SAN JOSE (KPIX) — On the day that gyms, hair-and-nail salons and churches were allowed to reopen, Santa Clara county officials said Monday that they will likely be ordered to shut down again in two days.
“From my standpoint, I’m very disappointed,” said Santa Clara County supervisor Dave Cortese.
County leaders had allowed certain businesses which had been shut down since the stay-at-home began to reopen again on Monday. But, by late afternoon, they announced the state anticipated shutting them down again on Wednesday because of an increase in hospitalizations.
The county made the state’s watch list on Sunday because of the spike. Counties that are on the watch list for three consecutive days must shut down according to the state’s new order announced Monday.
But Cortese said that county officials were planning on talking with state leaders about its risk-reduction program they had created for businesses to meet in order to reopen again. The criteria are stringent. For example, masks are required and cardio isn’t allowed inside gyms.
“Trying to persuade them that the system that we created here over the last two weeks is worthy of being tested out in the field,” Cortese said. “People should have the opportunity to try this.”
Many business owners, including Mai Rogers’ sons, spent thousands of dollars to meet county guidelines in order to open up again. Rogers’ sons own The Valley Nail Bar in Campbell.
“Open and close, open and close — we don’t know how much longer we can stay in business,” said Rogers. “You know, the cost is just stacking up every month.”
She said they spent days booking appointments and that they have reservations for the next four weeks.
“At this point, we don’t know what’s going to happen, it’s just really sad,” Rogers said. “It’s really, really sad.”
Confusion has set in for many residents of the largest county in the Bay Area. It was just two weeks ago that county leaders announced it would move further into stage two of reopening the economy, only for the state to say it had not been approved a couple days later. Now this.
“I don’t anticipate that we’ll be off the watch list at least until Wednesday or Thursday,” said Santa Clara County executive officer Dr. Jeff Smith.
Both Smith and Cortese have said there is a lot of confusion surrounding the reopening and shutting down of the economy. Smith said that county lawyers were looking over the state’s order late Monday.
“At this point, the message that we’re giving to the businesses is that we’re still trying to make sure exactly how it’ll affect us,” Smith said.
He said that while Santa Clara county could be off the watch list in a couple of days, once the state’s order of another shutdown goes into effect on Wednesday, it remains in effect.
Smith said they’ll have a better idea of whether businesses will have to close again by Tuesday.
“It’s confusing and it’s hard for people to trust the system that’s changing every couple of days,” said Cortese.