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What will be open, closed during California's new stay-at-home order

Southern California could be placed under this new region-wide order within the next few days

SAN DIEGO — On Thursday Dec. 3, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new conditional stay-at-home order as California continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

"If we don't act now, our hospital system will be overwhelmed," Newsom said during Thursday's press conference. "If we don't act now we'll continue to see a death rate climb, more lives lost."

The latest stay-at-home orders will be grouped by five regional hospital networks instead of the previous individual county approach. San Diego County falls under the "Southern California" region.

"This is the most challenging moment since the beginning of this pandemic," Newsom added. 

State leaders said that this regional approach was adopted because of the mutual assistance neighboring counties' hospitals provide each other.

"When capacity can not be met within a specific county, we lean on neighboring counties and other hospital systems to care for a number of individual," said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California's Health and Human Services Secretary.

When will it go into effect?

The stay-at-home order will be triggered 24 hours after a region's free ICU bed capacity drops below 15%. While we don't know exactly which day we'll hit that little of ICU beds, data suggests the day is coming soon. Four out of the five regions are projected to reach that number in early December, likely within a few days.

Which businesses will close?

The new round of stay-at-home orders will require many non-essential businesses in the impacted regions to close. According to the California Department of Public Health, those businesses include:

  • Bars
  • Wineries and breweries
  • Personal Services 
  • Hair Salons and barbershops
  • Indoor and outdoor playgrounds
  • Personal care services
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums
  • Movie theaters
  • Live audience sports
  • Amusement parks

Which businesses can stay open with safety protocols in place?

  • Critical infrastructure 
  • Schools that are already approved for in-person learning
  • Medical and dental care
  • Childcare and Pre-k

Which businesses can stay somewhat open, but require 100% of people to wear masks?

  • Outdoor recreational facilities: Allow outdoor operation only without any food, drink or alcohol sales. Additionally, overnight stays at campgrounds will not be permitted.
  • RetailAllow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems. 
  • Shopping centers: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Hotels and lodging: Allow to open for critical infrastructure support only.
  • RestaurantsAllow only for take-out, pick-up, or delivery.
  • OfficesAllow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible. 
  • Places of worship and political expression: Allow outdoor services only.
  • Entertainment production including professional sportsAllow operation without live audiences. Additionally, testing protocol and “bubbles” are highly encouraged.

How long will this order last?

The order will remain in effect for at least three weeks and, after that period, will be lifted when a region’s projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15%. This will be assessed on a weekly basis after the initial 3 week period.

On Wednesday, California broke its record for new coronavirus cases reported in a single day. The state reported 20,759 new cases on Wednesday, shattering the previous record of more than 18,350 set just last week. A record 8,500 people are in the hospital. The state has fewer than 2,000 intensive care unit beds available, and officials have said they may be filled by Christmas unless the virus spread slows.

What about gatherings?

According to the Dec. 3 order, gatherings of any size are not allowed.

What's open before this new order goes into effect?

Under current rules, you can find out detailed information on which businesses are open and closed on a county-by-county basis here.