Santa Clara County to move to Orange Tier Wednesday

BREAKING: Santa Clara County, along with Marin and San Francisco Counties, will enter the orange tier of California’s Safer Economy COVID-19 protocols on Wednesday, state officials confirmed Tuesday. 

The California Department of Public Health said Santa Clara County has met the requirement of fewer than six cases per 100,000 residents and a less than 5% test positivity rate allowing it to enter the orange tier.

According to Santa Clara County Health Officer and Public Health Director Sarah Cody, under the orange tier restrictions, schools can now reopen for full in-person learning as long as the adjusted case rate, which takes into account the amount of testing being performed in the county relative to the median testing rate in the state, is less than 25 per 100,000. Santa Clara County’s current rate is under four.

The move to the orange tier means offices can reopen up to 25% capacity, indoor dining can operate up to 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer, and people from multiple households can sit at the same table. 

Indoor activities can reopen at 50% capacity with a maximum of 200 people as long as social distancing protocols are maintained. Arts and music festivals can reopen with a maximum capacity of 50 people and live music performances with wind and brass instruments are also allowed.

Gyms, including locker rooms and showers, along with cardio and aerobic classes, can operate at 25% capacity.

“We’re now pretty aligned with the state framework,” Cody said. “Whatever is open in the orange tier will pretty much be open here.”

The state is asking residents to continue social distancing.

Principal Brent Kline said the move to the orange tier would result in both Paly and Gunn returning to open campuses. According to Kline, the district will also observe the CDC guidelines to reduce the six-foot social distancing requirement to three feet.

Despite students being allowed to come and go as they please, Kline said if a student comes to school in person, they should stay at school for all of their classes.

“We still want students to go to all their classes on campus,” Kline said. 

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.