Due to the increase in new positive cases of COVID-19 and the lowest level of ICUs beds, almost 85% of California people might expect a stay-at-home Christmas.

Last week, California health officials confirmed that the ICU capacity in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley decreased below the allowed 15% threshold. When the rate in Southern California declined to 12.5%, it sunk to 8.6% in the San Joaquin Valley. As a result, a stay-at-home order has been offered and California citizens might have to expect a strange Christmas holiday.

Additionally, many businesses would be stopped temporarily. The gathering of people outside your house would be banned in two regions of the state where 27 million residents are living in. The decision is effective within 3 weeks.

“Unlike previous surges, every hospital in California is under stress. There is no place to transfer people if we run out of beds,” San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón said. “Three-quarters of the state’s hospital beds are currently full.”

“We are at a tipping point in our fight against the virus, and we need to take decisive action now to prevent California’s hospital system from being overwhelmed in the coming weeks,” the governor said ahead of Saturday’s announcement.

After a long time that California’s authority made their attempt to prevent the corona virus’s impact from occurring on the rest part of the US, the new order marks a noticeable change in this state. In March, California asked 39.5 million inhabitants to stay at home without time limitation after this state confirmed 1,000 positive cases and 19 deaths. Until Friday, California had more than 1.3 million positive cases and almost 20,000 deaths.

A coronavirus testing booth. Photo: Reuters

Merchandise, restaurants, business

All activities on daily basis will be affected after the new regulation being called. When businesses such as hair and nail salons, movie theaters, and bar clubs will be closed, restaurants will only offer takeout for pickup. Other recreational places such as playgrounds, zoos, and museums will be also closed. Although merchandise regarding grocery stores still open, their capacity will be limited to 20%. Students are still allowed to go to schools, but people are only offered outdoor services when going to places of worship. The main purpose of the new rule is to ask residents to stay at home as much as possible and using masks all the time when going out.

Despite of the advantage of limiting the COVID-19 positive cases, some of small business owners have their disappointments over the new restrictions, such as Rosey Ibarra – a hair stylish said that she does not tend to close her business.

“I feel confident to properly and safely take care of my clients,” she told CapRadio. “None of my clients have rescheduled, none of them feel that coming to my salon is going to be unsafe for them at this time.”

Though the L.A County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is unwilling to shut down personal businesses, he is trying to retrain “super spreader” events. Without the help of the local police force, it is difficult to implement these new measures.

“Staying home for three weeks is a sacrifice, but if every Californian did that for a month, we could stop this disease in its tracks,” said Dr. Erica Pan, the state’s acting public health officer.

“This public health order strikes the balance between saving lives, providing essential services that we all rely on and still allowing Californians to participate in lower-risk outdoor activities that are crucial for our physical and mental health.”

Normal scene in California before the pandemic. Photo: Reuters

However, though some areas did not have decline below the state’s threshold in the ICU capacity, they also follow the new order. After Los Angeles County, five counties – Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, and San Francisco also abided by the stay-at-home rule on Friday.

“We must do whatever is necessary in order to get the virus under control,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Friday.

“This is about protecting people’s lives. We see how quickly it moves and how devastating the effects. We need to do everything we can to prevent our hospital system from becoming overwhelmed and to save lives.”

According to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University, U.S had 213,875 new positive cases and more than 2,200 deaths until last Saturday. More than 101,000 people are getting treatment with nearly a fifth of those patients in the ICU.


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