How the Bay Area Came to Lead the Nation into Shelter in Place

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Empty streets in downtown San Francisco on April 7, 2020. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)

As of Wednesday, New York -- a state with about half California’s population -- has nearly nine times as many cases of coronavirus. Many attribute that difference to California’s early and aggressive response to the outbreak. A main driver of that response was Santa Clara Health Officer Sarah Cody. Cody has been at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus since Santa Clara became the first county in the Bay Area with a positive test. On March 16th, Cody led her peers to enact a seven-county “shelter-in-place” order, the first of its kind in the country. We’ll speak with Cody about what drove her to act first, and what she thinks still needs to be done.


Dr. Sara Cody, health officer and director, County of Santa Clara Public Health Department