As the coronavirus continues to surge, California this month implemented the strictest coronavirus lockdown in the country.
Under the new guidelines, private gatherings are banned for most people in the state.
California’s new measures are a bit more lenient than the one it enacted earlier this year. For example, schools and child care facilities can remain open.
California, more than any other state, has been hit particularly hard by the recent surge of new coronavirus infections. While the state was averaging anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 new infections per day throughout September and October, it’s now seeing more than 30,000 new cases per day. Over the last two weeks alone, new infections have skyrocketed by 111% while coronavirus-related deaths in the state are up a whopping 123%.
In response, California over the past few weeks started implementing a number of restrictions to help combat the virus. As it stands today, California has the strictest lockdown measures out of any other state in the country.
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Back in November, California announced a limited stay home order that impacted most counties in the state. Per the order, non-essential activities were banned from from 10PM through 5AM.
More recently, California announced a regional stay-at-home order that goes into effect when a particular region has less than 15% ICU availability in its hospitals. Under the order, private gatherings of any size are banned and all stores must close “except for critical infrastructure and retail.”
Once a stay-at-home order goes into effect, it remains in place for three weeks at a minimum. The order will only be lifted once a “region’s projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15%.” That said, any part of California currently under a stay-at-home order will remain on lockdown through the Christmas holiday.
Currently, the three regions (and their associated counties) with stay-at-home orders include Greater Sacramento (Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba), Southern California (Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura), and San Joaquin (Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne).
Interestingly, the regional stay-at-home order even prevents hotels and vacation rentals from taking reservations in some circumstances:
When any California region is under a Regional Stay Home Order, no hotel or lodging entity in California can accept or honor out of state reservations for non-essential travel, unless the reservation is for at least the minimum time period required for quarantine and the persons identified in the reservation will quarantine in the hotel or lodging entity until after that time period has expired.
Additionally, hotels and lodging entities in a county under a Regional Stay Home Order cannot accept or honor in-state reservations for non-essential travel.
Hotels or other commercial and residential buildings may offer lodging for essential functions and travel including COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures, treatment measures, accommodation for essential workers, or housing solutions, including measures to protect homeless populations.
The full rundown of California’s new COVID-19 guidelines can be viewed over here. Looking ahead, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that other states will follow California’s lead in the near future.