Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody on Monday issued a revised “risk reduction order” that will go into effect when state officials permit the county to open up more business and public gathering spaces.

Under the revised order, all businesses in the county will be allowed to operate within the state’s guidelines. Openings will include indoor dining and indoor gatherings, according to county staff.

The order will go into effect when the county moves into the state’s Tier 3, or “orange” tier. Santa Clara County is currently in the “red” tier.

County officials cautioned that just because an activity is allowed, that does not make it safe. Covid-19 continues to pose a risk to Santa Clara County residents, and public health officials continue to urge locals to be cautious, stay home when possible, minimize interaction with anyone outside the household, maintain social distance, wear a face covering and move activities outdoors when possible.

“It is imperative that we all continue to practice the precautions that have made our Covid-19 numbers move in the right direction,” Cody said. “The fact that you are able to do something doesn’t mean that you should. The public’s commitment, both businesses and our residents, to wearing face coverings, and maintaining social distancing and testing is what will help us move forward to the next tier in the state’s Covid-19 blueprint.”

The revised county order allows for greater consistency and uniformity with the state’s Orange Tier framework, county staff said. Unless otherwise indicated in the order, all county businesses and activities are allowed to resume to the extent allowed under the Orange tier. The following business and activities are now allowed to resume:

– Outdoor gatherings of up to 200 people and indoor gatherings of up to 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer 

– Indoor dining up to 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer 

– To ensure alignment with the state’s Orange Tier, the health officer will issue further modifications to various other directives before the county moves into the Orange Tier.

“Now is the time for our community to work together to make this new order work safely so our residents can remain healthy,” said Cindy Chavez, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. “Our community has sacrificed a lot and been patient and now we look forward to the successful return of activities allowed under the new order. These activities will only be able to stay open if we each take responsibility for wearing a mask and social distancing to stop the spread of coronavirus.”

Santa Clara County is currently in the state’s Red Tier (Tier 2). If current trends continue, the state could assign the county to the less restrictive Orange Tier as soon as Oct. 13.  For more information about the state framework, visit For more information on the local public health order and directives, visit


As of Oct. 6:

World: 35,567,574 cases; 1,045,563 deaths

U.S.: 7,467,186 cases; 210,355 deaths

Santa Clara County: 21,926 cases; 345 deaths

Morgan Hill: 622 cases

Gilroy: 1,582 cases

San Jose: 14,422 cases

As of Sept. 29:

World: 33,477,825 cases; 1,003,922 deaths

U.S.: 7,176,111 cases; 205,676 deaths

Santa Clara County: 21,241 cases; 314 deaths

Morgan Hill: 615 cases

Gilroy: 1,538 cases

San Jose: 14,013 cases

(Sources: Santa Clara County, Johns Hopkins University)

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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