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Sunday ICU capacity numbers in California: Where is my region with new stay-at-home order?

The Desert Sun (Palm Springs) logo The Desert Sun (Palm Springs) 12/6/2020 Staff reports, Palm Springs Desert Sun
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Two California regions — Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley — were preparing Sunday for a state-mandated stay-at-home order to take effect for the next three weeks amid surging coronavirus cases and a rapidly declining number of available intensive care unit beds. 

Under the new stay-at-home order, California counties have been grouped into five regions. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced plans for the regional stay-at-home order based on hospital capacity.

The orders are being given by region, not by county, to areas that see ICU capacity drop below 15%. Regions will have 24 hours to implement the order; Southern California and San Joaquin were told Saturday that they had dropped below 15% ICU capacity and would need to implement the orders by 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

a person lying on a bed in a room: In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo, Dr. Rafik Abdou checks on a COVID-19 patient at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. The raging coronavirus pandemic has prompted Los Angeles County to impose a lockdown to prevent the caseload from spiraling into a hospital crisis. © Jae C. Hong, AP In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo, Dr. Rafik Abdou checks on a COVID-19 patient at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. The raging coronavirus pandemic has prompted Los Angeles County to impose a lockdown to prevent the caseload from spiraling into a hospital crisis.

As of Sunday, the available ICU capacity by region was:

  • Bay Area: 24.1%
  • Greater Sacramento Region: 18.2%
  • Northern California: 26.5%
  • San Joaquin Valley: 6.6%
  • Southern California: 10.3%

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The stay-at-home order will include a three-week lockdown that prohibits residents from gathering. Essential businesses such as grocery stores can operate at only 20% capacity; bars, wineries salons and restaurant dining have to shut down; and hotels can only be open for critical infrastructure support.

Schools can remain open if they've received a waiver. Restaurants can continue take-out and delivery services, Newsom said.

What's my region's ICU capacity

Here is the current status of ICU capacity for each of the five regions, according to the California Department of Public Health on Sunday:

Northern California: 26.5% ICU capacity

  • The order is not in effect.
  • The region includes these counties: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity

Bay Area: 24.1% ICU capacity

Greater Sacramento: 21.4% ICU capacity

  • The order is not in effect.
  • The region includes these counties: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba 

San Joaquin Valley: 6.6% ICU capacity

  • The order is in effect as of 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
  • The region includes these counties: Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne

Southern California: 10.3% ICU capacity

  • The order is in effect as of 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
  • The region includes these counties: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura

Why was the stay-at-home order issued?

The stay-at-home order came after weeks of a rapid climb of new COVID-19 cases across the state. Hospitalizations from COVID-19 have increased nearly 90% and could triple by Christmas, officials said last week. 

“This is not a permanent state,” Newsom said. “This is what we predicted. This is the final surge of the pandemic. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Newsom added that the state is nearing distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine and doesn’t “anticipate having to do this again.” But he said Californians must “meet this moment head on," and "do everything we can to stem the tide, to bend the curve."

All non-essential travel is now restricted statewide, the governor said Thursday.

The current uptick in COVID-19 cases may be only the start of a much larger surge, which officials expect to hit in the next few weeks due to holiday activities and gatherings. 

“The effects of Thanksgiving have not yet been felt, they will be felt in a number of weeks,” Newsom said. “This will be a surge on top of a surge.”

The levels are far above those recorded during a summer peak or even in March, when a state public health order restricted people from going outside except for the most essential reasons. That order was later eased.

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Sunday ICU capacity numbers in California: Where is my region with new stay-at-home order?

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