California stay-at-home orders lifted, state confirms

National News

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — The California Department of Public Health has ended the stay-at-home orders for all regions in the state as of Monday morning.

Now, individual counties are going back to the tier system the state had been using under its Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

“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,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly in a statement sent just before 8 a.m.

The order had shuttered several businesses, prompting lawsuits against the state. Regions could only exit the stay-at-home restrictions once four-week ICU capacity projections showed at least 15% availability.

During the holiday coronavirus surge, officials had said the orders would likely be indefinite for some regions. But over the weekend, ICU capacity bumped up for several regions, including the Bay Area.

Late Sunday night, the California Department of Public Health said the state was seeing “promising signs.” However, in the department’s confirmation announcement, they said:

“It is still critical that Californians continue to wear masks when they leave their homes, maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet, wash their hands frequently, avoid gatherings and mixing with other households, follow all state and local health department guidance and get the vaccine when it’s their turn.”

San Francisco Mayor London Breed is apparently holding a press briefing around 1:15 p.m. Monday, according to the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, and she is expected to address the San Francisco reopening plan, which is already believed to be following the state color code tiers.

There could be additional restrictions by the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

This comes after some regions in California reported a significant increase in ICU bed capacity.

As of Saturday, ICU capacity in the Bay Area jumped to 23.4%, a major increase from its 0.7% ICU capacity reported less than two weeks prior.

In other regions across the golden state, ICU capacity is at:

  • Bay Area: 23.4%
  • Northern California: 41.2%
  • Greater Sacramento: 11.9%
  • San Joqauin Valley: 1.3%
  • Southern California: 0%

California’s regional order requires a three-week minimum shutdown when an area’s total ICU capacity falls below 15%.

When the Bay Area and Northern California surpassed the needed 15% to ditch the order, many desperately waited for word from state officials, but it didn’t come.

The California Department of Public Health and Newsom’s office had stopped providing daily regional ICU capacity percentages to the public.

Before Friday, it had been a week since California health leaders last provided specific ICU capacity percentages, the key data point Newsom’s administration has said would help determine which regions remain under his mandated stay-at-home order.

All week, the state would not provide the numbers, only saying in email updates that three regions — the Bay Area, Southern California and San Joaquin Valley — remain under the order and that their four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit.

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