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ICU capacity: Bay Area sees significant jump in available beds

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Some regions in California are reporting a significant increase in ICU bed capacity.

As of Saturday, ICU capacity in the Bay Area has jumped to 23.4%.

In other regions across the Golden State, ICU capacity is at:

  • Bay Area: 23.4%
  • Northern California: 41.2%
  • Greater Sacramento: 11.9%
  • San Joaquin Valley: 1.3%
  • Southern California: 0%

California’s regional order requires a three week minimum shutdown when an area’s total ICU capacity falls below 15%.

But reopening after three weeks is not promised if ICU capacity does not improve.

San Francisco extended it’s stay-at-home order after city leaders say it appeared the Bay Area wouldn’t get above 15% available ICU capacity by Jan. 7, when the order was expected to expire.

On Jan. 11, the Bay Area ICU capacity levels hit a dangerous low as statewide deaths continued to surge.

At one point, the region was at 0.7% availability.

Now — at more than 23% — does this mean the Bay Area can say goodbye to the stay-at-home order?

Currently, it is unclear.

Both the California Department of Public Health and Governor Gavin Newsom stopped providing daily regional ICU capacity percentages to the public.

The administration has been using the number to decide whether regions remain under stay at home orders.

Before Friday, it had been a week since California health leaders last provided specific ICU capacity percentages, the key data point Newsom’s administration has said would help determine which regions remain under his mandated stay at home order.

All week, the state would not provide the numbers, only writing in email updates vaugely saying three regions: the Bay Area, Southern California and San Joaquin Valley remain under the order, their four week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit.

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