WATCH: Santa Clara Co. to Ramp Up Public Health Enforcement Over the Holiday Weekend

Amid record coronavirus case counts and diminishing hospital capacities, Santa Clara County will ramp up public health inspections at local businesses over the holiday weekend and eliminate grace periods for fines.

From Thursday through Sunday, county compliance staff will visit high-traffic shopping areas to address violations of public health mandates.

And unlike before, when the enforcement team allowed businesses to correct issues in lieu of paying fines, financial penalties will not be waived.

Additionally, retail businesses must abide by the statewide 10pm-to-5am curfew, officials said. Grocery stores and take-out dining are exempt from the time limit, however.

The county’s Business Compliance Unit will focus on social distancing protocols and capacity limitations required by the public health order.

Fines start around $250 and can go into the thousands of dollars for repeat offenders.

“We know holiday shopping is critical to our Santa Clara County businesses,” County Counsel James Williams said. “If people are shopping in person, we want the experience to be as safe as possible for employees and the public. Given the rising case counts, it is absolutely vital that everyone carefully and rigorously abide by the health orders.”

Current health mandates require grocery stores to limit capacity to 50 percent. Other retailers must reduce capacity to 25 percent.

“The primary issue we’re seeing right now is capacity limits,” said Michael Balliet, head of Community and Business Engagement for the county. “Business must maintain set limits inside their stores and strictly enforce face covering and social distancing. Additionally, customers should be looking for the orange checkmark sign in front to ensure a proper business plan has been approved.”

To report violations, go to


  1. If I had a business and the health department comes in and bothers me then I am going to push the health department right out the door.

  2. The above commentators appear to be out and proud members of the Trump/Republican death cult (, infesting the comments section spewing provocation, bile and ignorance. In an earlier era, they would have been among the first in line for afternoon Kool Aid refreshers in Jonestown ( They combine a homicidal attitude toward people vulnerable to corona virus contagion with open incitement, including incitement to violence, against public health authorities seeking to minimize potential harm to the public.

    The way to clinically treat sociopaths is to: 1) acknowledge that they may not be able to fully understand your emotions; 2) explain to them how their behavior affects others and causes harm; 3) make our boundaries explicitly clear to them; 4) offer specific consequences for harmful behaviors
    ( Let’s keep these recommendations in mind as we move forward.

  3. In the minds of sociopaths, psychopaths and even some libertarians, regulating public behavior in order to protect the public from physical danger is synonymous with a police state, a state of “unfreedom.”

    Thus, briefly detaining me and my vehicle at road intersections through the use of painted metal signs and electric traffic signals; forcing me and my vehicle to stay within a lane designated by painted lines on the surface of roads and highways; forcing me to park my vehicle on the side of the road and not in the middle of the road; forcing me to register said vehicle and to buy insurance for same; prohibiting me from taking a stroll on the Bayshore Freeway; forcing me to evacuate my home due to an approaching forest fire or forcing me to stay in my home to avoid harm from a tornado; forcing me to drink water disinfected with chlorine ( and/or water that is fluoridated (; requiring me to vaccinate my children so as not to endanger their health and to protect other children in the schools they attend; and requiring me to cover my face to avoid infecting others in public places amount to coercion or “socialism,” not prudent public policies practiced the world over and understood by competent adults as part and parcel of living in a modern urban society.

    My freedom to swing my fists stops at your nose. Your freedom to fling unglued and paranoid figments about “socialist” gulags and showers stops at their exposure to air and light–the most powerful disinfectants for bacterial demagoguery and conspiracy-spinning.

  4. Less than 1/10th of 1% of Californians have died of COVID-19, per the official State website.

    How many have had their lives upended, lost their jobs and been negatively impacted by a virus that primarily affects those that otherwise would have succumbed to influenza?

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