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This is the thirty-second COVID-19 update from San Jose Downtown Association, dating back to March 12. They are sent on Thursdays.
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Dear valued businesses:
 
All of California is doing a great job battling Covid.  This is not true of a lot of the rest of the country.  The New York Times today ran some startling graphics  – take a look at these charts

On the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy chart, Santa Clara County has progressed from Purple (Widespread) to Red (Substantial) and now to Orange (Moderate), meaning our restaurants can serve indoors, and our churches and assembly areas like the Glass House and Blanco on San Pedro Street can host up to 100 people, or 25% capacity, whichever is lower.

Incidentally, Nomikai was first to announce that by achieving the Orange Tier, it would reopen today on South First Street, across from the Al Fresco Post Street.  Let us know (email jvuong@sjdowntown.com) if you are reopening and Jessica will make sure to update our social media and webpage, which has doubled its use by the public in the past month.
 
Hopefully, over the next few months of sticking to the guidelines, keeping our masks on, appropriately setting tables 10 feet away from the next -- making sure we don’t go backward -- we can go forward to the first tier.
 
There is one more level – Yellow (Minimal), defined as one or less average new cases per day per 100,000 people.  That is our next goal.


 
Recovering from COVID-19

Santa Clara County Moves to Orange Tier, with Modifications:  Santa Clara County entered the Orange Tier of the State’s COVID-19 framework this week. As a result, Santa Clara County’s revised Revised Risk Reduction Order will take effect today, Oct. 14th, allowing additional businesses and activities to resume. A summary of what the changes mean in San José is up on the City’s website. For more details about what will be allowed under the revised Order, see the Order itself, the Executive Summary (PDF), or the press release from last week when the revised Order was announced. All businesses and organizations will need to submit revised Social Distancing Protocols by Oct. 28th.
 

Here is a summary of the changes effective Oct. 14, 2020:

Indoor dining: But only up to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. To help set up your restaurant, you must follow the guidance for ventilation, table spacing, customer screening, contact tracing preparation and social distancing as outlined in the Mandatory Directive for Dining

Bars, breweries, brewpubs and distilleries are allowed to operate indoors, as long as they provide sit-down meal service only sell alcohol as part of a meal.  These establishments must comply with relevant state guidance and the county’s mandatory directive. In the event of a conflict between State and the County guidance, the more restrictive measure must be followed.

Wineries may operate outdoors in compliance with outdoor dining regulations. Wineries may operate indoors at a maximum of 25 capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer, and must follow the guidance for indoor dining.

Live entertainment is only allowed as background ambiance, not as an entertainment attraction which constitutes an event. Live entertainment can not feature vocals or wind instruments. See Pages 7 and 9 of the Mandatory Directive for Gatherings

Smoking lounges:  Smoking lounges may operate outdoors in accordance with the rules for outdoor dining set forth in Sections I and II of this Directive. Smoking lounges may not operate indoors except for the following: takeaway retail sales and indoor dining in accordance with the rules in Sections I and III of this Directive, provided that the smoking lounge component of the operation is closed. For instance, a hookah lounge may serve tea, coffee, and snacks at indoor tables, but customers may not smoke hookah while inside the facility.

Gatherings, including movie theaters, churches and other political, religious, cultural gatherings. Most other types of gatherings are still prohibited by the State. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 200 people and indoor gatherings up to 25% of capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.  Details and requirements for safe gatherings is available in the Mandated Guidance for Gatherings

Other businesses allowed to re-open indoors:  indoor cardrooms, bowling alleys, climbing facilities, outdoor playgrounds and non-essential offices, although the County strongly encourages working from home as much as possible. See here for the State’s matrix of activities allowed in the Orange Tier.

Thanks to City of San Jose communications for this summary.
In Support of Downtown Business
City has $3.3 million of federal funds earmarked for non-profits – due today 5 p.m.
The City of San Jose, will provide grants to nonprofit organizations that serve San Jose communities that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its designated CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds, the City has made $3.3 million available to nonprofit organizations to cover expenses related to this public health emergency.    
 
This grant program will utilize an equity lens with high priority given to organizations that are serving specific zip codes (95112 is a priority, but 95113 is not) within San José and/or populations that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.  
 
Awards to organizations will range from $5,000 to $150,000. Grants may be used to reimburse expenses specifically due to the COVID-19 public health emergency and allowable by the federal government. More details regarding the types of allowable expenses can be found in the guidelines under “Eligible Expenses.”  
 
Apply here.  The guidelines and a FAQ can also be found through the application website.  Deadline is 5 p.m. today.
Let Your Views Count – Downtown Project Vote and BART Survey
Vote for D3 projects
District 3, the downtown district of San Jose, and Councilmember Raul Peralez are asking constituents to vote for their favored improvement projects in the district.  The choices have already been determined.  You must be 15 years old or older, and live, work, attend school or church in District 3.
Two downtown-core -centric choices are:
  • Install Lighting To Better Illuminate The Quetzalcoatl Sculpture At Cesar Chavez - $35,000 (The Quetzalcoatl Sculpture is not well lit at night. This project will add lighting to the sculpture the artistic details will be visible by night.)
  • Refurbish The Eagle, Coyote, & Hummingbird Signs Along The Guadalupe River Trail And Park - $60,000 (This project will clean and restore the signs along the Guadalupe River trail and park.)
  • A third choice helps our East Santa Clara business neighbors -- Welcome Banners For East Santa Clara Business Corridor - $19,440 (This will welcome residents to the East Santa Clara Business District.)
Deadline to vote is Dec. 5.  Vote here.

VTA surveys downtown businesses along proposed BART alignment
VTA is asking for feedback and information from small businesses to help prepare for construction of the future BART Phase II alignment. While construction will not start until 2022, work is underway to plan for construction outreach, communications, access and to understand business needs.  Feedback from small businesses along the alignment is critical for VTA to best understand community needs and be a good neighbor during construction.
 
The survey is available in six languages here and will be accepting responses until Nov. 10. 
 
VTA has created a map that shows the small businesses they would like to hear from.  You can view it here.
Hello Alice and DoorDash is collecting emails for upcoming grant. Submit here.
How are we doing executing San Jose Downtown Association’s Stabilization Plan?
Over the past two months, SJDA has focused on helping businesses survive during the pandemic.  Have you noticed a difference?  We’d love to hear your thoughts on our Stabilization Plan, also known at “What’s Next for Downtown San Jose.”

The Stabilization Plan charts a course for SJDA 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.
Send comments to sjda@sjdowntown.com or any staff member you know, listed here.
#dtsjopen Recovery Marketing Campaign 
As more businesses are allowed to open under the Orange Tier status, we want to remind everyone that SJDA is implementing the #dtsjopen marketing campaign, which has two interconnected goals:  to bring new and old customers back to downtown San Jose and help downtown businesses survive.
 
Anecdotally, Kathy Tran of Nomikai contacted us this week not only to let us know that HER restaurant is opening after a seven-month closure, she also asked where she could get those “cute” stickers and decals popping up in solidarity all over downtown.

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 here or contact jcarlson@sjdowntown.com to be included.

Also, 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. We’ve got great media partners, and we’re working with them to stretch are advertising dollars as far as they can go.

COVID-19 Business Update
Bay Area health officers worried about Halloween
Bay Area health officers suggest that residents and businesses make different plans for Halloween this year.
 
“Focusing on decorations, limiting activities to the people you live with, and virtual costume parties or contests will help keep our communities safe this season, especially our children.”
 
The State came out with similar cautions this week.
 
These higher risk tactics apply to residents and businesses:
 
HIGHER RISK: Please avoid
  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door-to-door. Although this activity is outdoors, it is higher risk because it brings multiple people from different households together.
VERY HIGH RISK or not permitted by State and Local Orders
  • Attending a crowded party held indoors or outdoors. Large gatherings, even if they are outdoors, are high risk for spreading COVID-19 and are associated with many cases throughout the Bay Area.
  • Sharing, eating, drinking, speaking loudly or singing amongst others outside of your household.
  • Haunted houses or indoor mazes.
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.
Dine Downtown, through Nov. 15
Some of downtown's most beloved restaurants are in the mix along with some new participants in Dine Downtown 2.0, continuing for six weeks through Nov. 15. There's plenty of time to discover restaurants AND revisit old favorites, all making delicious food.

The Grill on the Alley and Mezcal have joined five other offering prix fixe menus:  71 Saint Peter Mediterranean Grill, Habana Cuba, Poor House Bistro, Farmers Union and Tiki Pete.
If you'd rather go for chef's specials or food-and-drink pairings, try The Nest Asian Bistro, Paper Moon Cafe, Tiki Pete (Pete has all types of offers), MakiBQ,, Culinary Corner, Voyager Coffee, Voltaire Coffee House, Pastelaria Adega, Voyager Craft Coffee, Hawaiian Poke Bowl, Academic Coffee, District, Cubamex Sandwich Shop and Enoteca La Storia. 

Check SJDA’s Dine Downtown page to see who's open and who's offering.  Though Dine Downtown has started, restaurants are still welcome to participate.  Contact SJDA Marketing Director Julie Carlson, jcarlson@sjdowntown.com,  if you'd like to participate.
Up on the Roof -- Dinner and a Movie, through Nov. 1
Dining and two films are shown nightly from now until Nov. 1 Up on the Roof of the Second and San carlos Garage, above 3Below Theaters.
 
Guggenheim Entertainment is behind the creative effort to provide people with a safe night out full of food and entertainment. Guggenheim is partnering with San Jose Downtown Association, City of San Jose and San Jose Department of Transportation.  Sponsored by First Tech Credit Union.
All guests must adhere to COVID-19 protocols. Guests wash hands, pick up dinner from the Cafe in 3Below and head upstairs to their socially-distant seats. Once again, these good-time events made the news.  Besides Front Page coverage in the Mercury News, Channels, 4, 5 and 7 came by to report on the dinner-and-movie concept.

Details: 3BelowTheaters | SJDA | Schedule
Time to consider getting an influenza vaccine
The County offers free influenza vaccines every Saturday at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds from 9 am to 4 pm throughout the fall. Flu shots will be available across the street from the COVID-19 testing site also in operation every Saturday. The car entrance for general parking is Gate D, 2542 Monterey Road.

In addition to the Fairgrounds, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center also offers free flu shots at several flu clinics and fairs around the county. The next San Jose flu shot fair is Oct. 17 at Valley Health Center Moorpark, 2400 Moorpark Ave.
COVID-19 Links
Wildfire and Air Quality Resources
Wildfire Resources:
Air Quality Resources: Register for the Santa Clara County Emergency Alert System here
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 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 sanjose.custhelp.com or call 311.

Businesses who would like a free graffiti removal tool kit can send an email to antigraffiti@sanjoseca.gov 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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