SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — California's regional stay-at-home orders will go into effect in San Diego County on Sunday after the Southern California region fell below the 15% ICU threshold that triggers the restrictions.
The state Department of Public Health announced the Southern California region, which includes San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Imperial, Inyo, Mono, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties, fell to 13.1% ICU capacity on Friday. That number dropped to 12.5% on Saturday.
The restrictions will begin for a region at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, according to the state. The region will be allowed to exit the order and return to previous reopening restrictions on Dec. 28 if ICU capacity projections for the following month are above or equal to 15%.
Under the regional stay-at-home order, restrictions will last for three weeks and ban gatherings of people from different households. Several businesses will also be forced to close, including:
- indoor and outdoor playgrounds;
- indoor recreational facilities;
- hair salons and barbershops;
- personal care services;
- museums, zoos, and aquariums;
- movie theaters;
- wineries, bars, breweries, and distilleries;
- family entertainment centers;
- cardrooms and satellite wagering;
- limited services;
- live audience sports; and
- amusement parks.
Schools with a waiver, "critical infrastructure," retail stores at 20% capacity, and restaurants offering takeout and delivery service can stay open. Hotels can also remain open "for critical infrastructure support only," and churches would be limited to outdoor services.
Businesses have 48 hours to comply with the new health order.
On Friday, San Diego County reported a record 2,039 new cases of COVID-19, and seven additional deaths, bringing the local tally to 88,181 cases and 1,047 deaths.
The county has 791 coronavirus-related hospitalizations, 216 of those in the ICU, according to Friday's data. San Diego County's ICU capacity sat at 23%.
Over the last 30 days, county health officials said there has been a 178% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations and a 121% increase in COVID-19 ICU cases.
San Joaquin Valley also fell below the state's threshold on Friday, with 14.1% ICU capacity, according to CDPH:
- Bay Area: 21.2%
- Greater Sacramento Region: 21.4%
- Northern California: 20.9%
- San Joaquin Valley: 14.1%
- Southern California: 13.1%
Multiple Bay Area counties have already started the latest health order. The new restrictions come after Governor Gavin Newsom said he was pulling an "emergency brake" on Thursday to stop the spread of coronavirus.
San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond responded with the following statement Saturday:
This "regional" approach from the State of California is absurd. We are being lumped into the "Southern California" region with jurisdictions as far as San Luis Obispo and Mono County. And, San Diego County is at 23% capacity, well above the 15% requirement. If you count our available overflow ICU beds then we are at 36% capacity. The Governor and State did not consult with San Diego County and unilaterally implemented a “regional” approach that unfairly puts people out of work. Again, San Diego did not have an opportunity to review and provide input and did not agree to this system. The State does not and cannot demonstrate how playgrounds, or barbershops, or fitness centers have caused significant spread. But they are shutting them down anyway, putting people out of work. The positivity rate for residents in San Diego County testing positive is, .03%. This does not warrant taking away people’s lives, proper education, and livelihoods. Let’s be responsible- continue to follow all the safety protocols, like the wearing masks and social distancing. San Diegans are doing that, and our numbers reflect a region that should not be shut down. San Diego has roughly the same population as entire states such as Utah, Iowa and Connecticut. To group us in with a “Southern California Region” with San Luis Obispo, Mono County and Los Angeles is unfair and unwarranted. The Governor is out of touch and punishing San Diegans. I’ll continue to fight for reasonable and fair response to COVID. Some action is warranted because cases, hospitalizations, and ICU bed use is increasing, however this is not the right response. We need to push for the best practices- social distancing, mask wearing, working from home as much as possible and we need to identify specific causes of spread and address them.