State Rejects Santa Clara County COVID-19 Reopening Plan

State public health officials stunned Santa Clara County on the Fourth of July weekend, rejecting its proposal to implement a customized COVID-19 order that would have reopened more businesses in mid-July.

County Executive Jeff Smith confirmed today that the county had been told by a representative of the California Department of Public Health that the county’s request for a variance from state COVID-19 protocols was denied.

Smith declined to reveal further details of the email from the state, or to indicate the county’s possible next steps in its attempts to accelerate business openings despite steady new increases in hospitalizations and the number of COVID-19 cases in the county.

As of 11pm July 4, the county and state made no announcements about the decision on the Santa Clara County request on their websites or in social media.

If approved, the county order would have meant that more businesses and workplaces could have reopened in Santa Clara County as early as July 13, as long as new social distancing rules and other COVID-19 public health protocols were met, Santa Clara County announced July 2.

The county had asked the state for permission to institute new standards, even though one day earlier Gov. Gavin Newsom singled out Santa Clara and 18 other counties for new restrictions because of COVID-19 increases.

The county said it was included in Newsom’s “watch list” because COVID-19 hospitalizations had more than doubled in the last week of June, to 85 on June 29. That number was 82 as of today, according to the county’s real-time COVID-19 dashboard.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the county also continues a new surge, with 5,077 cases as of July 4, including a record one-day total of 194 cases on June 23. As of today, 160 deaths in Santa Clara County have been attributed to the virus.

Despite the increases, county officials said the new order, if it were approved by the state, would be easier for individuals and businesses to follow, and more effective.

The proposed county order would have allowed outdoor groups of up to 60 people and indoor gatherings of up to 20, but disallowed any openings of businesses where masks had to be removed indoors, such as dine-in restaurants, bars or indoor swimming pools.


  1. Really sad to see pictures of people not following the physical distancing, not wearing masks at all. I am referring to Santa Row pictures of packed restaurants. Those pictures are being circulated as a bad example. We need to follow the guidelines in order to reopen sooner. We got this. We can do it San José! We can set a good example.

    • STALIN NewScum flexing his totalitarian muscles again using this coronavirus hoax.

      How come his PlumJack Restaurants and wineries are open?

      Why is county even asking for permission from his majesty?

      The deaths are waaay down as predicted and common flu makes you test positive for this coronavirus.

  2. What are the specifics of this new allowances that suggest safety when a great number of people are meeting outside and inside exposing more volatile outcomes of people transmitting the deadly noble Covi-19?
    Thank you for your email.

  3. People and a lot of businesses are not following guidelines everywhere. Hence the major uptick in cases throughout the state. Period. My husband and I drove through downtown Campbell recently, and let me tell you it looked like a festival was going on. People packing the streets, sidewalks, etc. No masks in sight, and every line of people waiting to dine at restaurants had zero social distancing. Some of the restaurants were also not adhering to the social distancing guidelines as well. I’m talking tables on top of each other. We looked on in sheer terror and dismay behind our closed car windows. The sense of entitlement and ignorance is very disheartening indeed.

    • Kris, you don’t think the protests with tens of thousands of people packed shoulder to shoulder with few masks had anything to do with the uptick?

    • Just because you sit home and watch the propaganda on TV does not mean you are the enlightened ones. Perhaps if you were to truly read and think for yourselves you would discover that you are the ignorant ones who are being misled and whose lives are being wasted by people that do not have your best interests at heart.

  4. And how long do you intend to keep things locked up? Until all the businesses go bankrupt? Then I guess everyone can just stay home after that.

  5. I do not know who are the supposedly “smart” health officials or “wise” local politicians who voted for this illegal reopening. It was perhaps the pressure of the business owners who are placing their profit over human life, but this reopening was not only illegal per state regulations…It was non-sense. The numbers were not better on June 5 than they were on March 17. The early and inappropriate reopening on June 5, invalidated the progress of the initial shelter in place. Not only Trump is playing politics with the Corona pandemic; the county supervisors and other politicians are doing the same. Their immediate gratification was greater than the long-term gratification. The price for that is more job losses, sickness, and death. To this, add the cost of the Corona medical related expenses. A COMPLETE DISASTER! Stay at home people as much as you can. Protect yourselves and others. USE A FACE MASK! Now pay attention, our local officials will blame Newsom for this. Read about past pandemics; you may then understand your present risk. TRUMP WILL DIE FROM CORONA!

    • Whoever wrote this is a moron to say “business owners are placing their re-opening over the importance of human life. Please euthanize yourself and cut the heavy-handed crap about demonizing “business owners” as the cause of woe in this pandemic. Get your high school rejects to stay home and the infection rate will go down. Businesses are following the protocols because we are mandated to and irresponsible children and socialite liberal butterflies are the ones with no obligation or adherence to these ordinances.

      P.S. Of course your alias is “FEXXNIST”. We get it. “feminist” with “XX” chromosome. Just wow. So brilliant!

      • BUSINESS OWNERS CARE ABOUT THEIR PROFIT NOT PEOPLE’S life! Trump and his monkeys care about money not our elderly parents. For them some lives are expendable if that means keeping their money! My parents and other people in this nation are not trade numbers to me. Let’s all live or die but working together until the end to protect all people’s right to health and living. “In God We Trust.”

          • Thank you for being my spellcheck Evan J. My cell phone does not have one. I just pay attention that I do not choose the word vagina instead or Virginia. You know how phones are….

      • Proud to have XX chromosomes and to have delivered two humans. I bet you are Satan’s abortion, so who knows what your mother’s chromosomes were like?

    • Do not listen to this dude. He/she is clueless. 85 people in the county are hospitalized at the moment and he wants to keep the entire county shut? Go hide in your basement idiot

      • I do not hide in any basement, I work with the people even those who are dying. The idiots are those who decided to drink Trump’s crazy pill with a glass of Clorox! My parents’ lives are not spendable. Trade yours m@therf@cker!

          • Trust me sweetheart my dirty mouth is the reason I pray each day. Forgive my dirty mouth deer lord Jesus! Then, I may be perfect. The true is, I don’t mind my dirty mouth.

  6. Yawn. It will make no difference. Fireworks are illegal, but based on my eyes and ears, Santa Clara County is filled with people who care nothing for laws that inconvenience them. And the virus will continue to spread; and the State will continue to send their sick COVID victims to our hospitals, risking the health of our doctors, nurses, and other medical workers, as well as our vulnerable populations.

  7. Now a Liberal run county that was early and restrictive in the shutdown, can’t get permission to open. They fell into their own trap when they supported Newsom’s overly restrictive plan. It was never achievable as written, just a ruse to make it sound reasonable to keep the shutdown going longer. Counties, Cities and business people need to sue the State for taking away freedoms and livelihoods without “Due Process”

  8. You Want Santa Clara county to open up then just lobby Gavin to put one of his PlumpJack restaurant/wineries in the county!!! San Francisco County had a significant uptick in hospitalizations, I believe 68%+, but Old Gav owns businesses in S.F. So no shutdown! Didn’t Napa see an uptick? No, couldn’t have, because Gavin’s PlumpJack winery was booked solid for the 4th!!! In fact none of the California counties where Gavin owns wineries, restaurants, or bars were included in this last shut down, odd.

    • John, the counties you just mentioned have always had the lowest rates of Coronavirus, event now. People from Southern California are now being transferred to San Francisco’s hospitals because of SF’d low rates compare to other counties. Evidence appears to reject your claims. Trump’s monkeys will follow him to the grave.

  9. As an epidemiologist I can say all of you are so uninformed and completely scared over much ado about nothing. It’s a virus. It’s OK. I thought most of you believed in Darwinism. This is not a political discussion. It’s a health and safety discussion. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and if you’re immune compromised or elderly then be safe with safety protocols. The rest of you need to relax.

    • It is because of stupid Drs. like you that people have underestimated COVID-19. Now just tell me this virus is like the flu. Just yesterday I learned a friend of mine and her husband died from this virus. I have seen people becoming sick and dying from this virus more than you Dr. Andrew. What you are implying by the Darwin’s theory is that the fittest will leave and the old and fragile will die. That is Trump’s propaganda not a Dr.’s view. See you in hell f@cker!

  10. People Die.

    Get over it.

    The people that are dying are over 75 and in poor health. Tough Luck. No one wants to come out and say it but the people that are dying were going to die of something else.

    When young and healthy people die then get back to me. Otherwise, get on with your life.

    • Go to the county Covid website… 40% of cases are under 40 yrs.
      28% are under 29 yrs old
      10% are under 29 yrs old
      only 11% are over 70 yrs old
      There i got back to you! Your facts are wrong and now you can stay home.

      • he’s talking about the deaths. When you go to the site click on “Deaths” vs the default they have of “Cases”.
        As more testing occurs there will naturally be more cases found. In data science terms there’s a direct correlation.
        You are correct that anybody of any age can get the virus, but he is correct in his point about the deaths.

        • I have been told, but have not confirmed, that positive anti-body tests are also being included in the “positive” category for the virus. Can anyone confirm this?

          • If true, that would be very interesting.

            There has been so much “funny business” with the numbers that sane and honest people won’t know the reality for years.

    • Hell yes! A nationwide shut down was never necessary. The vast majority of people over 65 are retired, so why not just tell them that they need to stay home and use a mask when they leave the house? The rest of us should’ve been free to go about our business.

  11. We really blew this one.

    We shouldn’t have done anything at all.

    You would have had a blip in the number of death of elderly and unhealthy people that were meant to die and the economy by now would have been going strong.

    No one wants to come out and say it but I will. We really don’t want old and elderly people in the first place. Here we go around complaining about people dying in nursing homes but let’s get real we dump people in nursing homes because their offspring don’t want to look at the problem. They don’t want to come out and say that they want their parents dead because even though they may say to themselves they don’t believe it; the kids certainly don’t want to look at the problem. Nor am I blaming those that don’t because speaking from personal experience having taken care of my parents at the end, it is both a physical and moral drain.

    So what is really worse, an 80 year old invalid with dementia or worse, can’t get out of bed, never able to leave a nursing home or just plain old dead. Yes, that is cruel to say that but a rational person doesn’t make life miserable for everybody else by shutting businesses down, making people wear face masks, not go to sporting events, etc.

    People Die.

    Get over it.

  12. Each one of you are crazed sheep! WAKE UP! You have eaten the wrong pill. Dig deep and see the truth.

  13. Santa Clara county daily new case increase after 3 weeks of protesting.
    They should have practiced social distancing while protesting ( 6ft) and wear face mask.

  14. I have waited over 50 years for San Jose and Santa Clara County to “Do the right thing.” Money drives everything in this county not common sense! I don’t care what Trump says… he’s not a professional in anything. I Don’t care if Gavin’s businesses are open either. I think all the federal and state professionals spoke, ignore them or not, I am sure everyone has heard them. Businesses and their owners cannot be blamed for needing to be open… the idiots that go there and put lives in danger so they can have a social moment, cut hair, or painted nails are! STAY AT HOME! We are Americans! We are supposed to be better than our politicians! The world used to look to us for support, now their turning us around at the airport! The world is laughing at us… We suffered far more than 130,000 deaths! We are the joke of the world being led around by village idiots! Our family have sheltered for over 3 months now and nobody is dying from it! As a retired Park Ranger of 20 years… nobody misses the parks more than me, but going out is just not the responsible thing to do! STAY AT HOME!! Sit in your front yard and have a beer with your neighbor in theirs. Walk around your block and give parks workers a break. Order out and have dinner delivered! Due your part… doctors and nurses don’t want your business!!! WEAR A MASK… STAY AT HOME… DONT LISTEN TO POLITICIANS FOR SCIENCE FACTS! (Scientists are made not elected) PEACE OUT – STAY SAFE

    • you can do all that, especially if you are retired.
      But you can’t force that on others who need to work to make rent and are capable yet of retiring.

      • Put myself through college… Found many job by myself… Cant ever remember not having 3-4 months of rent and cash squirreled away… retired from one career… still raising a family… now moved on to another… And YES I would say if someone or a business has made so many bad life decisions they have no security to show for it… Yes, they obviously need the government to tell them what to do! If you can’t afford food or rent how are you going to afford the hospital bills! Maybe if people stop “going out” for food and coffee so much they would be able to save up!

    • Ranger, before spouting SCIENCE, read a GD study on the effectiveness of masks for crying out loud. You sit and spout that crap from your computer but you have NEVER read the studies. I know this because THAT IS NOT WHAT THEY SAY! So get over it and start reading and thinking for yourself. Stop watching the PROPAGANDA on TV!

  15. Y’all are absolutely idiotic. This is all a farce to contain the outbreak of individualism that has been rampant in America and globally the past couple years. Why is anyone supporting/protecting government? We all have brains. Do what you think and know is best. End government now.

  16. This article is misinforming (or negligent) by not sharing the death rates.
    As more testing results in catching more cases as expected, it should be noted that the deaths are decreasing rapidly and miniscule.
    What we are doing with continuing this shutdown makes no sense, and it’s only a matter of time before everybody understands that clearly, even those politicians incapable of processing information.

    • I think you’ll have difficult time convincing folks in North East, Europe, Canada, Australia that shutdowns are useless. They did it right, enforced the rules, crushed the curve, and built up contact tracing. They saved lives and economies. Now they are reopening and locking us out. Heck, even NY and NJ don’t want us there.

      We did it the way we did it, and here we are. Cases went up 10 times in 5 weeks. Remember, mid-May SCC was reporting 15-20 cases a day? Good old times.

      Now the death rate. Why did it go down? We didn’t find any cure, did we? It went down because old and sick went in hiding. You can say “just stay there and everything will be fine“. Unfortunately it‘s easier said than done.

      Do we have a safe way for them to isolate until vaccine is ready? No, we don’t. Do we have a safe way for them to get food, medicines, see a doctor, go for a walk? No, we don’t. As they do it, they keep running into everybody else in the streets, stores, Dr’s offices. And the more active cases are out there, the more of them get infected – and die.

      Did you see that infections in senior group went up across the state in last 3 weeks? Not the ratios, the actual number of people 50 and older who got covid. Did you see recent outbreaks in our LTCF’s? Here goes the low death rate.

      Let’s not fool ourselves. Virus didn’t change, we don’t have a cure or vaccine. If we open up with cases as high as they are – and no containment – virus will go out of control. San Jose will look like Italy in March, NYC and Boston in April, or Rio now. Lockdown is the only reason it hasn’t happen here yet.

      • I think you hit the nail on the head.
        Most of the deaths are not only with seniors but also in the LTCFs.
        Which is why a blanket shutdown is an unnecessary and ineffective solution.
        It’s what you do when you have no information and think everybody is at risk.
        We would save more lives by focusing the isolation and testing on seniors and looking at safety in LTCFs.

        The other good news, thanks to the additional data we now have, is that the mortality rates
        (at least in the US) from this virus are very low.
        They are lower than the risk of dying from driving. So we would actually be saving more lives
        by banning driving.

    • People are fully investing in the misinformation. News stories and uber rich politicians fabricating numbers, falsifying death certificates, medical examiners threatened with license revocation if “complications from Covid-19” isn’t named as cause of death. Folks, this is deception of the highest degree, fabricated to divide and FORCE COMPLIANCE out of fear. Drug companies, their shareholders and single minded politicians (not every one of them) stand to make your money their money. Read what that ass-clown Fauci said about regulating the cost of any Covid vaccine then read about the projected cost of each cycle. Your neighbors are losing their homes and businesses..what then when economic collapse happens? Will those people be able to be independent or will they have to be on government programs? People…this is bigger and more diabolical than we can fathom. It is a mind bending, divisive, control laden, power and money grab. Stay smart.

      • This has become a Political issue. It’s not a science, nor medical, nor a pandemic issue any longer (if it ever was), it’s politics. THINK PEOPLE. Stop watching the propaganda and start doing the numbers and reading for yourselves. People are ruining and wasting your lives to progress their agenda. They do not care about you!

  17. “Wear a mask!!! Stay home!!! Lives in danger!!”

    Great for you, but what happened to freedom of choice? If you’re so terrified take the unemployment, put your life on pause and stay home. The state has no right to tell us we cant work anymore. Look at the death rates vs infected rates, grow up and realize that you’re not protecting anyone by driving or going for a walk with a mask on. Mass protests go on and people attribute the uptick in cases to reopenings, you people are mad

  18. So, the question here is “Do I vote to let old and sick die to make a buck?”. Make no mistake, that is THE QUESTION.
    How many of you, fellow Americans, say “Yes, I do”?

      • Thanks for your concern. Question is a quote from Gov. Cuomo. He seem to be doing fine, so I’ll take my chances too.

        • The same Gov. Cuomo who sent COVID patients TO the nursing homes killing thousands by doing so? That’s who you are quoting? Great source….. you need to be much more careful than I thought.

    • > “Do I vote to let old and sick die to make a buck?”. Make no mistake, that is THE QUESTION.

      Binary thinking. Or, as they say on Twitter: #binarythinking

      “Binary thinking” means you can only think of two possibilities. Reality is that there is usually many possibilities. And also, two things can both be true at the same time.

      The mistake is to think you have asked a relevant question. Old and sick people don’t die when someone makes a buck. Sometime, spending a buck wisely can help old and sick people avoid dying.

  19. Recall Newsom. He should never have started classifying workers as “essential” or not. He can’t even manage covid-19 within the state prison system. Why would anyone expect him to be capable of running Santa Clara County’s economy?

    We need to rewrite state law so emergency orders always terminate within some number of days (like 15) and can’t be reinstated unless ratified by the relevant legislative body. All of those emergency statutes were crafted fifty years ago when Reagan was governor and have never been used to this extent.

    Let’s bring back the Brown Act and Public Records Act now. Why is there a secret email between Newsom’s administration and County Executive Jeff Smith?

  20. So much ignorance, so little time. I will recommend rules of thumb:

    1. The opinion of anyone who introduces “Trump” into the conversation, as an epithet, is worthless.
    2. Assume that anyone declaring that the “virus didn’t change” doesn’t know the subject.
    3. Remember that “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.” (Feynman).

    If that’s too comprehensive, I recommend:

    • With all due respect to immortal Feynman and his esteemed pupils, are you by any chance familiar with more current scientific literature? Ideally, related to the subject at hand? I dare to predict that if you were to take time to avail your good self to such sources, you might discover previously ignorant people making miraculous recovery.

      In the meantime perhaps you would care to point unwashed crowds in the direction of a paper describing reduced lethality of any of the thousands of SARS-2 variants? Preferably in a recognized peer-reviewed journal that could have taken interest in such data – if it ever existed.

      Pardon my sarcasm but the amount of ignorance and arrogance is indeed overwhelming.

  21. Hoapres makes sense. Why should we sacrifice our economic well being for a bunch of old freeloading, ne’er-do-wells? These Social Security sucking seniors are hoarding resources and contribute nothing to society. I say live and let die already! After all, isn’t it the course of nature? For instance, salmon swim up stream to spawn, and then they die. Why should human oldsters get to stick around and see their offspring, grow, have graduations, weddings and grandchildren? And don’t get me started on those with dementia. Couldn’t we just process them into dog food, fertilizer, or something?

    • My parents worked most of their lives. Each pay check state and federal taxes are taken out of our checks. How would you say senior do not contribute? The did already!!!

  22. FEXXNIST: Pretty sure MAGAMAN is being facetious to highlight the cruelty of those who promote walking the elderly into the gas chamber during this pandemic.

  23. FEXXNIST: Pretty sure MAGAMAN is being facetious in order to highlight the cruelty of those who would promote walking the elderly into the gas chamber during this pandemic.

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