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Coronavirus and COVID-19 Information: Santa Clara County and Bay Area, California

Trustworthy information about COVID-19

How Long Will Restrictions Last?

We don't know. Cases of COVID-19 are still high throughout the U.S., Bay Area included.

In summer 2020 California issued a statewide plan (Blueprint for Safer Economy) listing what businesses and activities are allowed in its counties, depending on a standard set of metrics. Counties will be allowed to move to a new stage of operations when those indicators are doing well, but if those metrics go up, that county will need to close down the higher level for at least 3 weeks, and until its indicators improve,

PlaneTree Health Library's  webpages will be updated regularly (in some cases, daily) with the latest accurate, verifiable, news you can use during this pandemic.

Bay Area Closures and Restrictions Currently in Place

Public Gatherings

From the first pandemic regulations in CA, back in  March, the county and state Departments of Public Health published guidance on how many people could or should gather in one place, under specific circumstances. The current public health Directives and Orders from the state and counties incorporates these. 

The state defines "gathering"  as

"any event or convening that brings together people in a single room or single space at the same time, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, cafeteria, or any other indoor or outdoor space". 

The county Department of Public Health notes that the limits on gathering size do not include:

"normal operations at airports or spaces where persons may be in transit." ... [nor] classrooms [but see statement on schools]; medical offices, hospitals, or clinics". State and county regulations, however, do limit the number of people who can be inside facilities that are open to the public (i.e., stores and businesses).

As of Mar. 25, 2021, private gatherings of no more than 3 households are permitted if outdoors.

(There are a few exceptions to that rule, for activities protected by the First Amendment: for worship, cultural events, protests or political activities. For details on those, see the look-up function on the CA State Blueprint for a Safer Economy and search for the specific county and activity. Hint: after clicking on "search", scroll down below the box describing the county's tier to see the answer.)

Schools and Child Care

Schools in other parts of the country that have opened for the fall term (sometimes only briefly) have found that children are vulnerable to catching and spreading COVID-19, even though they may not show symptoms. Just how vulnerable is still a matter for research and debate, however.


California State has brought together information and resources related to the coronavirus and schools into its School Readiness Hub. There is found guidance for school administrators, staff, and parents.

About PlaneTree Health Library

PlaneTree Health Library's mission is to guide the public to trustworthy, accurate, and free health and medical information. In operation since 1989, it is a free, public, patient and consumer health library and  501(c)3 nonprofit organization. It does not take advertisements; recommendations are independent of any commercial relationship.

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