COVID California Santa Cruz CountyCoronavirus Local News 

County Stay-at-Home Order in Effect 12/17


County of Santa Cruz Press Release:

To preserve critical ICU capacity and protect the health and safety of residents, the remaining Bay Area Region counties, including Santa Cruz County, will implement the Regional Stay-at- Home Order based on data released by the state showing ICU capacity has fallen below the threshold for implementation.

The Regional Stay-at-Home Order will commence on Thursday, December 17 at 11:59 p.m.

California’s Regional Stay-at-Home Order divides the state into five regions and requires additional restrictions if a region’s ICU bed availability drops below 15 percent of capacity. The restrictions require individuals to stay home unless traveling for essential purposes, prohibits leisure travel and gatherings outside one’s immediate household, limits community and commercial activities, and will be in place a minimum of three weeks.

“With our case counts at an all-time high and headed higher due to the Thanksgiving surge, our hospitals and health care delivery system are at the breaking point,” Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel said. “We urge all residents to adhere to state guidelines as closely as possible to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and help reduce impacts to our most vulnerable residents. Our actions now will help us return to our normal lives sooner rather than later.”

The Regional Stay-at-Home Order includes a prohibition on leisure travel and but allows travel outside the home for essential purposes, including exercise. Grocery stores may remain open at 35 percent of normal capacity, and all other retail operations should limit the number of customers to 20 percent of normal capacity. All bars, wineries, breweries and distilleries must close other than for internal operations such as production and off-sale retail. Restaurants may offer delivery and take-out only, and must close outdoor dining.

Non-urgent medical and dental care, childcare and pre-K, and previously opened schools may remain open with safety precautions. Churches are restricted to outdoor services. Office work should be remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible.

Personal services such as hair salons and barbers, nail salons, esthetician services, waxing and tattoo parlors must close. Hotels and lodging establishment may take reservations for essential travel and isolation and quarantine purposes, but may not book or honor any out-of-state reservations. Campgrounds must close.

Parks including playground equipment may remain open. However, play structures at school facilities may remain open only to serve the school community.

Residents are strongly encouraged to check on friends and family and shop local in accordance with restrictions. For more on the Regional Stay-at-Home Order, go to Additional guidance as follows:

  • Coffee Shops – Considered restaurants and may open for take-out and delivery only.
  • Youth sports – May operate outdoors only with restrictions.
  • Farmers markets – May remain open with modifications.
  • Gyms, group exercise and personal trainers – May offer outdoor services only with precautions.
  • Libraries – Considered retail and should follow capacity limits.
  • Pet grooming – Considered a limited service and must close.
  • Residential and janitorial cleaning services – May remain open.
  • Funeral Homes – Considered critical infrastructure and can remain open.
  • Massage therapy – Must close unless client has a valid prescription.
  • Real estate – May offer in-person showings to individual prospective buyers only. Open houses not allowed.

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