California extends the house keep order for 2 areas

Clinicians work in the former lobby of Providence St. Mary Medical Center, which was converted into a care area to treat suspicious COVID patients on December 23, 2020 in Apple Valley, California, Southern California.

Mario Tama | Getty Images

California will extend its home stay order for two regions of the state – Southern California and San Joaquin Valley – where intensive care capacity is being weighed down by a rush of Covid-19 patients, the state’s health minister. Dr. Mark Ghaly said on Tuesday.

The regional order, first announced by Governor Gavin Newsom on December 3 and due to expire on Monday, divides the state into five regions – the Bay Area, Greater Sacramento, Northern California, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California. If the remaining ICU capacity in any region drops below 15%, a three-week home stay order will be triggered, Newsom said.

Ordering requires the temporary closure of bars, wineries, personal services, hair salons and barber shops. Personal services are available to businesses like nail salons, tattoo parlors, and body waxing, according to the state’s website. The order also prohibits gatherings of any size and requires “100% masking and physical distancing”.

As of Tuesday, all but the Northern California area were under the stay home order, Ghaly said. In the future, however, both the San Joaquin Valley, which includes the central portion of the state, and the regions of Southern California will remain under order, he said.

These two regions will continue to be subject to restrictions until state projections show ICU capacity is at least 15%, he said. Ghaly added that the projections will be calculated and updated daily in the future. Just because the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California regions stay under order doesn’t mean they will be there for the full three weeks, he said.

According to a slide that Ghaly presented at a press conference, these two regions did not show any available ICU capacity. Four-week projections from state health officials have shown that intensive care capacity is not improving in these two regions, Ghaly said.

“We are essentially assuming that ICU capacity in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley will not improve and that demand will continue to exceed capacity,” Ghaly said at a press conference.

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