New state guidance leads to reopening Monday

In a surprise Friday afternoon, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced new COVID-19 guidance, shifting to a multi-tiered system. This system reflects conditions in each county, measured by new cases per day per 100k residents, and positive test rates.

The new approach moved the state away from its county-by-county watchlist effort, relying now on color-coded levels of openings. Santa Clara County is currently in the purple tier, meaning that COVID-19 is widespread.

“We continue to evaluate the State’s new framework and its impact on our county, and we will provide additional information as it becomes available,” the county said in a statement late Friday.

With the new guidance, Santa Clara County moved to reopen a number of industries beginning Monday. That includes hair salons and barbershops, which can provide indoor services again. Indoor malls reopened Monday, with a maximum 25% of capacity. Westfield Valley Fair said more than 90 stores were open as of Monday.

“Under this new framework, starting today, the highlights are salons, barbershops, hair services, are allowed to resume services inside,” said Betty Duong, a County Public Information Officer, in a video.

In early July, County leaders laid out their own new approach, based on capacity limits and social distancing. Masks are required in all indoor spaces during these openings.

“Any business that is operating needs to have a social distancing protocol completed and submitted at,” Duong added. Some businesses may need to resubmit earlier iterations of this documentation.

Nail salons can only operate outdoors at this time. Aesthetician services can operate outdoors as well and may not do any services that deal with the face.

Santa Clara County is operating a business call center for those with questions about reopening processes at 408-961-5500.

The county has also established a website for the public or workers to report establishments not following protocols. While the county is prioritizing an education-first approach, officials said they are taking the reopening seriously.