• California governor says 4 of state's 5 regions will meet new shutdown threshold 'within a day or two'
• Regional stay-at-home orders go into effect when a region's ICU capacity falls below 15%
• Bars and personal care services must close for 3 weeks
• Schools, reduced capacity retail and restaurant take-out may remain open
A 21-day statewide order issued Thursday by California governor Gavin Newsom sets new limits on in-person shopping, salon services, and gatherings, to stem the surge in coronavirus cases.
The new set of far-reaching restrictions goes into effect when a given region of the state hits a benchmark of ICU capacity, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
"The bottom line is, if we don't act now our hospital system will be overwhelmed," Newsom said in a news conference Thursday announcing the new restrictions.
"If we don't act now, we'll continue to see our death rate climb, more lives lost."
Data released by the Newsom administration earlier this week show almost all of the state will soon reach the new threshold — with 85% or more of ICU beds filled, reports the Los Angeles Times:
The rules will limit for at least 21 days an array of activities in areas facing critical care shortages, restrictions that could last through the holiday season. Eleven counties in Southern California and 12 counties in the Central Valley could be required to implement the new restrictions on Friday, based on current projections of the rising number of patients who have been admitted to intensive care units.
Southern California counties affected by the order are Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Imperial, Inyo and Mono.
Affected communities will be required to close personal service businesses including hair and nail salons, playgrounds, family entertainment centers and campgrounds for overnight stays. Restaurants will be required to return to take-out service only. Retail businesses will be limited to 20% of their customer capacity inside at any one time, with requirements for store officials to ensure there's no indoor drinking or eating.
More at the Los Angeles Times: Newsom orders new limits on California businesses and activities as COVID-19 soars