Southern California and San Joaquin Valley regions to remain under stay-at-home order

Posted at 12:43 PM, Dec 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-29 23:14:15-05

In a press conference Tuesday, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced that both the Southern California and San Joaquin Valley regions will remain under the state's stay-at-home order.

San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties are in the Southern California region.

According to Dr. Ghaly, the decision was made based on projections that the ICU capacity is not improving and demand will continue to exceed capacity four weeks from now.

The California Department of Health's data team conducts the projections which are based on current ICU capacity, current seven-day average case rate, transmission rate, and rate of ICU admission.

A region's ICU capacity needs to be at least 15% or higher in order for the stay-at-home order to be lifted. Currently, for both the Southern California and San Joaquin Valley regions, ICU capacity is considered to be 0%.

The initial stay-at-home order placed restrictions on an affected region for at least three weeks. According to Dr. Ghaly, the length of the stay-at-home order extension could be shorter or longer than that based on the state's projections, which will be assessed daily.

In the San Joaquin Valley, the current case rate stands at 97.5 and in Southern California, it is at 130.1.

The Southern California and San Joaquin Valley regions were the first to be placed under the stay-at-home order.

Under the stay-at-home order, the following must remain closed:

  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Personal care services
  • Museums, zoos, aquariums
  • Movie theaters
  • Wineries, bars, breweries, distilleries
  • Amusement parks

Additionally, restaurants are allowed to operate for take-out or delivery only, retail is allowed to operate at 20% capacity, and places of worship can operate only outdoors.

Dr. Ghaly also provided new guidance to hospitals under a crisis care continuum.

It includes three levels: conventional care, contingency care, and crisis care.

According to Dr. Ghaly, most hospitals are operating under contingency care today.

Under this, space in the hospital starts to be used for other types of care, such as COVID patients, single occupancy rooms are converted to double, supplies are conserved or reused and the level of care may be delayed.

“We do have to acknowledge that we need to be prepared that some hospitals will have to resort to crisis care,” Dr. Ghaly said.

The state does not determine when a hospital resorts to crisis care standards, it will be determined by the hospital, based on the need for hospitalization and available resources.

According to Dr. Ghaly, care must be guided by ethics, equity, and transparency.

The state of California also issued guidance to achieve four goals:

  1. Hospitals are able to remain in conventional or contingent care as long as possible
  2. All hospitals in a region work together to support each hospital to remain in contingent care as long as possible
  3. Hospitals have prepared plans for crisis care if needed as a last resort
  4. The public has clear and transparent information regarding the crisis care continuum as well as the hospital’s approach to crisis care during this surge