Some welcomed Good news from out West….
State leaders and doctors are cautiously optimistic that the Bay Area’s early moves to lock down residents two weeks ago have prevented surges of coronavirus patients from overwhelming the region’s health care capacity thus far.
Six Bay Area counties were first in the country to adopt aggressive tactics with an enforceable March 16 order requiring residents to stay at home. Gov. Gavin Newsom quickly followed with a statewide order three days later restricting the state’s 40 million residents from all but essential activities.
After 14 days — the outermost period at which symptoms are believed to emerge post-infection — doctors at area hospitals are now reporting fewer cases than they expected to see at this point, and officials credit the lockdown with stemming the tide of patients they feared would flood into emergency rooms.
Northern California offered a rare glimpse of optimism Monday as the U.S. recorded its most coronavirus deaths in one day and Washington, D.C.-area jurisdictions — Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia — issued their first enforceable stay-at-home orders. Health officials across the nation are eyeing the Bay Area as a bellwether to determine the effects of social distancing, since the region’s policies were replicated in various states and cities in subsequent days.
The Bay Area’s primary goal two weeks ago was to slow the growth of serious cases, buying public officials and hospitals enough time to increase the number of hospital beds, respirators and staff necessary to handle a coronavirus surge.
“We believe very strongly the stay-at-home order has helped advance our efforts in reducing the stress on the system that we believe would have already materialized in more acute ways had we not advanced those protocols when we did,” Newsom said Monday in his daily press conference….
The U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert said on Tuesday there were “glimmers” that social distancing efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus were having an impact, even though the nation was still in a very dangerous situation.
“We’re starting to see glimmers that that is actually having some dampening effect,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci told CNN in an interview. “But that does not take away from the seriousness … We clearly are seeing cases going up.”…