COVID Update: Santa Clara County issues new quarantine guidelines, updates workplace restrictions

Santa Clara County has issued several recent updates related to the pandemic, providing additional guidance around quarantine protocols and new workplace requirements to help further limit risk of exposure or transmittal of COVID-19, and vaccine updates, as well as ongoing case and hospitalization counts. 

Those who have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or who have travelled greater than 150 miles, must quarantine for 10 days, and if no symptoms appear, must continue to closely monitor symptoms for an additional 4 days. Those who have symptoms on any day should test immediately.  Individuals expected to have been exposed but show no symptoms should get tested on day 6-7 following exposure.

Last Friday, county health officials issued a mandatory directive closing indoor workplace breakrooms and break areas for eating or drinking, even if alone, as well as for gathering. Businesses must limit capacity to allow people to maintain a minimum of six feet of physical distance with everyone not in their household at all times, and most businesses allowed to remain open are limited to 20 percent capacity.

Intermittent issues with the State’s CalREDIE system has impacted the county’s ability to accurately report the number of new and/or cumulative cases over the last several days. With this caveat, on Wednesday, the county reported a 7-day rolling average of 1,129 new cases, down from a peak on Monday, December 21 with 1,306 cases.

Hospital capacities continue to diminish, with just 24 ICU beds remaining available in the County as of December 6, including staffed surge ICU beds; 98 percent of standard capacity ICU beds are occupied.  Covid-19 patients made up 48 percent of ICU beds as of Wednesday.

On New Year’s Eve, Santa Clara County reported receiving nearly 100,000 vaccine doses, a number which has risen over the last seven days, although actual vaccinations have yet to be reported. County officials on Monday pledged to avoid mistakes in other regions that have delayed distribution. The state has promised new detail on Phase 1B of vaccinations in the coming weeks, including expanded distribution plans to include pharmacies, dental and vision offices, and other medical service centers.