Santa Clara County to update health orders in coming week

Three weeks since the last changes to the county’s shelter-at-home orders, Santa Clara County is preparing for its next phase.

In a video announcement Friday afternoon, County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said the reopening approach would shift.

“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,” Cody said.

Cody’s moves come as neighboring counties have reopened more quickly than Santa Clara. San Francisco was set to reopen hair and nail salons, and other personal services, on Monday, before reconsidering late Friday.

Counties across California, including in the Bay Area, have seen a rise in cases in recent days. Santa Clara County’s numbers are up nearly 500 in the last week, and hospitalizations have risen too.

“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,” Cody added.

The county remains under a shelter-at-home order. Cody reminded residents that the safest place continues to be their homes and that masks are necessary when outdoors.

Health experts say compliance will be paramount if the region is to avoid the fate of neighboring states.

“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,” Cody said.