Supervisor Desmond believes Newsom lifted the lockdowns due to political pressure
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Citing improving conditions in hospitals, state health officials Monday lifted all regional stay-at-home orders, including in the 11-county Southern California region, but counties will still be subject to the tight regulations of the restrictive “purple” tier of economic reopening guidelines.
The regional stay-at-home order was imposed in Southern California late last year when intensive-care unit capacity dropped below 15%. The regional capacity subsequently dropped to an adjusted 0%.
But state officials said Monday that with hospitalization numbers trending downward, four-week projections now indicate ICU capacity will rise above the 15% threshold.
“Californians heard the urgent message to stay home as much as possible and accepted that challenge to slow the surge and save lives,” said Dr. Tomas Aragon, CDPH director and state public health officer. “Together, we changed our activities knowing our short-term sacrifices would lead to longer- term gains. COVID-19 is still here and still deadly, so our work is not over, but it’s important to recognize our collective actions saved lives and we are turning a critical corner.”
Although the state order has been lifted, individual counties are still able to impose stricter restrictions than the state.
But in general, lifting the state order could mean a resumption of outdoor dining, as well as at least some services at gyms, barber shops and nail salons, among other businesses.
A possible resumption of outdoor dining could be the biggest economic boon of the announcement. On Sunday, the California Restaurant Association sent its members a letter announcing the pending state decision, saying, “we thought you’d like to know this good news.”
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.
San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond has been fighting for a safe reopening process for months, and is happy to see these restrictions be lifted.