Dec 29, 2020 - Health

Stay-at-home order extended for Southern California, San Joaquin Valley

A nurse in ICU at Providence St. Jude Medical Center Christmas Day on Friday, Dec. 25, 2020 in Fullerton, CA.

A nurse tightens her gown in the ICU at Providence St. Jude Medical Center Christmas Day in Fullerton, California. Photo: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California's regional stay-at-home order has been extended for Southern California and San Joaquin Valley, officials announced Tuesday.

Driving the news: The expected move came as the ICU capacity in both regions remained at 0%, the state health department said. Southern California and San Joaquin Valley have been under the order since Dec. 6.

  • Hospitals across the state are caring for more than 20,000 COVID-19 patients, per the Los Angeles Times.

Details: The regional stay-at-home order is triggered when a region's ICU capacity falls below 15%, and it stays in place for at least three weeks.

  • It includes restrictions on gatherings and requires certain businesses to close. Residents and visitors must also always wear a mask when they go outside.
  • Of note: The state uses a weighted formula to ensure ICU beds are available for non-coronavirus patients.

What they're saying: “If we are to get through this, the gatherings must stop and strict precautions must be followed by businesses that have been allowed to remain open,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis said Tuesday in a statement, per the Los Angeles Times.

  • “This is a dire situation — one that we avoided up until now and, frankly, one that we know was preventable because we’ve prevented it before.”

The big picture: The Southern California region, home to about 24 million people, includes the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, per AP.

  • Rural Northern California is the only region of the state's five regions not currently under the additional restrictions, the Los Angeles Times reported.
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