Santa Clara County business owners push to open indoors

With smoke and ash making outdoor operations difficult, a coalition of business and community leaders is seeking to reopen guidelines indoors for Santa Clara County.

Last week, the county re-issued directions to the state’s low-risk Red Tier, paving the way for more businesses to introduce indoors to customers. But in Santa Clara County, restaurants and estheticians did not make the list.

“Indoor dining is a controlled environment that can accommodate advanced hygiene and safety protocols,” said Randy Musterer, SBI Confidential. “We know that low-capacity indoor food has worked elsewhere without significantly increasing the prevalence of COVID-19.”

Musterer joins a coalition of 15 chambers of commerce and more than 50 faith, business and political representatives who on September 14 called for a way to find ways to reopen the economy in Santa Clara County.

About 70% of companies in Silicon Valley are classified as small businesses and represent the majority of economically inefficient employees. According to the coalition, due to the epidemic, about 30% of these businesses have permanently closed or are on the verge of closure.

Indoor dining requires people to take off masks while eating or drinking, prompting county, state, and federal health officials to warn bars and restaurants to resume business as usual.

County officials have not revealed how low case rates are required for the restaurant to operate.

County Counselor James Williams said, “I don’t know if there’s a limit. 8.” Here are the basic principals: We need to lower our case rate. ”

Williams said the county excluded its guidelines based on “risk regardless of the area,” and based on its guidelines on broad scientific findings found that operating outside the home is safer than indoors.

But Muster and others said Santa Clara County needed to give more concrete guidelines.

“Is there any clarity on what we are currently going to do other than having a meal out of the house once, what expectations will there be,” Musterer said. “Do they want us to replace our air filtration system with some type of HEPA (high efficiency Particulate Air) filter? Do they want us to keep all our doors open – front, rear, side doors – to create airflow? for? ”

Restaurant owners are not alone in their demands.

Maya Mansoor, the mistress of the Original Facial Bar in Cupertino and Willow Glen, said the county retained the red tape for its business while allowing other personal care services to move forward with indoor operations.

“As of today … Santa Clara County is the only county out of all 58 counties in California that has prevented estheticians from working both indoors and outdoors,” Mansoor said.

He said that health officials had not considered the guidelines of the State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology, which issued guidelines to operate the estethion inside and out.

While no health officials were represented in the coalition, many political and faith leaders supported.

San Jose Councilman Johnny Khamis said local authorities needed to move out of the way for businesses.

“The government cannot say that there is no amount of government-run programs that will help the unemployed stay in their homes,” Khamis said. “No additional funding is coming from the federal government to help businesses operate or keep people in their homes.”

Although local and state health officials have stated that there is still a significant risk of coronovirus outbreaks, in the Red Tier, restaurant business owners and the personal care industry were confident in their health and hygiene training.

Musterer, who worked in biotech and cancer research before opening Sushi Confidential, said health officials should teach businesses how to adapt rather than remain indoors in a closed house.

“I’ve worked with a lot of infectious diseases in my biotech career,” he said, “and when you’re trying to come up with a vaccine or some kind of treatment for cancer, you don’t say that Are, “‘Oh no, it’s very contagious, we’re not going to work with it.’ No, you develop different strategies and guidelines for working with that particular infectious disease. ”

Gilor Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Turner said the county should be at risk if the guidelines are not relaxed.

“When the epidemic first collided and we received shelter orders, the initial goal was to level the curve, ensure there were adequate ventilators and maintain the health system,” Turner said. “We did that. We got it done. We flattened the curve. Now let’s not flatten our business community by consistently implementing such restrictive standards, with no hope of moving forward. ”

Contact Mauricio La Plant [email protected] Or follow @mslaplantenews on Twitter.

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