Santa Clara County Public Health Department Mandatory Directive for Gatherings (Effective 2/26/2021):  

  • All Gatherings Must Have an Identified and Designated Host Who Is Responsible for Ensuring Compliance with All Requirements


As of May 3, 2021 the California Department of Public Health recommendations regarding gatherings include the following:

Orange – Moderate – Tier 3:

General Private Gatherings

Outdoor gatherings: Maximum of 50 people

Indoor gatherings are strongly discouraged: Maximum 25% capacity where capacity limits exist or 25 people, whichever is fewer. 

Religious Gatherings

Indoor gatherings are strongly discouraged: Maximum 50% capacity where capacity limits exist. 


  • Gatherings that occur outdoors are significantly safer than indoor gatherings. Indoor gatherings are strongly discouraged but may occur according to the limits defined  above.

  • If gathering indoors, increase fresh air circulation by opening windows or doors, as much as possible, especially in the rooms where people are gathering.

  • If multiple gatherings are occurring, mixing between groups gathering is not allowed. Additionally, multiple unique gatherings cannot be jointly organized or coordinated to occur in the same public park or other outdoor space at the same time, as this would constitute a gathering exceeding the permitted limits.  

Food and Drink

  • Because a mask must be lowered or removed, eating or drinking increases the risk of COVID-19 spread, especially when gatherings include people that are not fully vaccinated. 

  • Food and drink should be limited to outdoors.

  • Food and drink indoors is strongly discouraged.

  • While face coverings are removed for eating or drinking, individuals must stay at least 6 feet away from everyone outside their own household, and put their face covering back on as soon as they are done with the activity.

  • Food and beverages should be served by a person who washes or sanitizes their hands frequently, and who must wear a face covering.

  • Remind all persons to sanitize hands before eating or drinking, and after touching shared items if shared items are unavoidable

Keep it short

  • Gatherings should be two hours or less. The longer the duration, the risk of transmission increases.

  • Practice Physical Distancing and Hand Hygiene at Gatherings

  • The space must be large enough so that everyone at a gathering can maintain at least 6-feet of physical distance from others (not including their own household) at all times. 

  • Seating must provide at least 6 feet of distance (in all directions—front-to-back and side-to-side) between different households

  • Everyone at a gathering should frequently wash their hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

  • Shared items should be minimized during a gathering.

            Singing, Chanting, Shouting, Cheering and Similar Activities Are Strongly Discouraged

  • Singing, chanting, shouting, cheering, physical exertion, and similar activities significantly increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission because these activities increase the release of respiratory droplets and fine aerosols into the air. Because of this, singing, chanting, shouting, cheering, and similar activities are strongly discouraged in all settings, but if they occur, the following rules and recommendations apply:

    • All people who are singing, chanting, shouting, cheering, or engaging in similar activities should wear a face covering at all times while engaging in those activities, including anyone who is leading a song, chant, or cheer. Because these activities pose a very high risk of COVID-19 transmission, face coverings are essential to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets and fine aerosols;

    • People who are singing, shouting, chanting, cheering, or exercising are strongly encouraged to maintain physical distancing of more than 6 feet from others to further reduce risk.

    • People who are singing or chanting are strongly encouraged to do so quietly (at or below the volume of a normal speaking voice).

    • If music is played, it is recommended that the volume be quiet enough that attendees can speak in a normal voice without shouting.