California Gov. Gavin Newsom Lifts Regional Stay-at-Home Orders Across the State
"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," a health official said
California Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted the state's regional-stay-at-home orders on Monday, although local health officials are urging residents to remember that "COVID-19 is still here and still deadly."
Prior to Monday, three regions of the state — Southern California, San Joaquin Valley, and the Bay Area — were under the order, which banned outdoor dining and shuttered many businesses, such as gyms and salons. All three regions were able to exit the order as four-week projections show intensive care unit capacity to be above 15 percent — the threshold which triggered the orders to be implemented — the California Department of Public Health said in a statement.
The Bay Area Region is currently reporting 23.4 percent ICU capacity, according to CNN. However, according to the outlet, the San Joaquin Valley is currently reporting only 1.3 percent ICU availability, while there's 0.0 percent reported availability in Southern California.
The Sacramento region previously excited the order on Jan 12., while Northern California never entered it.
All counties across the state have now returned to California's "color-coded tiers" system, with the majority of counties currently being in the strictest tier. However, local health officials in each county still have the ability to impose harsher restrictions should they choose.
"Californians heard the urgent message to stay home as much as possible and accepted that challenge to slow the surge and save lives," Dr. Tomás Aragón, CDPH director and state public health officer, said in a press release. "Together, we changed our activities knowing our short-term sacrifices would lead to longer-term gains."
"COVID-19 is still here and still deadly, so our work is not over, but it's important to recognize our collective actions saved lives and we are turning a critical corner," Aragón continued.
Added California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, "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."
The stay-at-home orders began in December amid a surge of coronavirus cases.
In the past week, there has been a 39 percent decrease in the average number of coronavirus cases in California compared to the average two weeks earlier, according to a New York Times database.
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Despite a drop in cases, the death toll across the state remains high, with a record number of 764 new deaths reported last Thursday, CNN reported.
Los Angeles, the first county in the United States to report over 1 million cases, has also been hit particularly hard by the virus.
Local officials announced earlier this month that they were recording one coronavirus-related death every eight minutes of the day. In less than a month, over 5,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the county, according to The Los Angeles Times.
To date there have been over 1.3 million COVID-19 cases in the county and at least 15,260 deaths, according to the latest update from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
As of Monday morning, across the state there have been over 3.1 million cases and at least 37,118 deaths, according to the New York Times database.
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