Doctors discuss how effective new stay-at-home order would be


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – As cases continue to surge and local leaders work on the logistics of distributing a vaccine, the state is also working on the particulars of a new ‘stay at home’ order. 

There is a flurry of speculation about what those restrictions will look like.

The abandoned streets we saw back in the spring is one version of a stay at home order and while effective, it’s economic impacts could prevent the state from repeating it.  

More likely is something similar to Santa Clara County’s latest order which reduces capacity limits to 10% for non-essential indoor stores and limits gatherings to a maximum of 100 people and only outdoors.

It also requires people who travel more than 150 miles away from home to quarantine upon their return.  

“Further increasing restriction on people’s movement will be helpful,” Dr. Dean Winslow said. 

Dr. Dean Winslow is an infectious disease specialist at Stanford. He says whatever type of order that comes out must reemphasize not socializing outside your own household.

“Families getting together indoors in individual houses is another way the virus has taken off in recent weeks so a modified order that would limit people going to other people’s houses,” Winslow said. 

A new stay at home order is designed to keep California hospitals from getting overwhelmed.  

“What we are seeing today reflects what happened 2 weeks ago, so we know looking at the case positivity rate and the trends that if you shut things down or pull back today that will affect things in mid-December,” Dr. Robert Wachter, director of UCSF Department of Medicine, said. 

That’s why medical experts say the time to do it is now and they say the prospect of a vaccine is no reason to wait, because the majority of people won’t get it for at least a couple of months.

“In that period of time, we could see tens of thousands of people die and literally thousands in the Bay Area if we are not careful,” Wachter said. 

Again, we don’t know what the states stay at home order will look like or when it will go into effect but medical experts seem to agree some type of rollback could be effective.

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