SAN JOSE (KPIX) — Santa Clara County residents learned Friday that the community was ready and poised to enter the next reopening phase by the end of next week.

Public Health Officer Sara Cody made the announcement that, although there was an increase in COVID-19 cases, she planned to release details of the next step in the middle of next week.

“I anticipate issuing a new order next week,” Cody said. “Thanks to the efforts and sacrifices of our residents, the prevalence of COVID-19 in Santa Clara county does remain much lower than in most other places.”

Cody has recently received criticism from some members of the community for being much slower to reopen the county than others in the Bay Area. Santa Clara County was hit hard by the virus in the beginning of the pandemic, and Cody was the first to enforce its stay-at-home order in the region.

Hours before Cody’s announcement on Friday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed made a much different announcement and said that they would be hitting the pause button on Monday’s plan to move further in the reopening process because of an increase in cases.

Hair salons and outdoor bars were supposed to be given the green light to open its doors to customers again.

Vikram Bhambri owns two restaurants in both Santa Clara and San Francisco counties.

“Yes, the cases are increasing so we have to keep that health part in mind as well,” Bhambri said.

His restaurant, Rooh, was among the many along University Avenue in Palo Alto that took advantage of its closure to accommodate outdoor dining. City council members approved the decision on Tuesday to help out the struggling businesses amid the pandemic.

“We’ve actually pulled out every single table from indoor, out on the street,” Bhambri said.

He said business was good, especially after being forced to shut down just two months after opening his Palo Alto restaurant in January.

“It’s absolutely great,” said Rooh patron Neil Richardson. “It’s long overdue.”

Bhambri said as more businesses are allowed to open, more people will want to come out, which means more sales for his restaurant and the neighboring businesses on the main artery.

But Bhambri said the reopening process has to also be safe.

“We’re excited, we’ll see how this turns out and the closure hopefully will help out not just us, but everybody else around it,” said Bhambri.

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