Guidelines for Opening
Guidelines for Opening
With the newest orders from the County and the opening of Castro Street to pedestrians, more businesses are re-opening and expanding their services. Here's a quick overview of what you need to do to be compliant, with links to important guides, documents, and signage. Please note that conditions and regulations continue to change rapidly, so please check back for updated information.
The State of California announced that Santa Clara County has been moved from the Purple Tier (Tier 1) to the Red Tier (Tier 2) on the State’s new COVID-19 blueprint. Full press release available here. Counties assigned to the Red Tier are still experiencing “substantial spread” of COVID-19. However, the State’s framework allows counties moving from the Purple to Red Tier to reopen indoor operations at some additional businesses and allows certain activities to resume, so long as appropriate protocols and protective measures are strictly followed. Please note: Santa Clara has stricter orders on re-opening indoors, including dining, which supercede the State orders.
Several businesses that were scheduled to open July 13 under the July 2 Health Order were closed as of July 15. Press Release is available here.
Santa Clara County’s Risk Reduction Order was announced July 2. The order allowed certain additional activities to resume, but also put in place long-term, across-the-board risk reduction measures. It requires that all businesses, including those open before July 2, submit updated Social Distancing Protocols (see below) in order to operate. It also detailed several sector-specific mandatory directives that must be followed before opening
What is allowed to open (with specific restrictions and protocols)
- Hotels and motels
- Public transit
- Childcare, summer camps, and children’s activities
- Outdoor dining
- Barbershops, hair and nail salons
- Other personal services, including massage therapy
- Shopping malls
What is still closed
- Indoor dining and bars
- Indoor swimming pools, saunas, heated exercise rooms, and smoking lounges
- Nightclubs (without dining permits)
- Theaters, stadiums, arenas, music venues
- Indoor playgrounds and amusement centers
These lists are NOT exhaustive and are subject to change. Please check the latest County Public Health Orders
What All Businesses Must Do to Operate
- Submit new Social Distancing Protocol form to the County: Under the new County Health Order, all businesses must submit a NEW Social Distancing Protocol form, whether you are already open and have previously submitted one, or are opening for the first time. This requirement is being rigorously enforced as of July 13. Please follow the link and read the instructions, then scroll to the bottom of the page to access the form.
- Social Distancing: All businesses must require employees and customers to wear face coverings according to new face covering protocols, maintain at least 6 feet from others at all times, and provide hand washing/sanitizing supplies to customers and staff.
- Industry-Specific Directives: Businesses must follow any industry-specific directives from the Health Officer, and any industry-specific guidance from the State. See below for current list.
- Capacity limits: Businesses can have no more than one worker per 250 gross square feet and no more than one customer per 150 square feet of space open to the public in the facility at one time.
- Reporting COVID-19 Cases to Public Health: Businesses must alert the Public Health Department if workers test positive for COVID-19, and ensure workers alert their employers if they were at work while infectious.
- Telework: All workers who can do their jobs from home are required to work remotely.
Social Distancing Protocol Form - Required as of July 13
The Social Distancing Protocol associated with the new Order contains updated requirements. Prior protocols will no longer be valid as of July 13th. Businesses that are already operating under the existing Health Order must complete and submit the new Social Distancing Protocol to remain in operation. Those businesses that are newly allowed to reopen under the Risk Reduction Order must complete the new Social Distancing Protocol prior to reopening.
Submitting the Social Distancing Protocol - REQUIRED
- All businesses must complete and submit a Social Distancing Protocol through the County's online portal. This is required even if you completed a Social Distancing Protocol prior to July 2.
- When you complete the Protocol, you will have access to signs and posters, including "COVID-19 Prepared"
- You will need to post signs to keep workers and customers informed of social distancing, face covering, and hygiene requirements.
The Protocol form calls for you to do the following:
- Train workers on how to be safe at work.
- Direct sick workers to stay home, and screen all workers for symptoms.
- Make soap and water or hand sanitizer available for cleaning hands.
- Thoroughly and regularly clean facilities.
- Maintain social distancing and comply with all capacity limits.
For More Information
The County's Public Health Order Information Page