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COVID-19 Information: Santa Clara County and Bay Area, California

Trustworthy information about COVID-19

Trustworthy COVID-19 and Coronavirus Information

The purpose of this guide is to collect information on the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 that is:

  • accurate (to the best of our knowledge),
  • up to date, and
  • verified

so that people in our communities (Santa Clara County, California) and throughout the U.S. can make their best choices for their own health and the health of their families and neighbors during this crisis.

Our medical librarian staff sort through the news sources, social media, hearsay, and hype so you don't have to. The links included here are factual to the best of our knowledge, and updated frequently (sometimes daily!). Look for the New! icon  to locate recent updates.

National Public Health Emergency is Over - What Does that Mean?

While the U.S. federal public health emergency expired on May 11, 2023. Unfortunately, that does NOT mean that we don't have to be concerned about COVID anymore. Nor does it mean that this disease is no longer as dangerous as it was before.

What it does mean is changes in the availability and cost for assistance programs that deal with this disease.

The federal public health emergency expired when federal funding that paid for free testing, free pop-up clinics, free vaccinations (and vaccination research) ran out on May 11, and Congress did not vote to extend financial support for those efforts. In CA (like many states), funding from the state government expired earlier. So once supplies of free at-home antigen test kits are gone, we will need to purchase them; likewise, when free supplies of paxlovid to treat COVID are exhausted, it becomes just another prescription cost.  

Additional relief funds (extended unemployment benefits, aid to families) have expired. Special workplace policies like the supplemental paid sick leave and waivers are no longer available, too.

A few programs that were funded in under the emergency, like Medicare paying for telehealth appointments, have been extended but for the most part people will need to rely on their health insurance to cover COVID-related health services, going forwards.

These webpages list changes in services, coverage, and availability in more detail:

Current Infection Rates in the Bay Area

County, state, and federal health authorities track many different data points - SARS-CoV-2 found in wastewater samples,  number of hospitalizations and of deaths, plus vaccination rates - to figure out how COVID-19 is trending through our communities. However, now that funding for many data collection efforts has expired, more direct measurements on infection have stopped. CA has paused collection on hospitalizations and is no longer sending exposure notifications; case numbers are only an estimate since so many cases are no longer reported.

The text on this page is copyright PlaneTree Health Library, licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. Linked contents are the responsibility of their creators or copyright holders.