Gov. Gavin Newsom said today an extension of the stay-at-home order in parts of California is “likely” but stopped short of making it official. The three-week order issued in early December is set to expire Tuesday for Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley.
In a news conference, he said a potential extension of the order is based on modeling for “four weeks out.”
“Based upon the data that we will collect today, Dr. Mark Ghaly [deputy director for community health for L.A. County] and his team, likely tomorrow, will announce … those stay-at-home orders will be extended.”
He said Ghaly will provide an update Tuesday with more specific projections. The stay-at-home orders for Greater Sacramento and the Bay Area are set to expire on January 1 and January 8, respectively.
Newsom said the state is moving into “a new phase where we prepare ourselves for what is inevitable now, based upon the travel that we have seen just in the last week and expectation of more of the same through the rest of the holiday season of a surge on top a surge, arguably, on top of, again, another surge.”
He went on to update coronavirus numbers for California, which just became the first state to top 2 million total cases — accounting more than 10% of all U.S. deaths. SoCal and the San Joaquin have “effectively zero” ICU capacity, and Newsom said a support team from the state has been sent to Southern California. He noted that 96% of hospitals in Los Angeles County were forced to divert emergency patients over the holiday weekend due to overcrowding at ERs.
The state’s current official count for L.A. County sits at 7,200 hospitalized Covid-positive patients, including 1,400-plus in intensive care units. Newsom noted that the region had 12,000-15,000 new cases per day in the past few weeks and that routine ER care is being slowed.
Los Angeles is the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in California — and the state is the epicenter of the U.S., which arguably is the epicenter of the planet.
“You get a sense … of the magnitude what we’re up against, particularly in Southern California, particularly in Los Angeles County,” Newsom said. “Look at L.A. County alone — 12,000-15,000 new cases a day in just the last few weeks, obviously having a big impact and toll on our hospitals.”
Also today, Los Angeles County reported 73 new Covid-related deaths, pushing the total to 9,555. County health officials estimated, though, that another 432 people have died over the past three days but were not confirmed due to lag times. If true, that would push the county’s death toll to just below 10,000.
The county also is reporting 13,661 new cases today, raising the overall count to 733,325.
Not all of the news was dire, however, as “the majority” of Golden State is seeing a plateauing in new hospital admission. But Newsom noted that Southern California continues to see higher case rates, particularly Los Angeles but also San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
Meanwhile, here is a reminder of the businesses and rec areas that are closed amid the stay-at-home order:
- movie theaters
- live audience sports
- amusement parks
- bars, breweries and distilleries
- indoor recreational facilities
- hair salons and barbershops
- personal care services
- museums, zoos, and aquariums
- family entertainment centers
- cardrooms and satellite wagering
City News Service contributed to this report.