Bay Area County health officials will announce today that they are accelerating the timeline for the governor to impose the latest coronavirus ban to prevent an increase in cases that endanger hospitals.
The announcement comes a day after state officials indicated Thursday that the new state order is expected for a few weeks in the Bay Area to see the hospital’s intensive medical care capacity below the 15% threshold. Under will trigger a regional lockdown on businesses and activities.
“We have estimates that the number is going to be received in the next two weeks, so there’s no reason to wait,” said Santa Clara County Executive Jeff Smith. “It’s like waiting for the brakes when you’re about to go to the rock.” If you are going to get public health benefits, then you have to do it now. “
Alameda County health officials said late Thursday that “we may need to implement restrictions on the state’s home before we meet with the Bay Area to protect ICU bed availability and save lives.”
Health officials in the city of Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and Berkeley plan to discuss the new restrictions at a 1 pm news conference.
Smith said county health officials are still detailing when this will apply, what will be prohibited and to what extent it will reflect state boundaries and how far it can proceed.
Since the onset of the epidemic, the Bay Area has played a leading role in response to the virus. In March, the region adopted the first country-off, which Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his statewide stay-at-home order, a national first in the epidemic.
But the state is now experiencing a record proliferation of infections and hospitals, an area the state will not be in before the new state mandates to close businesses and gatherings. Santa Clara County adopted stricter regulations last weekend, as did the city and county of Los Angeles, with extensive restrictions on most activities.
Newsome said the state’s ban, likely to apply to the Bay Area in a week, required Californians in the affected areas to stay home to limit mixing with other homes, causing the COVID-19 spill Can. It limits travel to important services and restricts outdoor activities for exercise.
Outdoor playgrounds, barbershops, hair salons and personal care services, museums, campgrounds, zoos and aquariums, theaters, wineries, bars, breweries, distilleries, family entertainment centers, card rooms, live sports and amusement parks will be closed. Restaurants will be limited to lay-out and delivery only.
But schools already open for in-person learning can remain open under state restrictions, and retailers can operate at 20% capacity. Churches could continue outside services.
The Santa Clara County order from last weekend banned contact sports, imposing a mandatory quarantine on commuters and residents from more than 150 miles away and tight limits on retail store occupancy.
The state’s Thursday order divided California into five regions, including the Bay Area area, including the nine counties surrounding San Francisco Bay, as well as the Santa Cruz and Monterrey counties. Friday’s news conference did not include Santa Cruz and Monterey County health officials, who often follow their Bay Area colleagues in their own directions. Smith said that just because there is a long-term communications group of Bay Area health officials.
The state currently lists intensive care capacity in the Bay Area area at 25.3%, the highest of the five regions. The others are Greater Sacramento at 22.2%, Southern California at 20.6%, San Joaquin Valley at 19.7% and Northern California at 18.6%.
The availability of intensive care in hospitals is somewhat fluid, said Jan Emerson-Shea, vice president of external affairs at the California Hospital Association.
“The number can change depending on the staffing and equipment available daily,” Emerson-Shea said. “In addition, the data will not include” surge beds “that are not specifically designated as ICU or non-ICU beds unless they are actually activated by the hospital.”
Nevertheless, John Swartzberg, a clinical professor of infectious diseases and vaccineology at UC Berkeley, said it is not the case that hospitals can increase the number of beds in intensive care to increase their capacity.
“I don’t think it’s realistic to think that you can add Bed-Willie,” Swartberg said. “Staffing is the major limitation.”
The California Hospital Association said it supports Newsome’s Thursday order based on the availability of intensive care.
Carmella Coyle, president of the California Hospital Association, said, “The number of COVID-19 positive cases is increasing at an alarming rate, which is what we experienced in California last summer.” “The steps taken today by the governor are necessary to prevent unnecessary illness and death among the people of California.”
And Swartberg on Friday praised Bay Area public health officials for their work to stop the virus.
“The Bay Area has the best leadership in the state and is arguably the nation’s best in terms of public health officials,” Swartberg said. “We have seen that from the beginning of this epidemic. I think we have benefited from some very good health officials, who work very collegiately and in the Bay Area in a culture that has worked with public health. “
Look back for more information on this developing story.