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County of Santa Clara Urges All Businesses in the County to Submit Required Social Distancing Protocols Ahead of Monday Deadline

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 10, 2020

Under New Health Officer Order and Directives, Additional Sectors May Resume Operations July 13;  All Businesses - Including Those Already Open - Must Submit Online Form;  All Indoor Gatherings Remain Prohibited

Santa Clara County, CA – The County of Santa Clara urges all businesses to submit a new online social distancing protocol, including those businesses planning to resume operations Monday, to implement the necessary steps and protocols that must be in place to ensure business can be conducted in as safe a manner as possible.

In addition, directives for gatherings have been issued in light of the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalization. The original order would have allowed indoor gatherings of up to 20; the new directive on gatherings prohibits all indoor gatherings. The order still allows outdoor gatherings of up to 60 people, following social distancing guidelines.

“Our top priority is always the health and safety of everyone who lives or works in Santa Clara County,” said County of Santa Clara Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody, who issued the July 2 Order that goes into effect on Monday, July 13. “The new order was created with harm reduction in mind, understanding that COVID-19 will be with us for a while and we must change the way we live and do business to prevent us from infecting one another. While the order allows more businesses and activities to resume, this must be done with care and adherence to the new safety and distancing protocols.”

The new order institutes a long-term risk reduction strategy allowing additional activities under strict mandatory guidelines. All businesses must complete the new Social Distancing Protocol prior to reopening. The new order also applies to businesses already operating under prior orders. These businesses must also submit the new Social Distancing Protocol by Monday to remain in operation.

The mandated online form and checklist, available at www.covid19prepared.org, must be signed under penalty of perjury. This form is essential to operating legally under the new Health Officer Order because it:

  • Identifies the person responsible for ensuring compliance with the Protocol (this will usually be an owner or manager)
  • Confirms that the business is posting proper signage
  • Confirms that the business is properly training its workers
  • Confirms that the business is putting measures in place to protect its workers and the public, including mandatory face coverings
  • Confirms that the business has an adequate plan in place if a worker tests positive for COVID-19
  • Certifies under penalty of perjury that the information submitted is true and accurate – providing false information about completed steps is a crime.

The new order, new mandatory directives for business sectors and activities, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions are available online. County staff will be available over the weekend at the COVID-19 Business Call Center at 408-961-5500 to help businesses comply with the new requirement. They can answer questions about the new regulations and assist in submitting the required Social Distancing Protocol.

“The new order and directives for businesses -- with strict measures to keep workers and customers safe -- is a roadmap through our new normal,” said Supervisor Mike Wasserman. “Many businesses have been waiting for months to reopen and want to do so in as safe a manner as possible -- these required protocols give them the means to do so.” 

Under the prior order, most businesses and activities in the community had been allowed to reopen. The new order allows other activities to resume, including hair and nail services, gyms, and outdoor gatherings, but only with strict social distancing protocols in place, consistent use of face coverings, and significant capacity limits. It also requires all employers to immediately report cases of COVID-19 tied to their work places to local public health officials. The order continues to stress that we are all safest when we stay home, and that people over age 70 and those with serious underlying medical conditions should continue to leave home only for essential needs.

“We’ve seen a surge in cases, here and elsewhere, that demonstrates the importance of making distancing and safety paramount,” said Board of Supervisors President Cindy Chavez. “We’ve seen other counties forced to close down sectors they had recently reopened, and we need everyone in the community to ensure that doesn’t happen here. That means everyone needs to carefully follow these protocols, which serve as best practices for a successful, sustainable, and long-term reopening.”

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Last updated: 7/10/2020 10:16 AM