Silicon Valley could see a coronavirus-related death toll of 2,000 to 16,000 by the end of May, depending on how seriously people take the order to stay at home as much as possible, according to projections presented at a San Jose City Council meeting Wednesday.
The thinking behind the rough estimates illustrates why health and elected officials across California have sounded the alarm about the exponential rise in coronavirus cases reported since the beginning of March. Officials from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to San Francisco’s director of public health, Dr. Grant Colfax, have warned about a surge in gravely ill coronavirus patients needing hospitalization in the next week or two.
“Even in the best case scenario, we were looking at the order — in the next 12 weeks — of 2,000 potential deaths directly from COVID-19,” San Jose deputy city manager Kip Harkness said of an estimate of the projected death toll for Santa Clara County, California’s sixth most populous county.
Harkness emphasized the projections he presented are rough and the county is working on a more detailed and robust estimate. “But given the urgency of the situation, we have decided to share [these] preliminary results with you and the public today, in order to derive the action that is needed to save lives,” Harkness said
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