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Public Health Orders

Last content update: 3/2/2021

UPDATE: On March 2, 2021, the California Department of Public Health announced that Santa Clara County will be entering the Red Tier of the State’s the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy effective March 3, 2021. The County is also lifting local activity-specific health directives, effective Wednesday, March 3, 2021. However, Santa Clara County continues to experience high rates of COVID-19 transmission, and the danger COVID-19 poses to our community has not subsided. The County Health Officer urges businesses, entities, and residents to continue exercising caution even as certain restrictions are lifted by the State. Just because the State allows certain activities to resume or adopts certain COVID protocols, that does not mean that those activities are safe.

The following documents can be reviewed for further information and updates.


The following documents are the Mandatory Health Officer Directives that specify requirements for businesses and activities:


Testing Order Issued September 16, 2020:  The Health Officer issued an amended Order regarding Testing on September 16, 2020. This new order enhances testing access by expanding the number of Essential Workers entitled to testing, makes sure access to testing is easy and quick, and ensures that healthcare providers inform their patients about how to access testing. This Order will go into effect on September 25, 2020.

New Order Issued September 4, 2020:  The Health Officer issued a new Order regarding influenza vaccinations on September 4, 2020. This Order will go into effect on September 8, 2020.

New Order Issued January 7, 2021:  The Health Officer issued a new Order regarding COVID-19 Vaccination Information and Plans. This Order will go into effect on January 7, 2021.

  • Health Officer COVID-19 Vaccination Order (PDF): | English​ |

Public health Orders are legal orders issued under the authority of California law. Learn more about the enforcement of County and State Public Health Orders​. Violations of these orders are punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.  ​


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As Santa Clara County enters the “Red Tier” of the State’s Blueprint framework, the County is lifting local activity-specific health directives, effective Wednesday, March 3, 2021.  All activities are still subject to the State’s rules and to the local Risk Reduction Order.

As certain activities are allowed to resume, the County Health Officer urges residents to proceed with caution.  COVID-19 case rates, hospitalizations, and deaths are falling, but still remain very high.  Vaccinations are occurring as quickly as supplies allow, but most people in our community are still not vaccinated.  New variants of the virus that may spread more easily or cause more severe illness are present in our county; however, their impact on our local epidemic is largely unknown.  Just because the State allows certain activities to resume or adopts certain COVID protocols, that does not mean that those activities are safe.  In fact, the State’s health orders allow many activities that are risky, and upcoming changes by the State will make that even more true.

The novel coronavirus spreads primarily through the air.  To keep yourself, your family, your friends and neighbors, and our broader community safe, follow these core principles:

  1. Go outdoors. Outdoor activities are far safer than indoor ones. 
  1. Stay masked. Consistent use of face coverings, especially double-masking, both indoors and outdoors, is very effective at preventing spread of the coronavirus.
  1. Maintain at least 6-foot distance from others. Social distancing from those who do not live with you is effective at keeping the virus away.
  1. Avoid crowds. The fewer people you encounter and interactions you have, the smaller the chance the virus will spread.
  1. Get vaccinated when it’s your turn. All federally approved vaccines work well and will help keep you, your family, and your friends safe.

As a reminder, the County Risk Reduction Health Order still requires everyone to follow all State rules, use face coverings, and maximize social distancing; and all entities must continue to implement a Social Distancing Protocol, maximize telework, and immediately report cases to Public Health.

If conditions worsen, strong local mandatory measures may again be necessary.  The County Health Officer strongly urges everyone to exercise great caution and good judgment in these next critical weeks and months.  For more information, visit​​​​​​​​​​


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Last updated: 3/3/2021 10:55 AM