Sacramento, California. (AP) – California on Tuesday lifted a stay-at-home order in the 13-county Sacramento area as hospital conditions improve, a rare turn of good news as the state pushes through Gov. Gov Newsom . The fastest growth of coronovirus ”.
The order banned gatherings outside a house on 10 December and closed or banned many businesses. After virus cases and hospitalizations, the region can resume outdoor food and worship services, reopen hair and nail salons and other businesses, and increase capacity at retailers.
Newsom announced in a social media Post posts that inspire people to wear masks, stay at home as much as possible and offer hopeful promise: “There is a light at the end of this tunnel.”
Three of the state’s five regions – the San Francisco Bay Area, Central Valley and Southern California – remain under orders because their intensive care capacity in hospitals is severely limited.
California has seen a huge surge of cases, hospitals and deaths since Thanksgiving. The state averages 42,000 new virus cases a day and recorded 3,500 virus deaths in the previous week. The death toll rose to 30,000 since the epidemic began on Monday.
Health officials are warning that hospitalizations and deaths are likely to continue to increase as people who contract the virus become ill during the holidays.
Czech is moving more quickly to distribute vaccines, to try to bring the virus to California. Newsom set a target in the final week of 1 million doses by Friday. A state advisory board met on Tuesday to discuss new federal guidelines, urging states to begin vaccinating a broader group of people immediately.
Newsom implemented the country’s first statewide residency order in March. It was removed in the spring when cases fell, but more restrictions were imposed during the summer spike.
The surge in the late fall prompted the Newsom administration to split the state into five regions in December and implement a new stay home order in four of them, when their ICU capacity fell below 15%. Only rural Northern California remained out of order.
The Sacramento region’s ICU capacity now sits at 9.4%, but it is projected to go above 15% in the next four weeks, prompting the state to lift the order. The area includes El Dorado County, home to Lake Tahoe, a tourist destination that also sees large crowds during the holidays with restrictions.
Newsom and California Secretary of Health and Human Services Drs. Mark Gali credits the order at the state house with limiting the severity of the outbreak, but some experts question how much it benefited.
“What the orders to stay at home were to do is to keep families that don’t live together apart. Instead, in the last few months, you’ve been getting along with people. You’ve made small social gatherings at home. Has worked, “said Dr. Brad Polak, associate dean for public health sciences at UC Davis School of Medicine.” I wouldn’t say that stay-at-home orders are redundant, but probably didn’t have a huge impact on those people That actually happened with the transmission pattern. “
Sutter County Supervisor Mike Zegenmeyer in the Sacramento area acknowledged this when he withdrew the order.
“It’s exciting, but at the same time, who follows it?” he said.
Sean Harris, a city council member in Yuba City, said he was surprised that Newsome withdrew the order, calling it “the child to return to normalcy”. But he encouraged people to “take COVID seriously, take precautions seriously (and) follow.”
“They gave us an inch. We do not want to take miles and become greedy. “
Meanwhile, the state continued its campaign to administer approximately 1.5 million vaccine doses until Friday, yet a small fraction of what was needed to achieve herd immunity in the state of about 40 million people. Several counties announced that they would open a mass vaccination site, including Dogger Stadium, Disneyland and an outdoor venue at Cal Expo, Sacramento.
But the federal government’s attempt to quickly increase vaccination through new regulations led to further confusion and differing perspectives by the county. Health care workers and nursing home residents in California have previously been focused on getting vaccinated, with more than 75 people and the next level at risk of getting the virus at work, like teachers or agricultural workers. UC Davis Medical Center began vaccinating more than 75 people on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the federal government said, vaccination should be available to people over 65 and younger with certain health conditions. Orange County said it would rapidly take people 65 and up to get vaccinated.
But tensions rose at the state’s Community Vaccine Advisory Committee meeting as representatives from various groups debated the merits of expanding the vaccine pool beyond state guidelines.
California Labor Federation MLA Advocate Mitch Steiger said, “By definition millions of people moving forward mean that millions of people are behind in line.”
When they said the reasoning makes sense, they cannot support a change that would take back essential workers, recognizing that for many of their members, that means “more of you are going to get sick.” There are more of you dying. “
President of the California Association for Long Term Care Medicine, Drs. Michael Wasserman expressed concern that the state could move forward without any concessions for workers first. Expressed similar apprehension that the rush to vaccinate aging may leave other workers who were next in line or have reached disadvantaged communities that are hard to find.
“You’re hitting the gas pedal, but don’t leave us behind”, summarized Charles Bachey with the California Association of Health Plans, even supporting his focus on vaccination for older populations. “We just can’t lose sight of that.”
Associated Press writers Jenny Hara in San Francisco, Amy Taksin in Orange County, and Don Thompson and Adam Beam in Sacramento contributed.