San Joaquin Valley, SoCal regional stay home orders likely to be extended, Newsom says

California Gov. Gavin Newsom
Posted at 12:27 PM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 19:02:55-05

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KERO) — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that health officials would likely extend the stay home order for the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California as ICUs continue to see an influx of coronavirus patients.

The governor said 98% of Californians are currently under the three-week stay home order due to declining ICU availability.

The San Joaquin Valley and the Southern California regions have seen 0.0% ICU available ICU capacity for several days in a row.

California has recorded half a million coronavirus cases in the last two weeks and could have nearly 100,000 hospitalizations in the next month.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s secretary of health and human services, said the state fears some hospitals will exceed even their existing surge capacity.

California’s overwhelmed hospitals are setting up makeshift extra beds for coronavirus patients, and a handful of facilities in hard-hit Los Angeles County are drawing up emergency plans in case they have to limit how many people receive life-saving care. The number of people hospitalized across California with confirmed COVID-19 infections is more than double the state’s previous peak, reached in July.

A state model forecasts the total could hit 75,000 patients by mid-January. Dr. Christina Ghaly is Los Angeles County’s health services director. She says plans for rationing care are not in place yet, but they need to be established because “the worst is yet to come.”

Newsom gave Monday’s briefing from his home as he quarantined Sunday for the second time in two months after a staff member tested positive for the virus.