Silicon Valley easing stay-at-home restrictions amid positive signs


Santa Clara County, Northern California’s most populous county, will join the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area in moving into Phase 2 of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s reopening plan, allowing for curbside pickup at many retail stores.

Health officers in the Bay Area said they have seen a number of positive signs since the last loosening of stay-at-home orders executed on May 4, which allowed all construction and certain businesses that primarily do work outdoors, like gardening and landscaping, to resume.

The improving indicators include:

  • The trend of new cases is either stable or dropping, even with increased testing;
  • The number of hospitalized patients infected with the coronavirus is stable or declining;
  • Supply of personal protective equipment, like masks, gowns and gloves, is improving, although some shortages do persist in certain situations; and,
  • There is increased ability to do disease investigation and locate close contacts of newly infected people.

Besides allowing retail stores to reopen for pickup service only, the order also allows manufacturing, warehousing and logistical operations that support them to reopen.


Visual look at the third phase to reopen California amid the coronavirus outbreak.

May 16, 2020

“We are counting on these businesses to consistently follow social distancing protocols and public health guidance to protect their employees and customers as these activities resume,” said a joint statement from health officers in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, as well as the city of Berkeley, which has a health department independent of Alameda County. “COVID-19 continues to pose a very significant risk to our communities, and that continued vigilance is necessary to ensure that we do not see an increase in spread as more activities resume.”

Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties were the first in the Bay Area to move into this phase, doing so on May 8, the same day that much of the state, including L.A. County, did so. Marin, Alameda and San Mateo counties had already announced plans to begin doing so on Monday, and Alameda and Contra Costa counties had already expressed an intent to do so this week.