Public Health Department Announces Major Changes in Santa Clara County Health Order Directives
Changes effective today will relax restrictions on outdoor gatherings and youth activities; additional changes will take effect upon entry into the State’s Red Tier, including reopening indoor gatherings and indoor dining.
February 26, 2021
With the continued progress in vaccinations and improving COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations, the County of Santa Clara Health Officer announced several changes in local Health Directives effective today. In addition, the Public Health Department also announced that it would be making significant changes to local Health Directives effective as soon as the County enters into the State’s “Red Tier,” which could occur as soon as Wednesday, March 3rd.
“With vaccinations now reaching more broadly into the community, including over half of those age 65 and older, we are making significant progress in protecting our most vulnerable community members,” said Dr. Sara Cody, County Health Officer. “As things improve, it is still important for everyone to continue to practice basic prevention measures: face coverings, social distancing, and doing as much activity as possible outdoors.”
The local directives' changes also minimize the number of businesses and activities subject to overlapping requirements from the County and the State.

The following changes are effective today, Friday, February 26th:
  • The County’s Mandatory Directive for Youth and Adult Recreational Athletic Activities will no longer be in effect. These activities remain subject to the State’s Guidance on Outdoor and Indoor Youth and Recreational Adult Sports and the County’s updated Mandatory Directive for Gatherings.
  • The County’s Mandatory Directive for Programs Serving Children and Youth will no longer be in effect. These activities remain subject to all applicable State guidance (which may include the State’s guidance on Day CampsFitness FacilitiesChild Care Programs and Providers, and/or Cohorts).
  • The County’s Mandatory Directive for Schools has been converted to operational guidance to augment the requirements put in place by the State. Schools remain subject to the State’s Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools and are also encouraged to follow the County’s Guidance for Schools.
  • The Health Officer has issued a new Mandatory Directive for Case Reporting by K-12 Schools, Youth Athletic Programs, and Other Youth Programs. This new directive preserves the requirement that any program with one or more youth participants report immediately to the County Public Health Department if any program participant tests positive for COVID-19.
  • The rules for outdoor gatherings in the Mandatory Directive for Gatherings have been relaxed in light of declining case rates and because outdoor activities have a lower risk of spread than indoor activities.
  • The Health Officer still strongly recommends that everyone wear a face covering at all times at outdoor gatherings. Still, face coverings are required outdoors only if within 6 feet of someone who is not a member of your household.
  • The Health Officer still strongly recommends that everyone maintain at least 6 feet of social distance from anyone who is not a member of their household at outdoor gatherings, but it is not required.
  • People are allowed to sing at outdoor gatherings without a face covering, provided that they stay at least 6 feet away from everyone who is not a member of their household.
  • Indoor gatherings of any kind remain prohibited until the county enters the State’s Red Tier.

As soon as Santa Clara County is placed into the State’s “Red Tier,” which may occur as soon as Wednesday, March 3rd, the County will be making further changes to its local Health Directives to allow indoor activities authorized under the Red Tier, including gatherings and indoor dining, to resume under State and local capacity limits and safety protocols. For information on what the State allows in the Red Tier, please visit

All residents are encouraged to:
  • remain vigilant
  • wear a mask any time you leave your home
  • maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from anyone outside your household
  • get vaccinated when it is your turn

For more updates and information, the public may visit the county’s website. Information regarding COVID-19 testing is available at, and information about vaccine eligibility and distribution is available at
Morgan Hill residents with non-emergency questions or concerns are directed to call or text 408.767.6404. This number is monitored regularly, Monday - Friday, during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Messages will be responded to within 24 hours, during weekdays.

If you haven’t already, we encourage you to:

Information and resources are being continually updated on the following websites:

Santa Clara County residents should call 2-1-1 for public health information on COVID-19. Please be aware that you may need to remain on hold for a period of time.

Follow updates on the City of Morgan Hill’s website and on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Nextdoor.
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