County to allow gyms, salons to reopen in new health order

Andrew Yee/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos' downtown street closures are in effect during the holiday weekend.

Santa Clara County issued a new health order Thursday (July 2), allowing certain business such as gyms, hair and nail salons to open beginning July 13, or when the state approves the order.

The county will also allow larger gatherings – groups of 20 people indoors and 60 people outdoors – with masks and proper social distancing.

“We’re at an inflection point,” said Dr. Sara Cody, the county’s public health officer. “It’s crystal clear that COVID-19 will be with us for a long time, so we need to adapt to a new way of being, a new way of living that keeps us all safe and that lets us do some of the things that we miss, cherish and find most meaningful.”

A press release indicated that Santa Clara County had fewer cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents than any other Bay Area county. But it warned of an increase in both case counts and hospitalized patients.

With the July 4 holiday weekend approaching, the county urged residents to celebrate at home, calling gatherings with people outside of the household “potentially risky.” Santa Clara County reported 185 new coronavirus cases Thursday for a total case count of 4,750 – and one additional death.

Despite easing certain restrictions, many indoor businesses must remain closed. The new guidelines align with California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement July 1 ordering indoor closures for Santa Clara County and 18 other counties. The state’s orders affect indoor businesses including restaurants, bars, wineries, movie theaters and museums. These businesses, which pose as “high risk” of COVID-19 transmission, will remain closed indefinitely.

Los Altos’ downtown streets will be closed off though the Fourth of July weekend as part of the Open Streets program, allowing restaurants to set up tables and serve patrons outdoors.

“We’re all in this together,” said Jean Luc Kayigire, owner of Amandine Project – a restaurant and bar on First Street – after the county’s announcement Thursday. “So we just have to survive. For how long, I’m not sure.”

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