The State of California ended its statewide coronavirus-related stay-at-home order on Monday. This decision was based on projected intensive care unit populations over the next four weeks. The order’s ending will move most of the state back into the “purple tier” of the four-tiered reopening system, allowing businesses like restaurants and hair salons to reopen outdoors.
Other activities that are allowed outdoors include gyms, places of worship and zoos. Other personal care services are allowed indoors with modifications.
Grocery stores are allowed to increase their capacity to 50%. The state-enforced curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. expired Monday, allowing non-essential, late-night travel to resume.
Emeryville businesses were quick to announce plans to resume operations including the Public Market, Honor Kitchen and Bruce’s Barbershop.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and state health officials originally implemented the stay-at-home order in December amid a surge in part by social gatherings for the holidays. Some have questioned the timing of the order amid the ongoing recall effort of Governor Newsom in response to criticisms of the handling of the pandemic and the “see-saw” closures and reopenings.
Various regions of the state were placed under the stay-at-home order when their aggregated ICU bed availability fell below 15 percent of the region’s total ICU bed capacity. The Bay Area’s ICU availability steadily increased to 23.4 percent over the weekend.
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“Seven weeks ago, our hospitals and front-line medical workers were stretched to their limits, but Californians heard the urgent message to stay home when possible and our surge after the December holidays did not overwhelm the health care system to the degree we had feared,” state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said in a statement.
The move comes just days after Ghaly suggested the state had weathered the worst of the pandemic’s winter surge and hospitalizations were on a downswing. “We are seeing some reductions in transmission,” Ghaly said last week during a briefing on the pandemic.
“Please remember however, that the County’s case rate remains very high, at 37.7 new cases per 100,000 residents per day, and a test positivity rate of more than 8%,” cautioned 2021 Emeryville Mayor Dianne Martinez in a city press release. “In order to move into the state’s “Red Tier”, where more activities will be allowed, case rates must fall below 7 new cases per 100,000 residents per day with a test positivity between 5% and 8%.”
Martinez encouraged residents to continue to wear face coverings, avoiding group gatherings and frequent hand-washing as prescribed by the state. “Together we will move through this, and together we will recover as a community. Thank you for everything you and your family are doing to keep our community safe and healthy.”