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COVID crisis: Bay Area ICU capacity drops while businesses struggle

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — ICU capacity continues to threaten Bay Area hospitals as coronavirus cases and deaths continue to increase.

The number of people sick is pushing hospitals towards the breaking point.

And that is why a number of health experts are supportive of the stay-at-home order extension.

The California Department of Public Health on Saturday released the latest statistics on COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, including intensive care unit data.

As of Saturday, the Bay Area fell to 5.1% ICU capacity — a decrease in Friday’s 6.3% reported capacity.

But the threat goes beyond the Bay Area.

In Southern California and in the San Joaquin Valley, there are currently zero ICU beds available.

Based on ICU capacity, four regions across the state remain under the regional stay-at-home order: San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, Greater Sacramento and the Bay Area.

Current available ICU capacity by region:

  • Bay Area: 5.1%
  • Greater Sacramento: 6.9%
  • Northern California: 32.6%
  • San Joaquin Valley: 0.0%
  • Southern California: 0.0%

Current status of regional stay-at-home order in affected regions:

  • Bay Area: Will remain under the order until at least January 8 with potential to extend depending on four-week ICU capacity projections
  • San Joaquin Valley: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order
  • Southern California: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order
  • Greater Sacramento: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order

California has surpassed 2.3 million confirmed cases to date and has lost 26,357 lives due to the virus since the start of the pandemic.

On Friday, more than 53,000 new cases were reported. The 7-day positive rate is 14% and the 14-day positivity rate is 12.6%.

As of Dec. 30, a total of 335,983 vaccine doses have been administered statewide. More than 1.7 million doses were distributed to local health departments and health care systems.

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