Skip to main content

Santa Clara County moves to red tier

Category: Health & safety

Santa Clara County has moved from the purple “widespread risk” tier to the red “significant risk” tier in the State of California’s COVID-19 framework, based on improving case numbers and test positivity rates. San Mateo County moved from the purple tier to the red tier last week.

In a press conference Tuesday, Santa Clara County officials said the county will align its policies with the state’s guidelines for what activities are allowed and not allowed under the red tier, effective Wednesday, March 3. Most of the county’s previous activity-specific health directives will be lifted in order to achieve that alignment, they said.

County officials stressed that residents should continue following public health protocols to combat COVID-19, including pursuing activities outdoors rather than indoors, staying masked, keeping physical distance from those outside one’s own household, and getting vaccinated when eligible.

“If people let down their guard and begin engaging in risky activities, we will likely see another surge in cases,” said Dr. Sara Cody, the county health officer.

Stanford is reviewing what adjustments in campus protocols are possible under the latest changes. So far, we know that under the red tier at Stanford:

  • Uses of instructional spaces are outlined in the In-Person Instructional Recovery Plan. Indoor general classrooms can be used in the red tier with physical distancing and a maximum 25% of room capacity, not to exceed 30 people. Outdoor classes can take place with physical distancing, up to 30 participants.
  • Santa Clara County will be lifting its travel quarantine requirement but still strongly recommends that residents follow the State of California’s travel advisory, which discourages non-essential travel and recommends quarantining for 10 days after arriving in California from other states or countries. Stanford will be updating its own travel policy shortly. Stanford also continues to plan for a 10-day period of restricted activity for all undergraduates at the start of the spring quarter, to allow undergraduates to settle in safely as new students arrive.
  • Stanford will continue implementing its new gatherings program that allows registered student gatherings of up to eight individuals from up to three households. We will continue working with student leaders on other gatherings that may be possible for students in the spring quarter as public health rules allow.
  • Indoor gyms can open at 10% capacity. Updated information will be posted on the Stanford Recreation website when available.
  • Stanford is evaluating implications for other activities on campus, including the museums and live performance, in light of our spring quarter plans.

Stanford employees who can work remotely are asked to continue doing so until school/unit leaders determine that return to on-site work is needed. Refer to Cardinal at Work for additional information about COVID-19 work arrangements.

The Health Alerts website will be updated with additional information as it becomes available.