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Businesses and Workplaces

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What Does the July 2 Order Mean for Businesses?

The County Health Officer is shifting to a new approach to contain the virus and protect the safety of our community.  The new Health Officer Order imposes strict across-the-board risk reduction measures on activities and businesses.  Most businesses are now allowed to open, but they must follow specific rules designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and keep both workers and customers safe.

 

What Business Facilities Must Remain Closed?

The following business facilities must remain closed because they pose a particularly high risk of COVID-19 transmission:

  • Any indoor facility that is used for an activity inherently necessitating the removal of a face covering. This means that if you would normally go to the facility to participate in an activity that cannot be done with a face covering on, the facility cannot open, because the risk of transmission is too high when people gather indoors without face coverings.
    • Examples: Indoor dining, indoor swimming pools, heated exercise facilities, and smoking lounges.
    • This prohibition does not apply to healthcare facilities.
  • Professional sports stadiums and arenas.
    • If the facility creates a risk-reduction plan and that plan is approved by the Health Officer, professional sports training and/or professional sporting events can occur, but no spectators will be allowed.
  • Non-residential adult and elder day care facilities.
  • Amusement and theme parks.
  • Nightclubs, music and concert venues, and indoor theaters.

Indoor playgrounds and amusement centers such as bounce centers, ball pits, and laser tag

As of July 2, 2020, a new order has been issued. The following remains in place until the new order becomes effective.

What Businesses are Allow​ed to Open?

During the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses in Santa Clara County must close to protect public health and prevent the spread of COVID-19. This page explains which businesses are allowed to be open. All open businesses must strictly comply with social distancing and other requirements, and the Public Health Department has provided additional recommendations to maximize employee and customer safety.

List of businesses open as of June 5, 2020

 

“Essential Businesses” are allowed to be open

The Health Officer Order allows all essential businesses to be open so long as they comply with social distancing and other requirements. This includes requiring staff and customers to wear a face covering, except people for whom a face covering is not medically appropriate (for very young children and people who have breathing problems).

Essential businesses include the categories in the June 5, 2020 Order Sec 15(f). Businesses that do not fall in one of these categories are considered non-essential.

Click here to see the full list
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  1. Healthcare Operations and businesses that operate, maintain, or repair Essential Infrastructure;
  2. Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments ​engaged in the retail sale of unprepared food, canned food, dry goods, non-alcoholic beverages, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, as well as hygienic products and household consumer products necessary for personal hygiene or the habitability, sanitation, or operation of residences. The businesses included in this subparagraph (ii) include establishments that sell multiple categories of products provided that they sell a significant amount of essential products identified in this subparagraph, such as liquor stores that also sell a significant amount of food.
  3. Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;
  4. Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;
  5. Construction, but only as permitted under the State Shelter Order and only pursuant to the Construction Project Safety Protocols and incorporated into the Order by reference. Public works projects shall also be subject to the Construction Project Safety Protocols, except if other protocols are specified by the Health Officer;
  6. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;
  7. Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair (including, but not limited to, for cars, trucks, motorcycles and motorized scooters), and automotive dealerships, but only for the purpose of providing auto-supply and auto-repair services. This subparagraph (vii) does not restrict the on-line purchase of automobiles if they are delivered to a residence or Essential Business;​
  8. Bicycle repair and supply shops;
  9. Banks and related financial institutions;
  10. Service providers that enable real estate transactions (including rentals, leases, and home sales), including, but not limited to, real estate agents, escrow agents, notaries, and title companies, provided that appointments and other residential viewings must only occur virtually or, if a virtual viewing is not feasible, by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time residing within the same household or living unit and one individual showing the unit (except that in person visits are not allowed when the occupant is present in the residence);
  11. Hardware stores;
  12. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the habitability, sanitation, and/or operation of residences and Essential Businesses;
  13. Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
  14. Educational institutions—including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities—for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, or as allowed under subparagraph xxvi, provided that social distancing of six feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible;
  15. Laundromats, drycleaners, and laundry service providers;
  16. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out. Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and take-away basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site;​
  17. Funeral home providers, mortuaries, cemeteries, and crematoriums, to the extent necessary for the transport, preparation, or processing of bodies or remains;
  18. Businesses that supply other Essential Businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate, but only to the extent that they support or supply these Essential Businesses. This exemption shall not be used as a basis for engaging in sales to the general public from retail storefronts;
  19. Businesses that have the primary function of shipping or delivering groceries, food, or other goods directly to residences or businesses. This exemption shall not be used to allow for manufacturing or assembly of non-essential products or for other functions besides those necessary to the delivery operation;
  20. Airlines, taxis, rental car companies, rideshare services (including shared bicycles and scooters), and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order;
  21. Home-based care for seniors, adults, children, and pets;
  22. Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children;
  23. Professional services, such as legal, notary, or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with non-elective, legally required activities or in relation to death or incapacity;
  24. Services to assist individuals in finding employment with Essential Businesses;
  25. Moving services that facilitate residential or commercial moves that are allowed under this Order; and
  26. Childcare establishments, summer camps, and other educational or recreational institutions or programs providing care or supervision for children of all ages that enable owners, employees, volunteers, and contractors for Essential Businesses, Essential Governmental Functions, Outdoor Businesses, Additional Businesses, or Minimum Basic Operations to work as allowed under this Order. To the extent possible, these operations must comply with the following conditions:
    1. ​​​​They must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer children (“stable” means that the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day).​
    2. Children shall not change from one group to another.
    3. If more than one group of children is at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other.
    4. Providers or educators shall remain solely with one group of children.
​​​​​​​​​

 

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“Outdoor Businesses” are allowed to be open

An outdoor business is a business that was primarily operating outdoors prior to March 16, 2020, and that has the ability to fully maintain social distancing of at least six feet between all persons. For retail businesses, this means that more than 50% of the total floor area regularly used for product sales was outdoors prior to March 16, 2020. The Order lists some examples of common outdoor businesses, such as plant nurseries, agricultural operations, and landscaping and gardening services. Outdoor businesses, including outdoor retail businesses, must conduct all business and transactions involving members of the public in outdoor spaces. This means that if an outdoor business includes an indoor facility or indoor portion of its retail space that typically serves the public, that indoor area must be closed to the public (except to use restrooms, which must be frequently sanitized) and all sales must take place outdoors. Employees may continue to use the indoor space as necessary and may bring products outdoors for the public. Like all businesses, outdoor businesses must comply with the social distancing and other requirements in the Order. This includes requiring staff and customers to wear a face covering, except people for whom a face covering is not medically appropriate (for example, very young children and people who have breathing problems).

Outdoor businesses do not include businesses that promote large, coordinated, and prolonged gatherings and prolonged gatherings or interactions between groups of people, and/or include lots of high-touch equipment, facilities, or games, such as concert venues and amusement parks.

 

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Businesses that provide an “Essential Governmental Function” are allowed to be open

If a business contracts with a governmental entity and performs a function that the governmental entity has designated as an “essential governmental function,” the business may open its facility to perform that function.

 

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“Additional Businesses” are allowed to be open

Appendix C-1 of the Order lists the Additional Businesses that are now allowed to be open, as well as the social distancing and other requirements that each Additional Business must follow while operating. This includes requiring staff and customers to wear a face covering, except people for whom a face covering is not medically appropriate (for example, very young children and people who have breathing problems).

These additional businesses can now be open:

Retail:  Retail, even if it does not fall within the essential or outdoor business categories is allowed to open for in-store shopping. For these retail businesses, there, there may be no more than one worker per 300 gross square feet of the facility, and no more than one customer per 200 square feet of space that is open to the public.

Manufacturing:  All manufacturing, including research and new product development, is now allowed to open. For non-essential manufacturing, or manufacturing that doesn’t carry out an essential governmental function, no more than one person can be present per 300 gross square feet of the facility.

Logistics, Warehousing, Delivery, and Distribution:  All logistics, warehousing, delivery, and distribution businesses are now allowed to operate. Unless essential or carrying out an essential governmental function, no more than one person can be present per 300 gross square feet of a facility in this category. Personnel must wear face coverings at all times when inside a vehicle carrying out operations that fall within this category.

Outdoor museums, outdoor historical sites, and publicly accessible gardens:  These facilities may open provided that customers stay outdoors and only go inside to access restrooms.

Childcare, camps, and other educational or recreational institutions for all children:  These businesses are allowed to open provided that programs are carried out in stable groups of 12, children do not change groups within the program, groups do not mix with one another, supervisors stay with one group of children, and children do not move from one program to another more frequently than once every three weeks (or attend more than one program simultaneously). For more guidance, see here.

Limited services that do not require customer contact:  These businesses are services that involve only minimal, low-intensity, short-duration interactions between Personnel and customers. This category includes businesses like pet grooming, pet daycare, dog walking, repair services (including shoe, watch, jewelry, and other repair services), home cooking services, tailoring, car detailing, residential and janitorial cleaning services, and home maintenance. If operated out of a business facility and unless the business is essential or carrying out an essential governmental function, there may be no more than one worker per 300 gross square feet of the facility, and no more than one customer per 200 square feet of space open to the public. For all limited services businesses, service providers must limit contact with customers and all interactions and transactions between workers and customers must occur outdoors if possible.

Outdoor dining:  In addition to take-out and delivery service, restaurants and other food facilities that provide permitted sit-down food service are allowed to provide outdoor dining service in compliance with all local and state laws to tables with no more than six individuals, all of whom must be from the same household or living unit. Tables must be separated by six feet. Alcohol may be sold to patrons in conjunction with meals, but may not be sold on its own. Bar areas must remain closed. Entertainment events are not allowed. Facilities that provide outdoor dining must also provide curbside pickup, takeaway, and/or delivery service alternatives. For more guidance, see here.

Outdoor swimming pools:  Outdoor pools are allowed to open provided that lap swimming is limited to one swimmer per lane (unless multiple swimmers are from the same household or living unit). Use of shared swimming areas must be limited to no more than one swimmer per 300 square feet of shared pool space. Except for members of the same household, swimmers must remain at least six feet apart at all times. Except for unstaffed pools in multi-unit housing like apartment and condo complexes, at least one person, separate from a lifeguard, must be on duty at all times to ensure compliance with social distancing protocols. Locker rooms must be closed, and gathering outside the pool is prohibited. For more guidance, see here.

Campgrounds:  Campgrounds are allowed to operate if camping is limited to designated camping spots, and there is only one household or living unit at each spot. If spots are next to each other, every other spot must be closed. Facilities like yurts, dorms, cabins, “glamping” facilities, and other permanent facilities are not allowed to be used, except for restrooms, food lockers, dishwashing stations, and drinking water stations, which must be frequently sanitized.

 

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Businesses that are not allowed to open may only perform Minimum Basic Operations

Businesses that are not allowed to open under the Order cannot do any business activities at facilities located within the County except Minimum Basic Operations. Minimum Basic Operations that may continue include:

  • Inventory and facilities: ensure security, safety, and sanitation; process payroll and employee benefits; provide for delivery of existing inventory directly to residences or businesses; and related functions.
  • Activities that help staff work from their homes, and activities that ensure that the business can deliver its services remotely.

 

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Requirements for Operating

Requirements for All Businesses  (PDF)   New

Under the new Health Officer Order, businesses must comply with significant requirements designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and some very high-risk businesses must remain closed. Here are the requirements that apply to all businesses in the community:

Social Distancing: All businesses must require employees and customers to wear face coverings, maintain at least 6 feet from others at all times, and provide hand washing/sanitizing supplies to customers and staff.

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.

Telework: All workers who can do their jobs from home are required to work remotely.

Industry-Specific Directives: Businesses must follow any industry-specific directives from the Health Officer, and any industry-specific guidance from the State.

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.

Submit New Social Distancing Protocol to the County: All businesses must complete and submit a Social Distancing Protocol to the County, which will be publicly available through the County’s website.

What Does the New Social Distancing Protocol Require?

  • Complete and submit online at COVID19Prepared.org, and signed under penalty of perjury.
  • Post signs to keep workers and customers informed of social distancing, face covering, and hygiene requirements.
  • 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 restrictions.
  • Have a plan if someone tests positive for COVID-19.

REMEMBER: In addition to the County Health Officer Order, businesses must comply with the State’s Stay-at-Home Order. The more restrictive Order applies. Business owners that are allowed to open under the County Order should confirm that they are also allowed to open under the State Order.

 

Mandatory Health Officer Directives  New

Starting on July 6, the Health Officer will begin issuing Mandatory Directives for specific business sectors and activities, including:

As of July 2, 2020, a new order has been issued. The following remains in place until the new order becomes effective.

Requirements for Essential Businesses

The Order requires that all essential businesses strictly comply with the following steps before opening:

  1. Prepare and implement a Social Distancing Protocol. This Protocol must be distributed to all Personnel.
  2. Print the COVID-19 PREPARED Sign and the Social Distancing Protocol Visitor Information Sheet found in Appendix A of the June 5 Order. Post both sheets in a prominent place near the entrance of the facility where Personnel and customers can easily see it.
  3. Post the signage required in the Social Distancing Protocol to educate customers about health and safety requirements. Sign templates are available on the County’s website.

 

Requirements for Outdoor Businesses

The Order requires that all outdoor businesses strictly comply with the following steps before opening and while operating:

  1. Prepare and implement a Social Distancing Protocol. This Protocol must be distributed to all Personnel.
  2. Print the COVID-19 PREPARED Sign and the Social Distancing Protocol Visitor Information Sheet found in Appendix A of the June 5 Order. Post both sheets in a prominent place near the entrance of the facility where Personnel and customers can easily see it.
  3. Post the signage required in the Social Distancing Protocol to educate customers about health and safety requirements. Sign templates are available on the County’s website.
  4. To the extent a business is operating as an outdoor business, it must conduct all business and transactions involving the public in outdoor spaces. If an outdoor business includes an indoor facility or indoor portion of its retail space, that indoor space must be operated in compliance with section 1 of Appendix C-1.

 

Requirements for Additional Businesses

Like other businesses that are allowed to be open, all Additional Businesses must:

  1. Prepare and implement a Social Distancing Protocol. This Protocol must be distributed to all Personnel.
  2. Print the COVID-19 PREPARED Sign and the Social Distancing Protocol Visitor Information Sheet found in Appendix A of the June 5 Order. Post both sheets in a prominent place near the entrance of the facility where Personnel and customers can easily see it.
  3. Post the signage required in the Social Distancing Protocol to educate customers about health and safety requirements. Sign templates are available on the County’s website.

Appendix C-1 of the Order lists the Additional Businesses that are allowed to operate, as well as the social distancing and other requirements that each Additional Business must follow while operating. Currently, the following businesses are allowed to open as Additional Businesses subject to following limitations in the Order:

  1. Retail
    All retail businesses, including wholesale businesses, may operate subject to the following limitations in addition to those required elsewhere in the Order:
    • Unless operating as an Essential Business or Outdoor Business or to carry out an Essential Governmental Function, the total number of People present at a facility that qualifies under this category must at any one time be no more than one Worker per 300 gross square feet of the facility, and no more than one customer per 200 square feet of space open to the public.
  2. Manufacturing
    All manufacturing businesses may operate subject to the following limitations in addition to those required elsewhere in the Order:
    • Unless operating as an Essential Business or to carry out an Essential Governmental Function, the total number of persons (including Personnel, customers, delivery persons, or other persons) present at a facility that qualifies under this category must at any one time be no more than one person per 300 gross square feet of the facility.
  3. Logistics, Warehousing, Delivery, and Distribution
    All logistics, warehousing, delivery, and distribution businesses may operate subject to the following limitations in addition to those required elsewhere in the Order:
    • Unless operating as an Essential Business or to carry out an Essential Governmental Function, the total number of persons (including Personnel, customers, delivery persons, or other persons) present at a facility that qualifies under this category must at any one time be no more than one person per 300 gross square feet of the facility.
    • All delivery and distribution activities must take place with the minimum number of persons in a vehicle necessary to safely operate the vehicle and carry out relevant job functions.
    • In addition to the requirements set forth in the Order regarding face coverings, personnel must wear face coverings at all times when inside a vehicle to carry out operations that qualify under this category, except Personnel who are exempted from the face covering requirement pursuant to the Health Officer’s Critical Guidance on Face Coverings.
  4. Outdoor Museums, Outdoor Historical Sites, and Publicly Accessible Gardens
    Outdoor museums, outdoor historical sites, and publicly accessible gardens may open subject to the following limitations in addition to those required elsewhere in the Order:
    • Members of the public are not allowed to access any indoor facilities associated with outdoor museums, outdoor historical sites, or publicly accessible gardens, except to use restrooms, which must be frequently cleaned. All business and transactions involving members of the public must occur outdoors.
    • Businesses operating under this category must implement measures to ensure that social distancing of at least six feet is maintained at all times other than between members of the same household.​
  5. Childcare, Camps, and other Educational or Recreational Institutions for All Children PDF
    All childcare establishments, camps, and other educational or recreational institutions or programs may provide their services to all children subject to the following limitations in addition to those required elsewhere in the Order:
    • Programs must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer children (“stable” means that the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day).
    • Children within a program shall not change from one group to another within that program.
    • If more than one group of children is at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other.
    • Providers or educators shall remain solely with one group of children for the entire duration of a program, and cannot serve multiple groups of children within the same three-week period.
    • Children may not move from one program to another more frequently than once every three weeks, or take part in more than one program simultaneously.
  6. Limited Services That Do Not Require Customer Contact
    Limited services that do not require customer contact including but not limited to, pet grooming (including mobile pet grooming), pet daycare, dog walking, repair services (including shoe, watch, jewelry, and other repair services), home cooking services, tailoring, car detailing, residential and janitorial cleaning services, and home maintenance, may operate subject to the following limitations in addition to those required elsewhere in the Order:
    • If the service is operated out of a business facility that is not an Essential Business or Outdoor Business or used to carry out an Essential Governmental Function, the total number of persons (including Personnel, customers, delivery persons, or other persons) present at the facility must any one time be no more than one person per 300 gross square feet of the facility, and no more than one customer per 200 square feet of space open to the public.
    • To the extent feasible, all interactions and transactions between Personnel and customers must occur outdoors.
    • To the extent feasible, businesses must provide an option to customers that allows them to order and pay for products online or by phone prior to arriving at the facility.
    • To the extent feasible, items serviced must be disinfected prior to being returned to customers.
  7. Outdoor Dining PDF
    Restaurants and other food facilities that provide sit-down food service may provide outdoor, sit-down meals, subject to the following limitations in addition to those required elsewhere in the Order:
    • Outdoor seating arrangements shall limit the number of patrons at a single table to no more than six (6) individuals, all of whom must be from the same household or living unit. Members of separate households or living units are not allowed to dine at the same table.
    • All tables must be separated to ensure that six-feet minimum social distance can easily be maintained between all members of separate households or living units at all times. For clarity, patrons who are members of the same household or living unit and seated together at a table do not need to be six feet apart.
    • Alcohol may be sold to patrons in conjunction with a meal, but it may not be sold on its own.
    • Bar areas must remain closed to customers.
    • Entertainment events are not allowed at this time.
    • Outdoor dining, placement of outdoor seating arrangements, and food service must be in compliance with local laws, regulations, ADA requirements, and permitting requirements.
    • Facilities that open for outdoor dining must offer curbside pickup, takeaway, and/or delivery service alternatives.
  8. Outdoor Swimming Pools PDF
    Outdoor swimming pools may operate subject to the following limitations in addition to those required elsewhere in the Order:
    • Lap swimming must be limited to one swimmer per lane, except that members of the same household or living unit may occupy a single lane.
    • Use of shared swimming areas must be limited to no more than one swimmer per 300 square feet of shared pool space.
    • Except for members of the same household, swimmers shall remain at least six feet apart at all times.
    • At least one person, separate from a lifeguard, shall be on duty at all times to ensure that the social distancing protocol applicable to the facility and all limitations herein are followed.
    • Locker rooms shall be closed to the public, except for use as a restroom.
    • All gathering shall be prohibited outside the pool, such as on pool decks, except that members of a household may observe a child or other person swimming to ensure safety and supervision.
  9. Campgrounds
    Campgrounds may operate subject to the following limitations additional to those required elsewhere in the Order:
    • Only designated camping spots shall be used.
    • Each camping spot shall be occupied by no more than one household or living unit.
    • If camping spots are immediately adjacent to one another, there shall at least one closed camping spot between each open camping spot to maintain adequate distance between households or living units.
    • Yurts, dorms, cabins, “glamping” facilities, and other permanent facilities may not be used, except for restrooms, food lockers, dishwashing stations, and drinking water stations, which must be frequently sanitized.
    • To the extent feasible, reservations shall be made by phone or online prior to arrival.

 

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All Businesses Must Maximize Remote Work

Businesses that are allowed to operate facilities in the County must maximize remote work. All employees who can work from home must do so. The only employees who can go to work are those who cannot perform their job duties from home and: (1) must work onsite to carry out an essential business functio or an essential governmental function; (2) must work onsite to operate an allowable outdoor business or additional business; or (3) are needed to maintain the minimum basic operations described in the Order for components of the business that are not allowed to fully resume operations. If an employee must come into work for some job functions, but can perform other job functions remotely, that employee must work from home to carry out the job functions that can be performed remotely.

Maximize Outdoor Operations 

While not mandatory, the Health Officer strongly recommends that all businesses move as many operations outdoors as possible. Outdoor activities present a much lower risk of COVID-19 transmission because there is better airflow and usually more room to spread out outdoors. ​

 

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Prepare a Social Distancing Protocol  New

COVID-19 Prepared Checkmark Sign

Every business with a facility in the County used by workers or the public must complete and submit a Social Distancing Protocol for each of their facilities on the County’s website at www.COVID19Prepared.org. The Social Distancing Protocol must submitted and signed electronically through the County’s website – you cannot sign using pen and paper. Businesses that operate from a facility must post an updated COVID-19 Prepared sign and Visitor Information summary sheet, which are included in the Social Distancing Protocol. Businesses that provide services at several facilities that they do not own (like cleaning services) must distribute the Protocol to the owners or operators of each location they serve. All businesses must distribute the Protocol to their workers.

For businesses that are already operating under the June 5 Order, you must complete this new Social Distancing Protocol by the date the new Health Order becomes effective. For businesses that are newly allowed to reopen under the Order issued July 2, you must complete this new Social Distancing Protocol prior to reopening (and you cannot open until the new Order becomes effective). Please visit www.COVID19Prepared.org for detailed instructions on how to prepare, submit, and implement your Social Distancing Protocol.

 

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Download and Post Signage

You can download flyers and posters about the Public Health Order to inform employees and customers about preventing the spread of COVID-19. Please see here.

three posters 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also provides print resources with information about COVID-19. Please see here.


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Guidance for Safe Operation

Businesses in Santa Clara County are responsible for taking steps to protect the health of their employees and customers by minimizing close contact between people. In addition to the requirements named in the Order and explained on the Requirements for Operating webpage, the County Health Officer strongly recommends adoption of the following practices for safe operation:

 

What to Do When Someone at the Workplace Tests Positive for COVID-19  New

This step-by-step protocol provides guidance to employers when one or more people at the workplace tests positive for COVID-19. This protocol applies to employees as well as volunteers, contractors, or other people who work at the facility. In addition to this protocol, employers must comply with all applicable state and federal laws and any collective bargaining obligations.

When to Use this Protocol

If the person diagnosed with COVID-19 ever had symptoms, use this protocol if they were ever symptomatic while at work or developed symptoms within 48 hours of being at work.

If the person diagnosed with COVID-19 never had symptoms, use this protocol if they tested positive within 48 hours of being at work.

 

Step 1: Provide instructions to the COVID-19-positive worker

Work Exclusion & Isolation Period

The worker should be sent home immediately and instructed to isolate for 14 days from the date they tested positive AND, if symptomatic, 7 days after symptoms resolve (whichever is longer). The individual may return to the worksite after both of these criteria are met (14/7 rule).

 

Step 2: Identify all close contacts to the COVID-19-positive worker

If an employer learns that an employee has tested positive, the employer should try to determine which, if any, employees had close contact with the positive employee. A close contact is defined as someone who was within six feet from the person who tested positive for at least 15 minutes.

Maintain Confidentiality

Employers should keep employees’ medical information confidential in accordance with federal and state laws.  Do not disclose the identity of the COVID-19 positive worker in your effort to identify close contacts. Please consult with your attorney if you have any questions about applicable employment or privacy laws. 

Identify Close Contacts During the Exposure Period

The employer should investigate and document the employee’s schedule and work location to determine: 1) the day their symptoms began (if applicable); 2) the date of their first positive test; and 3) the last day that the person diagnosed with COVID-19 was present at the workplace.

This information should then be used by the employer to identify all individuals who may have had close contact with the confirmed-positive employee during the exposure period.

The exposure period is defined as:

  • Start: 2 days before the person had symptoms (or 2 days before date of first positive test for employees who are asymptomatic)
  • End: last day the positive person was at work

Complete the Case and Contact Data Collection Form

The employer should gather the following information for all people who have been identified as close contacts (to be provided to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department), including any vendors/suppliers, visitors, or others who had close contact with the employee at the worksite.

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Language spoken (if not fluent in English)

Employers may also consider instituting a policy informing employees that if they are confirmed to have COVID-19, they will be requested to provide a list of other employees with whom they had close contact during the exposure period.

 

Step 3: Communicate with All Employees

Work Exclusion, Quarantine & Testing Recommendations for Close Contacts

Anyone who had close contact with the person diagnosed with COVID-19 during the exposure period (defined above) should not be allowed at the worksite and should stay at home for 14 days, starting the last day that the person diagnosed with COVID-19 was at work.

All close contacts should get tested immediately. COVID-19 testing locations can be found on our website. Even if the test is negative, close contacts should remain in quarantine for the full 14 days. Close contacts should get tested again on approximately Day 10 of the quarantine period to see if their infection status has changed. Test results, positive or negative, should be shared with the employer.

Provide the COVID-19 Close Contact Advisory to all close contacts identified.

General Advisory & Symptom Monitoring for All Other Employees

All others present at the workplace, but NOT identified as close contacts, should be advised to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the last day that the person diagnosed with COVID-19 was at work. They may return to work, but if they develop symptoms, they should stay home (or if at work, go home immediately) and contact their health care provider to get testing. Everyone at the worksite should ensure they are following the business’s Social Distancing Protocol.

If the workplace is a “High-Risk Setting,” one where workers are at a high risk for exposure to COVID-19 due to frequent face-to-face interaction with members of the public and inability to maintain physical distancing at work, workers should get tested at least every 30 days. These “High-Risk Setting” workers include, but are not limited to, first responders, pharmacy employees, food service workers, delivery workers, public transportation operators, and grocery store clerks.

If desired, provide the COVID-19 General Exposure Advisory to all employees who were NOT identified as close contacts.

 

Step 4: Report Case(s) to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department

If a positive case is identified at your worksite, email coronavirus@phd.sccgov.org with the information requested in the Case and Contact Data Collection Form. Under the Health Officer Order, reports must, as a matter of law, be made within four hours after the employer learns of the positive case(s). The information provided will remain confidential and does not affect immigration status. You may update the information you provide if you discover additional information after your initial report.

 

Step 5: Report Any Hospitalizations and Deaths to the Local Cal/OSHA District Office

Any serious injury, illness, or death occurring in any place of employment or in connection with any employment must be reported by the employer to the local Cal/OSHA district office immediately. For COVID-19, this includes hospitalizations and deaths among employees, even if work-relatedness is uncertain.

 

Step 6: Disinfection Recommendations After a Confirmed COVID-19 Case at the Workplace

Until cleaning and disinfection are completed, close off areas visited by the ill person(s) if the person visited those areas within the last 48 hours. If safe, open outside doors and windows and use ventilating fans to increase air circulation in the area. Wait 24 hours or as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection. Using an EPA-certified cleaning agent, clean and disinfect all areas used by the ill person(s), including offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment (like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines), focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.

Continue routinely cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch areas throughout the day, following CDC guidelines. Clean visibly dirty surfaces and objects using soap and water prior to disinfection. Use an EPA-approved disinfectant product, and follow the instructions on the label for proper use, additional PPE needs, and any other special considerations when using the product.

 

Step 7: Preventing Workplace COVID-19 Transmission

Strictly Enforce Face Covering Use

Face coverings are now mandated in the State of California (CDPH, 2020). All persons must be instructed to wear their face covering at all times while at the workplace or performing work off-site, especially when interacting with or in a space visited by members of the public, working in a space where food is prepared or packaged, working in or walking through common areas, or in an enclosed area with others and where it is not possible to maintain 6-foot social distancing.

Face coverings are not required for workers while eating or drinking, for workers with a medical condition that prevents wearing a face covering, for communication by or with a person who is hearing impaired, or when the face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

As Appropriate, Restructure the Workplace to Better Support Social Distancing Measures

Reconfigure, restrict, or close common areas to maintain social distancing. Minimum required social distancing measures are identified in the Social Distancing Protocol. Additional measures specific to other industries or activities are included in Mandatory Directives issued by the Health Officer.

Some basic, preliminary social distancing measures include the following:

  • Maximize remote work, based on business functions. Under the Order, businesses must require all workers to work from home if they are able to perform their employee-assigned work duties from home.
  • For those who must remain at the workplace, maintain at least a 6-foot distance from everyone outside your household.
  • Limit the number of workers allowed inside your facility at a time to 1 worker per 250 square feet, and limit the number of customers/members of the public allowed inside your facility at a time to 1 person per 150 square feet. These density limitations are required under the Order.
  • Desks and workspaces should be spaced at least six feet apart and arranged facing the same direction rather than facing each other.
  • Any shared desk/work areas should be sanitized between each shift.
  • Use of common areas (such as conference rooms, cafeterias, and break rooms) should be minimized and avoided.
  • Instead, individuals should be encouraged to eat meals at their desks and to join meetings virtually whenever possible.
  • If such common areas are used, place additional limitations on the number of workers in enclosed areas to ensure at least six feet of separation between everyone in the area.
  • Stagger personnel breaks, in compliance with wage and hour regulations, to maintain adequate social distancing.
  • Minimize any in-person meetings, and opt for virtual meetings whenever possible; for meetings that must be in-person, arrange to ensure adequate social distancing.

Actively Encourage Adherence to Hygiene Measures

Actively encourage all individuals to increase hygiene measures (hand washing, avoiding contact with eyes/nose/mouth, covering coughs and sneezes), and provide frequent breaks for hand washing. Provide tissues, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes that can be easily accessed throughout the facility. Employers must ensure that hand sanitizer dispensers and handwashing facilities are always operational and stocked.

Print out and post educational materials throughout the workplace. Printable materials are available at: www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/learn-what-to-do-flyers.aspx

Implement Routine Cleaning Measures

Clean

  • See the CDC guidance “Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility” for specific guidance in cleaning and disinfecting indoor and outdoor areas.
  • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • All workers must wash hands regularly and be provided with frequent handwashing breaks.

Disinfect

  • Employers should ensure that routine disinfection is conducted using one of the following:
    • EPA-registered household disinfectant, per manufacturer’s recommendations;
    • Alcohol solution with at least 60% alcohol; or
    • Diluted household bleach solutions (if appropriate for the surface)
  • Routinely clean and disinfect high-touch items (door handles, handrails, light switches, telephones, keyboards, etc.) throughout the day.

Additional Recommendations

  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks, other work tools and equipment) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
  • Discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after use.

Ensure Strict Adherence to Social Distancing Protocol and Industry-Specific Directives

All businesses are required to complete and implement a Social Distancing Protocol and submit it to the County using the online form. Additional measures specific to other industries or activities are included in Mandatory Directives issued by the Health Officer.

Periodically revisit your facilities’ Protocol to determine whether any measures should be updated to enhance workplace safety. Ensure that all personnel are properly trained on the Protocol and that the Protocol measures are being strictly implemented and followed.

Additional State and Federal Guidance

​The following government agencies have developed guidance to help with planning efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.​

State of California

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health - Cal OSHA

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

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Additional Resources

Additional resources for funding and support for business that are experiencing hardship due to COVID-19.​

 

Financing and Resources for Small Businesses

  • On June 15, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened its application portal for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), providing vital funding for businesses that may have missed the original application period. The application and more information is available on the SBA website.
  • The Northern California Small Business Development Center can help small businesses navigate resources and answer business questions.
  • Learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program, a small business loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Further information on the Paycheck Protection Program is available from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
  • California IBank has low-interest and state-guaranteed business loans and microloans for small business borrowers who have been impacted by regional disasters and who need term loans or lines of credit for working capital.
  • The California Capital Access Program (CalCAP) for Small Business encourages banks and other financial institutions to make loans to small businesses that have difficulty obtaining financing. If you own a small business and need a loan for start-up, expansion, or working capital, you may receive more favorable loan terms from a lender if your loan is enrolled in the CalCAP Loan Loss Reserve Program. A list of participating lending institutions is available here.
  • The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz) offers resource information on financial and technical assistance for small businesses throughout California.
  • Employee Retention Credit: The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service have launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.
  • The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship created this Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act to help small business owners navigate the resources introduced by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
  • Employers who have difficulty locating and purchasing non-medical grade Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for their workers may utilize Safely Making California, a partnership between the State, the California Manufacturers & Technology Association, and Autodesk. Safely Making California helps connect employers to manufacturers of non-medical grade PPE.

 

Sales and Use Tax Liability (State of California) - Extensions and Relief for Small Business Taxpayers

Effective April 2, 2020, small business taxpayers (those with less than $5 million in taxable annual sales) can take advantage of a 12-month, interest-free payment plan for up to $50,000 of sales and use tax liability. See here for details. Payment plan requests can be made through the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration’s online services system. Questions about this program may be directed to the Department of Tax and Fee Administration​ (1-800-400-7115; California Relay Service: 711).​

 

Workforce Resources

  • The Labor & Workforce Development Agency has compiled a centralized source of information on topics such as paid sick leave, disability and unemployment insurance, workplace health and safety guidance, and employer assistance. Use the guidance on their website to determine what is best for you, your family, and your workplace.
  • The California Labor Commissioner’s Office (en español) lists answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding employee leave options, compensation, and salary.
  • The Employment Development Department (EDD) (en español) provides a variety of resources for employers who anticipate a reduction of work hours, or potential closure or layoffs as a result of COVID-19. Employers experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19 may also request up to a 60-day extension from the EDD to file their state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. For questions, employers may call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center at (888) 745-3886 (TTY: 1-800-547-9565).
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has provided guidance regarding ADA compliance, medical exams, confidential medical information, anti-discrimination laws, and other employment matters related to COVID-19.  Businesses should work with legal counsel to address employment law questions as the County cannot provide legal advice regarding employment matters related to COVID-19 in the workplace. 

 

Employees of Affected Businesses/Unemployment Claims

  • The Employment Development Department (en español) provides a variety of support services to individuals affected by COVID-19in California:
    • Sick or Quarantined: If you’re unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19, you can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have full or partial loss of wages due to non-work-related illnesses.
    • Caregiving: If you’re unable to work because you are caring for ill or quarantined family members with COVID-19, you can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. PFL provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member.
    • Reduced Work Hours: If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you can file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own.
  • A is a private initiative of companies and foundations that serves California workers displaced by COVID-19. OnwardCA provides essential life services (such as money, groceries, or childcare), job training, and job matching.
  • The Workers page on the State’s COVID-19 website lists information on unemployment insurance, help for self-employed workers and independent contractors, and more.
  • This chart created by the State’s Labor & Workforce Development Agency lists the benefits available to workers affected by COVID-19.

 

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Guidance for Workers

For people allowed to perform work outside their homes during the shelter in place order, we offer the following tips on how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) for you and your family.

 

When Going to Work:

Wearing gloves is not a substitute for hand washing. A pair of green and blue gloves

  • Riding alone in a private vehicle is the safest way to travel.
  • We know this is not possible for everyone. If you go to work with others in the same car, wear a face covering over your mouth and nose (such as a bandana, scarf, or handmade fabric covering). Keep the car windows open whenever possible.
  • If you go to work on public transportation, you must wear a face covering while waiting for and riding the bus or train. For more guidance on public transportation requirement, see VTA or Caltra
  • in.
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  • void touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
  • If possible, carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer to use after touching surfaces such as ticket machines, handrails, and doors.

 

When at Work:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you get to work and as often as possible during your shift. Wash for at least 20 seconds. If handwashing facilities are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
  • Wear a face covering over your mouth and nose while at work (such as a bandana, scarf, or handmade fabric covering). This is required.
  • Help ensure your workplace is following the Social Distancing Protocol and other requirements. If your employer is not complying with business requirements to operate or the Social Distancing Protocol, call the County of Santa Clara Office of Labor Standards Enforcement at 1-866-870-7725 to report any deficiencies in compliance with Protocol requirements.

 

When You Get Home from Work:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly or use hand sanitizer as soon as you get home.
  • Create a space near the front door or entrance to your home to place your work items to avoid contaminating other areas of the house.
  • After washing your hands, clean your phone, keys, and other loose items with disinfectant wipes.
  • Clean any doorknobs or other surfaces that you touched when you entered the home.
  • Place work clothes that need washing directly into the washer or in a separate bag, depending on what makes sense for your laundry situation.
  • Shower and put on clean clothes.
  • Do not hug or touch anyone until after you've washed your hands and showered.

 

At Home:

  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing, then throw out the used tissue.
  • Avoid sharing personal items like drinking glasses, eating utensils, and towels with other people.
  • Frequently clean high-touch surfaces including phones, keyboards, kitchen countertops, toilets, faucets, and doorknobs. Standard cleaning products are effective against COVID-19.

 

Make a Plan in Case You Get Sick:

  • Plan how you will meet your essential needs if you become sick.
  • Keep a supply of non-perishable food, household items, cleaning supplies, and medications on hand so that you can minimize and space out your trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, and other locations.
  • Determine who will be responsible for activities such as grocery shopping and other essential activities if you become sick. Is there someone in the home who can help? Is there a family or close friend who can drop off groceries to the door?

 

Employees of Affected Businesses/Unemployment Claims

  • The Employment Development Department (en español) provides a variety of support services to individuals affected by COVID-19 in California:
  • Sick or Quarantined: If you’re unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19, you can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have full or partial loss of wages due to non-work-related illnesses.
  • Caregiving: If you’re unable to work because you are caring for ill or quarantined family members with COVID-19, you can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. PFL provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member.
  • Reduced Work Hours: If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you can file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own.
  • rdCA is a private initiative of companies and foundations that serves California workers displaced by COVID-19. OnwardCA provides essential life services (such as money, groceries, or childcare), job training, and job matching.
  • The Workers page on the State’s COVID-19 website lists for information on unemployment insurance, help for self-employed workers and independent contractors, and more.
  • This chart created by the State’s Labor & Workforce Development Agency lists the benefits available to workers affected by COVID-19.

 

Free Support Services:

  • For housing support, call the County's Joint Operations Center at 408-278-6420.
  • For food assistance, call Second Harvest Food Bank at 1-800-984-3663.
  • If you do not have a regular doctor, please call the Primary Care Access Program at 408-556-6605 to speak to a doctor about your symptoms.
  • For information on COVID-19 testing in the County—including who should get tested and where—visit the County Public Health Department website: www.sccgov.org/cv19testing.
  • Remember, getting help for COVID-19 will not reduce your chances of obtaining U.S. residency or citizenship. So please, reach out for help if you need it.
  • To see if you qualify for a program that can cover a portion of your lost wages due to COVID-19 visit: sccfairworkplace.org or call 1-866-870-7725.
  • If your employer is not complying with business requirements to operate or the Social Distancing Protocol, call the County of Santa Clara Office of Labor Standards Enforcement at 1-866-870-7725 to report any deficiencies in compliance with Protocol requirements.

 

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Guidance for Customers

Before you go do not forget to bring your hand sanitizer bottle, two face coverings and a paper bag to store the face coverings

Customers should keep in mind the following guidance while visiting business facilities:

  • Customers must wear face coverings whenever they are at any business, or even picking something up from a business. Note: Face coverings are not required for very young children under the age of two or for people for whom they are otherwise not medically recommended.
  • Customers must maintain social distancing of at least six feet from employees and other customers whenever possible.
  • Check to make sure the business has posted a COVID-19 PREPARED Sign and a Social Distancing Protocol Visitor Information Sheet at each public entrance to the facility.
  • Avoid using public seating areas.
  • Avoid bringing your own cups or reusable food containers from home for takeaway.
Two different groups of people dine at least 6 feet apart while a server wearing a face covering walks to greet them

If a business is not complying with required Social Distancing Protocols, you can report deficiencies in compliance with Protocol requirements to the County of Santa Clara Office of the District Attorney​

For answers to Frequently Asked Questions about customer safety during the coronavirus outbreak, please see here.

 

What Should Customers See in Every Business?  (PDF)   New

ALL open businesses have to follow the County Health Officer’s rules to make sure their workers and customers stay as safe as possible from COVID-19. Here’s what you should see at every open business in Santa Clara County:

  1. ALL CUSTOMERS AND WORKERS WEARING FACE COVERINGS
    • Employees must wear face coverings (unless it’s unsafe for them or they’re talking to someone who is hearing-impaired).
    • Customers over age 2 must wear face coverings too, and the business should turn away customers who aren’t wearing them unless the customer has a medical reason not to.
  1. EVERYONE KEEPS AT LEAST 6-FOOT DISTANCE
    • A business should never be crowded. Business must limit the number of customers and workers in a facility at any time based on square footage.
    • You should also see things like tape on the floor marking 6-foot distances for customers standing in line, and chairs and benches blocked off with tape or signs. Employees shouldn’t be crowding together while they work.
  1. HAND-WASHING OR HAND SANITIZER AVAILABLE FOR CUSTOMERS
    • There is hand sanitizer or soap and water available so customers and the business’s employees can keep their hands clean.
  1. POSTERS EXPLAINING COVID-19 SAFETY RULES
    • At the entrance, you should see the COVID-19 PREPARED sign and Social Distancing Protocol Visitor Information sheet, which look like this:
      COVID-19 business signs
    • You should also see posters with information about social distancing, face covering, and health and hygiene requirements like these:
      COVID-19 business posters
    • Violations:  To report a business that you think is violating these or other requirements related to preventing COVID-19, please fill out this form​ to submit a complaint to the District Attorney.

 

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File a Complaint About a Violation

If you see a business or organization that might be violating the order and endangering the public or its employees, you can report it to the County of Santa Clara Office of the District Attorney here.

If you are a worker, volunteer, or other Personnel concerned about an employer violating the Order, you can contact the County Office of Labor Standards Enforcement Advice Line at 866-870-7725.

The Public Health Order is a legal order issued under the authority of California law. You are required to comply, and it is a crime (a misdemeanor) not to follow the Order. Violations are punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

 

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Contact Us

Contact us by email or by phone

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions page for businesses. If you have additional questions not addressed by the FAQs or would like to provide us with feedback, please reach out to us by either filling out the form below or call the COVID-19 Business Call Center at (408) 961-5500, Monday - Friday, 8am-5pm, for any inquires related to your business or workplace.​​​​​​​​​

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Last updated: 7/9/2020 8:10 PM