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Santa Clara County Announces Major Changes to COVID-19 Guidelines

NBC Bay Area logo NBC Bay Area 2/26/2021 NBC Bay Area staff
a person wearing glasses and a blue shirt: SAN JOSE, USA – DECEMBER 17: Doctor Sara Cody speaks at a press conference outside of the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose, California, United States on December 17, 2020. (Photo by Randy Vazquez / Bay Area News Group / Pool/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) © Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

SAN JOSE, USA – DECEMBER 17: Doctor Sara Cody speaks at a press conference outside of the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose, California, United States on December 17, 2020. (Photo by Randy Vazquez / Bay Area News Group / Pool/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department announced Thursday it will relax restrictions on schools, outdoor gatherings and youth activities.

The following changes will go into effect Friday:

  • County's directive for youth and adult recreational athletic activities will no longer be in effect and will be subject to state guidelines.
  • County's directive for programs serving children and youth, like day camps, child care and fitness facilities, will no longer be in effect and will be subject to state guidelines.
  • County's directive for schools to remain subject to state guidelines for K-12.
  • Rules for outdoor gatherings will be more relaxed.
  • Masks are no longer required outdoors as long as a 6-foot distance is maintained among people.
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The county also announced it looks to enter the less-restrictive red tier as soon as Wednesday.

"I think it’s a move in the right direction because we eventually want to get back to normal," said Jim and Angelique Stump, owners of The Table in Willow Glen.

Restaurants have been challenged by the on-and-off shut downs. Sales go up then mostly down. They have to pay for tent rentals and need consistency.

“We were shut down from the end of November through February, and yet the cases continued to rise,” the restaurant owners said. “Which says to me [the county] is all about the data, but the data is not suggesting it’s our fault.”

The county said in a statement that when it goes to the red tier, the restrictions will align with the state. That allows dining, church services, and movie theaters to open indoors at 25% capacity. 

“As things improve, it is still important for everyone to continue to practice basic prevention measures: face coverings, social distancing, and doing as much activity as possible outdoors," said health officer Dr. Sara Cody.

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