This is the twenty-sixth COVID-19 update from San Jose Downtown Association. They are sent on Thursdays.
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Dear valued members:

COVID-19 rates spiked as a result of people partying during Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends.

Following celebratory events, contact tracing has shown that many people likely became sick with COVID-19 after attending a party or picnic with friends and family. A common theme found by contact tracers was that people attended these gatherings despite showing symptoms of COVID-19, such as coughing. There were also people who attended gatherings who didn’t know they had COVID-19 because they didn’t have any symptoms, but who later tested positive and infected others at the gathering.

If you are with friends and strangers this weekend, stay outdoors, protect yourself in these days leading up to your get-together and be aware of others who are coughing or looking sick and leave if you’re uncomfortable.

Mask and distancing rules in public are always in effect.

Better yet, though, stay inside in the household with family only, to avoid the smoky air and warm temperatures.  It’s your best bet, the county health authorities say.

Stay safe this Labor Day.
SJDA launches #dtsjopen recovery campaign for businesses

“Yes, we’re open!” is the key message of the #dtsjopen marketing campaign. 

SJDA developed the campaign to invite customers back downtown safely and confidently since the closure of many experiences due to the pandemic.  The campaign connects downtown residents, visitors and employees with the downtown businesses that are open and ready to welcome customers back.  

“This recovery effort helps our businesses get their message out so they can focus on what they do best – serving the community,” said Autumn Young, SJDA interim managing director.

Businesses still open now face added requirements – and expense – to operate safely and in accordance with the rapidly changing pandemic protocols issued by government officials. 

“We have not closed one day since the pandemic started” said Tiffani Tu of Culinary Corner Bistro in the SoFA District. “We shifted to focus on catering, and feeding anyone that needed a meal, whether it was staff from a local service provider, or the Groundwerx crew out there cleaning the streets.  But our catering contract ended and now we have to rely on people coming to the restaurant.  This campaign will help us get the message out to customers that we are here for them.”   

Look for campaign ads in local newspapers, television stations NBC Bay Area and Telemundo 48, radio stations  Mix 106.5, KBAY 94.5 and KRTY 95.3, plus 15 Clear Channel Outdoor billboards over the next few months.

“It’s an all-out effort to remind people to come downtown,” said Julie Carlson, SJDA Marketing Director.

Businesses can add energy to the program by affixing posters and cling decals to their windows.  Construction sites can also post on their temporary barriers.  Arts groups and other major partners will be asked to spread the word through their communications channels.  Download the graphics at or contact to be included.

While on the subject of ‘Now Open’ …
Hair salons, barbershops and retail stores were allowed to resume indoor operations Monday in Santa Clara County.  This is the first major change in over a month.  In July, the county and state clamped down on business as coronavirus cases surged statewide.

There are restrictions to opening.  For example, retail stores can only allow a maximum 25 percent of their normal customer load at one time.  Grocery stores – 25-50 percent customer limit depending on county protocol.

Click here for county protocols per business sector.

SJDA is collecting the names of health (fitness) and beauty businesses and retail shops that are open as quickly as possible. If your business isn’t listed on this page and you are open, please email Jessica Vuong at

State “Blueprint for a Safer Economy”
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” new COVID-19 guidelines for counties to open specific business sectors based in part on what health officials have learned about the pandemic in recent months. 

The governor said that the new four-tier color-coded system would match a color to each of four tiers with purple representing the highest “Widespread” risk level for a county with more than seven new cases per 100,000 residents and more than 8 percent positivity rate. Even though Santa Clara County is one of the purple “Widespread” counties, the state feels comfortable opening hair salons and barbershops at every level of its new “blueprint.”

Red will represent “Substantial” risk, while orange represents “Moderate” risk and yellow the lowest level, “Minimal” risk, with those lower levels being determined by reduced numbers in case and positivity rates.

Who’s open and closed
In Santa Clara County, the list of OPEN businesses includes:  appliance repair shops, auto repair shops, bank and credit unions, bars where no meals are provided, car washes, childcare, convenience stores, day camps, doctors and dentists, dog walkers, door-to-door sales and services, dry cleaners, farmers markets, gas stations, hair salons and barber shops, handypersons and general contractors, hotels and lodging, landscapers, Laundromats, pet groomers, pharmacies, plumbing services, professional sports (without live audiences).

Open outdoors only:  aquariums, body-waxing studios, cardrooms, drive-in theaters, dance studios, cultural ceremonies, estheticians, family entertainment centers, gym and fitness centers, massage therapy studios,movies theaters, museums, nail salons, playgrounds, places of worship, racetracks, restaurants (takeout or delivery), skin care services, wineries, yoga studios, zoos.

Retail 25% capacity: bookstores, clothing and shoe stores, florists, libraries, home and furnishing stores, grocery stores (max 50% capacity), jewelry stores, retailers, shopping malls, sporting goods stores, toy stores.

Closed:  breweries and distilleries (where no meal is provided), concert venues, convention centers, electrologists, festivals, live theaters, nightclubs, piercing shops, saunas and steam rooms, schools (closed for in-person instruction)tattoo parlors, theme parks.

A full list of industries that are allowed to operate in Santa Clara County and industry guidance are here.

City Council

City Council candidate forum Sept. 11, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
The San Jose Downtown Association is hosting a City Council Candidates Forum for the Nov. 3 election, featuring District 4 candidates David Cohen and incumbent Lan Diep and District 6 candidates Jake Tonkel and incumbent Devora “Dev” Davis. This virtual event will take place through Zoom and Facebook Live.  RSVP here.

Council approves Commercial Linkage Fee but downtown office must pay 5-6 times more!
After three hours of debate that spilled the Tuesday City Council meeting into Wednesday morning, the City Council decided that a new San Jose Commercial Linkage Fee would be applied to downtown office development over 100,000 square feet, which will pay either $12 or $15 per square foot – while office developers in the rest of the city will pay only $2 or $3 per square foot.
Five years in the making, the money raised from this new fee funds new affordable housing in the city. 
While four councilmembers voted against these rates because they thought they were too low to be meaningful, the Downtown Association questioned the Council’s decision because it sets up an unfair situation between downtown development and the rest of the city.
Said SJDA Executive Director Scott Knies:  “This 6-times or 5-times premium on downtown is utterly defenseless when Class A office construction costs and rents are the same at Santana West and North San Jose as they are downtown.  The Commercial Linkage Fee, while raising much-needed funds for affordable housing, is also a subsidy to build large office outside of downtown and continue San Jose's pattern of disconnected urban sprawl.”
Here's Mercury News meeting coverage on the matter. 

Restaurant Grant Available
$5,000 grant available to restaurants joining High Road Kitchens
High Road Kitchens is a pandemic-relief program in which full-service restaurants that commit to a racial equity training program receive a $5,000 grant and wage subsidies to re-employ their workers and feed their neighbors.  It's a public-private partnership launched by One Fair Wage and Gov. Newsom's Office that's designed to jumpstart the foodservice economy and move the restaurant industry toward a sustainable future of collective prosperity. Apply here.
Previously Reported - in case you missed it
San Jose Downtown Association’ Stabilization Plan
San Jose Downtown Association has created a Stabilization Plan that takes into consideration 1,254 responses to a “What’s Next for Downtown San Jose” survey and guides downtown and SJDA through disruptions started with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Stabilization Plan helps SJDA chart a course so that it can make sense of what actions are needed in the next 12-18 months and the opportunities to be gleaned in a changed future.

The September edition of Downtown Dimension, the SJDA newsletter, released this week, offers the best condensed version of the report.
“Building a Better Normal” report from Silicon Valley Recovery Roundtable
Silicon Valley Recovery Roundtable (SVRR) released its plan, titled “Building a Better Normal”, focuses on a multifaceted approach to the Valley's most pressing problems such as job creation and small business support. The full report can be found here.
Volunteers Needed
Second Harvest of Silicon Valley needs volunteers to help in their mission to distribute food to the community. Sign up here.

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County has various sites that need volunteers to help distribute food. Find more information and to volunteer for CCSCC, please text your name and number to 408-420-6905. 
Wildfire and Air Quality Resources
Heat and Power Outage Resources
Public Health Extreme Heat Resources: Fact Sheets from the CDC on those especially vulnerable to heat exhaustion and stroke.
More COVID-19 Resources
More Local Resources for Businesses
If you are a business or property owner reaching out about vandalism, theft or property damage, you can submit an online police report here.

To report graffiti and things that need to be cleaned within the district, use the Groundwerx Everywhere app for iPhones or Android.
To report damage, graffiti or things that need to be cleaned in city parks/property or outside the district, use the San Jose 311 app for iPhone, visit or call 311.

Businesses who would like a free graffiti removal tool kit can send an email to with their contact information and an address. A kit will be delivered to your place of business. 

SJDA staff can help.  Our list of staff and emails are here.
Let us know how else we can help by replying to this email. We’ll have another message next Thursday. We're in this together.
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