Indoor dining will be closed in Santa Clara County starting Tuesday following an alarming uptick in Covid-19 cases.
Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said at a news conference Friday that after a “slow drift up in the month of October,” Covid-19 cases began dramatically spiking in early November.
“These trends that we are seeing here in our county are also being seen across the San Francisco Bay Area region as well as many other parts of our state and our nation,” she said. “And as we are here today in the middle of November looking forward to Thanksgiving holiday and other holidays, it is absolutely imperative that we take action now, each and every one of us in order to get through this.”
On Friday, the county recorded a staggering 362 Covid-19 cases—making it the second highest single-day case count behind the 385 cases that were reported on July 15. Dr. Cody said that hospitalizations are on the rise, as well.
“Our hospitals have 110 Covid patients being cared for,” she said. “That’s an increase from an average of 80 patients that we were seeing just in October.”
During the news conference, county officials said they anticipate the state will move Santa Clara County back into the more restrictive Red Tier next week after being in the Orange Tier since October.
The four-tier system is California’s blueprint for reopening businesses and is based on the number of cases and the positive testing rate of each county. The Red Tier is the second-most restrictive tier and is for counties with a daily case rate between four and seven daily cases per 100,000 residents and a positive testing rate between five and eight percent.
Under the Red Tier, retail and shopping malls would be reduced to 50 percent capacity and churches, museums and zoos would be reduced to 25 percent capacity. Fitness centers would be limited to 10 percent capacity and outdoor bars and bowling alleys would be forced to close, among other restrictions.
While the state gives counties 72 hours to enact new restrictions, Santa Clara County Counsel James Williams said the Red Tier rules will be effective Tuesday to align with the closure of indoor dining.
“One of the reasons that we are acting swiftly is because one of the lessons that we have learned and was demonstrated to be true here locally in March, as well as in July and has been demonstrated to be true across the county, is that actually acting quickly helps brings things under control faster,” Williams said. “That’s generally true of something [where] you have an exponential growth curve like we see with this virus.”