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The state of California announced a regional stay-at-home order Thursday afternoon, which goes into effect “promptly” after regions drop below 15 percent intensive care unit availability. The order will last for at least three weeks and will be reviewed weekly thereafter.

According to the California Department of Public Health, all private gatherings, of any size, will be prohibited and several sectors will be required to close if not deemed critical for infrastructure. Under the order, indoor retail capacity will be reduced to 20 percent.

Regions that fall below the 15 percent ICU threshold must close:

  • Indoor and outdoor playgrounds
  • Indoor recreational facilities
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Personal care services
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums
  • Movie theaters
  • Wineries
  • Bars, breweries and distilleries
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering
  • Limited services
  • Live audience sports
  • Amusement parks

Schools already providing in-person instruction with a waiver can continue to do so, but additional schools will not be permitted to reopen. Restaurants will be restricted to takeout and delivery only.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that none of the five regions have yet triggered the order, but four are expected to do so as early as Friday. The Bay Area, which for state data purposes includes Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, is currently the one exception, though it may not remain that way for long.

BBD Editor California announced Thursday, December 3, 2020 that a shelter-at-home order will be triggered if a designated region falls below 15 percent ICU availability.

The regions are defined by CDPH as:

  • Northern California: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity counties
  • Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma counties
  • Greater Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties
  • San Joaquin Valley: Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare and Tuolumne counties
  • Southern California: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties

Noting that there is “light at the end of the tunnel” with vaccines expected in coming months, Newsom said:

“This is not a permanent state.”

He acknowledged small businesses will not appreciate the mandated closures and loss of revenue, but added that 99.6 percent of businesses qualify for sales tax deferrals and pointed to a $100 million “Main Street Hiring Tax Credit” businesses can apply for as of Tuesday.

The governor also discussed overflow patient facilities ready to move from “warm status” into more “active status” if need be. More than 1,500 beds can quickly be made available at overflow facilities across seven different counties, three of which are in the Bay Area.

California has thankfully positioned itself well with supplies of ventilators and personal protective equipment — Newsom said the state currently has 40 million more masks than the national stockpile and more than 21,000 ventilators still available for use.

Nik Wojcik

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