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Measuring a Year of Covid-19

It would be an understatement to say that measuring the impacts of a pandemic that has had dramatic ripple effects on almost every part of life is a challenge.

Over the past year, state and county officials were forced to jump into action to speed up what started as a sluggish Covid-19 testing pace, while hospitals squeezed more beds into their buildings and helped support makeshift facilities for overflow patients as the virus spread. Most recently, nurses have mobilized to distribute vaccines.

The most vulnerable residents in the region were hit hard by job losses, even as tech companies got busier than ever. Many Silicon Valley residents fell behind on rent and local companies and neighbors donated to funds help them stay afloat.

Children struggled through online learning while schools remained closed to in-person classes. Food banks saw demand double in the weeks after the virus hit the region, but despite unemployment declining, the need has remained high. Businesses across the region shuttered for good, though the downturn didn’t stop new entrepreneurs from bravely pushing open their doors for the first time.

And while it may be impossible to fully measure the impacts of all of those realities, here are a handful of the numbers that may help put into perspective the magnitude the Covid-19’s impact on the region and the efforts in Silicon Valley to adjust to the coronavirus over the past year.

1,943

Homeless residents housed by the city of San Jose, Santa Clara County and its nonprofit partners.

100 million

Meals distributed by Second Harvest Food Bank.

113,173

Cases of Covid-19 in Santa Clara County as of March 18.

$449.65 million

Spent on the Covid-19 response by Santa Clara County.

2.9 million

Covid-19 tests conducted by Santa Clara County and its healthcare partners.

$36 million

In rental assistance distributed to 15,000 low-income households by Destination: Home and Sacred Heart Community Service.

100,000

San Jose residents connected to the Internet through the city’s initiative to bridge the digital divide.

11.6%

The highest unemployment rate for Silicon Valley during the pandemic, recorded in April, 2020.

5.8%

Silicon Valley unemployment rate as of January 2021.