California Regional Stay-At-Home Order Extended Into 2021 In San Diego County

December 29, 2020

The regional stay at home order that went into effect earlier this month and restricts onsite operations for a multitude of business sectors, including restaurants, has been extended indefinitely through the new year. 

Southern California's regional stay-at-home order, which includes all of San Diego County, will remain in place for the foreseeable future as the region continues to struggle with intensive care unit bed capacity, Secretary of the California Health and Human Service Dr. Mark Ghaly announced today. The regional stay-at-home order for Southern California and San Diego was previously set to expire yesterday. Regional intensive care unit capacity is currently estimated to be at zero, so the dire situation resulted in extending the order that first went into effect on December 7. Dr. Ghaly clarified that the regional stay-at-home order would not necessarily stay in place for 3 additional weeks, rather determinations will be made on a daily basis based on 4 criteria for each region - current ICU capacity, 7-day average case rate, transmission rate and rate of ICU admission. If ICU capacity goes above 15%, a region could be cleared for the stay at home order to be modified. 

Over the weekend news broke that California is now reporting the highest number of new daily COVID-19 cases per capita in the entire United States.  Last week, California had reported the nation's 4th highest number of daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over a one week period, but the state jumped to first in the country when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its case per capita list this past Saturday.

The Southern California region includes the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Imperial, Inyo, Mono, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura. The regional stay-at-home order bars gatherings of people from different households, as well as indoor operations at restaurants, bars, wineries, distilleries, museums, hair salons, personal care services, movie theaters, zoos, family entertainment centers, and more. Retail establishments are limited to 20% capacity under the order, and hotels are allowed to open "for critical infrastructure support only,'' while faith-based services are restricted to outdoor only. The regional stay-at-home order is under effect in each region where ICU bed availability dropped below 15%.

33,170 new COVID-19 positives were reported on December 27, with a daily 7 day average of 37,661. While much of the state has reportedly plateaued in its daily increases, Southern California continues to rise in positive case rates, said Governor Newsom at his press conference on December 28.

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