LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Although it is scheduled to expire Monday, the Southern California regional stay-at-home order put in place in early December because of the alarming rise in coronavirus cases is likely to be extended.
The stay-at-home order bans nearly all private and public gatherings. It also bans restaurant dining, both indoor and outdoor. It first took effect on Dec. 7 and was scheduled to expire Monday.
In a news conference early Monday afternoon, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that the decision regarding whether the stay-at-home order is extended will be announced Tuesday by state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.
“It’s likely those stay-at-home orders will be extended,” Newsom said bluntly.
The order, which applies to all 11 Southern California counties, is based on the number of ICU beds available. It was designed to take effect when a region’s ICU capacity drops below 15%.
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Monday the county isn’t waiting for the state to act. The county extended its local stay-at-home order on Sunday night, largely mirroring the restrictions included in the state’s mandate. Ferrer said the county acted in anticipation of a state extension, and the local order will remain in place indefinitely.
Area hospitals have been at the breaking point for weeks, and Southern California’s ICU capacity currently sits at 0%. Newsom Monday said that 96% of L.A. County’s hospitals were diverting patients at some point on Saturday.
Newsom last week had already indicated that with regional ICU capacity officially at zero, the order will almost assuredly be extended.
Under the order, all hair salons and personal care facilities must close, along with all bars and breweries, movie theaters, cardrooms, museums and zoos. Retail stores are limited to 20% capacity, and grocery stores to 35%.
The order does however allow for religious gatherings and protests. Last weekend, Los Angeles County announced that houses of worship would be allowed to hold indoor services.
Schools which have already been given waivers to reopen campuses are allowed to continue in-person instruction.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)