Category Archives: COVID-19 Testing

CDC COVID-19 Aerosols for Hours.

By Michael G, Stogner

Here we are Nine months into a PANDEMIC. Remember You are responsible for protecting yourself and loved ones. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged Monday that the coronavirus can spread through microscopic respiratory particles known as aerosols that float in the air for minutes or even hours before being inhaled.


Todays LATIMES Article:

CDC warns of aerosol spread

Tiny particles that linger in the air can help transmit virus, especially in crowded indoor spaces.

WEARING masks and social distancing indoors are keys to stopping the virus from being transmitted. (Allen J. Schaben Los Angeles Times) 

By Richard Read

SEATTLE — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged Monday that the coronavirus can spread through microscopic respiratory particles known as aerosols that float in the air for minutes or even hours before being inhaled.

On its website, the CDC said that even people who followed social distancing guidelines have been infected through this type of transmission — and added a warning against frequenting crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces.

The acknowledgment comes after months of campaigning by independent experts and brings the agency into line with research on the role of aerosols in “super-spreading events” such as a choir practice in Washington state that infected dozens of people and killed two.

But some researchers said the agency did not go far enough, because it maintains that the virus is still far more likely to spread through larger respiratory droplets that quickly fall on people in close vicinity.

Donald K. Milton, a University of Maryland environmental health professor and expert on aerosols, said Monday that the CDC was “slowly moving along in the right direction, but is not where I would quite like to see it.”

He said that mathematical models show that aerosols carrying the virus are more apt to spread the disease than larger droplets spewed as projectiles, even when an infected person is less than six feet away.

“At close range, you’re still going to see aerosol transmission dominant most of the time,” he said. “Spitballs are much less frequent.”

He said that means that masks — which the CDC has long recommended be worn when near others — are useful both indoors and outdoors for preventing the spread of the virus.

“Outdoor dining is associated with increased risk of getting COVID-19 because people are sitting there for a long time without a mask in one spot,” he said.

Moving around when outdoors lowers the risk of inhaling aerosols and becoming infected, he said.

When the coronavirus began spreading in the United States early this year, the CDC advised people to stay at least six feet away from other people and wash their hands frequently in case they happened to touch contaminated surfaces.

Later the agency said that contaminated surfaces played only a minor role in spreading the virus.

Researchers began following up on reports of super-spreading incidents in which aerosols appeared to be the main culprit.

The scientists urged the CDC and the World Health Organization to acknowledge airborne transmission, but health officials were skeptical.

In July, after 239 researchers from 32 countries signed an open letter urging the WHO to accept the possibility that aerosols played a major role in spreading the virus, the international agency revised its guidelines to recommend that people avoid poorly ventilated, crowded spaces.

Still, the WHO maintains that aerosol transmission has not been definitively demonstrated.

On Sept. 18, the CDC revised its guidance without notice to say that the virus spread through aerosols, but withdrew the new advisory three days later , saying it was a draft of proposed changes posted by mistake.

CDC officials did not respond to requests for an interview Monday.

A letter written by Milton and five other researchers and published Monday by Science magazine cited “overwhelming evidence” that inhalation was “a major transmission route” for the coronavirus and cited an urgent need to define terms consistently across scientific fields.

Respiratory droplets, defined as larger than 100 microns, can be sprayed like tiny cannonballs and typically fall to the ground in seconds within six feet, the letter said.

But the letter said that aerosols — defined as particles smaller than 100 microns, less than the diameter of the average human hair — “can remain suspended in air for many seconds to hours, like smoke.”

Milton said that tobacco smoke is an apt analogy to understand how tiny respiratory particles waft through the air.

“If somebody goes out for a smoke and they come in and you smell it on their breath, you’re inhaling their exhaled breath,” he said.

Milton said while the virus is most apt to spread through the air indoors, where aerosol can accumulate, it’s possible that airborne transmission occurred at the Sept. 26 White House Supreme Court nomination ceremony for Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

The event included a large gathering in the Rose Garden and a smaller, indoor reception. Photographs show that in both locations few people wore masks and that social distancing guidelines were not widely followed.

The CDC has the technical resources to conduct an investigation that could determine who infected whom, Milton said.

“It would be very interesting to know which way the wind was blowing in the Rose Garden,” he said. “They were really close to each other, they were hugging each other, they were shaking hands. They were throwing all precautions to the wind, and the wind got them anyway.”

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President Trump and First Lady are Covid-19 positive.

By Michael G. Stogner

This is a sad day for America. The most powerful man in America who has known since January just how dangerous Covid-19 is and how it is spread.

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested Positive last night.

This was so avoidable, and predictable, I feel sorry for all of the staff and Military who were forced to be around this behavior.

Best of Health, Remember Nobody is above COVID-19

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Half Moon Bay Beaches OPEN Labor Day Weekend.

By Michael G. Stogner

Half Moon Bay City Council voted 5-0 last night to keep the Beaches in Half Moon Bay Open while Monterey County, Santa Cruz County and the City of Pacifica have decided to Close Beaches and Parking Lots.

There is a Worldwide PANDEMIC, No Cure, No Treatment, No Vaccine but that has never been a concern for San Mateo County Leadership. They have consistently been dedicated to Staying off of the States Watchlist, or Getting Off of the States Watchlist. That might be why they have made so many changes to the Data Base, None of it matches.

Back to the Beaches of Half Moon Bay you can’t blame the elected officials in this case, so many moving parts and they don’t get paid for this. The City Manager, Assistant Manager, Sheriff, Chief of Police they do, the Chief who by the way said he would make some calls to see if he could get some extra staff to enforce the closure of Beaches if they voted to close. Think about that, He didn’t say Of Course I will get the extra staff I need to enforce your decision. This is San Mateo County, now known as Silicon Valley and the Police Chief says its going to be tough to enforce it. All five council members were OK with his response.

Even from a simple Math point of view, This is a very bad idea. Half Moon Bay and the SMC Coast experience Gridlock on normal weekends, watch what happens now. This is an invitation to the world the Party is in Half Moon Bay this Labor Day Weekend.

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The Horse Park at Woodside, August 7-9

By Michael G. Stogner


The Horse Park at Woodside

I have asked San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos his Public Information Officer Rosemary Blankswade and San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy to comment on this subject. So far none of them have made a comment to me yet. If they do I will publish it.

As most of San Mateo County is starting to realize the County has remained off of the State Watchlist for several weeks when there was no benefit in doing so even if the Data on the County Website were true. SMC has always had SFO in County and San Jose International just to the south in Santa Clara County, Both had several non-stop flights to and from Wuhan per day. To this day we do not know how COVID-19 is transmitted, There is NO CURE, NO TREATMENT, NO VACCINE. San Mateo County Website claims it has a Testing goal of 1,800 per day, in the entire month of July they reached that goal only 2 days for the entire month.

They are expecting between 300-350 people to attend this three day event.

Now is not the time to hold this event. There is a Pandemic.



Upcoming August Events at The Horse Park

     and COVID-19 Preventative Measures

The Horse Park will be hosting two major horse shows in August, which are put on by two of the West Coast’s top show producers, The Summer Event at Woodside Horse Trials (August 7-9) and Silicon Valley Equestrian Hunter/Jumper Festival (August 19-23 & 26-30). These shows are authorized under the State guidance.  Every aspect of the shows will meet the strict requirements for competition outlined in the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s “Equestrian Event Resources.” These outdoor, controlled-access shows will adhere to the robust Covid-19 biosecurity protocols and compliance measures established by the national federations for the sport, specifically the United States Equestrian Federation.

The Horse Park prioritizes the safety of our members, exhibitors and surrounding community. The following are some of the things that will be strictly enforced in regard to Covid-19 preventative measures:


  • Every person entering the property will be screened and have their temperature taken every day. No one with Covid-19 symptoms or who has known direct exposure to Covid-19 will be allowed on property.
  • Following successful daily screening, participants will receive a daily wrist band.
  • Social distancing will be required and strictly enforced.
  • Masks are mandatory at all times except when riding a horse or consuming food or beverage.
  • No spectators are allowed.
  • No social events or gatherings are allowed.
  • Additional handwashing stations and sanitizer dispensers will be widely spread around the facility for everyone’s use.
  • Signage is posted throughout the Horse Park regarding basic rules and Covid-19 safety measures. Additional signs will be installed for even greater visibility.
  • All show attendees will sign a statement in advance agreeing to Covid-19 rules for competition and acknowledging that they will be asked to leave if they do not comply. The signed statement will also include contact information and consent for future contact tracing should that be required.
  • There will be biosecurity compliance officers walking around the property for the duration of the competition to ensure strict adherence to the rules.
  • The Horse Park will ensure ongoing cleaning of all common surfaces and areas.


We are pleased to support our valued equestrian constituents and host these exciting events. We will insist on participants’ compliance with the rules to ensure a safe and enjoyable competition for everyone. We continue to be impressed by the wonderful Horse Park community, and we thank you in advance for your support.

Steve Roon

Executive Director



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31 Costco Employees Positive for COVID-19 at 4 Silicon Valley locations.

By Michael G. Stogner

I asked San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy How many San Mateo County Costco Employees have tested positive? His response was “Michael I do not have that information.” That would be good for the Residents of SMC to know.

The cases were reported to the county by Costco after workers reported their diagnoses to the company. 

Where were they tested and by who?

The LATIMES reported today that 31 employees from four locations in Santa Clara County have tested positive for COVID-19.

The largest cluster of coronavirus cases among workers of the warehouse chain’s stores in Santa Clara County — Northern California’s most populous — is the Costco in Sunnyvale, where 13 cases were reported between July 23 and 26.

Cases were also reported at Costco locations in San Jose on Senter Road, southeast of downtown, with eight cases between July 17 and 22; Gilroy, with six cases between July 24 and 30; and Mountain View, with four cases between July 15 and 29.

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Thank You LATIMES, State Inspectors Not Tested.

By Michael G. Stogner

Everybody should be thanking the LATIMES for their work. Government doesn’t always get it right. Protect yourself and those you love.

LATIMES Article today.

Inspectors of nursing homes were not tested
Gov. Newsom says the state is ‘raising our standards’ after Times reported on gap in COVID screenings.
DR. MICHAEL WASSERMAN was “blown away” that workers who visit multiple facilities went unscreened. (Al Seib Los Angeles Times)
By Jack Dolan and Brittny Mejia

Since early in the COVID-19 pandemic, California health officials have required nursing homes to bar entry to outsiders who might bring the coronavirus in with them and trigger a deadly outbreak among the elderly, vulnerable residents.
As a result, aging parents haven’t seen their families in months. Many have died without a final embrace from the people they loved.
But despite requiring routine testing of residents and employees , there’s one group California health officials have knowingly sent from nursing home to nursing home without first testing them for the lethal virus: state inspectors.
Interviews with eight registered nurses working as inspectors for the California Department of Public Health — all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation — revealed that the department has not provided coronavirus testing for the very people it is sending to make sure facilities comply with rules on infection control.
The inspectors said they are exposed to the virus on an almost daily basis and could easily be spreading the disease. One said she came down with a bad cough and tested positive for COVID-19 soon after visiting more than a dozen nursing homes in two days.
Public health officials said they had sent about 500 inspectors to the state’s roughly 1,200 skilled nursing facilities. Some with the worst outbreaks were visited multiple times. California was inspecting homes at triple the rate of other states, officials said.
“For them to send us in without testing or screening is unconscionable,” said an inspector in Southern California. “I think nursing homes shouldn’t let us in.”
Most of the inspectors interviewed also said they have not been provided with properly fitting personal protective equipment. One inspector said she refuses to spend more than a few minutes in a nursing home’s “red zone,” the quarantine wing reserved for COVID-positive residents, because every time she exhales wearing her ill-fitting masks, her glasses fog up.
In a brief email response to questions from The Times, California Department of Public Health Deputy Director Heidi Steinecker wrote, “We do supply our staff with proper PPE, and testing; our staff’s safety is important to us.” She did not respond to further questions.
Tony Owens, vice president of the union that represents nursing inspectors, said he was outraged at the claim that the department was providing his members with tests and adequate protective equipment.
“It doesn’t square with what we hear from the field, from the nurses themselves,” he said.
Later, health department spokeswoman Kate Folmar acknowledged that the department had not provided systematic testing but had encouraged inspectors to use their personal health insurance to seek testing on their own.
On Friday, hours after this article was published online, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state would launch an aggressive testing regime for nursing home inspectors.
“We’re raising our standards,” Newsom said at a news conference, adding that nursing home inspectors will be held to the same testing standards the state requires of nursing home employees. Homes are required to test 25% of their staff every week and ensure that all employees are tested at least once a month.
The failure to provide reliable, systematic testing for inspectors is “crazy, just really alarming,” said David Grabowski, a professor of healthcare policy at Harvard Medical School. “It makes basically no sense that we’ve locked these facilities down since March, keeping families out, only to learn inspectors have been moving from facility to facility without being tested.”
Inspectors told The Times they have faced serious obstacles when they tried to get tested on their own — just like the general public. In some cases, their primary care physicians told them they didn’t meet the criteria for testing. In others, their doctors said there weren’t enough tests available.
“Why is the testing not coming to us?” one inspector asked. “We’re government employees. We’re doing this infection control … for the government.”
Nursing homes have been ground zero for the pandemic in the United States, suffering a staggering proportion of the deaths from COVID-19.
As of Monday, nearly 3,000 nursing home residents and more than 100 staff had died of COVID-19 in California, accounting for nearly 40% of the deaths statewide.
Many nursing home outbreaks are believed to have been sparked by “asymptomatic spread,” in which people who do not know they have the virus unwittingly infect others.
Some nursing home officials said they were shocked by the state’s lack of a comprehensive testing regime and worry that inspectors could be dangerously efficient spreaders of the disease.
“I’m blown away,” said Dr. Michael Wasserman, medical director of the Eisenberg Village nursing home in Reseda and president of the California Assn. of Long Term Care Medicine, which represents doctors, nurses and others working in nursing homes. “So you have inspectors going around to different facilities who haven’t been tested? It just makes no sense.”
Wasserman is not alone.
When nursing home administrators find out the inspectors haven’t been tested, “they are absolutely, visibly shocked,” an inspector from Southern California told The Times. “They only let us in because we’re the state; they’re scared to say no.”
An inspector working in Central California added: “We’re missing the whole point of public health 101, and we’re the public health department.”
The lack of testing for nursing home inspectors marks the latest failure by California health officials to take the necessary measures to prevent the coronavirus from spreading to some of the state’s most vulnerable institutions.
Last month , a Times review of inspection records found that state health inspectors had carried out more than 1,700 “COVID Focused Surveys” at skilled nursing facilities but had issued just 14 infection-control citations as a result of those visits.
Time and again, inspectors sent to assess nursing homes’ ability to contain the virus found no deficiencies at facilities that were in the midst of deadly outbreaks or about to endure one.
In early April, for example, state inspectors completed a survey of Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Riverside and found nothing wrong.
The next day, a fleet of ambulances lined up outside the home to evacuate all 83 residents after the staff refused to show up for work, terrified of the deadly infection already spreading within the facility.
In addition to nursing homes, the untested state inspectors have been regularly visiting a wide range of healthcare facilities, including hospitals, surgery centers, dialysis clinics and home health centers.
State health officials said they are not aware of any outbreaks that have been caused by an inspector introducing the virus.
Folmar said the department knows of six inspectors who have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Through contact tracing questions, we learned none had recently been in a facility and were working off-site at home,” she said.
But contact tracing has been spotty.
Despite coming and going from buildings with outbreaks on an almost daily basis, none of the inspectors who talked to The Times said they had been interviewed by a contact tracer since the beginning of the pandemic.
Internal emails reviewed by The Times indicate that officials at the Department of Public Health have been aware for months of complaints from inspectors about unsafe working conditions.
In early July, department officials took part in a formal exchange with SEIU Local 1000, the union that represents inspectors. Among the questions presented by the union was whether inspectors would finally get tested, noting, “This is a big concern for nurses.”
In response, a public health management representative acknowledged that everyone else working in the health facilities visited by the inspectors is required to be tested, so failing to test the inspectors creates “an inconsistency.” The representative said there was no final plan to begin testing the inspectors.
The documents also discuss a myriad of problems with personal protective equipment, including distribution issues and the lack of fit-testing of medical-grade masks, known as N95s, which are recommended for people working indoors surrounded by COVID-19 patients.
Several of the inspectors interviewed by The Times said they have attended staff meetings in which their colleagues openly discussed the possibility that they are spreading the disease to nursing homes.
“We’re the public health department; we should be testing our people,” one of them told The Times. “If it was my family in that nursing home, would I want a nurse to come in, and she’s not tested? I don’t think so.”
Times staff writer Phil Willon contributed to this report.

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SMC has 3 ICU Beds and Staff Available

By Michael G. Stogner

That number is supposed to be 13 not 3.

San Mateo County has consitantly had 67 ICU Beds and Staff until July 21, 2020. On that day the County’s Data Base showed 82 ICU Beds and Staff. I asked County Manager Mike Callagy which Hospital/s had the Beds and Staff. His response is below. Today the County says they have 64 Total ICU Beds and Staff. Why?

20% Availability of 67 ICU Beds and Staff equals 13, with the exception being 7/21/2020 16

According to the data published by San Mateo County for the last 10 days the County has not maintained the 20% availability of ICU Beds and Staff.

Below you will see ICU Beds Available 3. Remember they are supposed to have 13.

Screen Shot 2020-07-25 at 8.29.49 AM

Screen Shot 2020-07-25 at 8.29.28 AM

The above chart leaves blank (Gray) July 23-24 Staffed & Available Beds. Why?

Michael Callagy <>
To:Michael Stogner
Wed, Jul 22 at 4:48 PM
I don’t know specifically, but I do know many hospitals now are able to easily convert rooms to ICU… it is not like the ICU wards they use to have.  Most rooms now are set up to convert to ICU.

From: Michael Stogner <>
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 3:30:40 PM
To: Michael Callagy <>
Cc: Jeff Regan <>; Ian MacDougall <>
Subject: Increased 15 ICU Beds and Staff

CAUTION: This email originated from outside of San Mateo County. Unless you recognize the sender’s email address and know the content is safe, do not click links, open attachments or reply.

Hello Mike,
Can you tell me which hospital/s added 15 more ICU beds and Staff today?
The County has had 67 ICU Beds and Staff from the beginning to yesterday, today you have 82.
Thank You
Michael G. Stogner
San Mateo County

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Shut it down, Start over, Do it Now.

DOWNLOAD THE LETTER** This is an open letter to America’s decision makers, on behalf of health professionals across the country. We’ll update the list regularly with signatures. If you’re a health professional and want to add your name, you can do so here

Dear decision makers,

Hit the reset button.

Of all the nations in the world, we’ve had the most deaths from COVID-19. At the same time, we’re in the midst of “reopening our economy,” exposing more and more people to coronavirus and watching numbers of cases — and deaths — skyrocket.

In March, people went home and stayed there for weeks, to keep themselves and their neighbors safe. You didn’t use the time to set us up to defeat the virus. And then you started to reopen anyway, and too quickly.

Right now we are on a path to lose more than 200,000 American lives by November 1st. Yet, in many states people can drink in bars, get a haircut, eat inside a restaurant, get a tattoo, get a massage, and do myriad other normal, pleasant, but non-essential activities.

Get our priorities straight.

More than 117,000 Americans had died of COVID-19 by mid-June. If our response had been as effective as Germany’s, estimates show that we would have had only 36,000 COVID-19 deaths in that period in the United States. If our response had been as effective as South Korea, Australia, or Singapore’s, fewer than 2,000 Americans would have died. We could have prevented 99% of those COVID-19 deaths. But we didn’t.

The best thing for the nation is not to reopen as quickly as possible, it’s to save as many lives as possible. And reopening before suppressing the virus isn’t going to help the economy. Economists have gone on record saying that the only way to “restore the economy is to address the pandemic itself,” pointing out that until we find a way to boost testing and develop and distribute a vaccine, open or not, people will not be in the mood to participate.

Listen to the experts.

Public health professionals have made clear that even after we’ve contained the virus by staying at home, in order to reopen American cities and towns safely, we will need:

— Enough daily testing capacity to test everyone with flu-like symptoms plus anyone they have been in close contact with over the last 2 weeks (at least 10 additional tests per symptomatic person). We currently have only 35% of the testing capacity we need to meet that threshold. The more people get sick, the more testing is required.

— A workforce of contact tracers large enough to trace all current cases. That’s 210,000 more contact tracers than we had in April, but the number keeps going up as infections rise. Most states are far short of the number of contact tracers they need.

In addition, we need more personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep essential workers like health professionals, emergency responders, and grocery store clerks safe.

Shut it down now, and start over.

Non-essential businesses should be closed. Restaurant service should be limited to take-out. People should stay home, going out only to get food and medicine or to exercise and get fresh air. Masks should be mandatory in all situations, indoors and outdoors, where we interact with others.

We need that protocol in place until case numbers recede to a level at which we have the capacity to effectively test and trace. Then, and only then, we can try a little more opening, one small step at a time.

You should bar non-essential interstate travel. When people travel freely between states, the good numbers in one state can go bad quickly.

If you don’t take these actions, the consequences will be measured in widespread suffering and death.

We need you to lead.

Tell the American people the truth about the virus, even when it’s hard. Take bold action to save lives — even when it means shutting down again.

Unleash the resources needed to contain the virus: massively ramping up testing, building the necessary infrastructure for effective contact tracing, and providing a safety net for those who need it.

Many of the actions of our government thus far have fallen short of what the moment demands. Mr. Trump, federal administration, honorable governors: we remind you that history has its eyes on you.

Sincerely,Matthew Wellington
Public Health Campaigns Director, U.S. PIRG

Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice Provost of Global Initiatives
Chair, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy
Levy University Professor
Co-Director, Healthcare Transformation Institute
Perelman School of Medicine and The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania

Krutika Kuppalli, MD
Infectious Diseases Physician and Emerging Leader in Biosecurity Fellow at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

William Hanage, PhD
Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

Saskia Popescu, PhD, MPH, MA, CIC
University of Arizona

David Sherman, PhD
University of Washington

Richard H. Ebright, Ph.D.
Rutgers University

Angela Rasmussen, PhD
Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

Seth Trueger, MD, MPH
Northwestern University

Megan Ranney, MD, MPH
Brown University & GetUsPPE

Sanjat Kanjilal MD, MPH
Harvard Medical School, Brigham & Women’s Hospital

Joan Casey, PhD
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Karen Thickman, PhD
University of Washington, Department of Microbiology

Valerie Bengal, MD, FAAFP former UCSF Associate Clinical Professor
UC Santa Cruz and Capacitar International

Reshma Ramachandran, MD, MPP
National Clinician Scholars Program, Yale School of Medicine

Howard Forman, MD, MBA
Yale University

Ryan Marino, MD
Case Western Reserve University

Eric Goralnick, MD, MS
Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Wade Berrettini, MD, PhD
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Janet Perlman, MD, MPH

David Rosen, MD, PhD
Washington University School of Medicine

Drew Schwartz, MD, PhD
Washington University School of Medicine

Krysia Lindan, MD, MS
University of California, San Francisco

Yaneer Bar-Yam, PhD
New England Complex Systems Institute

Margaret Handley, PhD, MPH
University of California San Francisco, Department of Epidemiology and Medicine

Thomas Lietman, MD

Travis Porco, PhD, MPH
University of California, San Francisco

Veronica Miller, PhD
UC Berkeley School of Public Health

Kenneth Rosenberg, MD, MPH
PHSU-PSU School of Public Health

Jason Newland, MD
Washington University

Elizabeth Jacobs, PhD
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Arizona

Fern P. Nelson, M.D.
Veterans Administration Hospital

James Gaudino, MD, MS, MPH, FACPM
OHSU-PSU School of Public Health & Gaudino Consulting

Bruce Agins, MD, MPH

Bonnica Zuckerman, MPH

Paul Song, MD

Katherine Villers, MUA
Community Catalyst

Bethany Letiecq, PhD
George Mason University

Vineet Arora, MD, MAPP
University of Chicago and IMPACT4HC

Pete DeBalli, MD
UCF School of Medicine

Carrie Beckman, PharmD
UC Health

Krys Johnson, PhD, MPH
Temple University

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San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy ” Pretty Good Position.”

By Michael G. Stogner

Update: July 24, 2020 San Mateo County has had 3 COVID-19 Deaths and as of this morning the County is reporting only 5 ICU Beds and Staff available. That number has been 13 up until July 21, 2020. 20% Availability of 67 = 13 on the bar graph below you will see on the far right the GRAY color is supposed to show how many ICU Beds and Staff are available, for the first time it is BLANK.

Screen Shot 2020-07-24 at 7.42.11 AM

In a SMDJ article this morning titled “Keeping closures at bay in San Mateo County.”

Mr. Callagy says: “Dr. Morrow does believe that we’re in a pretty good position here that doesn’t warrant the type of measure of closing more businesses down.” 

I don’t know where Mr. Callagy got his information about Dr. Scott Morrow’s Belief’s but I do know This is exactly what Dr. Scott Morrow said. Nowhere in this statement does he mention “PRETTY GOOD POSITION.”  He said “We don’t have the resources to do case-control studies given the enormous burden on all the staff at the health department at this time.” “No gatherings outside of immediate households, use facial coverings extensively, and social distancing.”

It’s a shame the SMDJ which has 84,000 readers just promoted the PGP statement. This is a PANDEMIC.

Health Officer Statements

Message from July 20, 2020

Please read or reread my previous statements below to get a better understanding of where we find ourselves today and actions you can take to protect yourselves and your family.

Why is the virus spreading here at it’s current higher level now? I don’t know exactly, but it appears to me that there are 3 major factors. In order to understand what’s going on completely with transmission risks, we would need to do case-control studies.  We don’t have the resources to do case-control studies given the enormous burden on all the staff at the health department at this time, but we can take some educated guesses based on patterns that we are seeing here.

  1. The virus appears remarkably, even surprisingly, transmissible.  At pretty much every point over the last 6+ months, I’ve been surprised, and impressed, at how capable this virus is at moving itself between people.  It spreads in households like wildfire and it spreads in other indoor environments too.  It seems to be everywhere we look.  I know this is hard, we’re all exhausted and frustrated by having to take precautions, but the implication of this fact is that you can’t let your guard down, or be careless, even once, especially if you are at high risk.
  2. Fundamental structural failures of the US economy are being laid bare by the pandemic. These structural issues seem to be a major cause of the transmission we’re now seeing, at least in San Mateo County.  Many elements of the US economy can be viewed as illogical, even immoral in my opinion, in that so many people are forced to live lives of economic desperation, live pay check to pay check, are not paid a living wage, live with no workplace safety nets, like healthcare, like paid sick leave, or other wage protection programs.  While these structural issues are illogical in good times, they are downright inexplicable in times of a pandemic.  These structural problems are at such a massive scale, they can not be ignored.  A majority of people we are seeing infected now are front line workers (people who allow the rest of us to eat, and have electricity, and have our garbage picked up, etc), live in crowded multigenerational conditions, live with lack of trust in, and in fact have downright fear of, government.  Remember to stem the spread of this very transmissible virus, people who are infected need to be separated from others (isolation and quarantine), not go out in public, and not go to work while they are infectious.  Try getting compliance with isolation and quarantine when the infected person is the breadwinner for the family and the family will be out on the street if they don’t go to work.  And when they go to work they will, perhaps, interact at that job with you.  There is not enough enforcement capacity in the world to stop this from happening.  The implication of this is that the current business focused restrictions will do little to stem the spread of the virus when the spread is exacerbated by these conditions.  This requires rapid policy and systems changes at every level of both public and private sectors, from the feds on down, and from the largest corporations to the smallest business.  We need to see much more work in this area, and we need to have less reliance on business sector closures and restrictions, beyond getting businesses to do the basic transmission control measures.  Failure to fix some of these issues will prolong our collective pain.
  3. Complacency is the other majority factor enabling spread.  This is either born of belief systems (this is all a hoax, this isn’t that bad for me, let’s go to a party and get infected), or born of just not paying attention.  Many, many of our infections are related to fairly small gatherings of family and friends.  Birthday parties, picnics, eating at restaurants with mixed households, etc, without the basic precautions being taken.  Most of these gatherings are innocent, no doubt, not intending to spread the virus, but they do spread it, and with far reaching implications.  Please note, your seemingly innocuous get togethers are driving the spread and are a major reason why you can’t go to a restaurant, why you can’t go to the gym, why you can’t go get your hair cut, why kids can’t go to school.  Until, or unless more people get this fact, we will continue to be stuck in the situation we are in.  To get out of this situation depends on all of us.  Our collective best course of action: No gatherings outside of immediate households, use facial coverings extensively, and social distancing.

Scott Morrow, MD, MPH, MBA
San Mateo County Health Officer

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Good News & Bad News

By Michael G. Stogner

The Good News July 20, 2020, No New Cases.

Screen Shot 2020-07-22 at 9.04.35 AM

The Bad News July 20, 2020, 130 New Cases

Screen Shot 2020-07-22 at 9.22.26 AM

More Good News San Mateo County has Added 15 ICU Beds and Staff somewhere. I’ve asked San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy to tell me which Hospital/s they are at. Up until today SMC has had 67 ICU Beds and Staff.

Screen Shot 2020-07-22 at 3.24.14 PM

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