This is the forty-seventh COVID-19 update from San Jose Downtown Association, dating back to March 12. They are usually sent on Thursdays.
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Dear businesses:

Well, don’t ask why we all returned to a tiered system on Monday, but we did.  The whole state! 

As surprising and unpredictable as it was, and despite the fact that both the Mercury News and the Chronicle are blasting the governor for his decisions making no sense, this was good news for businesses, especially for restaurants, hair and nail places and our vagabond Sharks, who are about to play their first two "home" games in Tucson and will finally return to San Jose for games Feb. 13 and 15.

We’ve returned back to the purple widespread tier.

That means we still need to be super safe.  That much hasn’t changed since the holidays. Mask on. Socially distant. Don’t go out if you have a fever and a cough.  You know the drill.

With winter showing up big time this week, outdoor businesses can at least decide for themselves whether it’s worth reopening outside and how it needs to be done to ensure safety for employees and customers.  We cannot underestimate the importance of keeping your operations COVID-free and your customers safe, as always.

For now and hopefully our future, we’re back in business. 

If you need help, be sure to contact one of us at SJDA.  Our staff email list is at
Back to the Purple Tier
Most of California, including Santa Clara County, is in the purple tier.

Purple means:
  • Indoor and outdoor personal services such as hair and nail salons, subject to the Mandatory Directive for Personal Care Services.
  • All retail, with safety modifications (25% capacity)
  • Restaurants, wineries and entertainment and gyms outdoors only.
  • Bars, breweries, pubs and distilleries can serve, but only if it is outdoors and the transaction includes a meal.
  • Museums outdoors only with safety modifications
  • Movies outdoors only
  • Gyms and fitness outdoor only with modifications.
  • Outdoor playgrounds, with modifications.
  • Professional sports without live audiences and subject to the updated Mandatory Directive for Collegiate and Professional Sports.
  • Worship services, outdoors only.
  • Outdoor gatherings of no more than three households. Larger outdoor gatherings with up to 200 people are allowed only for political, religious, or ceremonial purposes, or as otherwise specifically allowed by the State. Indoor gatherings of any kind remain prohibited. All allowed gatherings must comply with the County’s updated Mandatory Directive for Gatherings.
  • Lodging facilities may not provide lodging services for non-essential purposes, such as tourism, recreational, or leisure purposes. Non-essential travel should be avoided, especially in light of new variants of COVID-19 that are circulating globally and in the United States.
  • Most businesses that are allowed to open indoor operations to the public must limit capacity of their publicly accessible space to 20%. The County’s Mandatory Directive on Capacity Limitations has been updated to reflect current openings and closings. 
  • The County’s Mandatory Directive on Travel, which requires most people who travel into the county from more than 150 miles away to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival, is still in effect.

In Santa Clara County, key rules remain in effect and applicable to all businesses:

  • Telework: All businesses must continue to require workers to do their jobs from home whenever possible. Workers can go into work only to complete the job duties they can’t complete from home.
  • Social Distancing Protocol requirements: All businesses must complete and submit a Revised Social Distancing Protocol for each of their facilities on the County’s website at COVID19Prepared.orgSocial Distancing Protocols submitted prior to October 11, 2020 are no longer valid. The Revised Social Distancing Protocols must be filled out using an updated template for the Social Distancing Protocol at
  • Positive case reporting: All businesses (and governmental entities) are legally required to report to the Public Health Department within 4 hours if they learn that any of their workers are confirmed to be positive for COVID-19. They must also ensure workers alert them if they test positive.
  • Capacity Limitation and Metering: All businesses must comply with applicable capacity limitations. All businesses (except for acute care hospitals) with indoor facilities open to the public must establish a “metering system” to ensure that the applicable capacity limits are not exceeded by, for example, posting an employee at the facility entrance to track the number of people entering and exiting.
  • Indoor Breakroom Closure: All businesses (except acute care hospitals) must limit employees’ access to indoor workplace breakrooms as described in section 3 of the Mandatory Directive on Capacity Limitations.
Paycheck Protection Program – last day to get approved is March 31
A second round of Paycheck Protection Program funding is now available to small businesses, and the last day to get approved for a PPP loan is March 31. 
Here’s a play book from California Downtown Association (CDA) that summarizes best practices, resources, and learnings from organizing 200+ PPP outreach events at the Small Business Administration.

Next training 
for Financial Assistance Programs for Small Businesses presented by U.S. Chamber & SBA and co-hosted by SVO is Feb. 3, 10 a.m. Register.

Round 2 of California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program opens Feb. 2-8
Round 1 closed Jan. 13 – approvals will be sent Jan. 15-22
Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can apply for the second round of California Relief Grants, starting at 8 am on Feb. 2. Applications close at 6 pm on Feb. 8.
The grants are in amounts from $5,000 to $25,000 and are meant to help small businesses and non-profits that have been affected by the pandemic. It is not a first-come, first-served program.
If you applied during the first round, received a confirmation email and were notified of the outcome, you do NOT need to re-apply. Your application will be included for consideration in the second round.
Priority will be given to applications from regions and industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, low-income communities and underserved small business groups, and how much impact the business experienced.
Because the application period for Round 2 is so short, small business owners are encouraged to reach out as soon as possible to the partners that will provide free assistance in the application process, such as Small Business Development Center. For more providers, see the California Relief Grant partners page.  Training session Feb. 4, 1 p.m. register.
If you have questions, please email Nate LeBlanc ( or
Super Bowl LV and Valentine's Day promotions in the works
With the potential for outdoor dining, SJDA hopes that two events in February can provide some nice wind in the sails of San Jose restaurants: Super Bowl and Valentine's Day.  For both dates, we plan to promote participating restaurants and their offerings to our members via the SJDA site, newsletter and social media.
For the Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 7, we are going to highlight restaurants who are creating party platters that can be taken home, reheated and enjoyed during the game.  We will have a listing on our site and send out a newsletter about the participating programs.  Would you like to take part in this event and benefit from a little marketing muscle from us?  If so, please reach out to Eric Glader - - 650-380-3460 for details.  We will need to know what you plan on serving and the costs by Tuesday at the latest.

For Valentine's Day Feb. 14 (or make it the entire weekend Feb. 12-15), the options are more varied.  You can offer take-home specials and Al Fresco specials.  Again, we would need to know if you want to participate and what you would offer pretty quickly.  Maybe it is a fixed menu?  Wine pairings?  Happy hour drink prices all day/night?  The Valentine's Day event, unlike the Super Bowl, will also have other businesses as part of the campaign, florists and candy/sweets, for example.  We are trying to bring people downtown.  Let's share our love of San Jose with one another!  If interested, please send your information by Feb. 9 to Eric Glader or Jessica Vuong (

Let's take a step toward getting back to normal while providing fun for our customers and well-deserved recognition for our restaurants and the great foods they provide.
#DTSJ in the media
Hopefully you’re noticing how great the media has been in focusing on downtown San Jose restaurants when covering changes in state and county orders and protocols.  We’ve been in the limelight – more than any other city – for our reactions.  The value of this coverage to our businesses is huge.  Its effect will be long-lasting. We’re not doing any media-training, but your comments have been real, honest and powerful.  Keep up the good work.
For example, Carlos and Fernanda Carriera of Petiscos, Randy Musterer of Sushi Confidential and Ryan Summers of Pizza Flora and Good Karma provided commentary for Monday and Tuesday editions of the Mercury News and ABC-7 News.
“It’s great news and we hope to open Petiscos ASAP,” Carlos Carreira said.

The Merc’s Linda Zavoral writes:  “Randy Musterer, who worked as a cancer researcher before opening Sushi Confidential in San Jose and Campbell, said restaurants are able to provide a safe outdoor dining experience.

“Pleased that oprotocols are aligned between the county and the state and neighboring counties, Musterer told Zavoral: “This will help avoid confusion that has constantly plagued Santa Clara County.”

"We were happy to take it and run with it and we had everything ready to be set up," Ryan Summers told Channel 7.

And SJDA’s Nate LeBlanc offered this advice to KGO-TV viewers:  "Check with your operator, check their social media, check their websites. Give them a call to see if they're going to be open. If they are, please come and put some money in their pockets."

Read about what can change in every Bay Area county now that shelter orders are lifted.

CalArts trying to take care of the arts
The California Arts Council is prioritizing this year’s grant funding to nurture and heal our communities through the arts; to keep the doors of our arts and cultural institutions open; to protect jobs in the creative field; and to preserve our cultural heritage, our stories, and our culture bearers. This link will direct you to CAC’s grant and general operating relief programs.

SBA Shuttered Venues Website
Arts groups can check the SBA website’s Shuttered Venue Operators section daily basis as they are posting new and corrected information by the minute.

Santa Clara County Expands Vaccine Appointments to Residents Age 65 and Older: Residents age 65+ who are not members of Kaiser, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, or Stanford Health are encouraged to make their vaccine appointments at Registration forms are available in EnglishSpanishVietnamese, and Chinese. Residents can also call Valley Connections at 408-970-2000 for assistance making vaccine appointments. Interpretation services are available. 

Older adults with health coverage through KaiserPalo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), and Stanford Healthcare should contact their providers for vaccine appointments. This week, Stanford expanded eligibility to members age 65 and up. Kaiser and PAMF remain at 75 and up.

COVID-19 vaccine eligibility criteria will change in the coming weeks as more doses become available. Please follow Santa Clara County Public Health Department or your healthcare provider for updates.

County of Santa Clara Launches New COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard
The County of Santa Clara published a new online dashboard tracking the number of vaccine doses received and administered by vaccine providers in the County. The dashboard will be revised and expanded as the County receives refined data from providers. 

Some vaccine facts
Here’s what we know to be true, according to the NY Times:

  • The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines — the only two approved in the U.S. — are among the best vaccines ever created, with effectiveness rates of about 95 percent after two doses. That’s on par with the vaccines for chickenpox and measles. And a vaccine doesn’t even need to be so effective to reduce cases sharply and crush a pandemic.
  • If anything, the 95 percent number understates the effectiveness, because it counts anyone who came down with a mild case of Covid-19 as a failure. But turning Covid into a typical flu — as the vaccines evidently did for most of the remaining 5 percent — is actually a success. Of the 32,000 people who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine in a research trial, only on person  contracted a severe Covid case.
  • Although no rigorous study has yet analyzed whether vaccinated people can spread the virus, it would be surprising if they did. “If there is an example of a vaccine in widespread clinical use that has this selective effect — prevents disease but not infection — I can’t think of one!” Dr. Paul Sax of Harvard has written in The New England Journal of Medicine. On Twitter, Dr. Monica Gandhi of the University of California, San Francisco, argued: “Please be assured that YOU ARE SAFE after vaccine from what matters — disease and spreading.”
  • The risks for vaccinated people are still not zero, because almost nothing in the real world is zero risk. A tiny percentage of people may have allergic reactions. The evidence so far suggests that the vaccines are akin to a cure.

Now, with the variants, wearing a mask or two at the same time, as Dr. Fauci suggests, is as important as ever.  Until this thing is licked everywhere, we need to wear masks and be socially distant, period.

Vaccination needs to occur as quickly as possible.  New equally effective vaccines need to be added to the pipeline.  Once we are all vaccinated, we can resume having meals together and hugging our kids and friends again.

Appointments Available for COVID-19 Testing in San Jose
  • Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Parking Lot A 
  • 344 Tully Rd., San José, CA 95111 (across from the blue arch)  
  • Drive-through, bike, or walk-up   
  • Mondays, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.  
  • Tuesday-Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 
  • Fridays, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 
  • Saturday-Sundays, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
COVID-19 Links
More Local Resources
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.
Copyright © 2021 San Jose Downtown Association, All rights reserved.

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