Santa Clara County Prepares to Resume Indoor Gatherings—With Certain Restrictions in Place

Nearly a month after business owners, city leaders and faith-based organizations implored Santa Clara County health officials to give them a “fighting chance” to survive the pandemic by allowing indoor operations to resume, Dr. Sara Cody issued a revised risk-reduction order granting their request.

Under the latest guidelines—which are contingent upon the state assigning moving the county from its current Red Tier 2 classification to the less-restrictive Orange Tier 3—indoor events could resume at up to 25 percent capacity or up to 100 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 200 people. Barring a spike in Covid-19 infections, the county could be moved into the Orange Tier by early next week.

The new order drew praise from San Jose councilors Johnny Khamis, Raul Peralez, Dev Davis and Pam Foley as well as from county supervisors Cindy Chavez and Dave Cortese.

“It’s important that we get our businesses safely reopened because the government cannot subsidize businesses forever,” Khamis said. “Our businesses don’t want to stand in line for handouts, they want to get back to work, employ people, and serve the community. Our religious organizations are partners in helping to get us through these challenging times— and it’s important to have them reopen so that they can minister to the mental, spiritual, and physical health of our residents.”

It’s no secret that businesses and church congregations have suffered undue financial loss and emotional stress since shelter in place took effect in mid-March. In fact, 60 percent of pandemic-related business closures are now permanent, national surveys show.

In a June op-ed piece on this site, Hillside Church Pastor Keith Crosby implored Cody, Gov. Gavin Newsom and Mayor Sam Liccardo to remove restrictions on houses of worship, noting churches and similar aid organizations “provide emotional, psychological and spiritual grounding to people, many of whom are pent up, or in distress.”

Even with the probable resumption of indoor gatherings, however, city leaders and health officials stressed the need to remain continually vigilant with safety protocols and use good judgment when it comes to social gatherings.

“The fact that you are able to do something doesn’t mean that you should,” Cody cautioned. “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.”

Live Press Conference: Public Health Officer, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors and Other County Leaders to Discuss a Revised Risk Reduction Order | 10.05.2020

Under the Revised Risk Reduction Order issued on October 5, more activities and business operations can resume, including indoor dining and indoor gatherings once the County moves into the Orange Risk Level. However, it does not necessarily mean all open activities are safe. More information on the order is available in the and Transcript:

Posted by County of Santa Clara Public Health Department on Monday, October 5, 2020


  1. I write this from my place of refuge in the garage — mask on tight. I’ve locked myself away from everyone out of fear that today I might be the one out of 20,000 who tests positive, or worse, the one out of two million county residents that succumbs to Covid(?) daily. I’m not sure if my actions are rational, given that I am otherwise healthy, fit, and keep my body free of pharmaceuticals and other immune compromising substances, but even if the facts don’t support it, I feel my paranoia is in line with state guidelines. In short, it’s not the actual threat that has me quaking, it’s Newsom’s propaganda. I suspect if tested I’d surely show positive for CDS, Covid Derangement Syndrome.

    And let me tell you, that photo of Dr. Cody ain’t helping. Judging by her expression she must be the county official in charge of telling people their mother died. Her face seems to be saying directly to me, “You’re next!”

  2. If allow indoor dining, I wish allow swimmer in outdoor swimming pool without reservations and time limit which is only 45mins, it’s too short and frustrating! Even the pool gets busy, just needs few mins adjustment, swimmer will spreading out again! So please stop time limit or you can booking multiple reservations please!
    Swimming lover ( before lock down swimming 3hours everyday)

  3. Dear Phu Tan Elli, I *love* reading your postings, with which I’m always in agreement—they’re intelligent, informed, and humorous!

    P.S. I hope I didn’t make any typing mistakes in this reply. I can’t tell. I have my mask on tightly, also covering my eyes of course, since bugs are lying in wait to attack me there. If I didn’t do so, I would almost certainly be death number 354 out of our county of 2 million. At a death rate of 0.01765% (not quite one-fiftieth of one percent of the population), I just know I’d otherwise be next.

  4. “The fact that you are able to do something doesn’t mean that you should,” Cody cautioned.” Genius! Just because you are able to exercise your constitutional rights doesn’t mean I am going to let you. Dr KFC (the finger licking good lady) looks and sounds more like the lunch lady than a doctor. What she really is is a soulless, bureaucratic Socialist. The glitterati keep doing puff pieces on her and giving her awards in an attempt to shield her incompetence.

  5. “At a death rate of 0.01765% (not quite one-fiftieth of one percent of the population), I just know I’d otherwise be next.” — Donald Wright

    Great! Once your calculation reaches Newsom’s office we can expect a new Covid campaign: “Flatten The Fraction.”

  6. Not only SC county is doing the wrong, SM county and SF are going to do the same, the worst is that our paranoia is going to be with us more longer as more people are gonna be out there, gathering, hanging around more time etc. Which means that the people following the health guidelines with excesive precautions “even at home”, will be more afraid of going out and that will increase in mental health for some of us. At this point we want to do the right but we don’t know if we are doing enough or we have to do even more or that’s it and risk all now haha.

  7. I have requested info from the county & state on the start of youth sports, playing of actual games. Specifically asked if games were addressed in the current tier system or what was necessary before games could start up again. Both sent me a copy of the current guidelines! I know the current guidelines. I would like to know what the plan is to start up youth spirts? Not referring to huge 20+ tourneys, just a game between 2 teams. What needs to happen before they can start up again? Please?

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