• By The Financial District


Hospital intensive care unit availability for the Greater Sacramento Region has fallen below 15% again, all but ensuring the state's stay-at-home order will not be lifted in time for the new year as many had hoped, according to KCRA 3 News

California’s COVID-19 state dashboard on Thursday listed 14.4% ICU availability, the first time the metric has fallen back below 15% in several days.

State officials said Thursday afternoon that the order would "likely be extended based on early ICU projections."

"While the Greater Sacramento region’s daily current ICU capacity numbers have been relatively consistent at approximately 14%, early projections over the next four weeks show ICU capacity is likely to drop," a release from the Department of Public Health said.

"Therefore, the order will likely be extended for that region. Official ICU projections for the Greater Sacramento region will be posted on January 2 based on January 1 data."

A representative from Sacramento County said earlier Thursday morning they had not yet been updated with the state’s decision about the order but was hoping to before Jan. 1.

El Dorado County had also not yet heard from the state. KCRA 3 has reached out to other affected counties.

The Greater Sacramento region's initial three-week stay-at-home order first took effect at 11:59 on Dec. 11 for 13 counties in the region: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba.

The state's COVID19.ca.gov website describes these two scenarios for how the order is assessed after the initial three weeks.

  1. The order will end in a region if the region’s ICU capacity projected out four weeks (from day 22 after the Regional Stay Home Order started in the region) is above or equal to 15%. Each county in the region will then be assigned to a tier based on the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and the rules of the Blueprint will apply again.

  2. The order will remain in effect in a region if its ICU capacity projected out four weeks (from day 22 after the Regional Stay Home Order started in the region) is less than 15%. The order will remain in effect until the region’s projected ICU capacity is equal or greater than 15%. This would be assessed approximately twice a week.

Initial stay-at-home orders for the Southern California region and San Joaquin Valley regions have already been extended. The Bay Area region will remain under the stay-at-home order until Jan. 8 at the earliest, the state said.

Under the stay-at-home orders, restaurants can only offer food to-go or delivery, and many businesses must remain closed. They include hair salons and barbershops, personal care services, museums zoos and aquariums, movie theaters, family entertainment centers and dog groomers.