The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced Friday that stay-at-home orders in four regions, including the Bay Area, are likely to stay in place past their original three-week duration — solidifying what many of us have been thinking as Bay Area hospitals crowd with COVID-19 cases.
San Francisco and four other Bay Area counties were quick to prematurely enact the state's stay-at-home order, citing it was only a matter of time before they would reach the 15% ICU capacity threshold. That was over three weeks ago.
Though "Shutdown 2.0" was only expected to last until January 4, recent hospitalization and positivity rates have state public health officials saying on Friday these orders will probably be extended for the Bay Area, Greater Sacramento, the San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California.
California #COVID19, By The Numbers:— CA Public Health (@CAPublicHealth) December 25, 2020
🔹 Confirmed cases to date: 2,042,290
🔹 Note: Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed
More information at https://t.co/TLLUGwPGY7. pic.twitter.com/fZFmpYrEk4
"It is likely that the Regional Stay at Home Order will extend for many regions in California," reads a news release from the CDPH. "Regions must remain under the Regional Stay at Home Order for at least three weeks and shall continue until ICU capacity projections for four weeks from the day assessed are above or equal to 15%."
As it stands right now, the ICU capacity of the Bay Area sits at 9.8% — a figure that may worsen over the next few weeks. The Greater Sacramento Region has a 16.7% ICU capacity projection rate, while Northern California appears to be fairing the best with 36.3%; both the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California regions are at an utterly worrisome 0.0%.
CDPH states the Bay Area could possibly leave the order on January 8, but based on the current numbers, it's likely not going to happen. The Greater Sacramento region could exit the order as early as January 1, while San Joaquin and Southern California become eligible to be removed from the order on December 28 — though that's incredibly unlikely, given the current grim figures for each of the latter two regions.
Before Christmas Eve, California became the first state in the country to pass two million recorded COVID-19 cases; Bay City News also shared that CDPH is now reporting 2,042,290 confirmed cases — and these numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.
Image: Signs posted in Dolores Park in San Francisco warning people about best practices during the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020. Dolores Park is usually full of people but it's currently sitting empty. (Courtesy of Getty Images via DutcherAerials)