Santa Clara County to allow outdoor restaurant dining, in-store shopping, summer camps, manufacturing

Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County health officer, speaks at a news conference on Jan. 31. AP photo.

By the Daily Post staff

Santa Clara County’s health officer, Dr. Sara Cody, issued a new coronavirus health order that allows in-store shopping, outdoor restaurant dining and summer camps starting Friday (June 5).

Criticism of Cody’s strict orders had been growing in the past few weeks. Santa Clara County has lagged behind other counties in terms of reopening the economy.

Her announcement today (June 1) coincides with Palo Alto’s push to allow restaurants to expand their outdoor seating to portions of University and California avenues. Her order goes into effect on Friday and the city is hoping to close off the streets by then.

Cody’s new order allows the following businesses:

  • Outdoor dining at restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, subject to limitations/social distancing
  • Retail and shopping centers for in-store shopping, subject to limitations/social distancing
  • Childcare, summer camps, summer school, and all other educational or recreational programs for all children, in stable groups of up to 12 children
  • All manufacturing, warehousing and logistics, subject to limitations/social distancing
  • House cleaning and other no-contact in-home services
  • Low contact/no contact service businesses such as shoe repair, watch repair, and other similar services, subject to limitations/social distancing
  • All pet grooming
Additional activities to be allowed:
  • Outdoor small ceremonies and religious services, in groups no larger than 25
  • All outdoor recreational activities that do not involve physical contact, with social distancing, including swimming pools, hiking, tennis, golf, etc.
  • Camping, subject to limitations/social distancing
  • Drive-in theaters and other car-based gatherings

Dr. Cody has been the target of criticism by residents writing to the Daily Post’s letters section.

“I pose this question to Dr. Cody: How many people in Santa Clara County have died from suicide and attempted suicide over the last two months compared to the same time period a year ago and a typical year’s worth?” Max Pelletier of Palo Alto wrote.

Jeff Truskey of Palo Alto wrote: “As even the Associated Press has written, ‘For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks…’ The consequences of a shutdown for ‘most people’ is far worse than the virus. Time for the politicians in Santa Clara County to seek a second opinion or they will have to face what the unelected health officials do not — voters!”

Bill Hough of Los Altos wrote: “We have reached the point where there is more harm in a continued shutdown than there is risk from the virus. While initial restrictions were helpful, it is clearly time to start discussions regarding how we begin relaxing virus-related restrictions and get people back to work.”

Some readers are angry that the county has extended the shutdown beyond the three weeks that was originally suggested in March.

“Dr. Sara Cody and the rest of our government overseers want to move the goal posts for ending the shelter-in-place order even further under the guise of protecting ourselves from ourselves. They use data manipulated to suit their draconian lock-down agenda,” wrote Ken Rado of San Carlos. “If you are at-risk, or want to continue home confinement, then stay home. But I believe the silent majority want our government overlords to let us get on with our lives.”


  1. I think the county should reveal how many people died of suicide, drugs, booze, etc. due to the stress of the shutdown order. I don’t think Dr. Cody or Joe Simitian understand the damage this order has done to the lives of people, those who have lost their businesses or their jobs. I know people whose savings was eaten up by trying to keep their businesses going during this crisis. The county is tone deaf.

  2. Given all the damage that’s occurred to small businesses in our county, I hope the Board of Supervisors commissions an independent investigation of how this was handled. We’re any lives saved or were the deaths spread out? How many people committed suicide? How many businesses were ruined? How many families were torn apart? Did the county overreact? Let’s get some answers before Dr Cody shuts down the county again for the seasonal flu.

  3. Dr. Cody certainly has a political agenda. This is all about destroying the economy to make it harder for Trump to get re-elected. The Mueller investigation didn’t work, they couldn’t get him out through impeachment, so this was the last straw. Dr. Cody, no doubt, knows the game plan. She’s part of the Resistance.

  4. Of course the doctor has a political agenda. Notice how they don’t ban the black lives protests even though they violate the social distancing rules. But if it were a gun rights or pro life protest, they’d require distancing and masks—- or they’d all go to jail. The double standard shows their agenda.

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