By JOSH FRIEDMAN
The Southern California region, to which San Luis Obispo County belongs, will remain under a stay-at-home order indefinitely, state officials announced Tuesday.
Officials also extended the stay-at-home order for the San Joaquin Valley region, citing projections that ICU availability is not rising at a fast enough rate. Both the Southern California and San Joaquin Valley regions are currently at 0 percent ICU availability, and under state rules, they must reach or rise above 15 percent in order to have the stay-at-home order lifted.
In San Luis Obispo County, ICU availability is approximately 43 percent and Santa Barbara County is at 9.5 percent.
SLO, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties are seeking to break away from Southern California and form their own Central Coast region. If county officials are successful, SLO County could be out of the stay-at-home order sooner than the remained to the Southern California Region.
Currently, the Southern California region includes Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.
“We certainly know that Southern California hospitals are in crisis and some have begun to implement parts of crisis care,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said during a press briefing on Tuesday.
Statewide, coronavirus hospitalizations are continuing to increase, though at a slowing rate. Between Dec. 12 and Dec. 19, hospitalizations increased by an average of 113 per day. The most recent data for a weeklong period shows hospitalizations rising by an average of 79 per day.
While under the stay-at-home order, hair salons, nail shops, movie theaters, playgrounds and wineries are required to close. Restaurants are restricted to take out and delivery and retail businesses to 20 percent customer capacity. Not all businesses, though, are complying with the mandates.