"Regions where the ICU capacity is falling below 15 percent, we are now mandating that we are implementing a stay-at-home order for three weeks. These regions are defined by this slide. We have five regions in this state. These regions are considered and constructed based upon a preexisting mutual aid system in the state of California."
"The five regions that we have highlighted, most of these four out of the five, we anticipate as early as the next day or two, as early or rather as late as the next week or so, that the greater Sacramento Northern California regions, as well as San Joaquin Valley and Southern California regions, will have reached that 15 percent or less ICU capacity."
California Gov. Gavin Newsom says most of the state will likely be under a new stay-at-home order within a day or two. Newsom announced new stay-at-home rules on Thursday that will trigger when a region’s intensive care unit capacity falls below 15%.
Newsom said four of the state’s five regions are likely to meet that threshold within a day or two. He said the only one likely not to meet the threshold is the San Francisco Bay Area.
The new rules would require hair salons and barber shops to close, limit retail stores to 20% capacity and only allow restaurants to offer take-out and delivery.
Once triggered, regions would have 48 hours to implement the rules, which must stay in effect at least three weeks. The rules don't apply to public schools.
California on Wednesday reported more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases, the most ever in one day. A record 8,500 people are in hospitals, including more than 2,000 in intensive care units, leaving the state with fewer than 2,000 available intensive care beds.
Newsom - who is staying at home after three of his children were exposed to the virus - already has imposed restrictions, including a nighttime curfew in 51 of the state’s 58 counties, an area with nearly the entire state population.
Los Angeles County, the nation's most populous with 10 million residents, also has imposed tighter stay-at-home restrictions and a three-week ban on in-person restaurant dining because of what county health director Barbara Ferrer called “terrifying increases in numbers.”
On Wednesday night, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a city order in apocalyptic tones telling people to remain in their homes.
LA “is now close to a devastating tipping point" that could overwhelm the hospital system, “in turn risking needless suffering and death," the order said.
The order also bars gatherings of people outside of immediate households with some exceptions and requires travelers arriving from outside the state to fill out an online form. It allows retail businesses to remain open for in-person shopping subject to a county curfew already in place.
Garcetti also urged police and the city attorney to enforce the order, which carries misdemeanor penalties.
In Santa Ana, a city of more than 300,000 people in Orange County, the City Council authorized a mandatory face mask rule and called for police to enforce it.
Overall, California has reported more than 1.2 million COVID-19 cases and more than 19,300 deaths. The state reported 20,759 new cases on Wednesday, surpassing the previous high of 18,350 set just last week.
Public health officials have said the current figures don’t include the COVID-19 infections likely to arise from Thanksgiving holiday travel and gatherings that ignored social distancing precautions.
Those cases probably will start showing up in hospitals around Christmas, said Brad Pollock, associate dean for public health sciences at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine.