without a live audience and it makes no sense to put a large number of people in a stadium, which, "acts like a petri dish," he said.

The county has spoken to operators of California's Great America, Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park, Levi's Stadium and SAP Center in San Jose regarding its decision, Smith said. He did not know how they reacted, but he said they seemed to know about the state guidelines changes before the county health officer was notified.

The state's updated guidance issued Tuesday also allows personal care services such as esthetic, skin care, electrology, body art professionals, tattoo parlors, piercing shops and massage therapy to operate indoors with modifications, which the state Department of Public Health said can reduce spread of the virus. The update applies to all counties including those with the highest rate of COVID-19 cases that are in the state's "purple" tier (also known as Tier 1, indicating widespread of the virus).

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

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Bucking California's relaxed guidelines for large venues, Santa Clara County to keep stadiums, theme parks closed

State's decision to allow large venues to reopen is 'unconscionable,' county executive says

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 5:32 pm

Professional sporting events will not be allowed to have audiences and theme parks will not resume operation anytime soon in Santa Clara County, despite the state's decision that allows them to reopen, county leaders said on Tuesday afternoon.

County leaders said they would not relax their restrictions on theme parks and sports venues for some time, citing the trajectory of rising COVID-19 cases throughout the nation and warnings by federal and state officials that this fall and winter could see a dramatic rise in infection rates.

"We want to make it clear that superspreader events will not be allowed within the county of Santa Clara," county Executive Jeff Smith said during a press conference in San Jose on Tuesday afternoon.

The California Department of Public Health released new guidance and made updates to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy related to COVID-19 on Tuesday at noon. Professional sporting events at outdoor stadiums and racetracks may resume outdoor operations if their county is in the "orange" tier (also known as Tier 3, indicating a moderate risk level) with capacity limited to 20% and in the "yellow" tier (also known as Tier 4, indicating a minimal risk for COVID-19) with capacity limited to 25%. Ticket sales must be limited to customers traveling within a 120-mile radius. The guidance applies only to professional sports. It doesn't apply to youth or adult recreational, amateur, semi-pro or collegiate sporting competitions, according to the state guidance.

"The changes in the state's guidelines regarding professional sports in our opinion is really quite dangerous," Smith said. "You just do the math. Twenty percent of the number of capacity at Levi's Stadium means just under 14,000 people could attend a football game there, and if you look around the county and around the region within 150 miles of this county there are areas and communities that have positivity rates of COVID that are in the 8% range. Ours in this county happens to be around 1%."

He estimated that somewhere between 250 and 1,000 people out of the 14,000 who would attend a football game at Levi's Stadium would be infected.

"There is no question — this is dangerous. This is the worst thing to be doing at a time when California is beginning to see some light. This amounts to another step backwards," he said.

The state has also allowed theme parks with an overall capacity of less than 15,000 to resume limited operations if their county is in the "orange" tier of the state's blueprint for reopening with capacity limited to 25% or 500 people, whichever is fewer. The smaller parks may only open outdoor attractions, and ticket sales must be limited to visitors residing in the same county as the park. All theme parks may resume operations if their county is in the "yellow" tier at 25% capacity, according to the state guidance.

The venues must have advanced ticketing systems and preassigned seating to help maintain physical distance. Tailgating parties and other activities that encourage mixing of different households in parking lots and other areas must be discouraged, and guests should be advised against yelling, singing and booing, which would spread the virus into the air. Face coverings are to be mandatory.

The state guidance allows local health officers to institute more stringent rules tailored to local conditions.

County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody tried to convince the state that reopening the venues where thousands would gather "is a really unwise idea," Smith said. She was unsuccessful.

"It's not a matter of reasonable scientific decision-making instead of political decision-making," he said.

"We must all continue to prioritize reducing the spread of COVID-19, creating conditions that will allow our businesses, schools and other community organizations to operate safely. As we see COVID-19 rates rising in states across the U.S., and as we enter the winter months when risk will increase, we cannot take chances with the health and wellbeing of our community and forfeit the many sacrifices that have been made to slow the spread of COVID-19," the county said in a statement.

Speaking for himself and not for the county, Smith said that the state's new guidance "not only boggles the mind, it is unconscionable."

There is a model to have games without a live audience and it makes no sense to put a large number of people in a stadium, which, "acts like a petri dish," he said.

The county has spoken to operators of California's Great America, Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park, Levi's Stadium and SAP Center in San Jose regarding its decision, Smith said. He did not know how they reacted, but he said they seemed to know about the state guidelines changes before the county health officer was notified.

The state's updated guidance issued Tuesday also allows personal care services such as esthetic, skin care, electrology, body art professionals, tattoo parlors, piercing shops and massage therapy to operate indoors with modifications, which the state Department of Public Health said can reduce spread of the virus. The update applies to all counties including those with the highest rate of COVID-19 cases that are in the state's "purple" tier (also known as Tier 1, indicating widespread of the virus).

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

Comments

Gary
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Oct 20, 2020 at 8:54 pm
Gary, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Oct 20, 2020 at 8:54 pm
18 people like this

Donald Trump says vaccines and treatments and "cures" are weeks away - if only he is re-(s)elected. He is lying, of course. But scientific help is on the way. Fun and games can wait. The next key step in surviving this pandemic is ousting Trump and electing non-Republicans to the House and Senate. There is no contest for U.S. Senate in California and no real contest for a House seat in or near Silicon Valley. Donate to candidates in swing states. And get ready for quite a game starting on November 4. Trump lawyers will challenge election results in every swing state in which Trump trails to delay the outcome and thereby ensure that the next President will not be chosen by the Electoral College.


Gary
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Oct 21, 2020 at 2:03 am
Gary, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Oct 21, 2020 at 2:03 am
14 people like this

What happens when the Electoral College does not select a President or Vice President by the required absolute majority margin - 270 votes? The decisions move to the Congress in January. The President is selected by the House of Representatives - but NOT by members but by State. One State, one vote. Currently, Republicans hold a majority of federal House seats in 26 states. If the remains true, Trump could steal another 4-year term there. His vice-president would be selected by the Senate. So who is elected to the House and Senate could also determine whether Trump and Pence continue in office.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 21, 2020 at 11:39 am
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 21, 2020 at 11:39 am
29 people like this

I for one think this is a wise move.

The reality is that strong social interaction controls are keeping our infections down, and the more you increase social interactions the more likely you will have a case increase.

Thank god we had the smoke for the month, it did what the politicians were not brave enough to do, keep people in their homes. The smokie was the ultimate mask.


Victor Bishop
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2020 at 1:21 pm
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 21, 2020 at 1:21 pm
13 people like this

Outrageous that someone would be thankful for all the smoke filled days we had. Do people realize that the smoke came from fires that destroyed peoples homes. What about the people, with health conditions, that suffered using those days. What about the people that died n the fires? What about the destruction to nature? Hard to believe that someone would say that it was good. Truly clueless.

And then we have dictator Cody- first outdoors was good. Now it is bad. Goal posts moved again to,satisfy her desire for,power and control. Cody’s knee firmly on our necks.


Victor Bishop
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2020 at 1:37 pm
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 21, 2020 at 1:37 pm
8 people like this

I wonder if Cody looked into the results of this study:

Web Link

Probably not. The data may not support her policy.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 21, 2020 at 2:09 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 21, 2020 at 2:09 pm
28 people like this

In response to Victor Bishop who wrote:

“Outrageous that someone would be thankful for all the smoke filled days we had. Do people realize that the smoke came from fires that destroyed peoples homes. What about the people, with health conditions, that suffered using those days. What about the people that died n the fires? What about the destruction to nature? Hard to believe that someone would say that it was good. Truly clueless.”

First, I never said that the smoke was any good other than helping COVID numbers go down. You are IMPLYING that I was a “supporter” of he fires. I am not. But you try to use this as a personal attack, and you really don’t address the fact the we currently have a better control over COVID. The realirty is that all the other states except Hawaii are proving that every time you relax social interaction rules, the COVID explodes. You then said:

“And then we have dictator Cody- first outdoors was good. Now it is bad. Goal posts moved again to,satisfy her desire for,power and control. Cody’s knee firmly on our necks.”

WOW you try to make Dr. Cody the same as a police officer using an illegal choke manuever on a person. Talking about exaggerating one action so far as to make it an unreasonable comparison. You also wrote:

“I wonder if Cody looked into the results of this study:

Web Link

Probably not. The data may not support her policy.”

Victor, that report is not from any medical journal and was written by a person with no established expertise in Epidemiology at all. In fact, what is even worse is there is no research in this news, it reports that the “Science” is being researched at this time. Scott Roxborough is just a reporter writing for a publication who has a conflict of interest. The entertainment industry has been blocked from having concerts and such for the last 9 Months and many venues are starting to go bankrupt. Especially the ticket servicing companies. This report is biased and also simply doesn’t support your argument at all.


Victor you are reminding me of a person who wrote in such a way that the person got banned from the MV Voice for violating the terms of use. Specifically, the act of Trolling and Personal Attacks. Please realize I am not doing either here, I am “Fact Checking” a claim that appears to not be accurately argued?


Victor Bishop
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2020 at 2:58 pm
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 21, 2020 at 2:58 pm
4 people like this

Goldstein states:
“ You are IMPLYING that I was a “supporter” of the fires.”
Well someone that states that he is thankful for the smoke, either does not know the source of smoke or is thankful for the cause of the smoke.

Regarding the report by Roxborough. He is the reporter reporting on the study. Of course he is not an epidemiologist , nor is he an expert. No one said he was. I guess you would also say the same thing about a reporter reporting on what Fauci said.

Had you read the story:
“ Restart-19 is the first study of its kind in the world, according to Dr. Stefan Moritz, the lead researcher on the experiment. But he noted that labs in Australia, Belgium, and Denmark have already contacted him and are planning similar projects of their own. "So we've succeeded in our goal of getting scientists to study this," says Moritz, adding that additional studies can only help complement and strengthen their own results.”

But for your enlightenment here is a link to the actual study:
Web Link

"Victor you are reminding me of a person who wrote in such a way that the person got banned from the MV Voice for violating the terms of use."
Feel free to report me to the editors, however spare me your empty threats


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 21, 2020 at 3:30 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 21, 2020 at 3:30 pm
20 people like this

In response to Victor Bishop you write:

“Well someone that states that he is thankful for the smoke, either does not know the source of smoke or is thankful for the cause of the smoke.”

Sorry, but you just are trying to make my recognition of the benefit “look” like I am somehow with bad intentions. You know that is NOT true. You said:

“Had you read the story:

“ Restart-19 is the first study of its kind in the world, according to Dr. Stefan Moritz, the lead researcher on the experiment. But he noted that labs in Australia, Belgium, and Denmark have already contacted him and are planning similar projects of their own. "So we've succeeded in our goal of getting scientists to study this," says Moritz, adding that additional studies can only help complement and strengthen their own results.”

But for your enlightenment here is a link to the actual study:

Web Link”

My web browser (Google Chrome with Norton Internet Security) blocks that web page because it reported:

“Your connection is not private

Attackers might be trying to steal your information from restart19.de (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards). Learn more

NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID”

Help improve security on the web for everyone by sending URLs of some pages you visit, limited system information, and some page content to Google. Privacy policy”

You are trying to harm others computers with perhaps malicious code. Luckily my system is prepared with protection. Maybe you can try another way of violating the Computer Abuse and Fraud Act? You wrote:

“Victor you are reminding me of a person who wrote in such a way that the person got banned from the MV Voice for violating the terms of use."

Feel free to report me to the editors, however spare me your empty threats”

What threat did I make? I am just informing you of consequences of actions. I didn’t do anything, not even made a single complaint to the MV Voice. Because I felt that to let a person express themselves demonstrated more to the readers. You know the old sayings:

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”

I will already admit I am a fool, that is why I tell the readers to do their own homework and make up their own minds. Also:

“It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.”

I admit my stupidity too, but my message remains the same readers do you own homework and make up your own minds.

So I made no threat to anyone, just a reminder of the rules we all must comply with, right?


Victor Bishop
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2020 at 3:35 pm
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 21, 2020 at 3:35 pm
2 people like this

“ You are trying to harm others computers with perhaps malicious code. Luckily my system is prepared with protection. Maybe you can try another way of violating the Computer Abuse and Fraud Act?”

I had no,problem reaching the site. You can do a google search for the study and get to the site.
Nice try threatening me with violations of a computer abuse and fraud act,
The real issue is that I linked to,a study carried by real scientists that you cannot address ( see previous attempt by Goldstein to denigrate the study by attacking the person reporting the story).

Thanks for taking part. I am not wasting anymore time addressing Goldstein’s fantasies


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 21, 2020 at 3:48 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 21, 2020 at 3:48 pm
34 people like this

In response to Victor Bishop You wrote:

““ You are trying to harm others computers with perhaps malicious code. Luckily my system is prepared with protection. Maybe you can try another way of violating the Computer Abuse and Fraud Act?”

I had no,problem reaching the site. You can do a google search for the study and get to the site.”

That site is unsecure and a known threat, HOWEVER, I had a POS laptop I could just reimage so I used it, the web page Cleary says this:

“What is RESTART-19?

RESTART-19 is a scientific study of the University Medical Center Halle (Saale) in which the risk of infection of COVID-19 during large indoor events will be simulated. A concert simulation with 3 different scenarios and a total of 4000 test persons in the QUARTERBACK Immobilien ARENA will be conducted.

Scenario 1 simulates an event with 4000 visitors and an event sequence, just as before the beginning of the pandemic.

In scenario 2, 4000 visitors will be admitted to the QUARTERBACK Real Estate ARENA, but according to an optimized hygiene concept and significantly larger distances between the participants.

In scenario 3, a distance of 1.5m will be maintained on the spectator stands. During this scenario only about 2000 test persons will be involved. During the individual scenarios, Tim Bendzko will give a concert in order to depict spectator behavior as realistically as possible. The arrival and departure by tram will also be simulated.”

It has no data saying it is safe to do anything at all. You tried to give the impression that it was safe to go to indoor events. This is not completely proven to be false. As far as:

In fact if you read it further there is NO TESSING regarding COVID-19 it said in the web page:

“Testing:

How does it work with SARS-CoV-2 testing?

You will receive a package from us about 7 days before the venue. In this package you will find a smear kit, detailed instructions on how to take a smear, packaging materials for the return shipment, and information on how to return the sample. On August 20th you must take the smear test in the morning and pack it according to our instructions. You have the possibility to hand in the test at one of our collection points (our recommendation!) or return it by mail.”

IT IS TESTING THE WRONG VIRUS!!!

“Nice try threatening me with violations of a computer abuse and fraud act,”

I was not threatening you, I was giving you fair warning to readers that this link was not safe givent the security warnings I got. You said:

“The real issue is that I linked to,a study carried by real scientists that you cannot address ( see previous attempt by Goldstein to denigrate the study by attacking the person reporting the story).”

The fact is NOW I addressed it, and you tried to mislead the readers. Why do you insist to make such wild substantiated arguments? You wrote:

“Thanks for taking part. I am not wasting anymore time addressing Goldstein’s fantasies”

Well, you seem to be living in some too. Readers you make up your own mind, don’t believe EITHER of us.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 21, 2020 at 7:00 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 21, 2020 at 7:00 pm
27 people like this

The CDC just REDEFINED what is CLOSE CONTACT regarding COVID 19

The Washington Post article titled “CDC expands definition of who is a ‘close contact’ of an individual with covid-19” Found here (Web Link)

“The CDC had previously defined a “close contact” as someone who spent at least 15 consecutive minutes within six feet of a confirmed coronavirus case. The updated guidance, which health departments rely on to conduct contact tracing, now defines a close contact as someone who was within six feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, according to a CDC statement Wednesday.”

Off course the REAL problem is asymptomatic or untested people must be ASSUMED to be an infected individual. Because there is no PROOF they are not infected. And given that the infection rate is still “STEADY” in the reports, people are still getting infected here. This means for example restaurant workers are potentially at SERIOUS risk of being infected. They are repetitively exposed to people that are not proven "safe".

To me, it looks like we are sliding back into lockdown again.


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