Santa Clara County health officials released information Wednesday projecting COVID-19 to be the third leading cause of death in the county in 2020.

The projection was made after the county surpassed a grim milestone of 632 cumulative deaths due to coronavirus this week.

“Tragically, these are 632 families who are grieving this holiday season. Let’s not forget the countless others who have loved ones in the hospital, and the healthcare workers trying to keep them alive as we speak,” said Cindy Chavez, President of the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. “A simple family meal may seem harmless until it is too late. Please protect the ones you love by staying home and staying safe.”

Officials urge people to not gather for the holidays and cancel all travel plans as the surge continues. A month after the Thanksgiving holiday, six people per day were dying due to COVID-19. The county’s seven-day average positivity rate as of December 13 was 7.7 percent, the highest since the pandemic began in March.

“This is not the data any of us wanted to share but it is the reality of where we are in this pandemic,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer for the County of Santa Clara. “The numbers do not lie. We have now seen how Thanksgiving gatherings fueled the spread of the virus and we must slow it down now before it completely overwhelms our health systems. We are nearly at the breaking point.”

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By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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