UPDATE: The county's order now permits playgrounds to remain open with modifications.
Following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s shutdown plan announcement yesterday, health officers in the state’s Bay Area – including Alameda County – decided to enter the shutdown, effective Dec. 7.
The order will remain in place through Jan. 4.
Newsom’s announcement during yesterday’s press conference stated that all sectors other than retail and essential operations would be closed in regions of the state where less than 15% of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds are available under a new regional stay-at-home order.
Although health officials throughout the Bay Area stated they 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 local hospitals from being overwhelmed. Rather than waiting until 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 today that they will implement the state’s order now.
“Rising hospitalization rates across the region threaten not only our community members with severe COVID-19, but anyone who may need care because of a heart attack, stroke, accident or other critical health need,” Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss said. “By acting together now, we will have the greatest impact on the surge and save more lives.”
Consistent with the state framework, the six jurisdictions are working to ensure that all sectors have at least a 48-hour notice of these closures. Most of the Bay Area health officers will implement the state’s regional stay-at-home order as of Sunday, Dec. 6. In Alameda County, it is scheduled to take effect on Monday, Dec. 7. The new restrictions will remain in place until Jan. 4.
The sector closures and restrictions on activity under the state’s regional stay-at-home order are described as follows:
The state’s regional stay-at-home order would be in effect for three weeks after the trigger and instructs Californians to stay at home as much as possible to limit the mixing with other households that can lead to COVID-19 spread. It allows access to (and travel for) critical services and allows outdoor activities to preserve Californians’ physical and mental health. This limited closure will help stop the surge and prevent overwhelming regional ICU capacity.
In any region that triggers a regional stay-at-home order because it drops below 15% ICU capacity, the following sectors must close:
- Indoor and outdoor
- 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 and lodging: Allow to open for critical infrastructure support only.
- Restaurants: Allow only for take-out, pick-up, or delivery.
- Offices: Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible.
- 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 with appropriate infectious disease preventative measures including 100% masking and physical distancing:
- Critical infrastructure
- Non-urgent medical and dental care
- Child care and pre-kindergarten