SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA — Amid a national explosion of coronavirus cases, Santa Clara County will move to the most restrictive “Purple” tier, county officials said Monday.
The county’s move backwards follows Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement that he was “pulling the “emergency brake” in an effort to contain the pandemic, enhancing COVID-19 restrictions in 40 of the state's 58 counties.
Santa Clara is among 28 state counties that are being pushed back into to Tier 1 coronavirus restrictions.
Neighboring San Mateo is among nine counties moving from the “Orange” to “Red” tier.
The moves go into effect Tuesday.
Purple tier restrictions include banning all indoor dining and nearly all indoor gatherings.
Santa Clara County’s move to the Purple tier is its second step backwards in three days. The county went from “Orange” to “Red” Friday.
“We are sounding the alarm,” Newsom said in a statement.
“California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet –faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer. The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes.
“That is why we are pulling an emergency brake in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Now is the time to do all we can – government at all levels and Californians across the state – to flatten the curve again as we have done before.”
California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly in a statement offered a grim view of the pandemic.
“The data we are seeing is very concerning,” Ghaly said.
“We are in the midst of a surge, and time is of the essence. Every day matters and every decision matters. Personal decisions are critical, and I am I imploring every Californian to stay home if they can, wear a mask whenever they leave their homes, limit mixing, practice physical distancing and wash their hands.”