News

New Santa Clara County order allows more stores, restaurants to reopen Friday

Relaxed rules to take effect on June 5

Empty tables have been a common sight outside restaurants in downtown Mountain View. Starting June 5, restaurants can serve meals to people at outdoor tables that must be placed 6 feet apart to allow for social distancing. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Churches, retailers and restaurants that offer outdoor dining will be allowed to start welcoming back customers on June 5 under a revised stay-at-home order that Santa Clara County issued Monday afternoon.

The updated order, which will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, is the latest step in the county's incremental approach to reopening the economy. It eases restrictions for all manufacturing, small service businesses and child care programs. This means "low contact" in-home services like house cleaning and shops like shoe repair, will be allowed to reopen on Friday, subject to social-distancing guidelines. Also, churches will be able to have outdoor gatherings for up to 25 people.

The Monday order also eases restrictions for outdoor activities that do not involve physical contact, including swimming, tennis and golf. It also permits stores that have been restricted to curbside service since May 22, to provide in-store retail. It also allows dog grooming businesses to reopen.

The decision to loosen some of the restrictions that have been in effect since March 17 is based on the county's recent success in reducing the number of new cases, increased testing and other key metrics that officials are using to guide their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The county announcement notes that hospitalization rates remain low and steady across the county; and that outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities have been successfully contained. In addition, case investigation and contact tracing is "steadily increasing and is staying ahead of demand," the announcement states.

Dr. Sara Cody, the county's health officer, said in a statement that COVID-19 has had an impact on "every aspect of our lives," and has been particularly devastating to low-income communities and communities of color. This, she said, has been "compounded by the structural inequities that exist in our society that are unjust, persistent and damaging."

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"The global pandemic is ongoing, and we must continue to protect the health and well-being of our entire community, especially those most vulnerable to serious illness and death from COVID-19," Cody said. "Public Health is about ensuring health in every sense of the word: from diseases like COVID-19, and from social and economic impacts on health, too. For all those reasons, we have chosen to be measured in how and when we reopen."

The order will allow cities like Palo Alto to advance their plans to close streets to traffic and make them available for outdoor dining, subject to guidelines from the county. The specific guidance for restaurants is brief, related mostly to serving diners from the same households and social distancing.

Outdoor dining gives people access to food "at a relatively low risk of transmission," an appendix in the updated order states.

"Because food service will be limited to outdoor areas, the overall volume of increased activity will be modest," it reads. "In addition, interactions and activities that occur outdoors carry a lower risk of transmission than most indoor interactions and activities. Risks associated with these operations can be substantially mitigated with conditions to ensure adequate social distancing and limit intermixing between households."

Restaurants must limit outdoor tables to six people each, all of whom must be from the same household. All tables must be placed 6 feet apart to allow for social distancing.

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The county also will allow alcohol to be served with meals but not separately; bar areas must stay closed.

The county's latest order largely followed the guidance of Gov. Gavin Newsom, who in recent weeks has been gradually opening up sectors of the state economy. Bay Area counties, which have largely marched in lockstep since the March stay-at-home orders, have taken slightly different approaches to reopening. San Francisco and San Mateo counties had each eased restrictions for curbside retail before Santa Clara County.

Customers form a line outside the Apple Store in downtown Palo Alto on May 27. Under a new order issued June 1, retailers in Santa Clara County can begin entertaining customers inside their stores starting June 5. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

On Monday, health officials from all six counties issued a joint statement saying that they will each make decisions on what to reopen and how quickly to do so "based on the data related to the specific conditions in our communities, as well as our joint assessment of broader regional trends."

"As we open additional sectors, we are relying on businesses to consistently follow social distancing protocols and public health guidance to protect their employees and customers," the statement reads. "Bay Area residents should still stay home as much as possible, wear face coverings, frequently wash hands, stay home when feeling ill, get tested if exposed, and follow the other precautions that have helped our region make such outstanding progress to slow the spread of COVID-19."

Even as the order was issued, hundreds of residents in various Bay Area cities, including San Francisco, Menlo Park and Palo Alto, assembled to protest police brutality and demand justice in the aftermath of George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis on May 25.

In light of the protests, Santa Clara County public health officials issued a statement Monday asking residents who are engaging in peaceful protests to use face coverings and to maintain social distancing to the extent possible.

Those who have been in close contact with others at large gatherings are also encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 within three to five days of exposure and to watch for any symptoms of the virus. Testing facilities can be found at sccfreetest.org.

Staff Writer Elena Kadvany contributed to this report.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

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New Santa Clara County order allows more stores, restaurants to reopen Friday

Relaxed rules to take effect on June 5

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 5:34 pm

Churches, retailers and restaurants that offer outdoor dining will be allowed to start welcoming back customers on June 5 under a revised stay-at-home order that Santa Clara County issued Monday afternoon.

The updated order, which will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, is the latest step in the county's incremental approach to reopening the economy. It eases restrictions for all manufacturing, small service businesses and child care programs. This means "low contact" in-home services like house cleaning and shops like shoe repair, will be allowed to reopen on Friday, subject to social-distancing guidelines. Also, churches will be able to have outdoor gatherings for up to 25 people.

The Monday order also eases restrictions for outdoor activities that do not involve physical contact, including swimming, tennis and golf. It also permits stores that have been restricted to curbside service since May 22, to provide in-store retail. It also allows dog grooming businesses to reopen.

The decision to loosen some of the restrictions that have been in effect since March 17 is based on the county's recent success in reducing the number of new cases, increased testing and other key metrics that officials are using to guide their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The county announcement notes that hospitalization rates remain low and steady across the county; and that outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities have been successfully contained. In addition, case investigation and contact tracing is "steadily increasing and is staying ahead of demand," the announcement states.

Dr. Sara Cody, the county's health officer, said in a statement that COVID-19 has had an impact on "every aspect of our lives," and has been particularly devastating to low-income communities and communities of color. This, she said, has been "compounded by the structural inequities that exist in our society that are unjust, persistent and damaging."

"The global pandemic is ongoing, and we must continue to protect the health and well-being of our entire community, especially those most vulnerable to serious illness and death from COVID-19," Cody said. "Public Health is about ensuring health in every sense of the word: from diseases like COVID-19, and from social and economic impacts on health, too. For all those reasons, we have chosen to be measured in how and when we reopen."

The order will allow cities like Palo Alto to advance their plans to close streets to traffic and make them available for outdoor dining, subject to guidelines from the county. The specific guidance for restaurants is brief, related mostly to serving diners from the same households and social distancing.

Outdoor dining gives people access to food "at a relatively low risk of transmission," an appendix in the updated order states.

"Because food service will be limited to outdoor areas, the overall volume of increased activity will be modest," it reads. "In addition, interactions and activities that occur outdoors carry a lower risk of transmission than most indoor interactions and activities. Risks associated with these operations can be substantially mitigated with conditions to ensure adequate social distancing and limit intermixing between households."

Restaurants must limit outdoor tables to six people each, all of whom must be from the same household. All tables must be placed 6 feet apart to allow for social distancing.

The county also will allow alcohol to be served with meals but not separately; bar areas must stay closed.

The county's latest order largely followed the guidance of Gov. Gavin Newsom, who in recent weeks has been gradually opening up sectors of the state economy. Bay Area counties, which have largely marched in lockstep since the March stay-at-home orders, have taken slightly different approaches to reopening. San Francisco and San Mateo counties had each eased restrictions for curbside retail before Santa Clara County.

On Monday, health officials from all six counties issued a joint statement saying that they will each make decisions on what to reopen and how quickly to do so "based on the data related to the specific conditions in our communities, as well as our joint assessment of broader regional trends."

"As we open additional sectors, we are relying on businesses to consistently follow social distancing protocols and public health guidance to protect their employees and customers," the statement reads. "Bay Area residents should still stay home as much as possible, wear face coverings, frequently wash hands, stay home when feeling ill, get tested if exposed, and follow the other precautions that have helped our region make such outstanding progress to slow the spread of COVID-19."

Even as the order was issued, hundreds of residents in various Bay Area cities, including San Francisco, Menlo Park and Palo Alto, assembled to protest police brutality and demand justice in the aftermath of George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis on May 25.

In light of the protests, Santa Clara County public health officials issued a statement Monday asking residents who are engaging in peaceful protests to use face coverings and to maintain social distancing to the extent possible.

Those who have been in close contact with others at large gatherings are also encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 within three to five days of exposure and to watch for any symptoms of the virus. Testing facilities can be found at sccfreetest.org.

Staff Writer Elena Kadvany contributed to this report.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

Comments

Covid-Kid
Monta Loma
on Jun 2, 2020 at 8:13 am
Covid-Kid, Monta Loma
on Jun 2, 2020 at 8:13 am
7 people like this

I need an outdoor haircut!


Scott
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 9:43 am
Scott, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 9:43 am
Like this comment

Great news. A link to the updated order the story is about would have been useful.


OutdoorMountainView
Shoreline West
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:01 am
OutdoorMountainView, Shoreline West
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:01 am
22 people like this

Do we know whether we plan to close Castro to allow for more outdoor dining space? I would love to see that happening.


Kelli
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:53 am
Kelli, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:53 am
6 people like this

While I agree with the science behind why we are continuing to re-open slowly I am saddened that Dr. Cody herself isn't following the standards that she has set for the rest of us to follow. Her haircut and highlights are clearly fresh - she doesn't have the same grown out hairdo the rest of us do.


Floyd
Rex Manor
on Jun 2, 2020 at 1:00 pm
Floyd, Rex Manor
on Jun 2, 2020 at 1:00 pm
18 people like this

@Kelli, I'm not particularly observant about hair or shoes... But if it possible that she had the hair done in house by a family member? I would be hesitant to use circumstantial evidence to smear a someone who spent their life on public health and choosing a career what had been until this year a really boring and relatively obscure field. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt as she clearly isn't this for the money, attention or power (she could more easily gotten all of those by choosing a different field or job with her background and education)


Green Nude Eel
North Whisman
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:21 pm
Green Nude Eel, North Whisman
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:21 pm
1 person likes this

Is the barber Gavin Newsom has been using for the past several weeks expensive?


@Kelli
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:25 pm
@Kelli, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:25 pm
6 people like this

She could have a family member do it. My roots and do are fresh thanks to my daughter


Tina
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 4:27 pm
Tina, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 4:27 pm
13 people like this

Why is the City dragging their feet on closing Castro? Restaurants will not survive with the limited seating as it is now. This is the perfect time to implement a pedestrian only street because you will have to do it anyway when Caltrain is electrified. Have you people never been to Belden place in the City? The whole street is outdoor dining.


Gracie
Old Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:19 pm
Gracie, Old Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:19 pm
3 people like this

@Green Nude Eel - You might enjoy watching the Governor's press conferences. You would notice that his ducktail in back has been growing longer, and you would enjoy the stories about having his family cut his hair. Fortunately, his "style" isn't that tricky. I would think that anyone could achieve that with enough gel. Good luck!


Jeremy Hoffman
Rengstorff Park
on Jun 3, 2020 at 9:43 am
Jeremy Hoffman, Rengstorff Park
on Jun 3, 2020 at 9:43 am
9 people like this

I'm glad that things are reopening. I'd just like to remind my neighbors that, while it might feel like this coronavirus thing is winding down, it's very likely that there are more contagious people today then there were in March when we started shelter-in-place. Now is not the time to get careless. Practicing physical distancing and wearing masks could literally save hundreds of thousands of lives and millions of awful bouts of illness. We're all in this together!


really inane
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2020 at 5:00 pm
really inane, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2020 at 5:00 pm
2 people like this

Dine out, Downtown Mountain View regulation update.

It's okay to protest (social distancing and face masks recommended but not required). But, under no circumstances can six dine out together if a member refuses a "substantial meal" according to Dr. Cody and the city of Mountain View. Maybe that 6th member just ate or doesn't care for the food or has a food related allergy. But that one member was told they couldn't stay seated without ordering a "substantial meal". Plain stupid. Let the restaurants decide if any member in the party can refuse food service and would rather enjoy time with family eating outdoors. Restaurants, their employees will continue to suffer under this inane state/county/city regulation.

Restaurants can survive (maybe), but we are not dining together again until the crisis is "declared officially" over. Such nonsense, now every person in the group has to eat a certain amount of food to be seated outside. Absolutely ridiculous and a serious over-reach from out county/city leadership.

If this is not the case, I would certainly like to know. Perhaps just misguided restaurant management?





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