Most Of California To Enter Sweeping New Virus Lockdown

Written by on December 6, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The huge area of Southern California, a lot of the San Francisco Bay space and a big swath of the Central Valley are about to be positioned below a sweeping new lockdown in an pressing try to sluggish the fast rise of coronavirus instances.

The California Division of Public Well being stated Saturday the intensive care unit capability in Southern California and Central Valley hospitals had fallen beneath a 15% threshold that triggers the brand new measures, which embrace strict closures for companies and a ban on gathering with anybody exterior of your individual family. The brand new measures will take impact Sunday night and stay in place for no less than three weeks, which means the lockdown will cowl the Christmas vacation.

A lot of the state is on the point of the identical restrictions. Some counties have opted to impose them even earlier than the mandate kicks in, together with 5 San Francisco Bay Space counties the place the measures additionally take impact beginning Sunday.

With a brand new lockdown looming, many rushed out to supermarkets Saturday and lined up exterior salons to squeeze in a haircut earlier than the orders kicked in.

San Francisco resident Michael Duranceau rushed to a market to load up on provides.

“I’m simply stocking up earlier than Sunday — the fundamentals, bread, eggs,” he informed KGO-TV, clutching a heavy grocery bag and a baguette.

Gov. Gavin Newsom introduced the brand new plan Thursday. It’s the most restrictive order since he imposed the nation’s first statewide stay-at-home rule in March. However the scenario is bleaker than in March.

“The chance of contracting COVID in the neighborhood now’s greater now than it has ever been,” Dr. Eric McDonald, the medical director for San Diego County, informed reporters Saturday. He and different officers urged the general public to bear down, heed the principles and assist the state get by means of the newest and worst wave of instances the state has seen.

California has tallied a staggering complete of 1.three million COVID-19 instances for the reason that pandemic began, setting a brand new every day document on Friday when 25,068 confirmed instances have been recorded.

The brand new order divides the state into 5 areas and makes use of ICU capability because the set off for closures.

The measures bar all on-site restaurant eating and shut hair and nail salons, film theaters and plenty of different companies, in addition to museums and playgrounds. It says individuals could not congregate with anybody exterior their family and should at all times put on masks once they go exterior.

Below the brand new order, colleges which can be at the moment open can proceed to supply in-person instruction; retailers together with supermarkets and procuring facilities can function with simply 20% buyer capability.

The 11-county Southern California area, which incorporates the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, had solely 12.5% of its ICU beds accessible, the California Division of Public Well being reported Saturday. The determine was 8.6% for the San Joaquin Valley area, composed of a dozen counties within the agricultural Central Valley and rural areas of the Sierra Nevada.

Collectively the 2 areas are dwelling to greater than half of California’s inhabitants of 40 million.

“We’re at some extent the place surging instances and hospitalizations should not letting up,” stated Dr. Salvador Sandoval, public well being officer for the Central Valley metropolis of Merced. “I can’t emphasize this sufficient – everybody should take private steps to guard themselves and defend others.”

The opposite three areas — Higher Sacramento, Northern California and San Francisco Bay Space — have been throughout 21% capability.

However well being officers in 5 of the Bay Space’s 11 counties didn’t wait. On Friday, they adopted the state’s stay-at-home order. The modifications start to take impact Sunday night time in San Francisco, Santa Clara, Marin, Alameda and Contra Costa counties, in addition to town of Berkeley.

“We don’t assume we will anticipate the state’s new restrictions to enter impact. … That is an emergency,” Contra Costa Well being Officer Chris Farnitano stated.

“Our greatest concern all alongside — that we received’t have a mattress for you or your mom or your grandmother or grandfather once they get sick — is the truth we’ll be going through except we sluggish the unfold,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed stated.

The Bay Space order will final no less than by means of Jan. 4, every week longer than the state’s timeline, and got here because the state recorded one other every day document variety of new instances with 22,018. Hospitalizations topped 9,000 for first time, and ICU sufferers have been at a document 2,152.

The brand new shutdowns have been a gut-wrenching transfer for small companies which have struggled to outlive over practically a yr during which they have been repeatedly ordered to shut, then allowed to reopen however with advanced security precautions.

Michelle Saunders James was in tears Friday on the considered closing down her Oakland nail salon simply 5 weeks after reopening it.

“We put on (face) shields. We take temperatures. We do all the things we’re informed to take action everybody feels protected, together with our workers and group,” she informed KGO-TV. “So I don’t perceive why it’s not sufficient, and I’m terribly unhappy and afraid.”

Critics say the broad statewide order unfairly lumps too many disparate counties collectively into areas.

“I really feel prefer it’s absurd. That’s how I really feel. It’s a joke. I imply, initially we’re 220 miles away from Los Angeles. And we’re geographically remoted and we now have no downside … with overfilled ICU beds,” stated Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, a Republican who represents San Luis Obispo.

He requested why his county needs to be lumped in with Southern California counties like Los Angeles and Riverside when the San Luis Obispo hospital has only one COVID affected person within the ICU. The impact on enterprise has already been devastating, he stated. “We’ve received small companies which can be shedding all the things, all the things they’ve.”

The explosive rise in COVID-19 infections that started in October is being blamed largely on individuals ignoring security measures and socializing with others.

Berkeley Well being Officer Lisa Hernandez stated individuals mustn’t meet in particular person with anybody they don’t stay with, “even in a small group, and even outdoor with precautions.”

“You probably have a social bubble, it’s now popped,” Hernandez stated. “Don’t let this be the final vacation with your loved ones.”

Within the inland Central Valley, Fresno County had simply 10 of its 150 ICU beds accessible. Well being officers described a grim image with hospitals struggling to remain staffed due to coronavirus infections and exposures. One hospital is holding ICU sufferers within the emergency division till beds open up, Emergency Medical Providers Director Daniel Lynch stated Friday.

The county has requested assist from the state with staffing for a few weeks. However to date just one or two extra staff have proven up at three native hospitals as the entire state struggles with staffing.

Related Press writers Olga R. Rodriguez and Juliet Williams in San Francisco, Robert Jablon and Brian Melley in Los Angeles and Adam Beam in Sacramento contributed.

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