Santa Cruz County, CA – Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel has issued a new Health Order allowing early Stage 2 activities to proceed and aligning the County with any future State action to remove restrictions under the statewide Stay at Home order.

The Order will allow office workspaces, in-store retail, religious services and cultural ceremonies, manufacturing, limited personal services, protests and outdoor museums to resume, effective 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday. All businesses and operations must continue complying with Social Distancing Protocols and Order to Wear Face Coverings, as well as sector-based guidance available from the State on the website.

“As we move forward with these changes, I want to caution everyone that COVID-19 is still present in our community. Anyone who is 65 years old or older, as well as those who are medically vulnerable, should continue sheltering in place,” Newel said. “I urge all members of our community to help those who need to shelter by continuing to offer help and check in.”

Telework is strongly encouraged where possible, but office spaces may open by following State guidance on safely reopening, found here. A checklist can be found here.

Childcare is now allowed for children of workers and volunteers in all open sectors, not just essential services. Guidance on childcare facilities can be found here.

In-store retail operations should follow State guidance for retail establishments, found here. In addition, retailers are required to follow and post local guidance under the Health Order known as Appendix A, available in English and Spanish. Low-risk personal services such as car washes and pet groomers should also follow guidelines for retail operations, and follow and post Appendix A.

Under new guidance from the State, in-person religious services, cultural ceremonies and funerals may resume, with attendance limited to 25 percent of a building’s capacity or 100 persons, whichever is fewer. Congregants must comply with Social Distancing Protocols. State guidance for places of worship and cultural ceremonies can be found here.

Political protests may also resume, limited to 25 percent of the relevant area’s capacity or 100 persons, whichever is fewer. Protesters must comply with Social Distancing Protocols. Additional information on protests is available here.

State guidance on manufacturing facilities can be found here. A checklist can be found here.

State guidance on outdoor museums can be found here. A checklist can be found here.

While the State is allowing in-store retail to proceed, dine-in restaurants are still considered a late Stage 2 activity subject to State approval of a variance allowing those activities to move forward. The County has initiated the variance process, with an application expected to be submitted June 2 pending approval by the Board of Supervisors. A review may take up to one week. If approved, local Health Officers must implement a new Order allowing late Stage 2 activities to resume.

While the Order announced today allows the immediate implementation of any future changes to the State Shelter-in-Place order, the County may not allow activities and operations that conflict with State rules. The County wishes to remind the public that gatherings of any kind outside your immediate household remain high-risk until case counts reduce, and should be avoided except as allowed above.

The Order maintains language on daily beach closures between 11 a.m.-5 p.m., as well as language restricting patronage at local hotels, motels and vacations rentals, including asking lodging owners to maintain a log of the purposes customers are staying at local lodging establishments.

The Order will expire July 1, 2020.

For local information on COVID-19, go to, call 211 or text “COVID19” to 211211. Residents may also call (831) 454-4242 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., seven days a week.

• To download actual SIP Order in PDF form, click here.