Effective immediately, California lifted the Regional Stay at Home Order statewide that the Bay Area, as well as other regions, have been under since early December. The State says that four-week ICU capacity projections exceed 15 percent across the State. Governor Gavin Newsom said that the Bay Area’s Projected ICU Capacity for Feb. 21 is 25 percent signaling the end of the biggest surge the region experienced.
With the Stay at Home Order lifted, counties will return to their tiers under the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Santa Clara County and most other counties are returning to the most-restrictive Purple Tier.
This means that outdoor dining can resume — but with a massive storm on its way, restaurants may not be in a huge rush to reopen their outdoor dining areas — and personal services like hair and nail salons and barbershops can reopen. Indoor dining remains prohibited. Bars, breweries, distilleries, and pubs may serve alcohol only outdoors and only in the same transaction as a meal.
Retail capacity is 20 percent. Wineries and cardrooms can reopen outdoors.
Professional and collegiate can resume without audiences, as well as adult and youth sports. For youth sports, non-contact, outdoor sports that have stable cohorts can resume. Inter-team competitions may resume. Any tournaments or events that involve more than two teams are not currently permitted in California. Teams must not participate in out-of-state tournaments. Inter-team competitions, meets, races, or similar events are authorized only if both teams are located in the same county and the sport is allowed; or teams are located in immediately bordering counties and the sport is authorized in both counties.
Outdoor gatherings with up to three households are now allowed. Larger outdoor gatherings with up to 200 people are allowed only for political, religious or ceremonial purposes. Indoor gatherings of any kind remain prohibited — including indoor religious services.
Santa Clara County’s mandatory travel quarantine remains in place, requiring a 10-day quarantine for most people who travel into the county from more than 150 miles away. The County’s Mandatory Directive for Lodging Facilities is also still in effect. Lodging facilities may not provide lodging services for non-essential purposes.
According to Santa Clara County Counsel James R. Williams, the Travel Directive is even more critical now that new COVID-19 variants are popping up around the world and even in Santa Clara County. Some of the variants seem to be more easily transmitted.
The State’s 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew has also been lifted. The curfew has been in effect since Nov. 21 and said non-essential businesses and activities must close during that time frame.
While Santa Clara County is currently under the most-restrictive Purple Tier, it can potentially move to the less restrictive Red Tier when conditions improve. Tier status is assigned based on current COVID-19 case rates and positivity rates. There is also the Orange Tier and Yellow Tier, which are the least restrictive.
California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly will hold his weekly press conference tomorrow with more information and will share any tier changes.
The Regional Stay at Home Order was introduced in early December. Newsom had split the State into five regions and said that if the region’s ICU capacity dipped below 15 percent, they would trigger a Regional Stay at Home Order. Bay Area counties acted quickly and started the Stay at Home Order restrictions on Dec. 6 and the official State Order triggered on Dec. 17. Once the Order’s three-week period passed, the Governor said that Regions would stay under the Order until four-week ICU capacity projections improved.
“California is slowly starting to emerge from the most dangerous surge of this pandemic yet, which is the light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been hoping for,” said Dr. Ghaly on Monday. “Seven weeks ago, our hospitals and front-line medical workers were stretched to their limits, but Californians heard the urgent message to stay home when possible and our surge after the December holidays did not overwhelm the health care system to the degree we had feared.”
Additionally, Newsom announced an agreement to extend the eviction moratorium through June 30 — the existing agreement was due to expire at the end of the month.
“Today, we are announcing an agreement to extend the eviction moratorium in California through June 30, 2021 – protecting tenants and small landlords from losing their housing as the nation continues to confront the pandemic,” said Newsom. “We are also moving forward as quickly as possible to deploy California’s share of the latest federal stimulus bill – ensuring that up to $2.6 billion in renter aid is administered quickly, equitably and accountably.”
Lastly, Newsom acknowledged that they have some work to do on the vaccine front. Recently, California has tripled its pace of administering the vaccine. They are developing better plans to streamline distribution and get better with their speed.
“Moving forward, there will be a single statewide standard and movement through the tiers. The state will continue through 65+, health care workers, and prioritize emergency services, food and agriculture workers, teachers and school staff. From there, the state will transition to age-based eligibility, allowing California to scale up and down quickly while ensuring vaccine goes to disproportionately impacted communities.”
Newsom announced that the My Turn app is currently in pilot in some Southern California counties. The My Turn app helps residents sign up and get notified when it’s their turn for the vaccine. It will also help them schedule an appointment to get the vaccine. Providers will be able to use My Turn to automatically share data on vaccines received and administered with the state, reducing lag times. Statewide launch is projected for early February.