County and State Orders

Following the direction and orders of public health leaders to stay home except when necessary is vitally important to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our most vulnerable community members. The City urges all residents to do their part by following both the County and the State’s orders to stay home except when necessary, and following other guidance from our Public Health Department.

County of Santa Clara

Latest Orders

On December 4, 2020, the County of Santa Clara in conjunction with the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, as well as the City of Berkeley, announced the implementation of the State's Stay Home Order on December 6, 2020. This will help stop the surge of COVID-19 and prevent overwhelming regional Intensive Care Unit(ICU) bed capacity. Lack of ICU capacity means that you and your loved ones may not receive the care you need if you fall seriously ill—with COVID or something else.

The Stay Home Order
  • Instructs everyone to stay at home as much as possible to limit the mixing with other households that can lead to COVID-19 spread
  • Allows access to (and travel for) critical services
  • Allows outdoor activities to preserve physical and mental health

The Order requires the following sectors to close: 
  • Indoor and outdoor playgrounds
  • Indoor recreational facilities
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Personal care services
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums
  • Movie theaters
  • Wineries
  • Bars, breweries, and distilleries
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering
  • Limited services
  • Live audience sports
  • Amusement parks

Additionally, the following sectors will have additional modifications in addition to 100% masking and physical distancing:
  • Outdoor recreational facilities: Allow outdoor operation only without any food, drink, or alcohol sales. Additionally, overnight stays at campgrounds will not be permitted.
  • Retail (including grocery stores): Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems. 
  • Shopping centers: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Hotels and lodging: Allow to open for critical infrastructure support only.
  • Restaurants: Allow only for take-out, pick-up, or delivery.
  • Offices: Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible. 
  • Places of worship and political expression: Allow outdoor services only.
  • Entertainment production including professional sports: NOT ALLOWED IN SANTA CLARA COUNTY

The following sectors are allowed to remain open when a remote option is not possible with appropriate infectious disease preventative measures including 100% masking and physical distancing:
  • Critical infrastructure 
  • Schools
  • Non-urgent medical and dental care
  • Childcare and pre-K

All other restrictions announced by Santa Clara County on November 28, 2020 remain in effect, including the mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers who are coming from a point of origin greater than 150 miles from the County’s borders.


On November 28, 2020, with cases surging, the County enacted new revisions to Mandatory Directive on Capacity Limitation

Capacity Limits for Indoor Facilities Open to the Public: 

  • Stores and other facilities open to the public will be limited to 10% capacity indoors. Grocery stores, drug stores, and pharmacies, however, will be allowed to operate at 25% capacity indoors to ensure adequate access to food and medicine. 
  • All facilities open to the public must establish a “metering system” to ensure that the applicable capacity limits are not exceed by, for example, posting an employee at the facility entrance to track the number of people entering and exiting.

Outdoor Gatherings:

  • Gatherings continue to be allowed only outdoors, with a maximum of 100 people. The State limits such gatherings to First Amendment protected activities, such as religious services or protests.

Professional, Collegiate, and Youth Sports:

  • All recreational activities that involve physical contact or close proximity to persons outside one’s household, including all contact sports, will be temporarily prohibited. People can continue to engage in outdoor athletics and recreation where social distancing can be maintained at all times.

Cardrooms:

  • Cardrooms are temporarily closed.

 Hotels and Other Lodging Facilities:

  • Hotels and other lodging facilities will be open only for essential travel and for use to facilitate isolation or quarantine.

Quarantine Post-Travel:

  • Leisure and non-essential travel are strongly discouraged, and a new Mandatory Directive on Travel will require people to quarantine for 14 days upon return to the County from travel of more than 150 miles. Healthcare workers traveling into the county to provide care or patients traveling into the county to obtain treatment will be exempted from this requirement.

Visit www.sccgov.org/cv19summary for more information.

For more details, read the full press release on the Santa Clara County Public Health Department's website

Previous Orders

On November 16, the State of California announced they are placing Santa Clara County into the Purple (most restrictive) Tier of the State’s Framework effective at 12:01am on November 17th.  The state took this urgent action because our county, like many counties across California are seeing a significant and rapid spike in COVID-19 cases. We are back to the case counts that we saw during July (at the peak of the pandemic locally).  Hospitalizations of COVID positive patients in our County have also been surging (up 70% since Oct. 31st).  The State has now placed 41 counties (representing 94% of the California population) in the Purple Tier.  

Moving to the Purple Tier means that several additional businesses and activities will have to close or reduce their capacity. Including the changes that were announced last Friday (when we thought we were headed to the Red), below is a summary of the changes that will take effective just after midnight tonight: 

  • Indoor dining will have to close
  • Indoor gatherings (including places of worship, movie showings, political events, weddings, funerals) will not be permitted
  • Indoor gyms and fitness centers will have to close
  • Indoor retail (including shopping malls) will have to reduce their capacity to a maximum of 10%
  • Indoor pools will have to close
  • Indoor family entertainment centers (such as bowling alleys) will have to close
  • Indoor museums, zoos, and aquariums will have to close
  • Wineries will have to close indoor operations
  • Outdoor bars, breweries, and distilleries will have to close, unless they are functioning as a restaurant and providing meals

On September 8th, 2020, The State of California announced today that Santa Clara County has been moved from the Purple Tier (Tier 1) to the Red Tier (Tier 2) on the State’s new COVID-19 blueprint, effective immediately. Counties assigned to the Red Tier are still experiencing “substantial spread” of COVID-19. However, the State’s framework allows counties moving from the Purple to Red Tier to reopen indoor operations at some additional businesses and allows certain activities to resume, so long as appropriate protocols and protective measures are strictly followed.

On August 28th, 2020, the State released its Blueprint for a Safer Economy (“Blueprint”), which created a tiered system of COVID-19 restrictions that all counties in California must follow. On September 8, Santa Clara County moved to into Tier Two (Red) and will stay there until the State moves Santa Clara County into Tier Three (Orange) or back into Tier One (Purple). The most restrictive rules apply to Tier One, and the least restrictive rules apply to Tier Four.

On July 2, 2020, the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department issued a new order that puts in place long-term risk reduction measures, effective on July 13, or as soon as State approval is granted, whichever is later. 

The order allows certain additional activities to resume, but also puts in place significant additional containment measures to control the spread of COVID-19. Santa Clara County currently has fewer cases of COVID-19 per hundred thousand residents than any county in the Bay Area, and far fewer than many urban regions across the country. However, case counts in the County are rising, and the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 is also increasing.

The new order allows other activities to resume, including hair and nail services, gyms, and small gatherings, but only with strict social distancing protocols in place, consistent use of face coverings, and significant capacity limits. It also requires all employers to immediately report cases of COVID-19 tied to their workplaces to local public health officials. The order continues to stress that we are all safest when we stay home, and that people over age 70 and those with serious underlying medical conditions should continue to leave home only for essential needs.

On June 1, 2020, The County of Santa Clara County Public Health Department issued a new order, June 5, 2020. While the shelter-in-place order remains in effect, subject to social distancing protocols and safety requirements, the new order:

  • Expands previously permitted business activity to include outdoor dining at restaurants and in-store shopping at retail locations.
  • Permits all children to take part in childcare, summer camps, summer school, or other educational and recreational programs, so long as groups are limited to 12 or fewer.
  • Allows outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people for religious services and cultural ceremonies.
  • Allows outdoor recreational activities that do not involve physical contact, such as swimming, to resume.
  • Permits car-based gatherings, including drive-in theaters.

Visit the County’s website for more information.

On May 18, 2020,  the Santa Clara County Public Health Department issued a new order, effective May 22nd, directing all individuals living in the County to continue sheltering at their place of residence except for essential needs. The May 18th order does allow for curbside retail along with new protocols for essential businesses to follow.  Read the full order for more information.

On April 29, 2020, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department issued a new order, effective May 3rd, directing all individuals living in the County to continue sheltering at their place of residence except for essential needs. Read the full order for more information.

On April 8, 2020, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department issued a new order to gather information regarding inventories of personal protective equipment and ventilators. The order requires entities and individuals to report large inventories of personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators. Reporting is due by 11:59 p.m. on April 15 via an online survey. Read the full order for more information.

On April 6, 2020, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department issued a new order directing hospitals and skilled nursing facilities in the County to disclose on an ongoing bases tp the Health Officer inventories of personal protective equipment and ventilators. Read the full order for more information. 

On March 31, 2020, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department issued a new order directing all individuals living in the County to continue sheltering at their place of residence except for essential needs. Read the full order for more information.

On March 16, 2020, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, along with five neighboring counties and the City of Berkeley, issued a shelter in place order effective March 17, 2020 through April 7, 2020. 

On March 13th, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department published updated directives regarding COVID-19. The latest directive prohibits gatherings of more than 100 people and sets specific criteria for gatherings of 35 to 100 people. Additionally, the County Superintendent of Schools and all district superintendents in the County have decided to close schools to students for three weeks beginning Monday, March 16, 2020.

On March 9th, County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody officially announced the issuance of a legal Order requiring the cancellation of mass gatherings (public or private) consisting of more than 1,000 persons and published new recommendations to help protect the community from COVID-19. The order went into effect at 12 a.m. on March 11th.

State

On September 8th, 2020, The State of California announced today that Santa Clara County has been moved from the Purple Tier (Tier 1) to the Red Tier (Tier 2) on the State’s new COVID-19 blueprint, effective immediately. Counties assigned to the Red Tier are still experiencing “substantial spread” of COVID-19. However, the State’s framework allows counties moving from the Purple to Red Tier to reopen indoor operations at some additional businesses and allows certain activities to resume, so long as appropriate protocols and protective measures are strictly followed.

 The following businesses and activities are now allowed to resume under the State’s framework as well as the County’s Risk Reduction Order. Businesses and activities must be in compliance with all industry-specific mandatory directives set forth by the County and State, including having a Social Distancing Protocol on file and displayed.  

  • Schools: K-12 schools can open after the County has been in the Red Tier for 14 days. All schools must follow mandatory guidance set by the County of Santa Clara and the State of California 
  • Personal care services: allowed to open indoors with modifications
  • Museums, zoos, aquariums: allowed to open indoors at 25% capacity
  • Gyms and fitness centers: allowed to open indoors at 10% capacity
  • Shopping malls: allowed to open indoors at 50% capacity (previously open at 25% capacity)

Hair salons and barbershops were previously allowed to open indoors with reduced capacity as of August 31st. Indoor dining, indoor movie theaters, and indoor gatherings remain prohibited in Santa Clara County under the local Risk Reduction Order. Other activities that the County had previously allowed but the State had prohibited can now resume. The stricter of the State or local order always controls.

 For more details, read the full press release on the Santa Clara County Public Health Department's website

 Previous Orders

On August 28th, 2020, the State released its Blueprint for a Safer Economy (“Blueprint”), which created a tiered system of COVID-19 restrictions that all counties in California must follow. Based on recent data, each county will fall into one of four colored tiers – Purple (Widespread), Red (Substantial), Orange (Moderate) and Yellow (Minimal) – based on how prevalent COVID-19 is in each county and the extent of community spread. That color will indicate how sectors can operate. Counties must remain in every tier a minimum of 21 days before being eligible to move into the next tier. Each Tuesday, California will update each county’s data for the previous week and make corresponding changes to tiers. In order to move into a less restrictive tier, a county must meet that tier’s criteria for two straight weeks. Conversely, counties that fail to meet the metrics for their current tier for two consecutive weeks must move to the next most restrictive tier. The plan also includes an “emergency brake” where the state can intervene more immediately for concerning factors like hospitalizations.

On March 19, 2020, the Governor issued an Executive Order directing all Californians to stay home except for essential needs. This order complements the Santa Clara County Public Health Officer’s existing order directing all residents to shelter at home, issued on March 16, 2020. The Governor’s action reinforces the importance of our local order, which remains in effect and will continue to be implemented.

On March 12th, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a new executive order further enhancing California’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

City

On March 13th, the City of Morgan Hill proclaimed a local emergency related to COVID-19. The purpose of the emergency declaration is to give the City legal authority to mobilize resources in response to this unprecedented public health threat for the protection of the community and our City teammates. The action will also help ensure critical services have the resources needed to continue. Additionally, it allows the City to request mutual aid from regional, State, and other governmental entities.