SAN JOSE (KPIX) – An estimated 2,000 people will die from COVID-19 in the next 12 weeks in Santa Clara County alone in what the city manager of San José called the best case scenario.
"This is again the best case, and even there we are likely to see many, many hundreds or even 2,000 deaths," San Jose deputy city manager Kip Harkness said during the city council meeting Tuesday.
City manager David Sykes' report gave three scenarios for COVID-19 deaths.
A projection showed a death toll of around 16,000 in June if the community and government officials did nothing to stop the spread of the virus. The second projection showed a death toll of almost 8,000 if there was low compliance. The latest prediction showed 2,000 deaths from the virus if 70 percent of the public obeyed all orders, Harkness said.
"There are a large number of people infected," he told members of the city council.
As of Thursday, the number of deaths in Santa Clara County was 19. If the projected lowest death toll is correct, that means it would exceed the current total number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States.
KPIX asked Harkness and the San Jose Office of Emergency Management for an interview to explain the path to the projections, but instead received a statement from Sykes that said in part: "The information on the expected number of cases was It is based on the city of San José projections and are preliminary estimates. They show how effective the county's orders are, in terms of how we can save many lives if the community is diligent in following the county's health orders. "
Officials at the Santa Clara County Emergency Operations Center released a statement that appeared to be distancing itself from the city's projection. The statement said: "The model shared by the City of San José that projects future COVID-19 deaths and case counts was not produced, reviewed, or examined by Santa Clara County."
Harkness also said at the meeting that we will begin to see the maximum impact on the health care system in the next three weeks. He added that he did not believe the county would be out of the order to stay home by the county's original end date of April 7.
"The next three weeks are critical. Even with full compliance, we are seeing high exponential growth of the epidemic, ”said Harkness.