COVID surge: Stay-at-home order triggered after Bay Area ICU capacity falls

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The Bay Area region’s ICU capacity has dropped to 12.9%, triggering a regional stay-at-home order and forcing some open counties to close businesses.

It will take effect on Dec. 17 at 11:59 p.m.

Most of the Bay Area counties are already under a stay-at-home order, preemptively issued in order to avoid maxing out on ICU beds and increasing COVID-19 cases and deaths.

San Mateo, Sonoma, Solano and Napa counties chose to continue with open businesses until the state swoops in.

The order will be in effect for a minimum of three weeks, in addition to the time some counties had already been locked down.

The order can end if the region’s ICU capacity is projected to be above or equal to 15% by day 22 of lockdown.

The order will remain in effect until the region’s projected ICU capacity is equal or greater than 15%. This would be assessed approximately twice a week.


  • Indoor Playgrounds 
  • Indoor Recreational Facilities 
  • Hair Salons and Barbershops 
  • Personal Care Services 
  • Museums, Zoos, and Aquariums 
  • Movie Theaters 
  • Wineries 
  • Bars, Breweries, and Distilleries 
  • Family Entertainment Centers 
  • Cardrooms and Satellite Wagering 
  • Casinos 
  • Limited Services 
  • Live Audience Sports 
  • Amusement Parks

According to the CDPH website, “Playgrounds may remain open to facilitate physically distanced personal health and wellness through outdoor exercise. Playgrounds located on schools that remain open for in-person instruction, and not accessible by the general public, may remain open and must follow guidance for schools and school-based programs.”


  • Retail/shopping: Indoor capacity 20%
  • Hotels/lodging: Closed for non-essential stays
  • Outdoor recreation: No overnight stays, no food/drink/alcohol sales
  • Worship: Outdoor services only
  • Restaurants: Take-out only
  • Offices: Remote work only, unless not possible for critical infrastructure sectors
  • Sports games/entertainment: No live audience


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