Santa Clara County moves to orange tier, lowers restrictions

March 23, 2021, 9:16 p.m.

Santa Clara County will move into the COVID-19 orange tier on Wednesday amid increasing vaccination rates and decreasing positivity rates. The change in designation will decrease restrictions on businesses and recreation for residents.

The reduction of county restrictions comes as thousands of juniors and seniors plan to return to campus in the coming days for spring quarter — many invited back for the first time since last spring when the University sent students home. 

Stanford did not immediately respond to The Daily’s request for comment regarding how the change in tier might affect on-campus restrictions. As of Tuesday, students are required to quarantine for two weeks upon arriving and are subject to the University’s twice-weekly testing requirement.

At the county level, numerous restrictions remain in effect, including a mask mandate in public spaces and social distancing requirements. On campus, students are still required to register to gather outdoors with students from multiple households.

Santa Clara County Director of Public Health Sara Cody said in a Tuesday press release that the county is “close to a significant increase in vaccine supplies.” A University spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment asking when students might be eligible to get their shots.

Under the shift to the orange tier, indoor dining, movie theaters, zoos, museums and aquariums can operate at 50% capacity, while gyms can open at 25% indoor capacity. 

“The County urges everyone to remember that indoor activities are much higher risk than outdoor activities and to take every step to reduce risk as much as possible,” the press release read.

Sam Catania ’24 is the Volume 262 Editor in Chief of The Daily. Previously, he was Chief Technology Officer, the producer of the weekly video roundup, a news beat reporter covering COVID-19 on Stanford's campus and the assessment team leader of The Daily's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team. Sam hails from Philadelphia and is studying Symbolic Systems. You can follow him on Twitter @sbcatania. Contact him at scatania 'at'

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