Santa Clara County Moving Back to the Red Tier and Closing Indoor Dining

Santa Clara County Moving Back to the Red Tier and Closing Indoor Dining

Yesterday, County Health Officer, Dr. Sara Cody announced that due to our dramatically rising case counts, Santa Clara County will unfortunately be falling back into the Red Tier of the State’s COVID-19 Framework this coming Tuesday, November 17th.  Per state requirements, this will force several activities and businesses to close or reduce capacity.  Unless the current surge is brought quickly under control, the County expects to be moved into the Purple Tier in the coming weeks.  Dr. Cody announced that indoor dining will also be required to close on Tuesday, due to the high risk nature of this activity.  Several other large Bay Area counties, including San Francisco and Contra Costa have similarly announced the closure of indoor dining.  Dr. Cody emphasized that the steepness of our growth curve in recent days is a major concern that requires swift action.  She and health officers across the Bay Area have stated they will have to consider additional closures if current trends continue.  To view a press release on this subject, see here.

In addition to the announced closure of indoor dining, moving to the State’s Red Tier means that:

  • Indoor gyms and fitness centers will have to reduce their maximum capacity from 25% down to 10%
  • Indoor retail (including shopping malls) will have to reduce their capacity to a maximum of 50%
  • Indoor pools will have to close
  • Indoor family entertainment centers (such as bowling alleys) will have to close
  • Indoor cardrooms will have to close
  • Wineries will have to close indoor operations
  • Outdoor bars, breweries, and distilleries will have to close, unless they are functioning as a restaurant and providing meals
  • Indoor museums, zoos, and aquariums will have to reduce their maximum capacity from 50% down to 25%

These changes will all take effect at 12:01am on November 17th.

Health Officials Issue Recommendations for Safer Holidays and Travel

This week, Health Officers representing 10 Bay Area counties and the City of Berkeley issued joint recommendations for staying safe during the holidays.  The safest way to celebrate this holiday season is virtually or with members of your household.  With this in mind, Santa Clara County has provided some tips for how to celebrate without gathering (see here for more information).  The joint recommendations advise that if you do gather in person, keep it small, short, outdoors, and stable (i.e. avoid attending multiple gatherings with different groups).  All non-essential travel, including holiday travel is not recommended.  For those who must travel, the recommendations provide some tips to help reduce your risk for catching or spreading COVID-19.  Residents who travel outside the Bay Area are strongly advised to self-quarantine for 14 days after their return if activities while travelling put them at higher risk.  Finally, yesterday, the State of California issued a statewide travel advisory.  It urges residents to avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries and strongly encourages visitors or residents returning home from out of state to self-quarantine for 14 days.  This travel advisory was issued jointly with the states of Oregon and Washington. See here for the press release with additional information.


COVID-19 Cases in Santa Clara County

Over the last seven days, the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department announced 14 new deaths among individuals with COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths to 444 in Santa Clara County. Total cases have reached 27,977.  Our 7 day rolling average of new cases currently stands at 210 cases per day (up from 135 a week ago).

Based on the most recent 7 days with full testing data, there have been an average of 9,490 tests performed each day with an average positivity rate of 2.46%.  Like our case counts, our positivity rate revealed a steep increase this week.  Our countywide positivity rate had been under 2% since September 24th; it hovered around 1.6% to 1.7% throughout the entire month of October.  In the most recent one week period, our positivity rate shot up from 1.68% to 2.46%.

As of yesterday, there were 129 COVID positive patients hospitalized in Santa Clara County and an additional 6 hospitalized patients under investigation. Of these hospitalizations, 36 were in the ICU. The current share of hospital beds with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients is 4.44% (up from 3.80% the week prior).   More data can be found through the Public Health Department’s Data Dashboards.


Compliance and Enforcement Update

Santa Clara County continues to provide a robust business engagement, compliance, and enforcement program to support businesses and ensure the health officer orders are being followed.  Our revamped team has been diligently responding to complaints of non-compliance for over two months now.  As of earlier this week, more than 1800 concerns had been filed, with more than 1300 of those cases fully resolved.  The compliance and enforcement team uses an education first approach.  Most businesses and organizations want to do their part to keep the community safe and they are able to come into compliance quickly.  Only a relatively small percentage of cases result in a Notice of Violation or further action.  Residents who observe violations of the health orders are encouraged to report these violations at www.sccCOVIDconcerns.org.  This concerns portal was recently updated to make it more user friendly and to serve as a landing page for resources for businesses and the general public.  The County’s Business Engagement Team, which performs only educational visits, has now engaged with more than 10,000 businesses, with a particular focus on the hardest hit areas of East San José and Gilroy.  These visits provide businesses with information and resources necessary to understand and implement safety protocols associated with the health officer orders. When needed, businesses are provided posters, face coverings, social distancing markers, and other resources at no cost to them.

County Testing Locations – Week of November 16th

The community testing program operated by Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) continues to offer drop-in and appointment-based COVID-19 testing at several locations across the county.  This coming week, County-operated testing sites at the Fairgrounds and at the rotating city-based testing sites will now include a test for influenza, offering an added benefit to patients with no additional cost, inconvenience, or additional procedure.  These combination tests are also available at SCVMC’s clinics for those showing symptoms. Residents can book an appointment for the Fairgrounds or the city sites in VietnameseChineseSpanish, or English.  Visit www.sccfreetest.org for additional information.  In addition to our usual drop-in testing locations, this week the County will be conducting testing at San Ysidro Park in Gilroy on Wednesday.

Drop-in Testing – Walk-Up:

·         Emmanuel Baptist Church: 467 N. White Road, San Jos

  • Tuesday, November 17 through Friday, November 20 from 11am to 5:30pm

·         South County Annex (formerly Del Buono Elementary): 9300 Wren Avenue, Gilroy

  • Tuesday, November 17 through Friday, November 20 from 11am to 5:30pm

·         San Ysidro Park: 7700 Murray Ave., Gilroy

  • Wednesday, November 18 from 1pm to 5:30pm

Appointment-Based Testing – Drive-through/Walk-Up/Bike Access:

·         Santa Clara County Fairgrounds – Lot A – 344 Tully Road, San Jose, parking lot across from Gate B and across from the Blue Arch

·         Tuesdays through Fridays from 11:30am to 6:15pm

·         Saturdays from 9am to 3pm

Appointment-Based Testing – Walk-up:

·         Milpitas, Milpitas Sports Center, 1325 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas

  • Monday, November 16 (Reservations open now)

·         Mountain View, Center for Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View

  • Tuesday, November 17 (Reservations open now)

·         Cupertino, Cupertino Senior Center, 21251 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino

  • Wednesday, November 18 (Reservations open now)

·         Campbell, Orchard City Banquet Hall, 1 W. Campbell Ave., Campbell

  • Thursday, November 19 (Reservations open now)

·         Los Altos, Grant Park Community Center, 1575 Holt Ave., Los Altos

  • Thursday, November 19 (Reservations open now)

·         Palo Alto, Art Center Auditorium, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto

  • Friday, November 20 (Reservations open now)


Additional Community-Based and State-Operated Testing Options

Roots Community Health Center and Gardner Health Services continue to organize free, community-based drop-in COVID-19 testing events every Wednesday.  Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) provides similar community-based testing every Friday at their Story Road site.  See below for specific testing locations.  No appointments are necessary and all individuals are served regardless of insurance or immigration status.  In addition, there are 4 testing sites operated by State contractors, Verily and OptumServe.  These sites are free, but require appointments.  Verily’s “Project Baseline” testing locations are primarily drive through sites; while the OptumServe sites are walk-up.

  • Roots Community Health Center: Antioch Baptist Church parking lot, 268 E. Julian St, San José, 95112. COVID-19 testing offered every Wednesday from 10am to 3pm. For more information or to pre-register see here or call 408-490-4710.
  • Gardner Health Services: Mexican Heritage Plaza, 1700 Alum Rock Avenue, San José, 95116. Testing offered every Wednesday from 1pm to 7pm. For more information, call 408-457-7100.
  • AACI Health Center: Story Road Clinic: 749 Story Rd, #50, San Jose CA 95122. Testing offered every Friday from 9am-12pm. For more information, call 408-975-2763.
  • Verily’s Project Baseline at Independence High School: 617 N. Jackson Ave., San José. Testing offered Monday through Friday from 12pm to 6pm and on Sundays from 9am to 1pm.  Click here to schedule an appointment.
  • Verily’s Project Baseline at Mount Pleasant High School: 1750 S. White Road, San José. Testing offered Monday through Friday from 12pm to 6pm and on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm.  Click here to schedule an appointment.
  • OptumServe at Gavilan College: 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd., Gilroy. Testing offered Monday through Friday from 7am to 7pm.  Visit here or call (888) 634-1123 to schedule an appointment.
  • OptumServe at James Lick High School: 2951 Alum Rock Ave., San José. Testing offered Tuesday through Saturday from 7am to 7pm.  Visit here or call (888) 634-1123 to schedule an appointment.


Free Flu Shots Every Saturday

The County will continue to offer free flu shots from 9am to 4pm every Saturday through December 12 (with the exception of Thanksgiving weekend) at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. The car entrance for general parking at the Fairgrounds site is Gate D, 2542 Monterey Road, San José. No appointments are needed. Masks are required and all are welcome regardless of insurance or immigration status.  Flu shots are recommended every year, but they are even more critical in the time of COVID.  Get your flu shot right away to prevent catching the flu and spreading it to coworkers, family members, or people you live with. For more information in multiple languages see here: EnglishSpanishVietnameseChinese.  Flu shots are also available at Valley Medical Center pharmacies on weekdays. No appointment is needed.  See here for more information and a schedule.


Santa Clara County Live Public Health Briefings

The Public Health Department continues to provide Santa Clara County residents with informational updates several mornings each week through its Facebook Page.  This past week’s briefings were focused on compliance and enforcement efforts, see below:

Website: http://sccphd.org/coronavirus


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