Santa Clara, Napa Counties Could Move to More Restrictive Reopening Tier

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As COVID-19 cases surge in the Bay Area, the state says Santa Clara and Napa counties could be moved back to a more restrictive tier as soon as next week.

Dan Holder, the owner of Jack Holder's Restaurant & Bar in San Jose, is expecting orders to close indoor dining again.

"It's disappointing, but it's not surprising," Holder said. "We've kind of seen this coming. We're watching the trends the last week or two. The surrounding counties are starting to shut down on us. We just got to be ready for the next step, whatever that may be."

Santa Clara County has recently seen a surge in COVID-19 cases, with 358 reported Sunday. Hospitalizations are also up.

Health leaders also say a higher number of the new cases reported are in East San Jose and Gilroy.

To help slow the spread, the county has been stepping up its response to public complaints about businesses violating COVID-19 health orders.

Most businesses receive warnings, fix the problem within a few days and avoid fines.

But if they don't, there are other options. For example, the county has fined Calvary Chapel San Jose more than $350,000 because the church has continued to violate health orders.

"In cases like super-spreader events where there's just no room for this air to occur, we take it very seriously," Beatrice Santiago, Santa Clara County compliance unit lead, said. "These can be zero-grace periods, so an automatic fine will be assessed."

The county has even gone to court to get a temporary restraining order to prevent the church from holding large indoor services.

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