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New Regional Stay-At-Home Order For SoCal To Take Effect Late Sunday

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A nurse adjusts her personal protective equipment (PPE) before caring for a COVID-19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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UPDATE: The original order, which was set to last a minimum of three weeks, has been extended indefinitely as the region's ICU capacity remains at 0%. Read more on that here.


The falling availability of intensive care beds in Southern California has triggered a new pandemic order from the state set to take effect right before midnight on Sunday.

The state’s announcement on Saturday triggers a three-week-long regional order shutting down certain businesses including nail salons, hair salons, zoos, playgrounds, museums and cardrooms.

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Retail stores and malls can continue to operate but at 20% capacity. Restaurants remain open but only for take-out and delivery.

The order does not affect schools that have re-opened and are providing in-person instruction.

The order, beginning at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, mandates the restrictions at least through December 28 -- but they could extend beyond that if ICU bed capacity remains below 15%. On Saturday, the state said ICU bed capacity in the Southern California region -- which covers 11 counties, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura -- is 12.5%.

That’s second only to the San Joaquin Valley region, which was also placed under a regional stay-at-home order after its ICU bed capacity plummeted to 8.6%.

The order says Southern Californians must stay home “except as necessary,” but residents are still allowed to leave for a host of reasons, including shopping, outdoor exercise, work (if they provide an “essential” service), school and visiting houses of worship.

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Worship services and protests are allowed as long as they take place outdoors.

Acknowledging the toll that the pandemic is taking on people’s mental health, Governor Gavin Newsom emphasized that the order does not preclude people from going outside to exercise.

Statewide, there are more than 1.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, and more than 19,000 have people have died.

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