This State Has the Strictest COVID Lockdown Ever
"Hope is on the way," California governor Gavin Newsom tweeted yesterday, touting the arrival of approximately "672,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine in the next few weeks" and "the first shipment of Pfizer will arrive in the next week." The relief can't come soon enough. His state has the stricting mitigation measures of any other, to help hospitals deal with an overflow of patients. "COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased dramatically over the last two months nationwide," Newsom tweeted.
In fact, they have increased so much, the governor has tied mitigation measures to the availability of ICU beds. "We need to put data and science at the forefront and get through this surge together. Wear a mask. Stay home. Be safe." Read on to find out more about California's strategies, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Why does this one state have more measures than others? It's been that way for a while. "California has long had much more stringent virus controls than other states — even states that are also heavily Democratic politically.." It's schools remain mostly virtual and "California is also the only state to issue new bans on outdoor dining and children's playgrounds, although the latter was later reversed Wednesday after significant pushback," reports SF Gate.
This is partly because of the way the California legislature is set up—it "gives more power to urban areas and urban party Democrats," Matthew Record, a professor of political science at San Jose State, told the website. "So you don't have that countervailing force, there's no mechanism in the state where Republicans have disproportionate say relative to their actual strength."
Here's a list of what's allowed and what isn't in California:
In any region that triggers a Regional Stay at Home Order because it drops below 15 percent 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 Parks
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 state's ICU capacity has dropped to 14%, by one measure. "We certainly have two other regions that are not in this order, but the vast majority, overwhelming majority of the population in the state is," said Gov. Newsom.
How to Avoid COVID-19 in Your State
As for yourself, follow his fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.