Millions of Californians may soon find themselves under stay home orders once again due to new restrictions announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The new order comes as the state sees a record surge of new cases and hospitalizations that are projected to overwhelm hospitals by Christmas.
The governor’s new stay-at-home order will take hold in regions where hospitals are feeling the squeeze on capacity to treat the incoming surge of Covid-19 patients.
The strict stay-at-home order will go into effect when intensive care unit capacity drops to 15%. Under the new plan, California will be divided into five regions — Northern California, Bay Area, Greater Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.
None of the five regions are currently under the new order, but projections show four regions will reach that threshold in the next day or two, with only the San Francisco Bay Area expected to remain open until mid-December, Newsom said at a news conference.
Newsom acknowledged that the new restrictions, which shutters many nonessential businesses and operations and prohibits most travel, will not be well-received by some, specifically small businesses, outlining several state programs designed to help.
“It’s never enough,” he said. “I’m mindful that we must do more.”
Essential businesses can remain open, but may only allow 20% capacity. Areas that must be closed include hair salons and barbershops, bars and breweries, playgrounds, amusement parks, and indoor recreation facilities.
California’s Covid-19 crisis shows no signs of slowing as the state added 18,591 more cases Thursday, bringing the total to 1,264,539.
Surge facilities are being prepped to be brought online in 11 locations from Sacramento to San Diego, Newsom said. The state’s stockpile of personal protective equipment is full.
“We do not anticipate having to do this once again,” Newsom said. “There is light at the end of the tunnel. We are few months away from truly seeing real progress with the vaccine. We have distribution, we have accessibility, we have availability.”
Note: These numbers were released by the California Department of Public Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.