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Santa Clara County is encouraging its local businesses to create Social Distancing Protocols. By creating these tools, you can help the community contain the spread of COVID-19. If your business is currently operating according to the June 5 order, you are required to create a new Social Distancing Protocol before the new Health Order goes into effect. If your business became allowed to reopen under the July 2 Order, this protocol must be completed before your reopening.

New 10/3 Rule

On July 21, 2020, the Social Distancing Protocol was updated to include the new isolation and quarantine mandates. If an employee has a positive COVID-19 test, their employer should require them to stay at home and quarantine themselves for 10 days, starting from the day the symptoms began and 3 days with decreased respiratory symptoms and being fever-free. In cases where the employee experienced no COVID-19 symptoms, isolation is required for 10 days from the date of the positive test. This protocol is called the 10/3 rule and replaces the previous 14/7 rule that is found on page 6 of the first version of the Social Distancing Protocol.

If your business already submitted a Social Distancing Protocol after July 2, you are not required to complete a new one based on these new standards. However, they should be implemented starting July 21, 2020.

Submitting Your Social Distancing Protocol to the County

You are required to do the following when you submit your Social Distancing Protocol to the County:

  • Provide contact information for the business and the person responsible for ensuring compliance with the protocol (typically an owner or manager)
  • Confirm the posting of proper signage
  • Confirm proper training of all employees and contractors
  • Confirm that there are measures in place to protect your employees and the general public
  • Confirm that you have an adequate plan to follow if an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Certify under penalty of perjury that the information on the protocol is true and accurate to the knowledge of the individual responsible for signing the protocol online

Who Should Complete the Document?

Ensure that whoever completes the form for your business is an authorized representative. After the online document is complete, they will need to sign it using an electronic DocuSign signature. Everything included on the form must be truthful to the best of the representative’s knowledge. Providing false information on this form is a crime.

Public Information

When completing the protocol, remember that these documents will be publicly accessible. All Protocols will be posted online by the County. All information will be available for public viewing.

Your Confirmation Email

After your Protocol certification is complete, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address listed on the form. It will provide you with a link to the PDF file of your protocol. This enables you to print it and distribute it as required to all of your employees. The PDF will also contain an updated COVID-19 PREPARED sign for your specific business and the Social Distancing Protocol Visitor Information Sheet. Posting the sign and information sheet at or near the entrance of your business is mandatory.

Does the Protocol Need to be Done in One Sitting?

No. When you are completing the protocol, you will see a button titled “Finish Later.” Should you need to stop and come back later to finish your protocol, use this button. You will receive an email that will allow you to complete your protocol at a later time. You must click this button before signing out or closing the window, any information you have provided will be last. Unfortunately, if this occurs, you will need to start again at the beginning.

Making Changes or Corrections to Your Protocol

When your protocol has been completed and submitted, you will not be able to make any amendments or corrections to it. However, you can fill out and submit a new Protocol whenever needed if you need to make any corrections or revisions. Be sure that if you are completing a new one that you check the box in the first section to indicate that it is a “Replacement Protocol.”

Receiving Additional Guidance

All businesses located within Santa Clara County are mandated to complete their own Social Distancing Protocol and submit it. If you have questions, please see the County’s FAQ section. Be sure to stay updated on new Santa Clara County orders.

We are living in unprecedented times that can be quite challenging for small businesses, no matter how old your business is. If you have problems or concerns about the County’s Social Distancing Protocol or how to complete this tool for your business, reach out to Kalia Law.

- Claire Kalia


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