Silicon Valley might be passing COVID-19 among friends and relatives more than perfect strangers, The Mercury News of San Jose, California, reported.

“In talking to people with infections, we discovered that people have this perception that the risk from people that they know well and feel comfortable with like family members, relatives, friends, is much lower than that from strangers,” Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody told the Mercury News. “It’s human to think that.

“There’s a perception that the threat is less, when actually it’s maybe greater.”

Places of worship and stores are causing just 4% of Silicon Valley’s infections, a far lower infection rate than construction sites (25%) or food service and restaurants (21%).

The suggestion here is staying home is going to make it more likely to spread the virus among friends and family who are Silicon Valley’s “essential” service and retail workforce.

“When we have asked people if they are able to quarantine at home, that presumes that their home is roomy enough for them to do that,” Santa Clara Supervisor Cindy Chavez told the Mercury News. “That’s something that we’re going to have to address.”

Of the cases interviewed by Cody:

  • 34% infected by someone in their household.
  • 31% by extended family and friends at informal social gatherings
  • 22% from the place where they work.

“Once this virus is introduced into households it spreads very easily to other household members,” Cody told the Mercury News.


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