Bay Area Health Officers Move to Implement State’s New Regional Stay Home Order, Not Waiting Until Local Hospitals Are Near Crisis to Act
The following is a joint statement from the counties of Marin, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Francisco, and Santa Clara, plus the City of Berkeley. This statement was issued on Friday, December 4, 2020.
Yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that all sectors other than retail and essential operations would be closed in regions of California where less than 15% of ICU beds are available under a new Regional Stay-Home Order. Although health officials throughout the Bay Area are glad to see the State take action in light of the rapidly escalating surge in hospitalizations statewide, many believe even more aggressive action is necessary in the Bay Area to slow the surge and prevent our local hospitals from being overwhelmed.
Rather than waiting until intensive care unit (ICU) bed availability reaches critical levels and delaying closures that are inevitable, the health officers for the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and Santa Clara as well as the City of Berkeley jointly announced that they will implement the State’s Regional Stay-Home Order right away.
“It takes several weeks for new restrictions to slow rising hospitalizations and waiting until only 15% of a region’s ICU beds are available is just too late,” said San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragon. “Many heavily impacted parts of our region already have less than 15% of ICU beds available, and the time to act is now.”
“Each of us can fight the spread,” said Dr. Lisa B. Hernandez, the City of Berkeley Health Officer. “Keep your family safe by avoiding even small gatherings outside of your household and not traveling. We don’t want holiday gatherings and travel to create a spike of cases on top of the surge we’re already seeing.”
“Although Marin has fared better than some other counties in our region over the last few weeks, we know it is only a matter of time before rising case and hospitalization put pressure on our hospitals too,” said Marin County Health Officer Dr. Matthew Willis. “We must act now, and we must act together to ensure all hospitals in the Bay Area have the capacity they need to care for our residents.”
Consistent with the State framework, the six jurisdictions are working to ensure that all sectors have at least 48-hour notice of these closures. Most of the Bay Area Health Officers will implement the State’s Regional Stay-Home Order as of Sunday, December 6. In Alameda County, it is scheduled to take effect on Monday, December 7, and Marin County’s order will take effect at noon Tuesday, December 8. The new restrictions will remain in place until January 4, 2021.
The order instructs Bay Area residents to stay at home as much as possible and limit mixing with other households, which can lead to the spread of COVID-19. All sectors other than retail and essential operations must be closed. Access to (and travel for) critical services and outdoor activities to preserve physical and mental health are allowed.
Beginning at noon Tuesday, December 8, the following sectors in Marin County must close:
• Indoor and outdoor playgrounds
• Indoor recreational facilities
• Hair salons and barbershops
• Personal care services
• Museums, zoos, and aquariums
• Movie theaters
• Bars, breweries, and distilleries
• Family entertainment centers
• Cardrooms and satellite wagering
• Limited services
• Live audience sports
• Amusement parks
The following sectors will have additional modifications (in addition to 100% masking and physical distancing):
• Outdoor recreational facilities: Allow outdoor operation only, without any food, drink, or alcohol sales. Additionally, overnight stays at campgrounds will not be permitted.
• Retail: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
• Shopping centers: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
• Hotels, motels, short-term rentals, other lodging: Allow to open for critical infrastructure support only.
• Restaurants: Allow only for takeout, pick-up, or delivery.
• Offices: Allow remote use only, except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible.
• Gyms: Indoor operations must close.
• Places of worship and political expression: Allow outdoor services only.
• Entertainment production including professional sports: Allow operation without live audiences. Additionally, testing protocol and “bubbles” are highly encouraged.
The following sectors are allowed to remain open when a remote option is not possible. Those that remain open must have appropriate infectious disease preventative measures in place, including 100% masking and physical distancing:
• Critical infrastructure
• Non-urgent medical and dental care
• Child care and pre-kindergarten
“We recognize that public health is about community well-being and that includes the economic health of the community,” Willis said. “And as we take this step, we want to remind people to find ways to support their local businesses in a safe way, doing it from home as much as possible, but utilizing the online or curb-side pick-up options that our local stores may offer.”
See the sector closures and restrictions on activity under the State’s Regional Stay-Home Order. MarinRecovers.com will be updated by Tuesday, December 8, to reflect the new restrictions.