The new statewide stay-at-home rules unveiled by Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this week are expected to take effect in Southern California over the next few days after the region’s intensive care unit capacity dropped below 15%.

The region’s ICU capacity was at 13.1% as of Friday night, according to data released by the state Department of Public Health.

The new stay-at-home order goes into effect at 1 p.m. Saturday, and the region will be expected to implement the new restrictions within 24 hours of that time, according to Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner.

Orange County’s health director was informed by state health officials Friday night that the region’s capacity had fallen below 15%, the threshold for the new rules taking effect, Wagner said.

The Southern California region in the governor’s plan includes 11 counties, among them Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

Regions that fall below the 15% threshold must close hair salons, barber shops and movie theaters, ban restaurant service except for takeout and delivery, shutter playgrounds, and limit retail stores and shopping centers to 20% customer capacity.

The order also prohibits gatherings of any size and requires people to wear masks and practice physical distancing in public.

The rules will stay in place for at least three weeks, at which point state officials will reevaluate the situation.

They’re the strictest limits to be implemented in the state since the original stay-home order in March.


By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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