California public health officials lift regional stay at home order for all regions
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Officials with the California Department of Public Health Monday ended the Regional Stay at Home Order, lifting the order for all regions statewide, including the three regions that had still been under the order – San Joaquin Valley, Bay Area and Southern California.
Four-week ICU capacity projections for these three regions are above 15%, the threshold that allows regions to exit the order. The Sacramento Region exited the order on January 12 and the Northern California region never entered the order.
The change will allow for the resumption of outdoor dining, as well as at least some services at gyms, barber shops and nail salons, among other businesses, according to multiple media reports.
Counties would also return to the color-coded tier system, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday night, quoting “sources briefed on the plan by the governor’s office.”
According to the Times, most counties in the state would go into the “widespread” risk tier. That would allow salons to offer some limited services but keep restrictions on other nonessential businesses.
Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services also confirmed to CBS2 on Sunday night that the order could be lifted.
“We see promising signs that California is slowly emerging from the most intense stage of this pandemic,” Brian Ferguson, deputy direct for crisis communication, told the station.
“We continue to look at what that means for the regional stay-at-home order and anticipate that the state Department of Public Health will provide a formal update (this) morning.”
Also, a letter from the California Restaurant Association dated Sunday read, “Late this evening, senior officials in the Newsom administration informed us that the governor will announce tomorrow that the stay-at-home order will be lifted in all regions of the state.”
The news came as San Diego County public health officials reported 1,637 new COVID-19 cases and 31 additional deaths Sunday — the 55th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new cases.
The county’s cumulative case total increased to 227,195 and the death toll is now at 2,375.
There were 57 more COVID-19 patients reported hospitalized in the county Sunday, with four more San Diegans moved into intensive care.
Over the past 30 days, a 10% increase in the number of hospitalizations has been recorded, with a 21% increase in patients in ICUs, according to the county’s Health and Human Services Agency.
The data showing a decline in cases and overall hospitalizations, but an increase in ICU patients and deaths, might indicate a tapering down of a major wave of the pandemic.
A median two-week period between infection and first symptoms along with additional time between symptoms and hospitalization, serious symptoms and death could mean these record numbers are from people who were initially infected around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said last week that he was “cautiously optimistic” about the numbers, but wanted to see a longer downward trend and warned the public not to become complacent.
“Numbers can rapidly turn around and go the other direction,” he said.
Eleven new community outbreaks were reported as of Saturday, while 45 have been recorded in the past week, tied to 192 cases.