Santa Clara County moves to Orange Tier

Santa Clara County announced today that the County has met the criteria necessary to move to the Orange Tier of the State’s risk level assessment, joining the counties of Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo in the less-restricted level. The County’s tier was adjusted to Orange on Tuesday, and the County said that reduced restrictions go into effect on Wednesday, March 24.

The County’s most recent statistics include a daily new case rate of 5.6 per 100,000 individuals, a 7-day positivity rate of 1.2 percent and a health equity quartile positivity rate of 2.7 percent.  

The County will continue to align with the State’s framework for Orange Tier activities, while noting many of these activities “remain very high risk.” 

“To continue to prevent cases and resultant hospitalizations and deaths, we must continue to wear masks, social distance, stay outdoors as much as possible, and get vaccinated when it’s our turn,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer and Director of Public Health for the County of Santa Clara.

Below is a list of key activities and guidance for the Orange Tier.


Amusement parks may open at 25 percent capacity or 500 people, whichever is fewer, limited to outdoor attractions only and reservations or tickets are required. Aquariums and zoos may open at 50 percent capacity indoors. Family entertainment centers may open at a maximum capacity of 25 percent, for naturally distant activities such as bowling alleys and escape rooms, laser tag and climbing walls. Movie theaters may open at 50 percent capacity. Satellite wagering sites can open at 25 percent maximum capacity.

Professional sports activities can open for regional attendees only, within 120 miles, for professional venues with live outdoor audiences only. Reservations and assigned seating are required, and concessions must be in-seat only.

Bars and breweries that do not serve food may open outdoors only, with modifications. Restaurants can open for indoor dining at 50 percent capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer. Hotels and lodging can open with modifications. Shopping malls and retail can open indoors with modifications; common areas remain closed.

Offices for non-essential businesses may open indoors with modifications, but should continue to encourage remote work.

Nail and hair salons and skin care services can open with modifications. Gyms, fitness centers and yoga studios may open at 25 percent capacity, including indoor pools.

Places of worship are allowed to open at 50 percent capacity. 

Schools may reopen fully for in-person instruction, with local officials to determine the mechanisms and timing.

Small private gatherings are allowed outdoors and indoors, with modifications – no more than 3 households together, masks and physical distancing is required, and visits should be limited to 2 hours or less. Those with symptoms must not attend, and high-risk individuals are encouraged not to attend. Weddings are allowed with modifications, and receptions are limited to three households together; indoor gatherings are discouraged, and limited to 50 percent capacity.


Convention centers and festivals, live theater, nightclubs and saunas and steam rooms remain closed.