County of Santa Clara Announces Submission of Vaccine Plan to State of California, Clarifications to Mandatory Travel Quarantine Amidst Record Increases in Hospitalizations

December 2, 2020

Santa Clara County, CA – The County of Santa Clara today announced a vaccine plan that details vaccine management, community engagement, and distribution for doses of COVID-19 vaccine allocated to the County by the State of California. All counties in California are required to submit a COVID-19 vaccination plan.

“We are working closely with many partners to plan and prepare for vaccine distribution, as part of our commitment to the health and safety of the community,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer for the County of Santa Clara and Director of the Public Health Department.

The initial amount of vaccine provided to the county will be limited. Like other counties, the County of Santa Clara will follow the national system directing the first vaccinations to health care workers on the front lines at highest risk of contracting COVID-19. That required prioritization for the vaccine is set by the federal government, with additional guidelines from the State government.

The County’s allocation of vaccine from the State has two components:

  • The County will receive some doses directly from manufacturers for vaccinations at County-operated hospitals and other sites.
  • Certain multi-county healthcare providers, such as Kaiser, will receive vaccine doses directly from manufacturers as directed by the State. The first vaccines are likely to involve complex logistics, such as ultra-cold storage, and only the sites approved by the State or County to have the capacity to manage the complex logistics will be allocated those vaccines.

Hospitalizations update:

With the record surge in cases and hospitalizations, County continue to be very concerned about maintaining hospital capacity, especially given an expected increase in cases after the Thanksgiving holiday. The five hospitals that traditionally serve the eastern and southern portions of the County collectively have less than a dozen ICU available, and only 44 ICU beds were available countywide.

There were 287 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the county as of December 1, 2020, including a total of 1,955 hospitalized patients overall, filling approximately 88% of the total hospital bed capacity in the County.  With a growing number of COVID-19 patients being admitted to the hospital each day, these numbers are expected to continue increasing.

Travel Quarantine Clarifications

All travel continues to be strongly discouraged, and rules remain in place for a mandatory 14-day quarantine for returning travelers remains in place. The risk of COVID-19 transmission increases as people travel in and out of Santa Clara County and have contact with persons from other households and other communities, especially through travel to regions with significant COVID-19 transmission. This Directive applies to all travel into Santa Clara County, whether by residents or non-residents.

The Mandatory Directive on Travel was revised on December 2 to clarify that:

  • Licensed healthcare professionals, as defined by the Order, and all persons working at acute care hospitals, do not need to quarantine following arrival to ensure adequate staffing.
  • Persons who traveled solely for the purpose of performing an essential governmental function do not need to quarantine following arrival.
  • The following persons are required to quarantine, but may leave their home or place of quarantine solely for work:
    • Government employees who perform essential government functions, but only if the government entity would otherwise lack staffing to fulfill the essential function.
    • Essential workers traveling solely for the purpose of performing essential critical infrastructure work, but only if the employer determines it would otherwise lack staffing to perform such work.
  • Persons solely transiting through Santa Clara County and not staying overnight do NOT have to quarantine. This includes people who, for example, have a layover at SJC.
  • Persons traveling to Santa Clara County to obtain services from a healthcare facility are required to quarantine but may leave quarantine to obtain those services.
  • Persons may leave quarantine to comply with a court order or make an appearance in a court of law or administrative proceeding.

Information and guidance on quarantine and resources to assist with quarantine are available at

The County urges all residents to continue to do their part to reduce transmission by wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and avoiding contact with people outside their household.

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