California public health officials announced Tuesday that Southern California and San Joaquin Valley regions will remain under a stay-at-home order for several more weeks.
California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said during a Tuesday press conference that the order was extended due to projections that the ICU capacity would not improve in the coming weeks.
NEW: Southern California region stay at home “order” extended for at least another three weeks. @FOXLA
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) December 29, 2020
A region’s ICU capacity needs to be at least 15% or higher in order for the stay-at-home order to be lifted. Currently, for both the Southern California and San Joaquin Valley regions, ICU capacity is considered to be 0%.
The initial stay-at-home order placed restrictions on an affected region for at least three weeks.
The stay-at-home order mandates the following types of businesses remain shut: Bars, hair salons, movie theaters, and theme parks.
“As we move into this new phase, where we brace, where we prepare ourselves for what is inevitable now … based on the travel we have just seen in the last week and the expectation of more of the same through the rest of the holiday season of a surge on top of a surge, arguably, on top of, again, another surge,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said.
As previously noted, California has the worst coronavirus outbreak in the United States despite having some of the harshest restrictions to fight the spread of the illness.
SFGate.com reported Sunday:
Last week, the state reported the nation’s fourth highest number of daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over a seven day period, but California jumped to first place when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its case per capita tracker Saturday.
The state is posting the country’s worst COVID-19 numbers despite a new stay-at-home order that took effect in most of the state in early December. Cellphone data suggests compliance is low, and some have speculated the state’s strict restrictions contributed to the winter explosion.
Models used for planning show hospitalizations more than doubling in the next month from about 20,000 to more than 50,000.
The state has several makeshift hospitals that are taking patients, but more health care workers are needed to staff them, the Democratic governor said. It has deployed more than 1,000 people to 116 hospitals and other facilities through a volunteer corps or the National Guard. On the upside, Newsom said California finally expects to receive more of the traveling health care workers it had requested in anticipation of the shortage.