Governor Gavin Newsom announced a regional stay-at-home order on December 3 in response to the unprecedented surge of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in California. The order, which takes effect December 5, is triggered for any designated region where the available adult intensive care unit bed capacity drops below 15%. Once that occurs, the region will have 24 hours to implement additional restrictions to stem the rate of COVID-19 cases.
The California regional stay-at-home order also prohibits private gatherings of any size with members of other households and closes certain sector operations with exceptions. Certain outdoor activities, such as many forms of exercise, continue to be permitted. These changes and restrictions are in addition to those outlined in the limited stay-at-home order issued on November 19 that requires counties in the widespread risk (purple) tier to stop nonessential activities between 10:00 pm and 5:00 am.
Once triggered, the order will remain in effect for that region for a minimum of three weeks. After the three-week period, the order may be lifted only when intensive care unit (ICU) bed availability reaches or exceeds 15%. Otherwise, the order will remain in effect.
If the order is lifted in a region, the counties within the region again will be categorized under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy tier system. While no regions had triggered the order at the time of Governor Newsom’s announcement, he stated that he expects many to reach that point within days.
The five designated regions and the counties in each region are as follows:
The governor estimates the Bay Area region will fall below 15% ICU capacity in mid- to late December. The other four regions are projected to fall below 15% ICU capacity in early December.
Under the regional stay-at-home order, the following must close:
Certain types of businesses that may remain open and operate on a limited basis include the following:
The following sectors may remain open with modifications when a remote option is not possible:
In addition, all nonessential travel will be suspended when a region is under the order. Governor Newsom reminded California residents to wear masks when outside their residences and when participating in the permitted activities. Social distancing also remains mandatory.
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Kathryn T. McGuigan
Michael D. Schlemmer