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Santa Clara County Shelter-in-Place Order Extended to May 31, 2020

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has extended its Shelter-in-Place Order to May 31, 2020. The Public Health Department has also updated its FAQ page.

This new Order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 3, 2020, and remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, 2020, unless the Health Officer amends or extends it. All residents must comply with the restrictions in both the County and State orders. If the restrictions in the two orders are different, you must comply with the stricter of the two.

Most of the County’s prior Order restrictions remain in place. However, the new Order makes several significant changes, which are highlighted below:

Essential Businesses

  • Under the new Order, all construction projects can resume, provided they comply with the Construction Project Safety Protocols issued as part of the Order (Small Construction and Large Construction). (These protocols replace the COVID-19 Construction Field Safety Guidelines applicable to the Prior Order).

  • Commercial and residential real estate transactions can fully resume, but with continued restrictions on in-person viewings and appointments.

  • Under the new Order, childcare establishments, summer camps, schools, and other educational and recreational programs can operate to provide care and supervision for children to allow all persons who are working in essential businesses or outdoor businesses or performing minimum basic operations to access childcare. All of these operations must comply with restrictions specified in the Order, including that they be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer children. This category is also subject to the State’s Shelter in Place Order, but the Health Officer will assess whether to ease childcare restrictions further in coordination with the State and as the spread of COVID-19 is further contained.

Outdoor Businesses

  • Outdoor Businesses (as defined in the Order and described below) are now allowed to operate, and people can visit them to perform work or to obtain goods, services, or supplies.

  • Outdoor Businesses are those that normally operated primarily outdoors prior to the Shelter in Place Orders, and where social distancing of at least six feet can be maintained between all people. These include outdoor retail businesses like nurseries, outdoor service providers like landscapers, and agricultural operations.

Social Distancing Protocols for Businesses

  • All business facilities operating in the County, including businesses carrying out minimum basic operations, must comply with the requirement to create a Social Distancing Protocol. (Note: construction activities must instead comply with the Construction Project Safety Protocols.)

  • In their Social Distancing Protocols, businesses must now ensure that personnel and customers wear face coverings when entering their facilities (except those customers for whom face coverings are not recommended, like very young children).

  • All existing Social Distancing Protocols must be updated to reflect the new requirements.

  • We encourage businesses that are not yet allowed to operate to focus on planning to effectively implement social distancing and related measures in their facilities so they are ready to safely reopen when allowed.

  • Essential Activities and Travel

  • All residential moves are now allowed to proceed.


  • The new Order allows use of shared outdoor recreational facilities that do not encourage gathering or contain high-touch equipment. However, everyone must follow any restrictions that either state or local authorities impose. For instance, right now, the State Stay-at-Home Order prohibits golf courses from operating.

COVID-19 Indicators

  • The Health Officer will consider easing or expanding restrictions based on progress we collectively achieve on several key indicators described in the new Order and referred to as the COVID-19 Indicators.


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