San Diego County Restaurants & Other Sectors Will Be Forced To End Onsite Business Again Due To New California Stay-At-Home Order

December 3, 2020

As warned earlier in the week, California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced new "regional" stay-at-home orders that will require many "non-essential" San Diego businesses, including restaurants and bars, to cease onsite operations once hospital capacity reaches critical levels, predicted to occur in the next few days. 

Following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, this past Monday Governor Newsom announced a statewide average weekly high of more than 14,000 positive COVID-19 cases per day and warned of the likely return of strict stay-at-home orders to be announced in the next few days due to the unprecedented increases in coronavirus cases around the state. Due to surging COVID-19 positives, within the past two weeks Gov. Newsom has moved most of California into the state's purple tier and also added a 10pm curfew on nearly the entire state. On Monday, Newsom explained that hospitalizations could double or triple over the next month if new precautions were not imposed. Over the past week, the San Diego County region has averaged more than 1,300 COVID-19 cases each day. As of December 3, California has 1,264,539 confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in 19,437 deaths.

"If we don't act now, our hospital system will be overwhelmed," warned Governor Newsom at his Thursday press conference where he appeared via video conference.  

At his press briefing this afternoon, Gov. Newsom announced the imposition of more serious stay-at-home orders for the 52 of California's 58 counties in the state's most restrictive purple tier. Newsom said he was "pulling an emergency break," announcing a "regional stay at home order" throughout California based on an area's available hospital intensive care unit capacity. Newsom has separated California into 5 regions - Northern California, Greater Sacramento, Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California. Once ICU capacity falls below 15%, which is predicted to occur in the next couple days for all but the Bay Area region, new stay at home orders will go into effect for at least 3 weeks and then will be assessed on an independent county-by-county basis weekly thereafter. No regions have been placed into the Regional Stay-At-Home Order restrictions at this time. 

Similar to those instituted during the early days of the pandemic, in any region that triggers a Regional Stay Home Order because it drops below 15% ICU capacity, the following sectors must close: indoor and outdoor playgrounds, indoor recreational facilities, hair salons and barbershops personal care services, museums, zoos, and aquariums, movie theaters, wineries, bars, breweries, distilleries, family entertainment centers, cardrooms and satellite wagering businesses, live audience sports, amusement parks, and restaurants for onsite dining (indoor and outdoor service will be prohibited, while take out, pick up, and delivery will remain allowed). Additionally, overnight stays at campgrounds will not be permitted. Retail will be allowed indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems. Shopping centers will be allowed indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Hotels and lodging will be permitted to open for critical infrastructure support only. Offices should be remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible.  Places of worship and political expression will be permitted outdoor only. Critical infrastructure, schools that are already open for in-person learning, non-urgent medical and dental care, and child care and pre-K can continue with masks and physical distancing required. All non-essential travel will also be temporarily restricted statewide. 

It was announced yesterday that the number of people in intensive care units has increased from 93 San Diegans in the ICU at the beginning of November to more than double in the past 30 days to 209. It is believed San Diego County Board of Supervisors will further explain how the new orders will be imposed in San Diego at a media briefing this week. 

Earlier this week, Los Angeles County issued a new COVID-19 stay-at-home order that prohibits most gatherings and discourages crowds. The Mayor of Los Angeles has also threatened misdemeanor charges for those violating the orders. 

See the full text of the new Regional Stay Home Order below:

  • Regional Stay Home Order:
    The Regional Stay Home Order, announced December 3, will go into effect promptly in regions with less than 15% ICU availability. It prohibits private gatherings of any size, closes sector operations except for critical infrastructure and retail, and requires 100% masking and physical distancing in all others.

    The order will remain in effect for at least 3 weeks and, after that period, will be lifted when a region’s projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15%. This will be assessed on a weekly basis after the initial 3 week period. Learn more about this order.

    The state released a map of five regions and their current ICU capacity, as well as projected dates when regions will fall below the 15 percent threshold. The regions are:
    • Northern California: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity
    • Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma
    • Greater Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba
    • San Joaquin Valley: Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne
    • Southern California: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura

This is a developing story. We will update this post as we learn more.