San Francisco Bay Area to begin month-long COVID-19 lockdown
Health officials in the San Francisco Bay Area have ordered lockdown for the region’s 8.5 million residents beginning Sunday night and lasting into the first week of 2021.
The stay-at-home restrictions in five counties — which include San Francisco, Oakland and Silicon Valley — require the closing of indoor and outdoor restaurant dining and impose strict limits on stores and gyms.
They were ordered even though the area has yet to reach the lockdown-triggering thresholds set by California Gov. Gavin Newsom — including hospital ICU beds exceeding 85 percent of capacity.
Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco counties and the city of Berkeley said Friday that the lockdown was necessary to curb the spread of the virus in the region.
“We cannot wait until after we have driven off the cliff to pull the emergency break,” Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said in a statement.
“We understand that the closures under the State order will have a profound impact on our local businesses. However, if we act quickly, we can both save lives and reduce the amount of time these restrictions have to stay in place, allowing businesses and activities to reopen sooner.”
On Thursday, Newsom issued a new set of restrictions that requires counties to shutdown if ICU capacity is over 85 percent.
Most Bay Area counties will issue the stay-at-home order starting Sunday, and it will remain in place until Jan. 4.