Santa Clara County is now officially allowing curbside pickup with their new COVID-19 order, which goes into effect on Friday. Additionally, this new health order removes the shelter in place end date, meaning the County is aligning with the State’s order in this specific way and making the shelter in place indefinite. Dr. Sara Cody, County of Santa Clara Health Officer and Director of the Public Health Department, announced the new order in partnership with other Bay Area counties and cities.
With social distancing protocols in place, retailers will be allowed to open for curbside/outdoor pickup, and the supply chain for those retail establishments will also be allowed to reopen. The amended order also allows additional outdoor activities to resume, including car parades, outdoor museums, historical sites and publicly accessible gardens.
To be specific, if you don’t have to go inside the businesses or inside another business to reach a business to conduct a transaction, those businesses are allowed to open, according to County Counsel James Williams.
The order requires that all businesses and recreation facilities that are visited by members of the public implement social distancing, face covering and cleaning protocols. They must also provide a Social Distancing Protocol as well as post the COVID-19 PREPARED Sign and Social Distancing Protocol Visitor Information Sheet. These documents must be printed and posted at or near the entrance and be easily visible by the public.
A copy of the Social Distancing Protocol must be provided to each person working at the facility. The business’ Social Distancing Protocol must explain how the business is achieving the requirements, including:
- Training personnel on COVID-19 information, self-screening for symptoms, testing guidelines, how to prevent COVID-19 from spreading, and measures in the Social Distancing Protocol.
- Limiting the number of people who can enter into the facility at any one time to ensure that people in the facility can easily maintain a minimum six-foot distance from one another at all times, except as required to complete Essential Business activity.
- Requiring face coverings to be worn by all persons entering the facility, other than those exempted from face covering requirements (e.g., young children).
- Where lines may form at a facility, marking six-foot increments at a minimum, establishing where individuals should stand to maintain adequate social distancing.
- Providing hand sanitizer, soap and water, or effective disinfectant at or near the entrance of the facility and in other appropriate areas for use by the public and personnel, and in locations where there is high-frequency employee interaction with members of the public (e.g., cashiers).
- Providing for contactless payment systems or, if not feasible to do so, the providing for disinfecting all payment portals, pens, and styluses after each use.
- Regularly disinfecting other high-touch surfaces.
- Posting a sign at the entrance of the facility informing all personnel and customers that they should: not enter the facility if they have any COVID-19 symptoms; maintain a minimum six-foot distance from one another; sneeze and cough into a cloth or tissue or, if not available, one’s elbow; wear a face covering to enter; and not shake hands or engage in any unnecessary physical contact.
According to Williams, the new order limits the number of employees in an open business to 1 per 300 gross square feet.
Find the County’s full order on their website.
The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department says that they can take this step toward cautious reopening because there was not an uptick in cases since the last modification, which was made two weeks ago — two weeks is also the incubation period for COVID-19. They are also keeping an eye on the indicators they announced in April. Last month, the County announced these indicators and are using for making decisions regarding COVID-19 actions:
- The trend of the number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations per day.
- The capacity of hospitals and the health system in the County and region, including acute care beds and Intensive Care Unit beds, to provide care for COVID-19 patients and other patients, including during a surge in COVID-19 cases.
- The supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) available for hospital staff and other healthcare providers and personnel who need PPE to safely respond to and treat COVID-19 patients.
- The ability and capacity to quickly and accurately test persons to determine whether they are COVID-19 positive, especially those in vulnerable populations or high-risk settings or occupations.
- The ability to conduct case investigation and contact tracing for the volume of cases and associated contacts that will continue to occur, isolating confirmed cases and quarantining persons who have had contact with confirmed cases.
Recent improvements in the Bay Area’s COVID-19 situation are:
- The trend of new cases of COVID-19 has been stable or decreasing, even with increased testing.
- The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is stable or declining, and hospital capacity is sufficient for both COVID-19 patients and other patients who need hospital care.
- More COVID-19 tests are being performed in our region each day.
- Hospitals are reporting improved supply of Personal Protective Equipment, though shortages continue in certain healthcare settings.
- There is increased capacity for case investigation and contact tracing.
Receiving Emergency Care
Additionally, in an earlier County announcement, they made clear that the local emergency rooms and urgent care clinics are able to safely provide care.
Dr. Brian Saavedra, a Medical Director in the Emergency Department of St. Louise Regional Hospital, said you may notice some changes. For example, everyone in the hospital, including patients, must wear face coverings and everyone will receive temperature checks. Additionally, they are trying to separate those who are showing COVID-19 symptoms from those who are there for another reason. Dr. Saavedra also said there are restrictions on visitors.
For more information on Santa Clara County’s COVID-19 situation, visit https://www.sccgov.org/sites/phd/Pages/phd.aspx.