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CoronavirusWhat’s allowed and what’s not in Santa Clara County as of July...

What’s allowed and what’s not in Santa Clara County as of July 13

As of Monday, July 13, under a new Santa Clara County health order, gyms, hair and nail services, and outdoor gatherings will be allowed again, among other things, but within strict limitations including mandatory masking and social distancing. In addition, all employers will be required to report COVID-19 cases involving their businesses to their local health officials. 

All Santa Clara businesses are required to rapidly submit an online social distancing protocol prior to resuming or continuing operations. Submitting the form calls for identifying a worker responsible for ensuring compliance, confirming the posting of proper signage, confirming proper training practices, confirming the uses of masks and other safety measures, confirming the presence of a sufficient plan should a worker test positive for COVID-19, and certifying the truthfulness of the signer under penalty of perjury (i.e., deception is a crime). 

This coming weekend, the County’s COVID-19 Business Call Center will be open at 408-961-5500 to answer businesses’ questions about the protocol and assist with compliance. Callers are directed to leave a message and expect a phone call back within 48 hours.

Since local coronavirus cases are on the rise, the original plan to allow indoor gatherings of up to 20 people has been retracted. All indoor gatherings except for those only involving the members of one’s own household are now prohibited. However, outdoor gatherings of up to 60 people will be permitted, within certain restrictions (see below). 

The County defines a “gathering” as “an event, assembly, meeting, or convening that brings together multiple people from separate households in a single space, indoors or outdoors, at the same time and in a coordinated fashion—like a wedding, banquet, conference, religious service, festival, fair, party, performance, barbecue, protest, or picnic.”

The County makes clear that the definition of “gathering” does not apply to “school classrooms; areas where people may be in transit (like train stations and airports); settings in which people are in the same general space at the same time but doing separate activities, like medical offices, hospitals, or business environments like offices, stores, and restaurants where people may be working, shopping, or eating in the same general area but are not gathering together in an organized fashion. A gathering also does not include internal meetings solely among employees of a single business.”

Although only outdoor gatherings will be allowed as of July 13, the use of frequently sanitized indoor restrooms will also be allowed amid people’s outdoor gatherings. 

Meanwhile, the County mandates avoiding gatherings if one feels sick, establishing a designated host at each gathering to ensure lawful compliance with all COVID-related requirements, ensuring social distancing and hand washing at gatherings, ensuring the wearing of masks at gatherings (very young children excluded), and staggering attendance at gatherings, with the cap of 60 attendees overall.

More detail from Santa Clara County on the above can be found here.


Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro is a writer and filmmaker. He has won awards for journalism (CA Journalism Award) and screenwriting (Fade In Award), and has served as a ghostwriter, speechwriter, or script doctor for over 3,000 clients. His first novel is a dark political thriller called "Red Dennis" (2020). His first nonfiction book is a guide for helping writers be more productive called "Ass Plus Seat" (2020). He co-hosts the "House of Mystery Radio Show" on NBC News Radio. In 2023, Eric founded the Psychic Arts Center, dedicated to exploring psychic phenomena and assisting people through psychic readings.

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