Bay Area Takes On Lockdown Early, Says ‘Don’t Let This Be Your Last Holiday’

People wearing masks walk on a path in front of the Golden Gate Bridge during the coronavirus pandemic in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Five Bay Area counties will adopt California’s stay-at-home order earlier than what Governor Gavin Newsom announced Thursday afternoon. In an attempt to slow an increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations counties will enforce new stay-at-home orders in the coming days.

“This is about protecting people’s lives. We see how quickly it moves and how devastating the effects. We need to do everything we can to prevent our hospital system from becoming overwhelmed and to save lives.” Said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “We know that the faster we flatten the curve, the less time it takes us to move out of the danger zone. We are taking these actions now in order to contain the spread in our communities, and I urge everyone to take this very seriously.”

Local health officials said there are more than 1,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Bay Area right now. Furthermore, San Francisco public health chief officer, Dr Colfax said coronavirus cases have quadrupled to 145 per day.

“We need urgent intervention now.” Colfax continued, “We have a window, about one week, to try to stabilize the current flow of COVID-19 patients in our hospital systems.”

The stay-at-home order affects the following Bay Area counties:

  • Alameda (starts Monday, Dec. 7)
  • Contra Costa (starts Tuesday, Dec. 8)
  • Marin (starts Tuesday, Dec. 8)
  • Santa Clara (starts Sunday, Dec. 6)
  • San Francisco (starts Sunday, Dec. 6)
  • City of Berkeley (starts Sunday, Dec. 6)

Under this order:

  • Indoor businesses reduce capacity by 20%
  • 100% masking
  • Hair and nails salons must close
  • Restaurants must cease outdoor dining, offer takeout/delivery only
  • Bars and wineries must close

The current available ICU capacity by region, based on actual numbers, reported by KRON4:

  • Bay Area 25.4%
  • Greater Sacramento 22%
  • Northern California 18.6%
  • San Joaquin Valley 19.7%
  • Southern California 20.6%

“Unfortunately we are shattering records every day,” said Dr Sara Cody Health Officer for Santa Clara County.

Cody explained it takes three weeks to see impacts in hospitalization trends, but we must pull the breaks three weeks early. Santa Clara county is already behind this time window and reports Thanksgiving metrics say a related surge is coming. The new guidelines aim to lift restrictions as soon as possible but need to bend the curve.

Berkeley Health Officer, Dr. Lisa Hernandez, urged everyone to avoid holiday travel as must as possible, but if you must travel to please quarantine for 14 days. Hernandez says it is too dangerous to meet with people you do not live with and explained the risks if you do meet up stating, “Do not let this be the last holiday with your family. Let them know that you care, take safer options.”

Dr. Tomas Aragone reported 50% of SF cases are Latino. He recommends food drop-off and go home for holidays, “We are asking our businesses to do something heroic, so we wanted to give them time.”

Berkeley and San Francisco health officials say they will allow Cal and USF to keep playing as in alignment with California requirements.

California residents are encouraged to wear a mask and remain socially distant with this they do not live with until numbers decrease.

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