BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The California Department of Public Health announced Monday, that the stay-at-home order has been lifted due to future projections for ICU rates. This now means that the entire state is open with most regions in the purple, the most restrictive tier.
This announcement was a shock to some. Statewide, while some say they are worried that the state will be opening so soon — despite COVID-19 numbers. Others are happy that business can reopen, but believe there may have been an agenda behind it.
“The darkest days are ahead for the COVID pandemic,” said Biden.
While then-president-elect Joe Biden said this in late December, ICU numbers projected for next month show otherwise — which leaves many wondering, why the sudden change?
In December ICU capacity fell to 0% for both the San Joaquin Valley, according to the CDC website. But as of January 21, capacity projections in the San Joaquin Valley jumped 1.3%, keeping the region below the 15% threshold needed to lift the stay at home order. As of Monday, however, health officials expect that projection to jump to 22.3% in just four weeks.
“With a significant decline in case rates. Positivity rates. We are anticipating. We are anticipating more of a decline. In hospitalizations and ICUs, which is why we're lifting the order immediately.”
According to the California Department of Public Health, there were more than 9,400 hospitalizations across the state and more than 2,000 in the ICU on the day the last stay at home order was enacted. As of Monday, when the order was lifted. Hospitalizations now stand at more than 17,000 in total, including more than 4,300 in the ICU.
This is why Christian Romo with the Kern County Democrats says he wasn't expecting Governor Gavin Newsom to open the state up so soon.
“We were surprised, to be honest with you.”
Romo said he didn't think the state was at the level it should be to initiate an opening.
"I'll follow the governor's directions. It's his call to make, he may have information that we don't have it's just odd with the numbers we see now. That it allows us to be open.”
Due to the timing...Kern Republican Michael Caves, says he believes that Newsom has a political agenda behind this and he says it could be the possible recall coming up in March.
“I'd like to think it's driven by public health and legitimate health to public safety, but this presumptive opening is based on projections, not any actual data.”
Both parties say they would like more transparency on the numbers coming out from Governor Newsom and the state. 23ABC did reach out to the California Public Health Department to ask how they come up with these projections and how they expect that high of a jump, but we haven’t heard back at this time.