Nearly a month after business owners, city leaders and faith-based organizations implored Santa Clara County health officials to give them a “fighting chance” to survive the pandemic by allowing indoor operations to resume, Dr. Sara Cody issued a revised risk-reduction order granting their request.
Under the latest guidelines—which are contingent upon the state assigning moving the county from its current Red Tier 2 classification to the less-restrictive Orange Tier 3—indoor events could resume at up to 25 percent capacity or up to 100 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 200 people. Barring a spike in Covid-19 infections, the county could be moved into the Orange Tier by early next week.
The new order drew praise from San Jose councilors Johnny Khamis, Raul Peralez, Dev Davis and Pam Foley as well as from county supervisors Cindy Chavez and Dave Cortese.
“It’s important that we get our businesses safely reopened because the government cannot subsidize businesses forever,” Khamis said. “Our businesses don’t want to stand in line for handouts, they want to get back to work, employ people, and serve the community. Our religious organizations are partners in helping to get us through these challenging times— and it’s important to have them reopen so that they can minister to the mental, spiritual, and physical health of our residents.”
It’s no secret that businesses and church congregations have suffered undue financial loss and emotional stress since shelter in place took effect in mid-March. In fact, 60 percent of pandemic-related business closures are now permanent, national surveys show.
In a June op-ed piece on this site, Hillside Church Pastor Keith Crosby implored Cody, Gov. Gavin Newsom and Mayor Sam Liccardo to remove restrictions on houses of worship, noting churches and similar aid organizations “provide emotional, psychological and spiritual grounding to people, many of whom are pent up, or in distress.”
Even with the probable resumption of indoor gatherings, however, city leaders and health officials stressed the need to remain continually vigilant with safety protocols and use good judgment when it comes to social gatherings.
“The fact that you are able to do something doesn’t mean that you should,” Cody cautioned. “The public’s commitment, both businesses and our residents, to wearing face coverings, and maintaining social distancing and testing is what will help us move forward to the next tier in the state’s Covid-19 blueprint.”
Under the Revised Risk Reduction Order issued on October 5, more activities and business operations can resume, including indoor dining and indoor gatherings once the County moves into the Orange Risk Level. However, it does not necessarily mean all open activities are safe. More information on the order is available in the https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Documents/executive-summary-order-10-05-2020.pdf and www.sccgov.org/cv19order.Full Transcript: https://pastebin.com/DwmEaz7j
Posted by County of Santa Clara Public Health Department on Monday, October 5, 2020