The biggest news from this past week is the revised San Mateo County Health order that allows for the reopening of places of worship and in-store retail shopping.
Effective Monday, June 1, places of worship can hold religious services and funerals that limit attendance to 25% of a building's capacity — or up to 100 attendees, whichever is lower.
Retail stores can have customers inside with restrictions and safety measures implemented. Retail does not include personal services such as hair salons, nail salons and barbershops.
The new order also removes prior limitations on access and activities at county beaches. Beaches can operate normally as long as visitors adhere to social distancing and mask guidelines, according to a press release issued Friday.
Latest COVID-19 cases, deaths
Santa Clara County has recorded 2,731 cases of the coronavirus as of Saturday, 25 of which were new, according to data posted Saturday on the county's data dashboard. One new COVID-19 death was announced, bringing the total to 141.
The latest hospital data shows 52 people are hospitalized with suspected or confirmed cases as of Saturday.
The gap between positive and negative test results continues to grow in the county. As of Saturday, 73,486 tests were performed throughout the county, 3.7% returned positive. A majority of the tests — 70,348 (or 95.7%) — returned negative results and 407 are pending results.
San Mateo County on Friday reported 43 more cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to 2,104. The total number of deaths remains at 84. Forty-nine people were hospitalized as of Thursday.
Newsom allows extension of local eviction moratoriums
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order late Friday giving local governments the authority to extend eviction moratoriums for residential and commercial renters through July 28.
Newsom in March signed an executive order granting cities and counties broad authority to impose eviction moratoriums, and that order was set to expire on Sunday, May 31.
On Friday, May 29, the Mountain View City Council voted unanimously to extend its own eviction moratorium through Aug. 31, largely mirroring the county rules but with a few notable exceptions. The city measure covers mobile home renters and mobile home owners who rent space at a mobile home park.
University, California avenues could close to traffic next week
Palo Alto's two main thoroughfares, University and California avenues, could be closed to traffic four days a week as soon as next week, allowing restaurants to use the streets to serve diners once permitted to do so by Santa Clara County.
In a Friday message to owners of businesses on the two streets, City Manager Ed Shikada said that the city is anticipating "hopefully soon" an updated health order from the county that will allow for on-site and outdoor dining.
Local restaurant owners up and down the Peninsula have been advocating for street closures to help sustain their businesses as they gradually reopen with restrictions. Cities including Palo Alto, Mountain View, Redwood City, Los Altos, San Carlos and San Mateo are considering closing streets to traffic and giving restaurants more outdoor space to operate.
Palo Alto is looking at closing University Avenue between Waverley Street and Emerson Street, and California Avenue between El Camino Real and Birch Street. The pilot closures would initially run from Thursday mornings through Sunday evenings, starting June 4 or the first Friday after on-site dining is allowed by the Santa Clara County Health Officer through the month of June.
Find comprehensive coverage of the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.