Silicon Valley schools that have resumed in-person classes recently will be allowed to remain open, despite Santa Clara County moving this week to the state’s most-restrictive coronavirus pandemic reopening tier, officials announced Wednesday.
Santa Clara County was one of 28 jurisdictions on Monday to move back into the “Purple Tier” of the state’s reopening system, which does not allow for in-person classes.
Since implementing the tier system in late summer, the state has required counties to climb out of the Purple Tier for two consecutive weeks before they can resume in-person classes. Those conditions will still apply to schools that have yet to reopen, according to county spokesman Ricardo Romero-Morales.
“Elementary schools, however, they can still submit their waivers to be open,” he said during a Wednesday morning briefing on the pandemic.
The tier change will also force many businesses and activities to pause, reduce maximum capacity or operate outside, including indoor dining, indoor gyms and retail stores.
With Santa Clara County experiencing its third wave of Covid-19, Romero-Morales said it is imperative to avoid big gatherings for Thanksgiving and other upcoming holidays. That includes traveling, even if someone is tested just before they’re scheduled to do so.
“Testing is not a ticket for you to travel, since we don’t know the people that you’re going to be interacting with at your destination,” he said. “In the timeframe that you get tested to the point that you receive your result, you might be in contact with other people that you don’t know their status.”
Romero-Morales cautioned residents not to give in to feeling like the pandemic is over as cases continue to rise within the county and the Bay Area in general.
“We know that we are all tired, we are experiencing pandemic fatigue where people are not as cautious as they were before,” he said.
“However, this is the time to not let our guard down.”