Bay Area will begin new stay-at-home orders on its own, begins Dec. 7 in Alameda County

Alameda County, along with four other counties in the Bay Area, will begin Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new stay-at-home orders earlier than anticipated.

Newsom’s new order, announced on Thursday, was predicated on regions like the Bay Area falling below 15 percent available capacity of Intensive Care Units. The region was at 28 percent, as of yesterday.

But with rates of new covid-19 cases steeply rising and expected to further increase following the Thanksgiving holiday, local public health officials said they don’t want to test the region’s already limited number of spare ICU beds.

The stay-at-home order in Alameda County will begin Monday, Dec. 7 and run through Jan. 4. Contra Costa and Santa Clara, and San Francisco Counties will begin their orders on Sunday, Dec. 6.

“Although health officials throughout the Bay Area are glad to see the State take action in light of the rapidly escalating surge in hospitalizations statewide, many believe even more aggressive action is necessary in the Bay Area to slow the surge and prevent our local hospitals from being overwhelmed,” the counties said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Under Newsom’s orders bars, barber shops, nail salons, all types of playgrounds, museums, zoos, aquariums, card rooms, and theater will be closed.

Shopping centers and indoor retail stores can remain open, but with only 20 percent capacity. Outdoor facilities will remain open, but must include social distancing and masks.

Non-essential office workers will be required to work remotely, unless they are employed in critical services such health care, and child care.

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