TAHOE, Calif. (KRON) — Lake Tahoe will soon adopt the state’s stay-at-home order, officials announced Wednesday.

The Greater Sacramento region fell below 15% ICU capacity on Wednesday, triggering the order that will take effect Thursday night.

ICU capacity fell to 14.3% as of Wednesday morning, the state announced.

According to the California COVID-19 website, the new restrictions will take effect at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday. The order will remain in place for at least three weeks.

The Greater Sacramento region includes Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties.

“If you’re in a stay-at-home area, this is not the time to come to Tahoe, you should be staying at home just like we’re all staying at home,” Chris Fiore said. 

That’s the message to visitors from South Lake Tahoe communications manager Chris Fiore.

“These next three weeks are crucial and if we can get through these next three weeks and see these numbers go down and those ICU beds become available again we could go back to the normal Tahoe,” Fiore said. 

South Lake Tahoe has limited healthcare resources. Barton Memorial Hospital is the only hospital in the city and has fewer than 10 ICU beds and ventilators.

“This virus transmits so easily. What we know though is that if we take the proper safety precautions we can stop this virus. Science is real,” Fiore said. 

While summer holiday weekends, like the 4th of July, didn’t keep visitors away back in September. Tahoe residents were protesting along Highway 50 in Meyers telling visitors not to come to the area.

Tahoe officials are hoping visitors this time around will take personal responsibility to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Under the state’s stay at home order, Tahoe hotels and lodging will be closed to visitors but open to essential workers and COVID-19 containment measures such as treatment or housing homeless people.

For those who live in the area, ski resorts will remain open. The state’s order exempts outdoor recreation, just like most counties in the Bay Area. Restaurants will operate takeout and delivery only and retail will be open at 20 percent capacity.

The order only applies to the California side of Lake Tahoe, while the Nevada side can remain open.

Placer County (North Tahoe) Supervisor Cindy Gustafson issued the following statement to KRON4:

“Placer County implores everyone to understand and comply with the new stay at home order and the measures being taken to protect the health of our communities. Placer County will continue to focus our efforts with our other agency and government partners on education to ensure businesses and community members understand and are following the most up to date state guidelines.”

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