Santa Clara County Drops Plans to Allow Indoor Gatherings

Santa Clara County says it has dropped plans to begin allowing restricted indoor gatherings, which public health officials had anticipated allowing as of Monday, July 13.

The county today also reminded all businesses to submit new online social distancing plans by Monday so they can take the necessary steps “to ensure business can be conducted in as safe a manner as possible.”

The decision to pull back on plans to allow small indoor gatherings was made this week, “in light of the recent increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalization,” said Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody in a statement.

'The original order approved by the state on July 7 would have allowed indoor gatherings of up to 20 people. The new directive on gatherings prohibits all indoor gatherings but will still allow outdoor gatherings of up to 60 people, following social distancing guidelines, she said.

As of 5pm Friday, Santa Clara County reported 5,863 COVID-19 cases, with 189 new cases reported in the previous 24 hours.

The number of hospitalizations in the county grew to 112, with 19 new admissions. Another 23 hospitalized patients are under investigation because of COVID-19 symptoms, pending results from virus tests.

“Our top priority is always the health and safety of everyone who lives or works in Santa Clara County,” Cody said.

She had issued the initial order July 2, but its status was in limbo for three days after state public health officials on July 4 initially rejected the plan as incomplete.

“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,” said Cody in a statement today.

“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 county reminded all businesses, including those already open, that they need to submit new forms outlining their individual social distancing protocols to the county by Monday if they want to remain in operation, or reopen.

The new rules are required of any business that plans to resume operations Monday, the county said. “All businesses must complete the new Social Distancing Protocol prior to reopening, or to remain in operation,” Cody said.

The mandated online form and checklist, available at, 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,” Supervisor Mike Wasserman said. “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 workplaces to local public health officials.

The order continues to stress that people are all safest when they stay home, and that people over age 70 and those with serious underlying medical conditions should continue to leave home only for essential needs.

The county’s COVID-19 dashboard (which you can peruse here) is in five languages—English, Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese and Tagalog.


  1. I’m tired of this. None of these “laws” were passed by any type of elected representatives. They are nothing but dictatorial edicts. What’s next, blame the conservatives for burning down the Reichstag then claim emergency powers to protect the state? Wait, nevermind. That’s been done. Ok, then put a picture of Che Guevara or some other leftist “hero” and a dart board of Trump over the bar, open the business and call it a protest.

    • You are right! Newsom has used it, SCC has used it, and Mayors have used it as a tool to get their true agendas passed with little to no scrutiny.

      What will they all do when they have to say there is no emergency because the numbers don’t support the narrative? Oh! They won’t.

  2. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the leadership, knowledge, and courage of our Public Health Officer Sara Cody. She has been and is making all the right calls, based on current best medical information on the pandemic. This is a time where we must all participate and do the right thing to protect the public health.

    • She has been making all the wrong calls.

      I am getting on with my normal life and not wearing a face mask in public, etc. Best of Luck in anyone who wants to stop me.

      • Hoapres, where is your business, I want to patronize it. If you use recycled cloth masks, I have a donation.

      • No Hoapres! No! Stop! Stop! You’ll kill us all! Wear your mask! Think of all the old people who will die now who would have lived forever if you had only worn a mask! You selfish B*stard! Think of all the morbidly obese diabetics with high blood pressure who smoke, have hepatitis and gingivitis (I just through that last one in) who would have lived if you had just worn your mask! Think of the children! You’re killing us! You must not care!!! You are going to cause global warming, a lack of diversity, racism, insensitivity, a lack of inclusion, intolerance, white privilege, police brutality, food shortages, venereal disease, alcoholism, low birth weights among (any victim class), low test scores, sexual harassment..but worst of all, YOU MIGHT CAUSE TRUMP TO GET RE-ELECTED!!!…(that last one is enough to make most America-haters wear 2-masks made of titanium, Kevlar, asbestos, and $300 Nike shoes while kneeling for the flag during the National Anthem)

    • Name one right call she has made? If she wants to show courage, open life up for business and open up the schools. None of these people has shown any courage. All they have shown is a reluctance to let go of their stranglehold on the American public.

      • J.S.ROBILLARD, I agree with you. We have been flat for weeks. We were told it would be 2 weeks so doctors, nurses, hospitals, and ERs wouldn’t be overrun. Here it is 4 months later and now it’s all about cases. More testing = more cases. More cases does not = deaths. I’m sick of all of it. It’s all about power.

  3. I just looked at the COVID-19 tracker. I am beyond angry!! As of 7/12/20, Santa Clara County, which runs from Palo Alto to past Gilroy, has had a total of (TOTAL) number 168 deaths. We are shutting down the economy and lives of thousands of people and children for this??!! When are Santa Clara County residents going to stand up, show the facts to Cody, and start taking our lives back???

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