Santa Clara County joined California in revoking a home-to-home order Monday so businesses could reopen under previous purple-level restrictions.
Effectively, outdoor dining and personal care can return to business, and professional, collegiate, adult, and youth sports can also be resumed.
“Santa Clara County continues to experience very high levels of COVID-19 transmissions,” said County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody. “Our collective actions to date have saved lives and helped protect our healthcare system from collapse. I urge all residents to be vigilant, wear a mask whenever you leave your home, keep a distance of at least 6 feet from anyone outside your household and be vaccinated when it is your turn. ”
State officials said they are beginning to see the COVID-1
Intensive care centers in Santa Clara County barely remain below their capacity.
On January 23, 307 ICU beds were occupied, of which 160 were with COVID-19 patients. The maximum ICU capacity is 317 beds, according to the county’s website. Local hospitals care for 545 COVID-19 patients, which includes ICU patients.
The Bay Area region has only 8.2% of its ICU beds available, according to state data.
Still, officials said they saw signs of hope.
“The Californians heard the urgent message of staying home as much as possible and accepted the challenge of curbing the wave and saving lives,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón, California Public Health Officer. “Together, we changed our activities, knowing that our short-term victims would lead to long-term gains. COVID-19 is still here and still deadly, so our work is not over, but it is important to recognize our collective actions saved lives, and we are turning a critical corner. ”
The at-home order had limited restaurants for takeout and delivery – shutters outdoors and indoor dining. It allowed retailers to continue doing business with 20% capacity. It closed hair salons, nail salons, personal care, cinemas, museums, bars and wineries.
Before the county went under the state’s residence order on Dec. 4, it was in the purple level that imposes most restrictions, but allows many businesses to operate outdoors. Below the purple level, people can eat outdoors, and hair and nail salons can offer services indoors with masks and limited capacity. Non-essential retail stores can fill up to 25% capacity.
Fitness centers can allow people to work out outdoors. Body-piercing studios and tattoo parlors can also open indoors with modifications.
Schools will have to wait until their counties are in the less restrictive red level for five consecutive days to open, but can continue to have personal classes if they have already reopened campus with a dropout rate.
Despite the increase in COVID-19 patients in Santa Clara County ICUs, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly that most people in the state obeyed advice to stay home and avoid gatherings for the holidays.
“California is slowly beginning to emerge from the most dangerous wave of this pandemic yet, which is the light at the end of the tunnel we have been hoping for,” Ghaly said. “Seven weeks ago, our frontline hospitals and medical staff were pushed to their limits, but Californians heard the urgent message to stay home whenever possible, and our increase after the December holidays did not overwhelm the health care system to the extent we had feared. ”
Senator Dave Cortese, who represents most of San Jose, expressed support for the changes, saying the revised order would alleviate companies struggling with closures.
“Thanks to the collective efforts and sacrifices made by members of the community throughout California, we have made progress in slowing the spread of this virus, ensuring that our hospital system is not overwhelmed and protects each and every one of us.” said Cortese.
But other South Bay representatives seemed to be left in the dark about the changes in state restrictions.
In a tweet, Assemblyman Evan Low, who represents Cupertino, Campbell and parts of San Jose, suggested that people ask him about the state’s plan to cancel the stay at home before he was even notified.
People: Is that true? CA lifts the shelter in place?
Me: Ha? I have not heard.
People: It’s everywhere on Twitter.
People: Are you not a government employee? Don’t you need to know?
Me: * sigh * 🤦♂️Where do I start … pic.twitter.com/hn1LhIeR6g
– Evan Low (@Evan_Low) January 25, 2021
The county has counted 98,057 cumulative COVID-19 cases and 1,234 deaths.
Contact Mauricio La Plante at [email protected] or follow @mslaplantenews on Twitter.