ICU Capacity Dropped Below 15% Triggering Stay Home Order for Tulare County
Tulare County and the San Joaquin Valley will be under the Regional Stay Home Order as Hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Capacity in the region dropped below 15% availability triggering the order effective in Tulare County beginning Sunday, December 6 at 11:59 p.m. The new regional order is a proactive measure in response to the rapid rise of COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations, threatening to overwhelm the health care delivery system.
The Regional Stay Home Order requires Tulare County residents to stay at home as much as possible, prohibits private gatherings of any size, closes operations for certain sectors and requires 100 percent masking and physical distancing in all other sectors allowed to operate under the new regional order. Schools currently open under approved waivers can remain open and retailers can operate at no more than 20% capacity to reduce exposure risk to COVID-19 as the virus continues to rapidly spread throughout Tulare County and the greater San Joaquin Valley region.
“COVID-19 continues to spread at alarming rates in Tulare County, and most concerning are the number of people needing to be hospitalized for COVID-19,” shared Dr. Karen Haught, Tulare County Public Health Officer. “It is imperative we take these protective actions in order to not overwhelm our local hospitals. The measures we all need to take is to avoid any gatherings outside our household, wear a face covering, social distance, and wash our hands. These are vital to decrease transmission of COVID-19.”
The San Joaquin Valley region will remain within the Regional Stay at Home Order status for at least three weeks. Tulare County will be eligible to come off the Regional Stay at Home Order after three weeks if local hospital ICU capacity projected four weeks out reaches 15 percent, once this is achieved, then Tulare County will return to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy tier determined by case rate and test positivity metrics after eligibility to exit the Regional Stay at Home Order is met. The terms of the Regional Stay at Home Order closely mirror the March statewide Stay at Home Order, with some variations.
What does the Regional Stay at Home Order do?
The Regional Stay at Home Order 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 (including travel for) critical services and allows outdoor activities to preserve physical and mental health. This limited closure will help stop the surge and prevent overwhelming regional ICU capacity.
All operations in the following sectors must be closed:
- Indoor and Outdoor Playgrounds
- 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 Park
The following sectors will have additional modifications in addition to 100 percent 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 percent 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 percent 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 or pick-up.
- Offices: Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible.
- Places of Worship: Allow outdoor services only.
- Entertainment Production including Professional Sports: Allow operation without live audiences. Additionally, testing protocol and “bubbles” are highly encouraged.
The Order does not modify existing state guidance regarding K-12 schools and Tulare County schools currently open under approved waivers can remain open The following sectors are allowed to remain open when a remote option is not possible with appropriate infectious disease preventative measures including 100 percent masking and physical distancing:
- Critical Infrastructure
- Non-urgent medical and dental care
- Child care and pre-K
More information on the Regional Stay at Home Order and other statewide COVID-19 restrictions is available at www.COVID-19.ca.gov.
Other Statewide Restrictions – Non-Essential Travel Lodging
Except as otherwise required by law, no hotel or lodging entity in California shall 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.
Can people go outside?
Members of the same household are encouraged to maintain physical and mental health by safely going to a park, hike, walk or bike ride when safe to do so and socially distanced. Californians are also encouraged to keep connected with loved ones virtually.