California's Next Step in Stopping the Spread
On Thursday, December 3, Gavin Newsom announced another order to help fight against the Coronavirus. The order affects the five different regions of California based on their ICU capacity. These sections are: Northern California, Greater Sacramento, the Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California. As of the order’s announcement, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California are the only two regions affected by this order for having a deficient ICU capacity in their hospitals throughout.
Photo obtained from the Business and Human Rights Resource Center
This is similar to the Stay At Home Order that was enforced in March, except it only affects the regions listed above (San Joaquin Valley and Southern California). That means all gatherings with people not from a citizen’s household are prohibited, except for worship and “political expression” (CDPH), which will be done outdoors. In addition, all retail stores can only open at 20% capacity and nothing more. Citizens of the affected regions can still go outdoors, but only for essential needs and exercise, which means that public parks are still open. This order took effect on Sunday, December 5, and will last three weeks. The mandate can be modified at any time by the California Department Of Public Health (CDPH).
Newsom also addressed the topic of the survival of small businesses during the pandemic. He explained that billions of sales tax deferrals were stocked for this plan to help keep small businesses alive (which, according to the governor, 99.6% of small businesses qualify for), and therefore keep the economy alive during this incredible times².
More about areas affected by the Regional Stay At Home Order can be found on the California's official coronavirus-coverage website