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CoronavirusSanta Clara County will open indoor dining, movie theaters, and gyms

Santa Clara County will open indoor dining, movie theaters, and gyms

Effective tomorrow — Wednesday, March 3 — Santa Clara County will be back in the Red tier, a strong indicator of decreasing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. 

The County is now seeing fewer than 7 new cases per 100,000 residents per day, and its test positivity rate has fallen below 8%. And across California, ER and hospital admissions for COVID patients have fallen by 40% over the past two weeks.

Per the County’s statement, as of March 3:

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

  • Indoor dining at maximum 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer
  • Retail stores at maximum 50% capacity
  • Gyms and fitness centers at maximum 10% capacity
  • Movie theaters at maximum 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer
  • Zoos, museums, and aquariums at 25% maximum indoor capacity
  • Sector and activity-specific local directives will no longer be in effect
  • The Mandatory Directive on Travel will no longer be in effect.

“This is a pivotal moment,” said County Health Officer and Public Health Director Dr. Sara Cody. “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.”

The County’s statement went on to remind the public that “indoor activities are much higher risk than outdoor activities and to take every step to reduce your risk as much as possible.”

This means not only staying outdoors when possible, but wearing masks (especially double masks), socially distancing, avoiding crowds, and getting vaccinated as soon as one is able. 

Still, the County’s Risk Reduction Order set last October shall remain active. Per the order, businesses are required to maximize employees’ telework, post COVID-19 Social Distancing Protocols, and alert the Public Health Department to any new viral cases.


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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