County urges San Diegans to heed new health orders as COVID-19 cases surge

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Posted at 3:06 PM, Dec 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-05 23:19:08-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County public health officials on Saturday urged residents to heed the state's health order as the coronavirus surges and ICU capacity is stretched across the state.

California's 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 12.5% ICU capacity on Saturday.

Saturday, San Diego County's ICU capacity sat at 20.9%, though Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said trends have the county's capacity worsening.

"We will below 15% in San Diego County in the coming days or weeks," Fletcher added. "We are on a trajectory where we will be there in the near future anyway."

Under the regional stay-at-home order, restrictions will last for three weeks and ban gatherings of people from different households. The restrictions will begin at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

"We have to do things that we know will decrease social interactions outside of the household," said Dr. Eric McDonald, medical director of the County Health and Human Services Agency's Epidemiology and Immunization Branch.

Business sectors being forced to close include:

  • 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.

Sectors that remain open with restrictions include:

  • Schools with a waiver,
  • "Critical infrastructure" sectors,
  • Retail stores at 20% capacity,
  • Restaurants offering takeout and delivery service can stay open,
  • Hotels "for critical infrastructure support only,"
  • Offices for remote except for critical infrastructure where remote isn't possible,
  • Gyms offering outdoor recreation,
  • Childcare services with restrictions,
  • Churches limited to outdoor services, and
  • Non-urgent medical and dental care with restrictions.

RELATED: San Diego restaurant workers dred latest shutdown

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%.

"Everything we are seeing is far greater than anything we have experienced before," said Fletcher. "We know there is a little fatigue setting in, people are tired. We also know that attitudes are hardening.

"It's going to be difficult. It's going to be tough."

RELATED: 'The rules are changing once again' Mayor Kevin Faulconer responds to Newsom's new shutdowns

San Diego County public health officials reported a record 2,287 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the local total to 90,468 cases and beating Friday's record number of daily cases. Eight more deaths were reported, bringing the local death toll to 1,055.

There were currently 814 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 hospitalizations in the county on Saturday, a 174% increase over the last 30 days. Of those hospitalizations, 205 patients are in the ICU, a 120% increase over the last 30 days, according to the county.

Saturday, San Joaquin Valley fell further below the state's threshold, according to CDPH:

  • Bay Area: 21.7%
  • Greater Sacramento Region: 21.4%
  • Northern California: 24.1%
  • San Joaquin Valley: 8.6%
  • Southern California: 12.5%

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.