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Southern California ICU capacity falls to 10.3% as new stay home order goes into effect Sunday

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Posted at 4:28 PM, Dec 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 12:32:37-05

The percentage of beds available in intensive care units across the Southern California region, which includes Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, has fallen to 10.3 percent the day the state's new Regional Stay Home Order goes into effect.

The order will go into effect in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties starting Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

Under California's new order, counties are grouped into five regions: Northern California, Bay Area, Greater Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. If the ICU bed capacity in any region falls under 15 percent, then the region must implement the order.

According to state health officials, the Regional Stay Home Order must remain in effect for at least three weeks. After that three-week period, the order will be lifted when a region's projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15 percent.

When triggered, the order requires the following sectors to shut down unless their operations fall within critical infrastructure:

  • Indoor and outdoor playgrounds
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Personal care services
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums
  • Movie theaters (except drive-in)
  • Wineries, bars, breweries, and distilleries
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering
  • Limited services
  • Live audience sports
  • Amusement parks

The Regional Stay Home Order also imposes additional restrictions on the following sectors:

  • Outdoor recreational facilities: Allow outdoor operation only for the purpose of facilitating physically distanced personal health and wellness through outdoor exercise, without any food, drink or alcohol sales. Additionally, overnight stays at campgrounds will not be permitted.
  • Retail: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Shopping centers: Allow indoor access at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Hotels and lodging: Allow for COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures, treatment measures, provide accommodation for essential workers, or providing housing solutions, including measures to protect homeless populations.
  • Restaurants: Allow only for take out or delivery.
  • Offices: Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible.
  • Places of worship and political expression: Allow outdoor activities only.
  • Entertainment production: Industries, studios, and other related establishments such as establishments that provide content for professional broadcast can operate without live audiences.

State health officials said the following sectors are permitted to remain open with safety precautions:

  • Critical infrastructure (when remote option is not possible)
  • Schools
  • Non-urgent medical and dental care
  • Child care and pre-K

The order also prohibits private gatherings of all sizes, according to state health officials.