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What’s in California’s New Regional Stay-at-Home Order?



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Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a sweeping new coronavirus order Thursday that would trigger business shutdowns and limits on people’s movement based on hospital intensive care unit capacity in their regions. Here’s a look:

A Regional Approach

Newsom’s order divides the state into five regions: Northern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Greater Sacramento, the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. If restrictions are triggered, every county in a region will have to abide by the same rules.

The San Joaquin Valley region includes Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne counties.

The Trigger

The new order will be triggered if a region’s intensive care unit bed capacity drops below 15%.

No regions currently meet the trigger, but all except the Bay Area could be within a day or two from reaching it, Newsom said. Businesses will have 48 hours to comply once a region meets the threshold.

What Closes?

In regions where the order is triggered, the following businesses must close: Restaurants for all on-site dining, wineries and breweries, playgrounds, indoor recreational facilities, hair salons, personal car services, museums, movie theaters, cardrooms and casinos, and family entertainment centers.

Retail stores and shopping centers can stay open indoors at 20% capacity. Hotels may remain open for critical infrastructure support, as can offices. Churches and places of worship can hold outdoor services. Professional sports can continue without live audiences, as can production of films and other entertainment.

Schools serving K-12 students will not be affected by the order. Those open for classroom instruction now can remain so.

Personal Gatherings

If the order is triggered in a region, people will be ordered to limit travel and mixing with people outside their household as much as possible. The order says members of the same household will still be allowed to go outside for physical activity.

How Long Does It Last?

Once the order takes effect in a region, it will last for at least three weeks.