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Dwindling hospital bed space in California triggers stay-at-home orders in some regions

Orders apply to SoCal, San Joaquin Valley
Dwindling hospital bed space in California triggers stay-at-home orders in some regions
Posted at 2:21 PM, Dec 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-05 14:21:49-05

SAN DIEGO — Rising hospital resource use has triggered stay-at-home orders across California as the state enacts new measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Only 15% of ICU space in both the Southern California and San Joaquin Valley regions of the state is currently available as of Saturday, which triggers a state-mandated, three-week stay-at-home order.

The regional orders ban gatherings of people from different households. Several businesses will also be forced to close, including:

  • 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

Certain schools with approved waivers and "critical infrastructure" can remain open. Retail stores can remain open at 20% capacity, restaurants can remain open for takeout or delivery and places of worship are limited to outdoor services. Hotels can also remain open, but only for "critical infrastructure support only."

The restrictions will begin for the region at 12:59 p.m. on Saturday. Businesses have 48 hours to comply with the new health order.

The Southern California region includes cities like San Diego, Los Angeles. The San Joaquin Valley is located in the central part of the state and includes cities like Bakersfield and Fresno.

According to the California Department of Public Health, available ICU space in other regions of the state currently stands as follows:

  • Bay Area: 21.2%
  • Greater Sacramento Region: 21.4%
  • Northern California: 20.9%
  • San Joaquin Valley: 14.1%
  • Southern California: 13.1%

Multiple Bay Area counties have already started the latest health order.

The new restrictions come after California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he was pulling an "emergency brake" on Thursday to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

This story was originally published by Mark Saunders on KGTV in San Diego.

Global Coronavirus Tracker:

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Data from The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.