SoCal’s Available ICU Bed Count Drops to 13.1%; Tighter Restrictions Coming as Early as Sunday

Southern California has dipped to 13.1% available ICU beds according to new figures released Friday night. That number is below the 15% threshold the state has set, meaning the region could enter into new Safer at Home restrictions as early as Sunday.

The California Department of Public Health released these new figures for available ICU beds late Friday night. If Southern California’s available ICU bed count stays below 15% on Saturday, it will likely trigger the new restrictions, going into effect Sunday night.

Under plans outlined by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday, whenever a region’s available ICU beds drops below 15%, it would trigger tighter restrictions for that region. The governor’s plan divides the state into five different regions for the purposes of these ICU bed counts.

“The bottom line is if we don’t act now, our hospital system will be overwhelmed,” Newsom said Thursday. “If we don’t act now, we’ll continue to see a death rate climb, more lives lost.”

Under the new restrictions, essential businesses like grocery stores would have to operate at 20% capacity, down from the current 35% capacity under which they have been operating since Nov. 30 when Los Angeles County officials imposed new restrictions.

Non-essential businesses would be allowed to remain open, but operating at 20% capacity, the same capacity under which they have been operating since Nov. 30 when LA County imposed its restrictions.

Other changes that take effect when the state’s tighter regional restrictions go into effect include closing of:

  • indoor and outdoor playgrounds
  • indoor recreational facilities
  • hair salons and barbershops
  • personal care services like nail salons
  • museums, zoos, and aquariums

Restaurants in LA County have been closed to in-person dining since Nov. 25, thanks to an order from county health department. However, when the state’s restrictions go into effect, restaurants throughout the rest of the Southern California region would be forced to close except for take-out orders or deliveries.

Hotels would have to close to tourists, but would be allowed to remain open for “critical infrastructure support only,” such as a place for front-line workers like hospital employees to stay between shifts.

Churches may continue to hold services, but would be restricted to outdoor services only.

Professional sports can continue playing, but without a live audience.

Meanwhile, schools which have received waivers from the state would be allowed to remain open.

These impending state restrictions on the region come as LA County is seeing its highest numbers since the coronavirus pandemic began in March. On Friday, LA County reported 8,860 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,668 people hospitalized, both all-time highs.

LA County has been breaking its record for number of cases and hospitalizations throughout the week.

The Southern California region as defined by the state’s five region system for ICU bed counts includes 11 counties. Those counties are Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Imperial, Inyo, Mono, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

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hifi5000
hifi5000
2 months ago

I am trying to figure out why the infection rates are rising.I think it is a combination of virus fatigue and the cold weather.Colder weather means people are closer together longer,thus more chance of the virus spreading in a indoor setting.

The weather is getting colder throughout the country,so this makes perfect sense. This combined with the virus fatigue is making everything worse.Do we need to mask at home as well?

TheRealZam
2 months ago
Reply to  hifi5000

Many people traveled over the Thanksgiving weekend. Combine that with people from multiple households having private gatherings INDOORS and you have a recipe for disaster.

Jay
Jay
2 months ago
Reply to  TheRealZam

Yep and yep, TheRealZam!

WeHo Poster
WeHo Poster
2 months ago
Reply to  hifi5000

I think the biggest driver of infection is that people still have to go into the world, where the virus is, and work. Public health demands that people stay home, but domestic economic policy demands that they do not. People need to be paid to stay home, and the pandemic won’t get better until they are.

Tom Smart
Tom Smart
2 months ago

Good work James! Thanks so much for keeping us informed and safe!

WeHoldTheseTruths
WeHoldTheseTruths
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom Smart

Too defensive.

Paul Buckley
Paul Buckley
2 months ago

The city of WeHo needs to start issuing tickets to tradesmen who are not wearing masks. It’s not our job to report incidences, they should make any home owner employing contractors to be responsible for compliance and have a notice posted on the property as a part of the permit process.

Jay
Jay
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul Buckley

Makes sense to me, Paul! I did see signs like that on the door of an apartment in my building that was being refreshed.

greeneyedboy
greeneyedboy
2 months ago

James, thank you for covering coronavirus updates so thoroughly!

This is really troubling news. Southern California needs to do better.

Mixhaw Grace
Mixhaw Grace
2 months ago

This is all just so unnecessary with this dreadful and incompetent Governor. The Feds can bring in a hospital ship. They can add ICU beds very quickly. Like they did in New York last spring. That were never used because of that in confident governor. But we are stuck the insufferable leadership of one of the worst and most incompetent governors in the history of this state of California. Get Gov Nuisance out of Sacramento and send him to the French Laundry to wash him out of our hair!

Last edited 2 months ago by Mixhaw Grace
Leslie K
Leslie K
2 months ago
Reply to  Mixhaw Grace

It’s not just beds, but a lack of health care workers to take care of the sick.

Jay
Jay
2 months ago
Reply to  Leslie K

You are absolutely right that that will be the true challenge, Leslie, especially as capacity strains nationwide, limiting the ability to shunt ICU patients elsewhere.

Steve Too
Steve Too
2 months ago
Reply to  Mixhaw Grace

The hospital ships did not include ICU f as facilities. They were meant as overflow for non severe cases and concerns other that Covid.

Jay
Jay
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Too

Thank you for that important clarification, Steve Too!

WeHoldTheseTruths
WeHoldTheseTruths
2 months ago

James you have become the town crier. Where are the stories on Weho businesses and workers who are unemployed because of the lockdowns?

Shawn
Shawn
2 months ago

I disagree. I appreciate the information. It’s very confusing with the state rules, county rules and city rules. It’s nice to have someone trying to explain it from a West Hollywood perspective because I am not clear which rules are in place.

I think that he has been in top of not just the restrictions but also some of the impacts it’s having on employees and business owners.

Steve Too
Steve Too
2 months ago

The immediate concern is for people’s physical well-being and the capacity of healthcare facilities to handle those in dire need.

This site is going a good job keeping the community informed. Direct your frustration to congress and the current administration regarding financial support.

WeHoldTheseTruths
WeHoldTheseTruths
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Too

Congress isn’t responsible for keeping Weho businesses closed.

Jay
Jay
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Too

Yes and yes, Steve Too!

WeHoldTheseTruths
WeHoldTheseTruths
2 months ago
Reply to  Jay

You are a follower Jay.

Jerome Cleary
Jerome Cleary
2 months ago

lol

WeHoldTheseTruths
WeHoldTheseTruths
2 months ago
Reply to  Jerome Cleary

Laughing about workers who can’t pay rent or medical bills?

Jerome Cleary
Jerome Cleary
2 months ago

Jesus! now I have to explain my comment on a website? I was making an “lol” cause you were right re: “Where are the stories on Weho businesses and workers who are unemployed because of the lockdowns?”


greeneyedboy
greeneyedboy
2 months ago

Want some cheese with that wine?

WeHoldTheseTruths
WeHoldTheseTruths
2 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedboy

Heartless. At least you didn’t mention Trump.

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