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Stay-at-home order to begin Sunday night in Southern California after ICU capacity drops to 12.5%

california dec. 4 covid totals
California Department of Public Health

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - The state's Public Health Department has announced that the regional COVID-19 Stay Home Order will begin throughout Southern California Sunday night at midnight.

This order comes after the ICU capacity in the Southern California region - which encompasses San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and numerous other counties - dropped below the 15% threshold on Friday.

As of Saturday, the state reported ICU capacity for the Southern California region was 12.5%, solidifying the region's qualification for the Stay Home Order after it went into effect that afternoon.

After starting late Sunday night at 11:59 p.m., the Stay Home Order will be in effect for three weeks, running through the Christmas holiday.

As a reminder, this order instructs Californians to stay at home as much as possible to limit mixing with other households and spreading COVID-19.

It allows access to (and travel for) critical services and allows outdoor activities to preserve Californians’ physical and mental health. The state said this limited closure aims to help stop the surge and prevent overwhelming regional ICU capacity. 

During this Stay Home Order, the following sectors will be closed for the full three weeks: 

  • 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

The following sectors will need additional COVID-19 safety modifications as well as 100% masking and required physical distancing:

  • Outdoor recreational facilities: Allow outdoor operation only without any food, drink or alcohol sales. Additionally, overnight stays at campgrounds will not be permitted.
  • Retail: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems. 
  • Shopping centers: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Hotels and lodging: Allow to open for critical infrastructure support only.
  • Restaurants: Allow only for take-out, pick-up, or delivery.
  • Offices: Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible. 
  • Places of worship and political expression: Allow outdoor services only.
  • Entertainment production including professional sports: Allow operation without live audiences. Additionally, testing protocol and “bubbles” are highly encouraged.

Lastly, the following sectors are allowed to remain open during the Stay Home Order when a remote option is not possible with appropriate infectious disease preventative measures including 100% masking and physical distancing:

  • Critical infrastructure 
  • Schools
  • Non-urgent medical and dental care
  • Child care and pre-K

Governor Gavin Newsom announced this regional Stay Home Order on Thursday during a press conference.

There, he announced that San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties would be lumped into the "Southern California Region" along with Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties.

The state then determines the region's ICU capacity by adding up available ICU beds at hospitals throughout the designated region.

For more information about the order, visit the state's website here.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.


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