County of Santa Clara–New Shelter in Place Rules

Office of Supervisor Dave Cortese
Photo Credit: Unsplash

On Tuesday, March 31, Dr Sara Cody, the County’s Public Health Officer extended the Shelter in Place Order through May 3, for the six most populous Bay Area counties, including Santa Clara County. The health conditions locally and across the United States have worsened in the past two weeks.

The County also has determined that more and stricter distancing is needed to slow the rate of COVID-19. Major new guidelines include:

  1. Social distancing requirements are mandatory. Unless strict compliance is explicitly waived, everyone must comply with the social distancing requirements at all times.
  2. Before Friday, April 3, 2020, essential businesses that continue to operate facilities in the County must complete, post, and implement a social distancing protocol for each facility that remains open, using the template attached to the Order.
  3. Essential businesses must maximize the number of employees who work from home, excepting only those employees who cannot perform their job duties from home.
  4. Essential businesses that continue to operate facilities in the County must scale down operations to their essential component only.
  5. Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home are no longer essential businesses under the Order and must cease operations (except minimum basic operations) at facilities in the County.
  6. Use of playgrounds, dog parks, public picnic areas, and similar recreational areas is prohibited. These areas must be closed to public use.
  7. Use of shared public recreational facilities such as golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, pools, and rock walls are prohibited. These facilities must be closed for recreational use.
  8. Sports or activities that require use of shared equipment, like frisbees, basketballs, baseballs, and soccer balls, may only be engaged in by members of the same household.
  9. Most construction—residential and commercial—is prohibited. Exceptions are made for healthcare facility construction directly related to the COVID-19 response; affordable housing; public works projects when designated as essential by the lead governmental agency; shelters and temporary housing; projects necessary to provide critical services to certain vulnerable individuals; construction necessary to secure an existing construction site; and limited essential residential or business repairs.

For a complete list of significant changes, visit

I am proud of the community’s response so far, but we need to step up our efforts and follow the new Shelter in Place Order. I know that if we keep following the guidelines, we will keep COVID-19 from spreading.