Santa Clara County improves to COVID ‘Orange Tier,’ additional businesses reopen

A number of businesses and activities reopened Wednesday in Santa Clara County, following the county’s improvement in COVID-19 case rates.

Santa Clara County, as of October 13, is now in the state’s ‘Orange Tier’ signifying ‘moderate spread’ in the area. Alameda and San Francisco Counties are also in the Orange Tier.

The change allows indoor dining at 25% capacity to resume, while increasing capacity for museums and retail operations. County officials continue to urge caution, despite the improvement.

“The fact that these additional activities and capacity are now allowed should not be construed as implying such activities are safe. COVID-19 continues to pose a serious risk throughout our County.”

Other significant changes include the following:

  • Outdoor gatherings of up to 200 people and indoor gatherings of up to 25% capacity or 100 people are allowed. That includes movie theaters and churches.
  • Indoor dining at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Indoor museums and zoos up to 50% capacity.
  • College sports, without fans.
  • No capacity limits for malls and other retail businesses.

While the county’s COVID-19 numbers continue to improve, Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody warned against a backslide.

“Everyone must take responsibility for preventing spread so that we don’t move back to more restrictive tiers under the State’s structure.”