- Failure to meet state benchmarks has put Santa Cruz County on the governor’s watchlist, which can result in increased oversight and additional closures to combat the virus.
- Over the past two weeks, the county has recorded 286 new cases, failing the standard for disease transmission.
- The number of hospitalizations has been steady. There are now 24 patients with a confirmed or suspected case.
- The county’s hospital capacity is within state standards. Less than 80% of ICU beds are occupied and at least 75% of ventilators are available.
Note to readers
Technical problems with a state database has delayed the tabulation of nearly 300,000 test results. Officials say to expect a steep increase in new cases as computer systems catch up.
The latest trends
Experts say the true number of people infected is unknown and likely much higher than official tallies.
Over the past week, the county has averaged 21 new cases and 0.3 new deaths per day. The number of confirmed infections is currently doubling every 47.3 days.
State and local officials are closely watching the latest figures as they weigh when and how to reopen. One metric is whether counties have kept the number of new cases reported over the last 14 days to less than 100 per 100,000 residents.
Santa Cruz County currently fails that test. Over the last two weeks, officials have confirmed 286 new cases, which amounts to 104 per 100,000.
The coronavirus outbreak decimated California's economy. The Times is tracking the fallout as businesses begin to reopen.
Mapping the cases
Cases have been reported in 5 of Santa Cruz County's cities and communities.
Explore the latest data statewide by visiting our comprehensive dashboard.
Hospitals and patients
Lockdown measures aim to slow the virus in hope of preventing hospitals from being overrun.
In late July, the Trump administration changed how hospitals must report data. State officials say the transition is complete and that hospital data are now stable.
To keep tabs on capacity, officials watch out for rapid increases in the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients.
The state asks counties with more than 20 patients to keep recent increases under 10%. Currently, 56 counties are passing the test and 0 are failing. Santa Cruz County meets the standard.
There are now 12 patients admitted to county hospitals with a confirmed case of COVID-19, according to the latest figures from the state. Of those, 3 are in an intensive-care unit.
Officials also closely monitor the number of beds open in intensive-care units. In late July, the state changed its tracking method to exclude beds that are only for infants from the count.
There are currently 11 staffed and available beds in Santa Cruz County according to the latest government data.
If a county’s available ICU beds falls below 20% of capacity, the area is added to governor’s watchlist. Currently, 51 counties are passing the test and seven are failing. Santa Cruz County currently meets the standard.
Nursing homes have become a tragic focal point of the coronavirus outbreak. California's Department of Public Health has listed 8 skilled nursing and assisted-living facilities in Santa Cruz County that currently have COVID-19 cases.The state last updated the list on August 12. Officials withhold the precise number where there are 10 or fewer cases. The numbers reflect cumulative counts.
Learn more about those we've lost by reading Times obituaries of Californians who have died from coronavirus.
Reopenings and restrictions
County order: Shelter in place order until further notice
Face coverings: Following statewide order which requires people to wear face coverings in public place and at essential businesses
Essential retail: Grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and post offices, etc. are open
Retail: Retailers reopened with modifications. Shopping malls closed
Restaurants: Indoor dine-in closed, but outdoor dining open and delivery/takeout allowed
Bars: All bars, breweries and pubs closed, unless they offer sit-down outdoor dining. Indoor wineries and tasting rooms closed
Lifestyle: Golf courses, landscape gardening, pools, outdoor hair salons, outdoor barbershops, tanning facilities, car washes, pet grooming, hotels, tribal casinos and outdoor nail salons reopened
Parks: Most county parks and trails reopened
Beaches: Open with modifications
Schools: Most K-12 schools are distance learning
Government: Open only for essential functions
Houses of worship: All houses of worship closed indoors
Gatherings: Only allowed with members of your household