California Governor Gavin Newsom Ends Regional Stay At Home Orders

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By Ivana Ramirez

Wasting no time, Governor Newsom opened the press meeting with a simple statement: “all regions, effective immediately, are no longer in the stay at home order.”

The modified order, which was implemented on December 3rd, 2020, came at a dire time in California’s virus response. Intensive Care Units (ICUs) were announced to have less than 15% capacity as non-essential businesses were closed down and all private gatherings were prohibited.

Now, Governor Newsom explained that he reversed those orders after new ICU capacity projections. “We project forward over a four week period and we determine ICU capacity either meets or exceeds 15%,” said Newsom.

A plan called the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” was immediately put into effect to replace the order. This proposition, which debuted in August, assigns counties a Blueprint tier ranging from Minimal (Yellow) to Widespread (Purple) to determine the corresponding COVID-19 safety measures in each area.

While Newsom framed the reopening of the state in a positive and healthy manner, 54 of the 58 counties listed under the Blueprint project are in the Widespread (Purple) danger zone as of January 26. This means that each of those counties has higher than an 8% positive rate over a 7 day average of all COVID tests administered.

The one county that is in the Moderate (Orange) zone, Sierra County, has a population of just over 3,000 people compared to the 40 million in Purple zone. Although the Blueprint is a state-wide plan, individual counties may impose their own reopening restrictions.

In the Purple tier, restaurants may open with outdoor dining and modifications, nail and hair salons may open, and certain youth sports may resume “for competition, in particular” according to Newsom. In counties where the daily new case rate is below 25 cases per 100,000 residents, some schools may apply to reopen as well.

As California remains 26th in the nation in positivity rates, Newsom reports that “we have prioritized vaccinating the vaccinators and our healthcare workers.”

Largely due to the dissemination of vaccines in California, estimated ICU capacity is projected to rise above 15% in the entire state over the course of four weeks, reaching as high as 33.3% in the Southern California region.

Consulting with Secretary of California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly, Newsom reported that California’s COVID-19 vaccination rate has tripled in the past three weeks and is hopefully scheduled to reach one million more people in the next ten days.

In an attempt to reach this goal, California has aimed to simplify the vaccine eligibility framework. New priority groups include people ages 65 and older, healthcare workers, food and agriculture employees, and teachers and school staff.

California’s old model, which included several phases of inoculation administration according to age, industry, and risk of exposure, allowed for homeless shelter residents and incarcerated individuals to be prioritized in vaccine group 1B. Now, California will operate largely on age-based eligibility, meaning that disproportionately impacted groups will have trouble accessing the vaccine.

On this issue, Newsom said that “moving forward…a goal is getting to herd immunity, getting vaccines to everybody that wants them administered, and getting to a point where we can get back to some semblance of the new normal with all the resiliency that now resides within each and every one of us and ultimately will reside in the state, the nation, and the world post-pandemic.”

California lags behind in tackling the pandemic head-on. In fact, only Alabama, Georgia, and Virginia have lower percentages than California at administering their vaccine allotments.

To compensate, Governor Newsom wants to utilize California’s vast resources and far-reaching government to effectively implement its new plans without leaving anyone behind in the process.

“California, the size of 21 states in America combined, is more like a large ship. It takes a little bit of time to shift course, but when it shifts course it builds tremendous momentum. That’s exactly what we have done and you will continue to hear more about it as it relates to our vaccine administration,” Newsom said.

Ivana Ramirez is a gap-year first year at Yale University. She is originally from Greenville, SC and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.


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8 thoughts on “California Governor Gavin Newsom Ends Regional Stay At Home Orders”

  1. Keith Olsen

    California Governor Gavin Newsom Ends Regional Stay At Home Orders

    Two things going on here, first the presidential election is over and Biden is in office and secondly Newsom is facing a recall referendum.  I think these two things have a lot to do with Newsom’s change of direction.

    1. Bill Marshall

      He learned from the best, crossing the aisle… someone who wet their finger, put it in the air, to detect which wind would fill their sails… SOP… more is the pity…

      There are some exceptions… good sign… especially for the GOP…

      1. Bill Marshall

        Can’t speak to where the ex-Prez got his finger wet… maybe up to 12 possibilities…

        Not sure I’ll sign the current recall petition, given my concerns are different than those stated… but pretty sure, 90% confidence level, that if the recall goes to a vote AND IF there is a viable alternative, I’ll vote for the recall… just as I’m hoping the US Senate convicts ex-Prez, and does the banning from future office thingy…

        Between my two posts, is that enough clarification?  If not, too bad…

    2. Alan Miller

      yup

      although . . . when asked if his sudden turnaround was a result of the ongoing recall campaign and lawsuits against him, Newsom said, “That’s just complete and utter nonsense.”

  2. Chris Griffith

    Are there rumor that Donald Trump was going to change his residency to California and run for governor 🤗
    We better watch out the moderators are going to make us go sit in the corner if we continue down this rabbit hole

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