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This Governor Just Imposed "Emergency" Stay-at-Home Order

California has pulled the “emergency brake” with a stay-at-home order tied to ICU beds.

The day after it was revealed that the city of Los Angeles was headed into their strictest stay-at-home orders thus far in the pandemic, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he is "pulling the emergency brake" and other regions of the state will also be locking down in the next few days. During a press conference on Thursday, state officials revealed the restrictions would apply to regions of the state where hospitals are on the brink of capacity — and many of them are expected to reach that point this week. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

California Hospitals are at a "Tipping Point"

"The bottom line is if we don't act now, our hospital system will be overwhelmed," Newsom said during the press conference. 

"We are at a tipping point in our fight against the virus and we need to take decisive action now to prevent California's hospital system from being overwhelmed in the coming weeks," Newsom added in a written statement. "I'm clear-eyed that this is hard on all of us — especially our small businesses who are struggling to get by."

Once the ICU capacity drops below 15%, the region will have two days to comply with the stay-at-home orders and follow them for at least three weeks. 

Newsom announced that four out of five regions — Greater Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley, Northern California, and Southern California — will likely hit that point early this month, while the fifth — the Bay Area — will follow mid-month. 

The stay-at-home orders will ban nonessential gatherings. While individuals will still be able to engage in essential activities, such as going to the doctor, grocery shopping, and picking up takeout, as well as exercising outdoors and attending outdoor religious ceremonies, there will be mass closures. Playgrounds, indoor recreation, salons, museums, zoos, aquariums, movie theaters, wineries, bars, casinos, live-audience sports and amusement parks will be amongst them. While retail stores will be able to operate, they will only be at 20% capacity. Additionally, schools that are already operating in-person can remain open. 

He also pointed out to his constituents that there is "light at the end of the tunnel."

"This is the final surge in this pandemic," he encouraged. "We do not anticipate having to do this again." 

On Thursday, the Golden State added 18,951 new cases to their tally, a number beat by only the previous day of 20,759 new cases. The state's positivity rate is also increasing along with the number of tests being administered, a cocktail likely to result in a surge of cases. 

RELATED: COVID Symptoms Usually Appear in This Order, Study Finds

How to Stay Alive—and Save Lives—No Matter Where You Live

How to stop the hospitals from filling up, and people dying? Short of a lockdown, CDC Director Robert Redfield plumps for mitigation measures like "social distancing, hand-washing and being smart about crowds—doing things more outside than inside. These are critical mitigation steps which, to many people, seem simple, and they don't really think it could have, you know, much of an impact. But the reality is they're very, very powerful tools. They have an enormous impact. And right now it is so important that we recommit ourselves to this mitigation." So follow those fundamental mitigation measures, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah