Statement of Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody Regarding Next Steps for Risk Reduction to Protect the Community

Next Steps for Risk Reduction to Protect the Community

June 26, 2020

It has now been three weeks since the last change to the Shelter-in-Place Order, and this situation continues to present unprecedented challenges for each one of us as we try to keep our families and our community safe.  We needed this time to assess the impact of the reopening thus far so we would better understand the effect of that significant step before we proceeded further, particularly on our most vulnerable communities.

I anticipate issuing a new order next week that will mark the end of our sector-specific strategy and the beginning of a new phase, where many activities will be allowed to resume with appropriate risk reduction measures in place.  And of course, many high-risk activities simply cannot safely resume here or elsewhere anytime soon.  This new order and related materials are under development and will be shared as soon as they are ready, which I anticipate will be in the middle of next week.  It will go into effect several days later, giving businesses time to put appropriate safety measures in place.

We have seen a concerning increase in cases in counties throughout California and in other parts of the country over the last few weeks.  We have also seen an increase in cases here in our County, and a smaller uptick in hospitalizations.  However, thanks to the efforts and sacrifices of our residents, the prevalence of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County remains much lower than most other places.

Under the current Order, the vast majority of businesses, large and small, are open.  As we finalize our next steps, we must also acknowledge the reality that many of the businesses and activities that remain closed in our County are now open elsewhere, and our residents and businesses owners are anxious for many of these activities to resume here as well.  But we must also ensure that when people engage in these activities, here and in surrounding communities, they are doing so as safely as possible and with proper guardrails in place.

All of us are safer when we stay home, and no activity can be made completely safe.  Our success in this next phase depends on everyone’s faithful implementation of social distancing protocols, consistently wearing face coverings, and collectively following new norms of behavior that keep the spread of COVID-19 as low as possible.

We are all in this together, as we have been throughout the pandemic. We must each do our part to reduce the total risk to our community and keep as many people safe as possible.

From Santa Clara County Public Health


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