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New Lockdown Likely for Bay Area “Mid-December”

A 3-week lockdown including ban on outdoor dining will come if hospitals and ICUs get more patients.
By - posted 12/3/2020 No Comment

In a Thursday press conference, California Governor Gavin Newsom laid out the new guidelines for determine a more restrictive lockdowns inclusion the shutdown of outdoor dining.

The Regional Stay Home Order, announced December 3, 2020, will go into effect within 48 hours in regions with less than 15% ICU availability. It prohibits private gatherings of any size, closes sector operations except for critical infrastructure and retail, and requires 100% masking and physical distancing in all others.

What does ICU Capacity Mean? Probably not what you think.

Even in normal times, ICUs typically run at 70-80% capacity to still allow wiggle room for additional patients and allow for surges. Many hospitals can actually be at over 100% ICU capacity since other beds can often be converted into an ICU bed as long as they have appropriate monitors and equipment and as long as there is enough staff on hand. Source: Live Science, Intermountain Healthcare

California has not shared their methodology for how they calculate ICU capacity and it’s unclear whether or not “capacity” includes surge beds

Where does SF stand currently? The City of San Francisco currently has 34% of ICU beds available (as of 12/1/20) which does not account for additional available surge ICU beds. But San Francisco is considered part of the wider “Bay Area” region and if other counties combined fall below the 15% threshold, the entire county goes on lockdown.

The order will remain in effect for at least 3 weeks and, after that period, will be lifted when a region’s projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15%. This will be assessed on a weekly basis after the initial 3 week period.

New Regional Lockdown Areas

  • Northern California: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity
  • Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma
  • Greater Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba
  • San Joaquin Valley: Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne
  • Southern California: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura

ICU actual capacity as of December 3, 2020 for the 5 regions:

  • Northern California 18.60%
  • Bay Area 25.30%
  • Greater Sacramento 22.20%
  • San Joaquin 19.70%
  • Southern California 20.60%

What Will Shut Down and What Can Stay Open?

The Regional Stay Home Order would be in effect for 3 weeks after the trigger and instructs Californians to stay at home as much as possible to limit the mixing with other households that can lead to COVID-19 spread. It allows access to (and travel for) critical services and allows outdoor activities to preserve Californians’ physical and mental health. This limited closure will help stop the surge and prevent overwhelming regional ICU capacity.

The Following Sectors Must Close
In any region that triggers a Regional Stay Home Order because it drops below 15% ICU capacity, the following sectors must close: 

  • Outdoor Dining
  • 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
  • Amusement parks

The following sectors will have additional modifications in addition to 100% masking and physical distancing:

  • Outdoor recreational facilities: Allow outdoor operation only 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 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.
  • Hotels and lodging: Allow to open for critical infrastructure support only.
  • Restaurants: Allow only for take-out, pick-up, 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 services only.
  • Entertainment production including professional sports: Allow operation without live audiences. Additionally, testing protocol and “bubbles” are highly encouraged.

The following sectors are allowed to remain open when a remote option is not possible with appropriate infectious disease preventative measures including 100% masking and physical distancing:

  • Critical infrastructure
  • Schools
  • Non-urgent medical and dental care
  • Child care and pre-K



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