SACRAMENTO – Gov. Gavin Newsom will impose new stay-at-home orders in areas with dwindling ICU capacity in an effort to slow the growing number of coronavirus cases in California, according to two people who were briefed on the governor’s suspended announcement.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the new home stay applications will be grouped by regional hospital networks, not individual provinces, and will come into effect when the ICU capacity in a region drops below 15%. Not authorized to speak publicly.
Newsom is expected to announce new orders Thursday. A spokesman for the governor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The requests will require the closure of many non-essential businesses in the affected areas – including indoor dining and personal care services such as hair and nail salons – but will allow local communities to decide whether schools remain open, the sources said. It will remain in effect for at least three weeks after being imposed by the state.
The sources said that companies in those areas that are allowed to stay, such as grocery stores, will only have to work 20%.
There will be five regions in which ICU capacity will be tracked, according to the sources: rural Northern California, the Bay Area, Greater Sacramento District, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California, stretching from San Luis Obispo to the Mexican border. It was not known which areas could be placed immediately under the home order.
As the number of cases in California rises from the increase in the summer, Newsom said Monday it was assessing whether to impose new restrictions similar to the March lockdown that prevented California residents from leaving the home for all activities and exercise except for essential activities.
“Red flags are flying regarding the trajectory of our growth forecasts,” said Newsom. “If these trends continue, we will have to take more dramatic, and arguably drastic, action.”
Without other public health interventions, the governor said, the country’s capacity in hospital intensive care units could run out by Christmas Eve if the increase continues at the current rate. About three quarters of the intensive care beds are currently fullApproximately 25% of them are infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles Approved Their revised stay-at-home orders this week largely prevent people from gathering outside their immediate homes but allow retail businesses, parks, beaches, golf courses and tennis courts to stay open.
Newsom’s briefing will be broadcast live on Embed a Tweet Twitter page and California Governor Facebook the page.
Check back at SFChronicle.com for updates on this urgent story.
Alexei Kosev is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: Embed a Tweet
“Alcohol scholar. Twitter lover. Zombieaholic. Hipster-friendly coffee fanatic.”