Residents in Southern California are expected to have to stay at home for three weeks, as the capacity of intensive care units (ICU) has fallen below a red line due to increasing coronavirus hospitalization.
On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a regional order stating that if ICU capacity falls below 15 percent in any of the state’s five regions, severe restrictions will be imposed as an emergency brake to stem the spread of the disease.
Thursday, the state’s Department of Health calculated the remaining capacity of the ICU for the Southern California region at 20.6 percent. But within 24 hours it had dropped to 13.1 percent, triggering the governor’s restrictions.
The House Removal Order takes effect at 1 p.m. on Saturday, giving local officials 24 hours to implement the restrictions, Don Wagner, Orange County Supervisor, KTLA, reported. The order across 11 counties would restrict commercial activity and mean that people must stay at home and wear masks outside wherever possible.
In the most stringent measures to contain the spread of the disease since March, bars, wineries, nail salons and hair salons are among the businesses that will have to close.
Restaurants will be closed for indoor and outdoor dining, but may offer take-away and delivery services, while all private gatherings are prohibited. Schools that have been granted a special permit to reopen will be allowed to remain open, while retail stores will be allowed to remain open at 20 percent occupancy.
There will also be restrictions on all non-essential travel. Hotels and motels can only be opened for “critical infrastructure support” and are not allowed to accept guests making essential travel.
The department’s figures showed that the capacity of the intensive care unit in California’s San Joaquin Valley has dropped to 14.1 percent, but restrictions would take effect in that region if it was still below 15 percent on Saturday, YourCentralValley.com reported.
Fauci’s timetable for when America will beat COVID
Newsom said the measure would prevent the healthcare system from being overburdened, adding, “We are at a turning point in our fight against the virus and we must take decisive action now.
Dr. Erica Pan, acting state health commissioner, said in a statement that if every Californian were to stay home for three months, “we could stop this disease in its tracks.
On Friday, California reported a 16 percent increase in new coronavirus infections. The 22,018 new cases were the third largest daily increase in one day. This brings the total number of cases in the state to 1,286,557 and the number of deaths to 19,582.
The following chart from Statista shows COVID deaths of elderly people in the USA.