COVID-19 Resources for Businesses in San Mateo County & Silicon Valley

These are truly unprecedented times and we hope that each of you, your family members and team members are doing as best as you can during this difficult time. At the risk of being redundant, our CVB would like to list all recent information that we have received which you may find relevant.

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to change at a rapid pace, we recommend you use the links below for the latest information related to our region. We assure you that we will update this site as new information becomes available.

SANTA CLARA COUNTY UPDATE


The State of California approved the County of Santa Clara's reopening plan, which is scheduled to take effect on July 13. The County of Santa Clara applied for this variance on July 2, which will allow more businesses to open under the current State’s Stay-at-Home Order.


INDUSTRIES THAT MAY JOIN THE MOST RECENT STATE TIMELINE (STARTING JULY 13):


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION


We will continue to monitor the developments as guidance for the hotel sector has not yet been issued. For more information, please visit the County of Santa Clara's website.


MEETINGS & EVENTS UPDATE


Our CVB has received many detailed questions on how to service COVID-era meetings of up to 50 people. Please understand that the County is not encouraging gatherings, but understands that there is a need. Please keep these guiding principles in mind when developing your plan:

  1.  Meeting spaces need to be properly sanitized according to CDC guidelines.
     
  2.  Restaurant Dine-in guidelines serve as a good model for banquet operations. Some examples: no self-serve buffet, no shared condiment dispensers, no shared utensils, etc.
     
  3.  As with guest rooms, remove extraneous items from meeting rooms such as pens, pads, mint bowls, etc.
     
  4.  Guests should wear face masks and social distancing rules apply. The attached meeting room set-ups developed by PSAV offers some good examples for meeting room layouts: MEETSafe Guidelines by PSAV.
     
  5.  The use of outdoor spaces is always preferred and encouraged.


SAN MATEO COUNTY ALIGNS WITH CALIFORNIA'S REOPENING SCHEDULE


On June 17, we were informed that San Mateo County has now fully aligned itself to be on the same reopening schedule as the State of California. This new Health Order is very comprehensive and we encourage every one of you to read and understand in its entirety. 

A FEW TAKEAWAYS:

  • The previous "Shelter in Place" order is now rescinded.
     
  • The new order has detailed requirements to wear masks and adhere to 6 feet of social distancing and required postings for these requirements.
     
  • A concept called Social Bubble was announced and states that individuals may select a group of 12 individuals for the purpose of social interactions for a 3 week period limited to outside gatherings.
     
  • Meetings and gatherings of 50 persons or less are now allowed in both indoor and outdoor settings (masks and 6 feet social distancing rules apply).
     
  • Museums, zoos, and art galleries have no limitations on the number of visitors allowed as long as social distancing protocols are followed. Face coverings are also required.
     

INDUSTRIES THAT CAN NOW JOIN THE MOST RECENT STATE TIMELINE:

 



JUNE 12 PLANNING GUIDANCE FOR COUNTIES WITH ATTESTATIONS
 

The California Department of Public Health released new guidance on how local jurisdictions with attestations to readiness should modify behavior and operations to reduce the risk of infection. All guidance is effective as of June 12 and should only be implemented with local health official approval following their review of local epidemiological data including cases per 100,000 populations, rate of test positivity and local preparedness to support a health care surge, vulnerable populations, contact tracing, and testing.


* Guidance for hotels says hotel, lodging, and short-term rental operations with large meeting venues, banquet halls, or convention centers should keep those areas closed until each of those types of establishments are allowed to resume modified or full operation.

Click here for the full press release.


SAN MATEO COUNTY TO MODIFY RESTAURANT RESTRICTIONS


On June 4th, it was announced that the San Mateo County had revised the health order to allow restaurants to offer sit down dining outside effective June 6th. For your reference, here are some points worth clarifying:

  • If your property has already been permitted for outdoor dining, you are in a good place to proceed following the requirements of the revised order.
     
  • If your restaurant has suitable outside space but has not been previously permitted for outdoor dining use, you will need to obtain permission from your respective city. The County is developing guidance on this matter for the unincorporated areas of the county and is in close communication with each City Manager. There isn't much news on this but the County and each respective City Manager’s office are in communication working on a solution.
     
  • This order allows only sit-down dining in an outdoor setting.

 

We will bring you more information as it becomes available.


SANTA CLARA COUNTY TO MODIFY RESTRICTIONS


Effective Friday, June 5, Santa Clara County (including the City of Palo Alto) will relax certain restrictions for outdoor dining, in-store retail, small service businesses, child care programs, outdoor activities that do not involve physical contact, and more. Click here for additional information and the modified Order from the county's website.


COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE


Hotels and Lodging


Governor Gavin Newson announced guidance for the hotels and lodging industry to support a safe, clean environment for workers and customers. See the full guidelines for hotels and lodging here.


Dine-In Restaurants


On May 12th, Governor Gavin Newsom released requirements and recommendations for the reopening of dine-in restaurants. The recommendations include employees and customers wearing face coverings, frequent hand-washing, providing disposable menus, suspending the use of shared food items such as condiment bottles, prioritizing outdoor seating, asking customers to fill their own takeout containers and temperature checks for employees. The guidelines say establishments may consider screening guests for symptoms of COVID-19, though no details were provided.  Restaurants will need to make tables at least six feet apart, although there isn't a maximum for the number of diners allowed inside. See the full guidelines for dine-in restaurants here.


Shopping Malls, Destination Shopping Centers, Strip and Outlet Malls, and Swap Meets


Governor Newson announced that for shopping malls, including outdoor shopping centers and strip malls, to reopen for pickup, they must follow similar employee training and cleaning procedures as other retail businesses, frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces (like ATMs and benches), turn off public drinking fountains and encourage the use of credit cards and install hands-free payment systems where possible. See the full guidelines for shopping malls here
 



Convention & Visitors Bureau Announces Sanitation Committee


On April 29th, the San Mateo County/Silicon Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau announced the formation of a new working committee formed to establish and implement sanitation best practices. The task force committee will be made up of 26 members, representing establishments in the hotel, restaurant, retail, museum, and attraction sectors. To read the full press release, please click here.


Sanitation Committee Resource List


SANITATION CERTIFICATION OPTIONS
 

 

SWIMMING POOLS SANITATION INFORMATION
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR RE-OPENING
 



To review the entire running list of resources created by the committee, please click here. Any questions, please reach out to Nova Maldonado at nova@visitmscsv.com.


Cleaning and Disinfection for Community Facilities


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has offered guidance providing recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of rooms or areas occupied by those with suspected or with confirmed COVID-19. It is aimed at limiting the survival of SARS-CoV-2 in key environments. These recommendations will be updated if additional information becomes available.

These guidelines are focused on community, non-healthcare facilities such as schools, institutions of higher education, offices, daycare centers, businesses, and community centers that do, and do not, house persons overnight. These guidelines are not meant for cleaning staff in healthcare facilities or repatriation sites, households, or for others for whom specific guidance already exists.


To learn more about these guidelines, please click here.

 


 

California Moves Into Stage 2


For details on California's move into Stage 2, please click here. Some lower-risk workplaces may gradually open with adaptations. The state has issued guidance to help these workplaces reopen safely.

Click here for COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Hotels and Lodging Employers to support a safe, clean environment for workers and customers.

Click here for a Checklist for Hotel & Lodging Employers to implement their plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. It is supplemental to the Guidance for Hotels and Lodging Employers above.
 



Guidelines for Essential Food Facilities


The San Mateo County Health Department announced new measures and requirements for essential food facilities to follow. To review the guidelines, please click here.


Conversation with Congresswoman Jackie Speier


On April 16, our Bureau along with colleagues from SF Travel and the Hotel Council of San Francisco participated in a conversation with Congresswoman Jackie Speier where we had the opportunity to explain the profound impact the COVID-19 crisis is having on the Bay Area’s tourism industry.

To download and listen to the conversation with Congresswoman Speier, please click here.


Indicators that will be Considered before modifying State’s Stay-at-Home Order


This week, Gov. Gavin Newsom detailed the key factors that will determine how and when California returns to business as usual. These indicators are:

  • The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed.
     
  • The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe cases of COVID-19.
     
  • The ability of the hospital and healthcare systems to handle potential patient surges.
     
  • The ability to develop treatments to meet demand.
     
  • The ability of businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing.
     
  • The ability to determine how and when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary.


The governor made clear in his comments that a timeline for these indicators is not precise, and that many modifications to the way people do business will need to be considered. Gov. Newsom also said that he has been in regular talks with the governors of Washington and Oregon regarding a regional plan for reopening interstate commerce. For more information, please click here.


Social Distancing Protocol Notice


PLEASE BE ADVISED that by April 2, 2020, all businesses that are permitted to continue operations are now required to draft and post a Social Distancing Protocol Notice at or near the business entrance that shall be easily viewable by the public and employees.

Sample Protocol templates are available on the County's website in English, Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese. As the website instructs, you will need to choose the appropriate Protocol template(s) to use for your business and customers. Make sure to fill in the necessary fields either on your computer or by hand. Then print and post copies of your Protocol as set forth in the Order.


CARES Act


On March 27th, the U.S. Congress passed the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) which includes support for small businesses and non-profit organizations through $377 billion in loans and loan forgiveness, as well as $454 billion in loans, loan guarantees, and other financial instruments for severely impacted industries and state and local government entities. A thorough summary of the CARES Act can be found here. To explore the entire piece of legislation, click here.

U.S. Travel Analysis of CARES Act

U.S. Travel launched a CARES Act resources page to ensure as many travel companies as possible are equipped to take advantage of the assistance available and provide guidance on how to navigate the recently passed relief package.

On March 30th, U.S. Travel hosted a webinar detailing what the CARES Act means for the travel industry. View the full slide deck outlining CARES Act provisions and eligibility (PowerPoint slides available upon request).

View an FAQ that answers many of the questions asked during the webinar. U.S. Travel will continue to add to this page, which will be available with other resources.

Destinations International CARES Act Guide

DI has also published a guide specifically to help DMOs tap into CARES Act relief.

Federal Unemployment Insurance Update

The LAO has issued an updated report on the federal response for Unemployment Insurance (UI) for workers impacted by COVID-19.


SAMCEDA and Silicon Valley


On March 27th, several of our Board Members had an opportunity to discuss the impact the crisis is having on Bureau partners with Rosanne Foust, CEO of the San Mateo County Economic Development Association. SAMCEDA’s website provides a wealth of information regarding the myriad of resources available to small businesses. While the SAMCEDA site has information applicable to our San Mateo County partners, information regarding financial assistance for Palo Alto hotels may be found on the Silicon Valley Strong Fund and U.S. Small Business Administration Program websites.


Partner Survey


Thank you to those who completed our survey regarding sentiment as to how long you think the crisis will last.  Click here for the results.
 

Airline Service Updates


 As a result of reduced flight and passenger activity related to the COVID-19 outbreak, San Francisco International Airport has announced plans to consolidate all flight activity in the International Terminal to a single concourse. Effective April 1, 2020, Boarding Area A, which contains Gates A1-A15, will be closed. All flights in the International Terminal will depart from Boarding Area G, Gates G1-G14. More information can be found in this press release.

SFO has also provided a comprehensive look at the impacts to their international airlift for the month of March.

 

CA Omnibus Executive Order


On March 30th, Governor Newsom signed an Omnibus Executive Order to provide tax, regulatory and licensing extensions for California businesses. Details of the EO include:

  • 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a return for less than $1 million in taxes.
     
  • Extension of the statute of limitations to file a claim for refund by 60 days to accommodate tax and fee payers.
     
  • Extensions that impact state government workers, as well as consumers (e.g. DMV limits on in-person transactions for 60 days, DCA waiving continuing education requirements for several professions for 60 days, etc.)
     
  • Extension of the Office of Administrative Law’s deadlines to review regular department proposed regulations.
     
  • 60-day extension for the time period to complete the investigation of public safety officers based on allegations of misconduct.
     
  • Deadlines for trainings, investigations, and adverse actions for state workers will also be extended.


CA COVID-19 Hotline 


On March 31st,  Governor Newsom announced a new statewide hotline: 833-544-2374

In coordination with the non-profit local 2-1-1 systems, Californians now have a one-stop-shop to answer their questions and get assistance during this crisis. Call centers are staffed 24 hours a day by trained professionals, who are able to provide guidance for unmet needs.
 

WHAT YOU CAN DO


The California Department of Public Health is encouraging everyone to help prevent the spread of this respiratory illness with these everyday actions:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
  • Follow guidance from public health officials.
     

 



ADDITIONAL RESOURCES