As Santa Clara County and the other Bay Area counties along with the City of Berkeley begin moving into Phase 2 of reopening starting on Friday, May 22, 2020, people are asking "what will the 'New Normal' look like in Santa Clara County?"
Assembled experts asserted in a press conference on May 18, that while efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 have been successful, people need to continue the following:
- social distancing of at least 6 feet between them and others
- wash hands frequently
- stay home if unwell
- most importantly, wear a mask when entering any business, and ideally anytime when out in public.
The exceptions for the mask requirement are: for children, or when a health condition precludes the ability to wear a mask. Dr. Sara Cody bluntly asserted that the "wearing of masks is now mandatory, not optional."
In a press conference on May 18, Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody also noted that the reopening is occurring due to "no new uptick in cases occurred since the May 4th changes; and cases appear to be declining due to the success of the shelter-in-place measures."
Phase 2 will allow all retail businesses which meet the California state criteria that are able to provide curbside (outside) pickup may reopen.
Also, manufacturing and logistics work may resume with specific controls in place, namely: "no more than one employee per 300 square feet within a facility to allow for increased social distancing."
The May 18th joint press release from the Bay Area counties that have been working together on their coronavirus response and shelter-in-place orders: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties (plus the city of Berkeley, which has its own public health department).
When asked about requirements for Valley Fair (a primarily inside mall) vs. Stanford Shopping Center (a primarily outside mall), the Santa Clara County Counsel said,
"When access to a curb or a pedestrian alleyway is available, even if it's not (directly) open to vehicular traffic, then exterior transactions only will be allowed."
"We don't suddenly have herd immunity, we don't suddenly have a vaccine. We have exactly the same conditions we had in March," Dr. Cody said Tuesday to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. "If we did ease up, we'd see a brisk return of cases, hospitalizations and a brisk return of deaths, to be quite blunt."
Image courtesy of www.pixabay.com.
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