COVID update: purple tier, indoor worship, the State’s largest vaccination site and drop-in vaccination clinics

This week Santa Clara County announced updated guidance for indoor religious services, opened Levi’s Stadium as the State’s largest vaccination site and began drop-in vaccination clinics as the County remains under the Purple Tier with over 106,000 COVID-19 cases.

Indoor worship services remain suspended, further hearings planned  

Despite the Supreme Court decision overturning the State’s ban on indoor church services, County centers of worship remain closed for indoor operation. Yesterday, February 10, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California temporarily suspended its Monday order requiring the County to allow indoor worship services. The court concluded the County’s prohibition on all indoor gatherings can remain in place.

“We are pleased that the Court has given us an opportunity to fully brief and argue the important legal and public health issues at stake in this case,” said James R. Williams, County Counsel.

“The County’s rules prohibiting indoor gatherings are even-handed, designed to reduce the likelihood of super-spreader events and other transmission of COVID-19, and apply to all gatherings, regardless of their purpose. They are therefore fundamentally different from the State rules specific to places of worship that were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. We understand the deep desire to return to indoor worship services, but COVID-19 cases remain high and indoor gatherings pose a serious risk at this time. We are grateful for the leadership of the vast majority of religious institutions in our community that have continued to safely worship outdoors or online.”

This was another temporary decision and the Court is slated to make a final decision on the issue after further briefing and a hearing before the Court.

Levi’s Stadium opens as the State’s largest vaccination site

In a partnership between the San Francisco 49ers and Santa Clara County, Levi’s Stadium is now home to the State’s largest COVID-19 vaccination site to facilitate the rapid rollout of vaccines to Santa Clara County residents. The site opened Tuesday, February 9, with the initial capacity to vaccinate 5,000 people per day and plans to increase capacity up to 15,000 people per day as vaccine supplies increase.

“We recognize the urgent need for an effective and equitable vaccination effort for our community and are proud to partner with the County of Santa Clara to bring this vaccination site online as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said 49ers President Al Guido. “We have brought every resource at our disposal to bear on this challenge to ensure members of the community we live in each and every day can be vaccinated safely and quickly.”

The site is staffed and operated by the County of Santa Clara Health System.  For more information on the County’s vaccination efforts, click here.

Drop-in vaccination clinic begins this week in East San Jose and Gilroy

County of Santa Clara began offering drop-in COVID-19 vaccinations this week for eligible residents through a mobile community-based clinic at sites in East San José and Gilroy. Santa Clara County residents age 65 and up as well as health care workers who live or work in the county are eligible for vaccinations at this clinic, which will be available two days a week in East San José and one day a week in Gilroy.

Officials said these new clinics available close to home, on a walk-up basis are designed to bring vaccines to communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and to those who might not have access to a computer or the internet. 

Eligible residents register onsite in the morning and are given a time later in the day to return for inoculation – no preregistration is required.

Vaccinations will be available on a first-come, first served basis on Wednesdays in Gilroy at the Gilroy Senior Center, 7371 Hanna St., and Thursdays and Fridays at the Public Health Story Road Hub, 1775 Story Road, San Jose. Registration opens at 8am in Gilroy and 8:30am in San Jose for each day of operation.