The state of California has announced plans to implement stay-at-home orders where ICU hospital room availability is expected to fall below 15%, which is anticipated to occur in the next several days. Governor Gavin Newsom made the announcement on Thursday for new statewide restrictions as Covid cases reach the highest level seen since the beginning of the pandemic. The governor said if they don’t take immediate action to address the situation, their hospitals will become overwhelmed beyond capacity and contribute to the ongoing accelerated death rate.
The entire state has been sub-divided into five separate regions which include: The Bay Area, Northern California, Sacramento metro, the San Joaquin Valley and southern California, where Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city is close to “a devastating tipping point.” Each region is anticipated to hit the 15% ICU availability mark over the weekend, except the Bay Area, which projections indicate will be at that stage by mid-December.
The new Covid restrictions will close salons, gyms, indoor places of worship and children’s playgrounds. Restaurants will be restricted to take-out and delivery. All non-essential travel has been banned along with gatherings. A 20% limit on retail businesses allowed to stay open will remain in place.
Newsom said the state, which has the highest population in the country, is facing a battle to keep the spread of rising COVID-19 infections under control, with 18,591 new cases reported in just the past day alone. In total, California has seen more than 1.2 million Covid cases and over 19,400 deaths. Governor Newsom said the new restrictions are required in order to “get through the next few months.”
Ann Sullivan is a contributing staff writer covering national and world news topics. She brings dedicated experience having written international and domestic news, blogs, and web content for over 20 years. She’s also a published poet and graphic designer with degrees in Business and Graphic Communications and has been a music distributor, music industry sponsorship sales director and band manager.