SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON/AP) — The California Health Department has ended the stay-at-home orders for all regions in the state as of Monday morning.
Now, individual counties are going back to the tier system the state had been using under its Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
“California is slowly starting to emerge from the most dangerous surge of this pandemic yet, which is the light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been hoping for,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly in a statement sent just before 8 a.m.
The order had shuttered several businesses, prompting lawsuits against the state. Regions could only exit the stay-at-home restrictions once four-week ICU capacity projections showed at least 15% availability.
Newsom also went into detail about a new app California is piloting called My Turn that notifies people when they’re eligible for vaccinations.
It also transmits data more quickly back to the CDC.
The app launched in LA and San Diego counties. State leaders are hoping for a statewide roll out within the coming weeks.
During the holiday coronavirus surge, it seemed there would be no end in sight for lifted restrictions. Officials had said the orders would likely be indefinite for some regions. But over the weekend, ICU capacity bumped up for several regions, including the Bay Area.
California ranks 26th in the nation when it comes to positivity rates. Other large states like Florida and Texas are at 15% and 10% positivity rates.
Current available ICU capacity by region:
- Bay Area: 25%
- Greater Sacramento Region: 18.9%
- Northern California: 27.3%
- San Joaquin Valley: 22.3%
- Southern California: 33.3%
There has been a 19.8% decrease in hospitalizations and a 9.5% decrease in ICU admissions over a two week period.
These numbers come from current estimated capacity availability, current estimated capacity available, current community transmission, and current regional case rates.
Some flattening of the curve is happening, Newsom said.
When Newsom was asked about the timing of his announcement to cancel stay-at-home orders as the decision comes with a recall effort against him, he responded, “It’s complete utter nonsense so let’s dispense with that.”
Late Sunday night, the California Department of Public Health said the state was seeing “promising signs.” However, in the department’s confirmation announcement, they said:
“It is still critical that Californians continue to wear masks when they leave their homes, maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet, wash their hands frequently, avoid gatherings and mixing with other households, follow all state and local health department guidance and get the vaccine when it’s their turn.”
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. KRON’S EARLIER STORY BELOW:
Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to lift the statewide stay-at-home order on Monday, California Capitol Correspondent Ashley Zavala says.
All counties will reportedly go back to the tier system.
Zavala says most regions will return to the most-restrictive purple tier — allowing the reopening of outdoor dining and indoor salons.
The Governor’s office is apparently basing this decision off of four-week ICU projections — which are not public.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed is apparently holding a press briefing around 1:15 p.m. on Monday, according to the Golden Gate Restaurant Association.
The mayor is expected to address the San Francisco reopening plan, which is already believed o be following the state color code tiers.
There could be additional restrictions by the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
A spokesperson from the California Department of Public Health sent out a statement Sunday. The spokesperson did not confirm the announcement, but said the state is seeing “promising signs” and officials will provide an update on Monday.
This after some regions in California reported a significant increase in ICU bed capacity.
California’s regional order requires a three week minimum shutdown when an area’s total ICU capacity falls below 15%.
So when the Bay Area and Northern California surpassed the needed 15% to ditch the order, many desperately waited for word from state officials — which never came.
The California Department of Public Health and Governor Newsom stopped providing daily regional ICU capacity percentages to the public.
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 vaguely 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.