Office workspaces, in-store retail, religious services and cultural ceremonies, limited personal services, manufacturing, protests and outdoor museums can resume operation effective 11:59 p.m. on May 26, according to a new Santa Cruz County health order. The order is set to expire July 1. 

All businesses and operations must still adhere to social distancing and face covering guidelines. The county encourages telework and requires that all businesses and individuals comply with state and county guidelines. Beaches remain closed daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Unlike other counties, Santa Cruz County restaurants have not been approved to reinstate dine-in options. The county expects to submit an application to the state on June 2 to allow dining in, with approval anticipated within a week. 

“As we move forward with these changes, I want to caution everyone that COVID-19 is still present in our community. Anyone who is 65 years old or older, as well as those who are medically vulnerable, should continue sheltering in place,” said Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel in a press release. “I urge all members of our community to help those who need to shelter by continuing to offer help and check in.”

The county’s order is in line with the state’s Resilience Roadmap, which positions the county in early Stage 2 as of May 26. The third stage allows higher-risk workplaces to resume. The fourth stage would end the state’s stay-at-home order. 
The state expects the speed at which counties progress through the four-stage roadmap to vary based on local infection and death rates, testing capacity, hospital in-take surges and county-centric economic preparedness plans.