All businesses planning to resume operations under Santa Clara County's new health order, including those already open, must complete a new online social distancing protocol form. The county is urging businesses to do it before the deadline this Monday, July 13.
Filling out the form will help the county ensure that the necessary steps are enacted to prevent transmission of COVID-19 as much as possible.
The county also changed the new health order, issued on July 2, from allowing indoor gatherings of up to 20, to no indoor gatherings allowed. This comes after the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Outdoor gatherings of up to 60 people will still be allowed in accordance with social distance guidelines.
"The new order was created with harm reduction in mind, understanding that COVID-19 will be with us for a while and we must change the way we live and do business to prevent us from infecting one another," said Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody. "While the order allows more businesses and activities to resume, this must be done with care and adherence to the new safety and distancing protocols."
The online form and checklist are essential to operating legally under the new health order. It identifies a person responsible for compliance and confirms the business has proper signage, trains its employees, has an adequate plan in place to protect workers and the public as well as in the event of a positive case in the staff.
The new order is a risk-reduction plan that is intended to be in place for the next few months.
"The new order and directives for businesses, with strict measures to keep workers and customers safe, is a roadmap through our new normal," said Supervisor Mike Wasserman. "Many businesses have been waiting for months to reopen and want to do so in as safe a manner as possible, these required protocols give them the means to do so."
The new health order will allow most businesses to reopen like hair and nail services, gyms and outdoor gatherings, as long as they adhere to social distance protocol, consistent use of face coverings and significant capacity limits.
The county will have staff at the COVID-19 Business Call Center available over the weekend to help businesses comply with the new requirement and can call at 408-961-5500.
Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.