Santa Clara County is one of seven counties in California moving to the state’s second most restrictive Red Tier on Wednesday, having the less than seven new cases per every 100,000 residents per day and test positivity rates below 8% required by Governor Gavin Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework.
With the county entering the Red Tier, Paly can officially move forward with its in-person learning plan starting next week.
The move to the Red Tier also loosens restrictions on local businesses. Restaurants can open for indoor dining at 25% capacity for the first time since November; indoor gyms can operate at 10% capacity, retail stores up to 50% capacity and movie theaters and museums up to 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer. Groups of six people from three different households are now allowed to dine together as well.
Additionally, individuals entering Santa Clara County from more than 150 miles away will no longer be required to self-quarantine for 10 days, a policy that had been in place since November.
Santa Clara County’s move to the Red Tier comes following a large decrease in COVID-19 cases and a more than 40% decrease in hospitalizations throughout the county, as well as an increase in vaccination rates across the state.
Despite the decrease in numbers, the announcement asks residents to continue engaging in outdoor activities, wearing masks and social distancing.
“This is a pivotal moment,” Santa Clara County Health Officer and Public Health Director Sara Cody said in a press conference today. “If our community continues to be cautious and follow public health guidance, things will continue to improve. If people let down their guard and begin engaging in risky activities, we will likely see another surge in cases.”