Santa Clara County, CA nov.13, 2020– Santa Clara County and other counties throughout the Bay Area are seeing a sudden, rapid spike in COVID-19 cases and a significant increase in hospitalizations. The average number of new cases per day in Santa Clara County has more than doubled since early October. With transmission and hospitalizations on the rise, health officers in counties across the Bay Area are tightening local rules for high-risk indoor activities where the virus spreads more easily.
In Santa Clara County, Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody today announced that the County’s dramatically increasing case counts make clear that the County will be moved to the State’s Red Tier next Tuesday November 17th. Unless the current surge is quickly brought under control, the County expects to be moved to the Purple Tier in the next few weeks.
Dr. Cody and most of her colleagues around the Bay Area will be issuing local orders today requiring the closure of indoor dining and imposing limits on certain other high-risk activities. The new restrictions on activity in Santa Clara County will take effect on Tuesday, November 17th at 12:01 a.m.
Indoor dining at restaurants reopened at reduced capacity in mid-October, but as case counts continue to rise, the risks associated with indoor dining, especially because patrons must take their masks off to eat, have increased significantly. Dr. Cody and public health experts in our region and elsewhere have concluded that it is necessary to close indoor dining to help contain the spread of the virus.
“We know that eating indoors without masks is a very high-risk activity, and as we close indoor dining we also strongly urge people not to eat or gather indoors with anyone outside their own household,” Dr. Cody said. “We must come together as a community and act now to get the virus under control.”
Dr. Cody noted that wearing masks at all times, avoiding crowded environments, and moving as many activities as possible outdoors is critical to controlling the virus. In indoor environments, the risk of droplet and aerosol transmission of COVID-19 can be only partially mitigated by wearing a mask.
Health officials are especially worried about people gathering indoors with the holidays coming up and the weather getting colder. Dr. Cody and other health officers have stated they will have to consider additional closures if current trends continue.