Certain parts of California may be forced to implement Gov. Gavin Newsom’s strict coronavirus stay-at-home order this weekend after falling below 15% capacity at intensive care units.
The governor warned last week that the lockdown would be triggered regionally when ICU capacity dips under the 15% mark as cases of the virus surge across the state, FOX 11 in Los Angeles reported.
“We are at a tipping point in our fight against the virus and we need to take decisive action now to prevent California’s hospital system from being overwhelmed in the coming weeks,” Newsom said last week. “By invoking a Stay at Home Order for regions where ICU capacity falls below 15 percent, we can flatten the curve as we’ve done before and reduce stress on our health care system.”
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“I’m clear-eyed that this is hard on all of us — especially our small businesses who are struggling to get by,” he continued. “That’s why we leaned in to help our small business owners with new grants and tax relief to help us get through this month.”
The new order, the most restrictive since March, would close hair salons, bars and indoor dining and allow retail to operate at only 20% capacity, among other restrictions.
The state is divided into five regions for the purposes of the order: Northern California, the Bay Area, Greater Sacramento, the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.
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By Friday night, both the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California regions’ ICU capacity had fallen below 15%: 14.1% and 13.1% respectively, according to FOX 11.
The order would go into effect at 1 p.m. Saturday and businesses would have 24 hours to comply.