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California’s regional stay-at-home order has been extended as COVID cases continue to spike in the state, it was announced Tuesday.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has previously suggested that he might extend the December orders on Monday for Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. Those regions were previously set to emerge from the December restrictions on Monday, Dec. 28. The current extension will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
Under the extension, restaurants will continue to offer only takeout and delivery and stores will remain open under capacity restrictions. Hair and nail salons will remain closed. Film and television show productions have also been encouraged to strongly consider pausing amid the surge.
The extension arrives as California recorded 66,811 new coronavirus infections, which is the state’s highest number of new cases in a single day. Given recent gatherings and holiday travels, officials have expressed concern that there will be another surge in new infections. To stop the spread, anyone traveling outside of Los Angeles County must quarantine for 10 days upon return.
The order was put into place when a region’s intensive care unit bed availability falls below 15 percent. The Southern California region, which comprises Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, is currently at 0 percent ICU capacity, as is the San Joaquin Valley region.
During a COVID-19 update livestream Tuesday from the state’s Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, he expressed, “We could see the worst of it in early January.” “Many of you are tired,” Ghaly said. “Do as much as you can. Celebrate virtually.”
As of Tuesday, the state had 12,979 new cases with 227 new deaths reported. The Los Angeles Times reports that in L.A. County, hospitals are so overcrowded that some have had to convert conference rooms and gift shops into patient care areas.
As of Tuesday, 6,914 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in LA County. California is currently distributing COVID-19 vaccines to first-priority individuals including healthcare workers and nursing homes.
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