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Santa Clara County relaxes outdoor gathering rules

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SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — A big change is happening in Santa Clara County starting Friday.

The public health department is relaxing some of it’s restrictions on outdoor gatherings. Wearing a mask is still recommended, but it’s not required all the time.

The Santa Clara County health officer is still strongly recommending that people do wear their face masks outdoors and maintain social distance outdoors — but now it’s not required in certain circumstances.

Video shows two coworkers gathering outdoors, less than six feet apart, with their masks on which is now O.K. in Santa Clara County.

Another woman was talking on the phone outside in a public park with her mask off, and that is also now doing the right thing because she is at least six feet away from people outside her household.

You can even sing with your mask off as long the people you are serenading are at least six feet away — assuming they are not in your household.

The county says they are taking this step because of the improvement of the vaccine rollout and county health officials are doing this now because of continued progress in the rollout of vaccinations.

And improving COVID case rates.

But with at least three cases of the U.K. variant confirmed in Santa Clara County, the public health department says to not get cocky and keep that mask handy.

“It is essential for people to continue to wear their face mask, maintain that social distance and get vaccinated when it’s their turn. As we are highly likely moving into the red tier next week, keep practicing all of this protocols in order for us to completely see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Residents out in about in San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood are happy about being able to be outside without their masks on — even if it means staying at distance.

Indoor gatherings are still completely off limits at this point, but we can expect the rules to relax again in Santa Clara County as it will very likely move into the red tier as soon as this coming Wednesday. 

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