SACRAMENTO, Calif — After weeks under a regional stay-at-home order, the Greater Sacramento Region has finally had their order lifted, according to Governor Gavin Newsom.
Gov. Newsom said ICU and positivity rates are stabilizing and, as a result, the Greater Sacramento Region is being pulled from the regional stay-at-home order. The region includes Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties.
Echoing Newsom's message of a "light at the end of this tunnel," Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said brighter days lie ahead.
"This is such good and hopeful news for our community, our workers and our small businesses," Steinberg said. "Let’s stay vigilant and socially distant so we can continue our recovery."
In a Sacramento County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, county executive Ann Edwards said the order was expected to be lifted today before the governor made the announcement.
“We just got word during the break from the state that the Sacramento region stay at home order will be lifted effective immediately today,” Edwards told the Board.
She said the state believes that the region is seeing the worst of the holiday surge now, and that the situation was getting better.
In a Facebook post preceding the governor's announcement, Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna said the region has a four-week projection of 19.1% ICU bed capacity.
Brenda Bongiorno, spokesperson for Sacramento County, said Sacramento County will still need to revise the local Public Health Order, and that afterward the county would revert back to the purple tier restrictions outlined in the "Blueprint for a Safer Economy.”
The county said an updated health order for Sacramento County will be effective Jan. 13.
The regional order dates back to Dec. 10. It happened when the ICU bed capacity dipped below 15% and triggered a regional lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.
While the regional lockdown is lifted, the tier system for reopening is still in place.
Shane Twilla, co-owner of Identity Boutique, said he is cautiously optimistic as the region pulls itself back into the most restrictive purple tier.
In the purple tier, bars remain closed, restaurants, gyms, houses of worship, and theaters can only resume outdoor operations. Retail can increase indoor capacity to 25%. Hair and nail salons can open indoors with modifications.
After being shut down for the last month, Kaylee Dang, owner of eco-friendly nail salon in Sacramento, said she's looking forward to re-opening on Thursday.
"I just got the news today! So I’m going to have to let my staff know so they kind of are mentally ready for it," Dang said.
But these two business owners say the back and forth between re-openings and shut-downs has been extremely damaging for their staff.
“I’m excited, but I hope they aren't going to shut down again," Dang said.
Even as some restrictions lift, business is a trickle. They say they hope community members follow public health guidelines to avoid another surge.
"We're still not out of the deep water yet, so just be safe and be responsible and remember we're all in this together," Twilla said.
Counties under the purple tier are also under a state curfew. It’s a limited a stay-at-home order that puts a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew on counties in the purple tier. The curfew is in effect until the regional stay-at-home order ends in all regions of California.
"This afternoon, the California Department of Public Health contacted Dr. Luu with the unexpected news that the State-At-Home order for the Greater Sacramento Region is being lifted. Locally, ICU beds in our own hospital are still stressed, so all of us still need to keep doing all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19," Yuba County said in a Facebook post.
Before Tuesday's announcement, Butte County officials said the Greater Sacramento Region had a four-week projection for ICU bed capacity that exceeded 15%. Officials said that projection translated to an end of the regional stay-at-home order, effective immediately.
Russ Brown, Media and Community Relations Coordinator for Yuba County Administrator's Office, said he expected Dr. Mark Ghaly to give the news during his 1:30 press event.
On Facebook, the City of Auburn also announced that the state lifted the stay-at-home order for the region, citing the Placer County health officer for the announcement.