Regional stay-at-home order ’will likely be extended’
According to a Thursday release from the California Department of Public Health, the regional stay-at-home order that took effect mid-December for the Greater Sacramento region, which includes Nevada County per the order guidelines, “will likely be extended.”
The order went into effect after the region’s ICU bed availability dropped below 15%, and was set for a minimum of three weeks, meaning at least until New Year’s Day.
However, according to state officials, a region’s order will not be lifted until its ICU projection for four weeks ahead shows a capacity of greater than or equal to 15%.
The Greater Sacramento region’s eligibility to exit the order begins Saturday, and according to the release, ICU projections will be calculated daily for regions eligible to exit the order.
“Official ICU projections will be calculated beginning with Jan. 1 data and posted publicly on Jan. 2, which will inform future status of the region,” read the release.
As of Thursday, the region’s ICU availability was 14.4%.
ICU capacity projections, according to state health officials, are based on current estimated ICU capacity, community transmission, regional case rates, and proportion of ICU cases being admitted.
“We’re all kind of holding our breath right now,” said Nevada County Director of Health and Human Services Ryan Gruver Thursday afternoon.
He confirmed state officials had not yet provided the county with confirmation regarding the four-week projection for the region at that point.
On what that means for local businesses, said Gruver, Nevada County will remain under the regional stay-at-home order restrictions at least until state officials release the projection, and the order will be lifted only if the projection shows 15% or greater ICU capacity.
The restrictions span a number of settings and types of businesses, including restaurants — limited to takeout and delivery only — and indoor retail, limited to 20% capacity or 35% for standalone grocery stores.
Businesses which have been ordered to close under the stay-at-home order include bars, breweries, and wineries; hair salons, barbershops, and other personal care services; and movie theaters.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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