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CoronavirusSanta Clara County will move into Orange Tier and reduce restrictions

Santa Clara County will move into Orange Tier and reduce restrictions

Effective Wednesday, March 24, Santa Clara County will be in the State of California’s COVID-19 pandemic Orange tier. This means a variety of activities will reopen, despite the disease risks associated with them remaining high.

Meanwhile, per the County’s risk reduction order from last October, mask-wearing and social distancing shall continue to be mandated, as will the maximum possible amount of telework by employees, the posting of COVID-19 Social Distancing Protocols by businesses, and the reporting of new COVID cases by businesses and other entities to Santa Clara County’s Public Health Department. Staying outdoors and getting vaccinated when possible are also key to keeping virus case counts under control, as is avoiding crowds.

Right now, the County is seeing a weekly rolling average number of 118 new COVID cases — a steep decline from the winter high of 2,254 new cases per week, which filled hospital beds and suffocated medical resources.

The vaccine rollout remains slower than health experts would prefer, but according to COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Officer for the County of Santa Clara Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, “We are doing everything we can to ensure that our community has access to the vaccines as quickly and conveniently as possible, and we continue to invest in expansive outreach efforts in our hardest hit communities.”

Per the same County press release in which Fenstersheib was quoted, here’s what is allowed in Santa Clara County as of March 24: 

All activities authorized under the State’s Orange Tier, including indoor dining, can resume in accordance with State capacity limits and safety protocols, including:

—Indoor dining at maximum 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer;

—Retail stores indoors with modifications;

—Gyms and fitness centers indoors at maximum 25% capacity, with indoor pools open;

—Movie theaters at maximum 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer;

—Family entertainment centers indoors at maximum 25% capacity with modifications for areas of increased risk of proximity. 

—Zoos, museums, and aquariums at 50% maximum indoor capacity.


Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro is a writer & filmmaker. As a screenwriter, he’s won a Fade In Award and written numerous feature films in development by companies including WWE, Mandalay Sports Media, Game1, and Select Films. He is also the resident script doctor for Rebel Six Films (producers of A&E’s “Hoarders”). As a journalist, Eric’s won a California Journalism Award and is co-owner and editor of The Milpitas Beat, a Silicon Valley newspaper with tens of thousands of monthly readers that has won the Golden Quill Award as well as the John Swett Award for Media Excellence. As a filmmaker, Eric’s directed award-winning feature films that have premiered at the Fantasia Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, and Shriekfest, and been endorsed by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Eric’s apocalyptic novella “It’s Only Temporary” appears next to Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” on Nightmare Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Horror Novels of All Time. He lives in Northern California with his wife, Rhoda, and their two sons.


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