After months under the strictest restrictions, Santa Clara County is finally moving into a less restrictive tier, now allowing for restaurants, movie theaters, gyms and more to resume indoors. Since November, Santa Clara County has been in the Purple Tier in the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Today, Dr. Sara Cody, the County’s Health Officer and Director of Public Health, announced that we are moving into the Red Tier.
The main difference between the tiers is that now many more activities can resume indoors. Starting tomorrow, restaurants can now offer indoor dining at 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. Movie theaters can reopen indoors at 25 percent capacity or 100 people. Gyms and fitness centers — including yoga and dance studios — can reopen indoors at 10 percent capacity. Zoos, aquariums, and museums can also reopen indoors at 25 percent capacity and retail can expand from 25 percent capacity to 50 percent.
Rules on indoor worship have given everyone whiplash over the past few weeks, but now under the Red Tier, places of worship, cultural ceremonies and funerals can resume indoors at 25 percent capacity. Similarly, small private gatherings can also now be held indoors with no more than three separate households. Social distancing and masks are required. Singing, shouting, chanting, cheering, or exercising strongly discouraged outdoors and not permitted indoors.
Learn more about what’s open on the State’s website: https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/. The County, unlike in the past, is aligned with the State’s guidance instead of putting stricter rules in place.
In the Red Tier, most of the County’s industry/activity-specific local directives will be lifted, including the Health Officer’s Mandatory Directive on Travel. However, County Counsel James Williams says quarantining after travel is strongly recommended.
The County’s Risk Reduction Order, which requires everyone to maintain social distance and wear face coverings is still in effect. The Order also requires all businesses to maximize telework, post a Social Distancing Protocol, and report any cases to the Public Health Department.
“We are pleased to see case counts declining, vaccination rates increasing, and a continued commitment by our residents to wearing masks, social distancing, and staying outdoors as much as possible when interacting with people outside their household,” said Dr. Cody. “This is a pivotal moment: if our community continues to be cautious and follow public health guidance, things will continue to improve. If people let down their guard and begin engaging in risky activities, we will likely see another surge in cases. Just because more activities will now be allowed to resume, it does not mean they are safe.”
Dr. Cody asks County residents to remain vigilant: stay outdoors, stay masked, maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others, avoid crowds and get vaccinated when it is your turn.
Additionally, California has launched a vaccine notification tool, My Turn. Visit https://myturn.ca.gov/ to sign up to get notified when it’s your turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine.