California orders residents to stay in their homes as available hospital beds drop below 15%
- Much of California will enter a new restrictive lockdown on Sunday, with businesses closing and people being asked to stay indoors.
- Available hospital beds in Southern California and the Central Valley region dropped below 15% capacity on Saturday, triggering the lockdown, per an order from Gov. Gavin Newsom.
- "Lives are at stake, so this action is necessary," said Dr. Eric McDonald, medical director of San Diego County's Health and Human Services Agency, in a statement.
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Much of California will enter a new restrictive lockdown on Sunday, closing businesses and asking people to stay in their homes, as hospitals reached their limits from a surge of new Covid-19 patients.
As of Sunday night, tens of million of Californias will be ordered to stay at home, and will be required to wear masks whenever they're outside their homes for essentials. Most businesses will close. The mandate covers the Bay Area, Southern California, including San Diego and Los Angeles, and much of the Central Valley. It comes into effect as hospitals in Southern California and the Central Valley fell below a threshold of 15% available beds, set by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday. In the Central Valley, just 8.6% of beds were empty as of Saturday, with 12.5% empty in Southern California, said the California Department of Public Health.
California has had 1.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 19,734 deaths, according to according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Los Angeles County is the worst-hit county, in both California and the US, topping the list with 430,583 confirmed cases, and 7,842 deaths. San Francisco County has had 16,236 cases, and 162 deaths.
California logged a record 25,068 new cases on Friday, per The Associated Press.
In the Bay Area, the San Francisco mayor, London Breed, opted to impose the strict lockdown, even though her county hadn't fallen below 15% hospital bed capacity.
—London Breed (@LondonBreed) December 4, 2020
Midday Saturday, the Southern California region, which includes San Diego and Los Angeles, announced that less than 15% of its hospital beds were free, which would require it to enter the lockdown."Lives are at stake, so this action is necessary," said Dr. Eric McDonald, medical director of San Diego County's Health and Human Services Agency, in a statement. "We must restrict our activities and avoid contact with others to reduce transmissions of COVID-19."Melissa Melendez, a Republican state senator from Riverside County in Southern California, urged residents to "get the capacity back" up on Saturday to avoid the shutdown.
—Senator Melissa Melendez (@senatormelendez) December 5, 2020As Covid-19 cases rose in California in the last month, both Newsom and Breed were photographed at separate crowded dinner parties in Napa Valley. Both later apologised. Newsom on Saturday struck an upbeat note on Twitter, saying: "There is light at the end of the tunnel. A vaccine is coming. We can do this."
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