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After four months of uncertainty, its time. Karie Bennett founder of Atelier Studio & Salon is one of over 8,000 businesses in Santa Clara County that submitted the countywide protocol form on Friday required by the health department to reopen.
As Monday approaches, Bennett's feelings are mixed.
"Emotionally we are not ready to open. Physically the space is ready. We spent four months getting everything ready," said Bennett.
With reopening comes a list of responsibilities that businesses like hair, nail salons, gyms, hotels and tattoo parlors must follow.
"Those can now operate as long as they're keeping the number of visitors down and the number of customers down to one for every 150 feet. They can only have one employee in every 250 feet of space," explained Santa Clara County Supervisor, Dave Cortese.
Businesses must follow a county health manual that includes requirements, training procedures and information on public safety.
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Pointing to the manual, Bennett said, "This use to say KN95 mask which those are a little easier to get. But N95 masks those are reserved for hospital workers so those are hard to get."
Supervisor Dave Cortese says he's cautiously optimist as other counties are taking notes from Santa Clara's approach.
"The public health department is not going to go out there and enforce. But there are law enforcement penalties for violating these orders," said Cortese.
Costese believes there is a possibility that county officials will have to roll back the reopening process if cases spike.
"If they're cutting corners someone will get infected. With contact tracing if they find out a cluster there then they're going to shut down the facility or maybe shut down the entire sector," said Cortese.
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According to Cortese, Santa Clara County health officials are monitoring cases and hospitalizations 24/7.
The county is also waiting for July 18, exactly 14 days after the Fourth of July, where lack of social distancing and small gatherings were reported.
"We might have a big spike. They might be calling it the Fourth of July spike that can be cause all this to be rolled back," said Cortese.
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