Friday, January 22, 2021

California on the brink: Virus rages and closures imminent

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Much of California is on the point of sweeping new restrictions on companies and actions, a determined try and sluggish the frighteningly fast escalation of coronavirus instances that threatens to overwhelm hospitals.Five San Francisco Bay Area counties imposed a brand new stay-at-home order for his or her residents that can take impact Sunday. Southern California and a big swath of the central portion of the state may be a part of this weekend.Those two areas have seen their intensive care unit capability fall under the 15% threshold that underneath a brand new state stay-at-home order will set off new restrictions barring all on-site restaurant eating and shut hair and nail salons, film theaters and lots of different companies, in addition to museums and playgrounds.If their capability stays under that stage when the information is up to date Saturday, the closures will take impact Sunday and keep in impact no less than three weeks.Gov. Gavin Newsom introduced the brand new plan Thursday. It is essentially the most restrictive order since he imposed the nation’s first statewide stay-at-home rule in March.The new order divides the state into 5 areas and makes use of ICU capability because the set off for closures. Newsom additionally says folks could not congregate with anybody outdoors their family and should at all times put on masks after they go outdoors.As of Friday night time, the 11-county Southern California area had solely 13.1% of its ICU beds accessible, the California Department of Public Health reported. The determine was 14.1% for the San Joaquin Valley area, composed of a dozen counties within the agricultural Central Valley and rural areas of the Sierra Nevada.The different three areas — Greater Sacramento, Northern California and San Francisco Bay Area — have been throughout 21%.But well being officers in 5 of the Bay Area’s 11 counties didn’t wait. On Friday, they adopted the state’s stay-at-home order. The adjustments start to take impact Sunday night time in San Francisco, Santa Clara, Marin, Alameda and Contra Costa counties, in addition to town of Berkeley.Story continues“We don’t think we can wait for the state’s new restrictions to go into effect. … This is an emergency,” Contra Costa Health Officer Chris Farnitano mentioned.“Our biggest fear all along — that we won’t have a bed for you or your mother or your grandmother or grandfather when they get sick — is the reality we’ll be facing unless we slow the spread,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed mentioned.The Bay Area order will final no less than by Jan. 4, every week longer than the state’s timeline, and got here because the state recorded one other day by day document variety of new instances with 22,018. Hospitalizations topped 9,000 for first time and ICU sufferers have been at a document 2,152.The new shutdowns have been a gut-wrenching move for small companies which have struggled to outlive over nearly a yr by which they have been repeatedly ordered to shut, then allowed to reopen however with advanced security precautions.Michelle Saunders James was in tears Friday on the considered closing down her Oakland nail salon simply 5 weeks after reopening it.“We wear (face) shields. We take temperatures. We do everything we are told to do so everyone feels safe, including our staff and team,” she informed KGO-TV. “So I don’t understand why it’s not enough and I’m terribly sad and afraid.”Under Newsom’s order, retail shops and procuring facilities can function with simply 20% buyer capability.In the East Bay, Berkeley Bowl’s two grocery shops already had laid in shares of necessities in case of a return of panic shopping for that was seen after the state issued a strict stay-at-home order in mid-March that later was eased.“We’ve learned valuable lessons from last time,” common supervisor Steve Tsujimoto informed the San Francisco Chronicle. “We acted proactively and have been warehousing certain select items — toilet paper, sanitizers, wipes, beans, rice, grains, flour, bread — things of that nature.”Critics say the broad statewide order unfairly lumps too many disparate counties collectively into areas.The approach “places our ability to reopen with 10 other counties including Los Angeles County which has absolutely failed to control the coronavirus and Mono County whose most populous city is 344 miles away,” mentioned Fred M. Whitaker, chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County.The explosive rise in COVID-19 infections that started in October is being blamed largely on folks ignoring security measures and socializing with others.Berkeley Health Officer Lisa Hernandez mentioned folks shouldn’t meet in particular person with anybody they don’t stay with, “even in a small group, and even outdoors with precautions.”“If you have a social bubble, it is now popped,” Hernandez mentioned. “Do not let this be the last holiday with your family.”Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous with 10 million residents, may reach ICU capability inside days. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti mentioned that might imply folks with different life-threatening sicknesses, akin to strokes and coronary heart assaults, is perhaps unable to get a mattress.The metropolis alone may see greater than 11,000 lives misplaced to the virus by yr’s finish, the mayor mentioned.“That means 3,000 additional deaths in a single month. To put that in perspective, it’s a decade of homicides,” Garcetti mentioned. “This is the greatest threat to life in Los Angeles that we have ever faced.”In the inland Central Valley, Fresno County had simply 10 of its 150 ICU beds accessible. Health officers described a grim image with hospitals struggling to remain staffed due to coronavirus infections and exposures. One hospital is holding ICU sufferers within the emergency division till beds open up, Emergency Medical Services Director Daniel Lynch mentioned Friday.The county has requested assist from the state with staffing for a few weeks. But to this point just one or two extra staff have proven up at three native hospitals as the entire state struggles with staffing.At Kaweah Delta medical heart in Visalia, in Tulare County, there have been 18 ICU beds accessible Friday however solely the employees to deal with 4 extra sufferers, mentioned Keri Noeske, the chief nursing officer. Some 125 workers are out sick or quarantined due to COVID-19.___Jablon reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press author Jocelyn Gecker in San Francisco and Brian Melley in Los Angeles contributed.

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