On Monday, California has announced its lifting of the regional stay-at-home orders put in place across the state. State health officials say this is due to the declining ICU crowding projections in hospitals in certain areas of the state.
Gov. Gavin Newsom put the stay-at-home orders in place after a surge in COVID-19 cases took place last December. It included a majority of the areas in the state, including San Joaquin Valley, the Bay Area, and Southern California.
During this period, restaurants could only offer take-out and delivery. Additionally, personal care establishments, such as hair salons and barber shops, could not operate under the orders. Retail establishments were allowed to do business but at a limited capacity.
With the lifting of the order, California will go back to using its tier system for reopening businesses. Depending on the tier level of COVID-19 spread in the county, the government may or may not allow businesses to reopen. The state also announced lifting the curfew in the area.
Stay-At-Home Orders Lifted Due to Good ICU Capacity Projections
Health officials in California say that ICU capacity in all areas of the state is projected to drop under 85% in four weeks. In the weeks prior to this, most hospitals are operating while close to reaching their maximum ICU capacity for weeks. The new projection, however, allowed the government to lift the restrictions in the area. Prior to the state-wide lifting, on Jan. 12, Sacramento already exited the order. Meanwhile, Northern California is an area that never entered it in the first place.
Regarding this news, Dr. Mark Ghaly, the secretary for Health and Human Services in the state, released a statement. In it, he said: “California is slowly starting to emerge from the most dangerous surge of this pandemic yet, which is the light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been hoping for.”
He then added: “Seven weeks ago, our hospitals and front-line medical workers were stretched to their limits, but Californians heard the urgent message to stay home when possible and our surge after the December holidays did not overwhelm the health care system to the degree we had feared.”