After Los Angeles County rolled out a new stay at home order that took effect on Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom introduced a string of new regional “safer at home” orders aiming to pull on an emergency brake to the unprecedented surges in COVID-19 cases.

According to Newsom’s new order, all of  California could be divided into five regions based on ICU bed availability: Northern California, Greater Sacramento, Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California. The limits will be taken into effect on Saturday and remain for three weeks, as long as the capacity of ICU beds falls below 15%.

The Bay Area is currently the only region that is excluded from the order, meaning its ICU intensive care unit beds are filled with no more than 85%.  The projected date to fall below 15% for the four remaining regions is early December, leaving the Bay Area to fall in mid-late December.

“The bottom line is if we don’t act now, the California hospital system will be overwhelmed, and our death rate will continue to climb,” said Newsom in a press conference Thursday.

Once any region of the state triggers the order, all restaurants in the area may only be open for take-out and delivery. Any size of private gatherings should be prohibited.

The new protocols also require business sectors such as bars, wineries, personal services and hair salons to temporarily close. Additionally, “all non-essential travel is also temporarily restricted statewide,” Newsom said, urging people to quarantine themselves upon returning to California.

K-12 schools are allowed  open if they have received a waiver. All types of retail stores, no matter essential or non-essential business, can open at a maximum 20% capacity.

“If there was ever any time to put aside your doubt, to put aside your skepticism, to put aside your cynicism to put aside your ideology, to put aside any consideration except this: lives are in the balance. Lives will be lost unless we do more than we’ve ever done,” said Newsom.

Written ByGrace Sui

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