News

Newsom: State leaders could issue stay-at-home order

Hospitalizations are surging; officials worry about hospital capacity

Gov. Gavin Newsom and state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly provide an update on the state of COVID-19 in California at a Nov. 30 virtual press conference. Video courtesy California Governor Gavin Newsom's YouTube channel.

Gov. Gavin Newsom suggested Monday the state could issue a new stay-at-home order for the majority of California's counties as new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surge across the state.

Coronavirus hospitalizations are on pace to rise by up to roughly 30% by Christmas Eve in much of the state, according to Newsom, as the state's health care system absorbs a surge of new cases due in part to gatherings on Thanksgiving.

Intensive care units are also on track to reach and surpass 100% capacity sometime in December in most of the state's major population centers.

The Bay Area fares slightly better than other parts of the state in both of those metrics, with 58% of its hospital beds currently occupied and 62% projected to be occupied by Dec. 24.

Likewise, 72% of the Bay Area's ICU beds are currently occupied, a figure projected to rise to 91% by Dec. 24, putting the region on track to hit its maximum ICU capacity in early January.

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Newsom said the projections did not take into account mitigating factors like a potential stay-at-home order and assumed the state's current surge would continue unabated.

"This is in the absence of making better decisions," he said Monday during a briefing on the pandemic. "If we just sit back and are bystanders at this moment and we don't subsequently improve upon our existing efforts, this is what we project might occur."

Newsom said state officials have discussed over the last week issuing a new stay-at-home order that would apply to counties in the purple tier of the state's pandemic reopening system.

As of Monday, 51 of the state's 58 counties, including every Bay Area county except Marin, were in the purple tier, accounting for 99.1% of the state's population.

A new stay-at-home order, Newsom and state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said, would not be entirely the same as the order the state issued back in March, shutting down most businesses for several weeks.

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In the months since then, Newsom and Ghaly argued, local and state health officials have learned much more about how the virus is transmitted and which activities pose the largest risk of infection.

For now, state officials are most focused on community transmission and decreasing social mixing, according to Ghaly.

"Everybody wants us to identify the sector where spread is happening," he said. "The truth is, when you have this level of community spread, it's happening in our communities first and foremost. So, the minute you walk into an entity indoors, the chance of encountering someone with COVID, who can actually transmit it, is higher than it's ever been."

Ghaly also noted that the state's surge in new cases and hospitalizations is likely to get worse before it gets better due to the roughly two-week lag for the virus to begin affecting a person.

"The high case rate numbers that we've seen in the last week and 10 days have not even begun to impact hospitals yet," Ghaly said.

Newsom has argued the coming weeks will be one of the most critical periods of the pandemic for state residents to heed public health guidance during the "sprint" toward widespread availability of a vaccine.

That vaccination is expected to begin in less than a month, he said, as the state is set to receive some 327,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer over the next few weeks.

"People just want to be done with this," Ghaly said of the pandemic. "But it doesn't take a break just because we're tired of it."

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Newsom: State leaders could issue stay-at-home order

Hospitalizations are surging; officials worry about hospital capacity

by / Bay City News Service

Uploaded: Tue, Dec 1, 2020, 9:15 am

Gov. Gavin Newsom suggested Monday the state could issue a new stay-at-home order for the majority of California's counties as new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surge across the state.

Coronavirus hospitalizations are on pace to rise by up to roughly 30% by Christmas Eve in much of the state, according to Newsom, as the state's health care system absorbs a surge of new cases due in part to gatherings on Thanksgiving.

Intensive care units are also on track to reach and surpass 100% capacity sometime in December in most of the state's major population centers.

The Bay Area fares slightly better than other parts of the state in both of those metrics, with 58% of its hospital beds currently occupied and 62% projected to be occupied by Dec. 24.

Likewise, 72% of the Bay Area's ICU beds are currently occupied, a figure projected to rise to 91% by Dec. 24, putting the region on track to hit its maximum ICU capacity in early January.

Newsom said the projections did not take into account mitigating factors like a potential stay-at-home order and assumed the state's current surge would continue unabated.

"This is in the absence of making better decisions," he said Monday during a briefing on the pandemic. "If we just sit back and are bystanders at this moment and we don't subsequently improve upon our existing efforts, this is what we project might occur."

Newsom said state officials have discussed over the last week issuing a new stay-at-home order that would apply to counties in the purple tier of the state's pandemic reopening system.

As of Monday, 51 of the state's 58 counties, including every Bay Area county except Marin, were in the purple tier, accounting for 99.1% of the state's population.

A new stay-at-home order, Newsom and state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said, would not be entirely the same as the order the state issued back in March, shutting down most businesses for several weeks.

In the months since then, Newsom and Ghaly argued, local and state health officials have learned much more about how the virus is transmitted and which activities pose the largest risk of infection.

For now, state officials are most focused on community transmission and decreasing social mixing, according to Ghaly.

"Everybody wants us to identify the sector where spread is happening," he said. "The truth is, when you have this level of community spread, it's happening in our communities first and foremost. So, the minute you walk into an entity indoors, the chance of encountering someone with COVID, who can actually transmit it, is higher than it's ever been."

Ghaly also noted that the state's surge in new cases and hospitalizations is likely to get worse before it gets better due to the roughly two-week lag for the virus to begin affecting a person.

"The high case rate numbers that we've seen in the last week and 10 days have not even begun to impact hospitals yet," Ghaly said.

Newsom has argued the coming weeks will be one of the most critical periods of the pandemic for state residents to heed public health guidance during the "sprint" toward widespread availability of a vaccine.

That vaccination is expected to begin in less than a month, he said, as the state is set to receive some 327,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer over the next few weeks.

"People just want to be done with this," Ghaly said of the pandemic. "But it doesn't take a break just because we're tired of it."

Comments

Native to the BAY
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Dec 1, 2020 at 4:48 pm
Native to the BAY, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2020 at 4:48 pm
10 people like this

And Palo Altans are so self involved, busy organizing a referendum to bar public , open space access. Do BLM and All Lives matter? Absurd. Why don’t these snobs organize a food, toilet paper or utility payment drive, instead. Put any extra personal wealth , energy for something for the larger common good . Get your head out of the Internet Zoom hole and live life .


Lee Forrest
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 2, 2020 at 8:44 am
Lee Forrest, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 8:44 am
46 people like this

Governor Newsom's advisements could gain some additional public acceptance if he and other Democratic leaders throughout the state (including London Breed/SF, Sam Licardo/SJ, Sheila Kuell/LA, & Nancy Pelosi) actually practiced what they preach.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 2, 2020 at 11:26 am
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 11:26 am
6 people like this

@Native to the BAY - I believe that you're commenting to the wrong article. This has nothing to do with the attempt by radical and perpetually-offended activists (who claim that Palo Alto and its residents are "racists") to sue to stop the city from having a nature preserve that limits access to residents.


Jane
Registered user
Ventura
on Dec 2, 2020 at 12:14 pm
Jane, Ventura
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 12:14 pm
12 people like this

State overreach, and lockdowns don't work. Figure out how to manage with the risk, not multiply the harm. My god they haven't learned anything.

You can't stop people from drowning by telling them to hold their breath longer -- they are going to breathe and live. What the state wants to do however is hold everyone's head underwater indefinitely.

If you are at risk or afraid, then take measures to protect yourself. *That* is the responsible way to manage this.


mauricio
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 2, 2020 at 3:24 pm
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2020 at 3:24 pm
2 people like this

This is much more than about protecting yourself. When you are out in public you will infect others if you are infected, or you might get infected and then infect others, or infect family members or people you meet in person who will then infect others, which is exactly why we can't slow down the pandemic and are closing in on 300,000 fatalities.

We lost many of our personal freedoms when the nation went into hysteria in the aftermath of 2700 fatalities on 9/11, but trying to deal with millions of infected people and almost 300,000 fatalities is "state overreach". Speak of a parallel universe.

In the absence of an effective vaccine, lockdowns and mask wearing are the ONLY measures that work. Not only isn't a lockdown state overreach, the state should have enforced a lockdown back in March.


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