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Officials Announce Regional Stay-At-Home Order to Address ICU Capacity Limits

By California Chronic Care Coalition

December 4, 2020

Governor Newsom announced a regional stay-at-home order during a press conference yesterday in response to the skyrocketing cases of COVID-19. 
With rising cases, ICUs across the state are near reaching capacity and health experts estimate that many facilities could reach maximum capacity this month.

The order is intended to address this declining availability of ICU beds. It specifies five regions across the state: Northern California, Southern California, Bay Area, Greater Sacramento Area, and the San Joaquin Valley and will be activated when these regions reach less than a 15% ICU availability threshold. Californians are expected to stay at home as much as possible and follow strict mask-wearing and physical distancing guidelines.

The following sectors and activities will remain open and operational: 

  • Essential Services
  • Schools That Are Already Open
  • Restaurants (Pick Up and Delivery Only)
  • Retail (Operating at 20% Capacity)

The following sectors and activities will be prohibited under the new stay-at-home order: 

  • Indoor and Outdoor Playgrounds
  • Indoor Recreational Facilities
  • Hair Salons and Barbershops, Personal Care Services
  • Museums, Zoos, and Aquariums
  • Movie Theaters
  • Bars, Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries
  • Live Audience Sports
  • Amusement Parks

It is estimated that the stay-at-home order will go into effect for some regions as early as Friday or the next day, with others in a week or more. The order will remain in effect for at least 3 weeks, and lifted when ICU capacity becomes more available. 

The daily reported deaths are also rapidly increasing; on November 2nd, 14 people tragically lost their lives to COVID-19. Just a month later, this past Wednesday, 113 people died. Nearly one thousand Californians have died in the past two weeks alone. 

COVID-19 has an incubation period of one week, so public health officials predict case numbers will rapidly increase in the coming days and weeks after the Thanksgiving holiday. 

In addition to the stay-at-home order, Gov. Newsom provided an update on vaccine availability and distribution in the state. Tomorrow, six specified regions will be placing orders for the Pfizer vaccine in Phase 1A of vaccine distribution. A total of 327,000 doses will be distributed by the middle of this month to frontline healthcare workers.

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