Some Good News As Sacramento Region Sees Stay-At-Home Lifted

By David M. Greenwald

It was a grim day across the country on Tuesday.  A record 4400 people died of COVID nationally.  In California it was little better—53,260 new cases, more than the nation was getting per day in much of August, and 678 deaths, near a record high.  But there was limited good news locally—the Sacramento region including Yolo County will return to the purple tier and the stay-at-home is lifted because the ICU capacity is better than 15 percent.

The Yolo County PIO said, “Yolo County is returning to the most restrictive, or purple, tier based on metrics from the State’s Blueprint of a Safer Economy. Yolo County will remain in the purple tier until at least January 26 and won’t be able to move to the substantial, or red, tier until meeting the red tier’s metrics for two consecutive weeks.”

We are far from out of the woods however.  Officials, for instance, in Yuba County noted, “Locally, ICU beds in our own hospital are still stressed, so all of us still need to keep doing all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Governor Newsom in making a brief video announcement on Tuesday emphasized, “California remains in its most intensive surge to date.  But there are some good things to report. We’re starting to see some stabilization both in ICUs [and] in our positivity rate. We’re also starting to see the rate of growth for hospitalizations beginning to decline.”

That is good news for some local businesses.  The return to the purple tier—not good news back in September does mean that local restaurants can start serving outdoor food rather than takeout only.

Bars and breweries: Outdoors only as long as food is provided. Those seated at a single table are limited to household members only. Tables must be a minimum of six feet apart.

Gyms and fitness centers can operate in an outdoor setting.

Hair salons and barbershops can resume business.

Grocery stores can return to 50 percent occupancy and retail with 25 percent occupancy.

Restaurants: Takeout, delivery and outdoors only; for outdoor dining those seated at a single table are limited to household members only. Tables must be a minimum of six feet apart.

Schools remain a tricky issue.  According to the county, “Any schools that have already been allowed to reopen for in-person or hybrid learning previously may remain open. Schools that have not yet opened will need to receive a waiver to reopen under the purple tier or wait until Yolo County moves back into the red tier. “

Greater Sacramento including Yolo County was placed on the stay-at-home order on December 10 along with most of the state as capacity dipped below 15 percent.  But while the capacity issue is good news, the rest of the COVID news, including the slow rollout of vaccines is not.

“There is light at the end of this tunnel,” Governor Newsom said.

While Sacramento emerges, the other regions remain under a stay-at-home—the Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California were at 4.7%, 0% and 0%, respectively.

California has done well at times in holding transmission low, but has catastrophically failed during the early summer and again in the fall.

As California has tamped down on activity in the past, it has reduced the spread.

Mark Ghaly, California’s Health and Human Services secretary, on Tuesday said that stay-at-home orders were helping to tamp down COVID transmission.

“We did see some transmission reductions, and that is exactly the kind of relief our hospital systems needed to get through the week—and we hope it will carry forward a little bit longer,” he said during a briefing.

Though the state still anticipates the “some increases in hospitalizations will come in the middle of the month,” Ghaly said, “we’re just hopeful it’s not as significant as we expected and, certainly, not as significant as it would have been had we not seen these reductions in transmission, in part, because of that regional stay-at-home order.”

Now the question is whether Yolo County and the rest of the region can stay in the purple and avoid future disruptions to business and everyday life.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


Support our work – to become a sustaining at $5 – $10- $25 per month hit the link:

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

27 Comments

  1. Tia Will

    David

    I must object to your characterization of this loosening of stay home order as good news. I will have more to say about this later, but for now, let’s just look at the outcome of every “loosening of restrictions to date” in our area.

    In June, 2020 Yolo County had 22 deaths. Extreme pressure was placed on the BOS ( at meetings in which I was attending) by some from the  religious and business communities to “open up”. At that time a statement was made by a public health official that if we opened “too soon more people will die”. We were assured by these religious leaders and business owners that opening could be done safely. The result? Yolo County has now had 130 deaths, 3 within the past 24 hours.

    I am going to state now clearly, this is not the time to loosen restrictions. Doing this will result in more deaths than would be the case if we retained the stay home order. Improvement based on the imposition of a given treatment should not be undermined by the arbitrary existence of more ICU beds at the same time as a more easily spread viral variant is likely spreading. This is reactive, not proactive management, and will once again have the anticipated result of more deaths. This is not my idea of “good news”.

    1. Don Shor

      Unenforced ‘stay-at-home’ to unenforced purple tier isn’t actually much of a “loosening.”

      A few businesses can resume very limited commerce. “Doing this will result in more deaths” is not an evidence-based statement at this point.

      1. Tia Will

        Don

        Please look at the results in graphic and numeric form from the previous two loosenings as demonstrated on the county dashboard and then tell me what you think the likely outcome will be. In each case, the outcome was not “evidence-based” until after the rise in cases and deaths. At what point do we agree the outcome is predictable if not “evidence-based”?

        1. Don Shor

          At what point do we agree the outcome is predictable if not “evidence-based”?

          Please look at the crowds of unmasked people at Central Park on Saturday mornings. Please look at the hundreds of people at a sports training event in Davis last week.
          Purple tier is very restrictive. Enforced properly, purple tier significantly limits activity. A few small businesses can resume some limited service to customers. Compare that to the numbers of people flagrantly violating the so-called “stay-at-home order” in the last few weeks.
          Correlation does not equal causation. In the absence of effective contact tracing, and the absence of enforcement, it is not possible for you to say that the business activities of those feeding people outdoors are a significant cause of death. Your statement is not based on available evidence.

          “then tell me what you think the likely outcome will be.”

          I think the outcome of lack of enforcement and inadequate contact tracing will be more infections and deaths. I do not think it correlates with the activities of the businesses that are now permitted to resume some limited service. If you have actual data that shows otherwise, please present it.

    2. Bill Marshall

      We were assured by these religious leaders and business owners that opening could be done safely. The result? Yolo County has now had 130 deaths, 3 within the past 24 hours.

      What is the evidence that the two are tied?

      1. Tia Will

        Fair question:

        1. The known existence of superspreader events which have in common, large numbers of participants, an indoor venue, activities such as shouting, singing, a duration of over 15 minutes. I do not think it is necessary to see the effects in our own community. It is possible to learn from the experiences of others.

        2. Others have also made this point. Once rules are relaxed for one group ( restaurant owners for example) other groups tend to see that as a license for them to relax as well. Ironically, the pictures of people in the park are an excellent example of why we need uniform policy, not as an excuse why we do not.

        1. Don Shor

          the pictures of people in the park are an excellent example of why we need uniform policy, not as an excuse why we do not.

          So should we close Central Park?

  2. John Hobbs

    I agree, Tia. If people were personally responsible enough to practice social distancing and wear masks maybe this would not be a replay of other “openings” but we know that they can’t be trusted to act in their own best interests.

  3. Alan Miller

    I don’t know, is it good news?  I mean, it’s good news that our hospitals are not at danger levels on capacity.  But my concern is this ‘we’re just over the line, close down a step; we’re just under the line, open up a step’ strategy that seems to be killing us.

    The general population is not absorbing information as fast as the government is changing the rules.  And people are burned out, and some either believe it’s a hoax or don’t give a d*mn about other people.  Everyone should be hyper-vigilant until this thing is over, and always should have been.

    We shouldn’t be opening a closing businesses.  Instead, we should be using safe practices and keeping those in place until the threat is down.  Outdoor dining isn’t a safe practice one day and unsafe the next because we pass over a line.  If we’re jumping back and forth over a line, the line isn’t in the right place.  It costs a lot of money for a business to reopen, and if they have to shut down every time we cross a line, that increases the chances they’ve blown their cash and won’t have the ability to re-open again.

    We crossed this threshold yesterday and we re-open, but the new strain of Covid-19 that spreads much faster is on the way, and that surge will likely send us over the line again.  I don’t believe this strategy is working for us.

    1. Alan Miller

      Unenforced ‘stay-at-home’ to unenforced purple tier isn’t actually much of a “loosening.”

      It’s more the optics of the situation.  People hear things are better and they start doing more and more stupid things.  Human nature.  The wording/outreach used for this thing in the USA has been as poor as the use of the term ‘defund the police’ has been for police reform (unless you actually don’t want any police).

        1. Alan Miller

          Call the police when you see violations. That might change the outcomes.

          So when I saw one of those violations at CVS, I call and say, “There was a guy in here with his nose exposed.  I took a picture of him.  I followed him out to his car and got his license plate.  Would you please trace the car, find this man, and give him a ticket for violating proper mask use orders, based on my call to you and nothing else, and get back to me so I can know my call made any f*cking difference whatsoever?  Thank you.”

          First of all, there aren’t enough cops in California to enforce even the violations at CVS and Rite-Aid.  Second, the guy might punch me in the face for taking his picture or following him to his car.  Third, in most cases the person simply leaves and there is nothing for the police to follow.  And fourth, I’m not sure the police even enforce this stuff, or that anyone does.  The faith between government and civilians on this matter has been shattered in the USA due to stupidity of politicians of all stripes (and please spare me the “ya, but Trump was the worst”, I never said he wasn’t).

          So what is your POINT?

          1. Don Shor

            So what is your POINT?

            In that instance nobody is enforcing CVS and Rite-Aid’s responsibility to maintain mask ordinance in their businesses. Report them.

        2. Tia Will

          Don

          The police simply do not have the officers necessary to address all the lapses. The public health department is now making pleas to those of us who have volunteered to ramp up the ability to vaccinate. We simply do not have enough testers, tracers, investigators, vaccinators to meet the need, let alone enforcers. The public seems to be oblivious to the importance of primary prevention which is the real way out of both our current public health and economic disaster.

        3. Alan Miller

          The public seems to be oblivious to the importance of primary prevention which is the real way out of both our current public health and economic disaster.

          And yet, in Australia, even with an “outbreak” in Brisbane (what we would call a good week in Yolo County), they have had two deaths in two-and-a-half-months on THE WHOLE F*CKING CONTINENT.

          So yeah, it’s not you, it’s us.  U.S.  There’s something seriously wrong with us as a people.

      1. Bill Marshall

        People hear things are better and they start doing more and more stupid things.

        Good perspective.

        Although we have not as rigorous as some would have us do @ the ‘worst’ times, the masks, distancing, minimizing travel and errands, we have been consistent even when things ‘seem better’.  We’ve done the masks, distancing, monitoring our own health, minimizing travel/errands since late March… and will continue to do so beyond, purple, beyond red, beyond what ever is ‘safer’ than that.  Too many people are not ‘thinking enough’ (to be charitable) if they “rachet down” when ‘the news isn’t quite so bad’… that is a dangerous “stupid”… for individuals, and the larger community.

        And we’ll be doing the vaccine thing, after the high priority folk are served.

        1. Alan Miller

          the precautions related to Covid appear to be having a dramtic effect on preventing transmission of ‘normal’ flu, too…

          Yes they do.  I’m told in some Asian countries people wear masks as a common courtesy to all during flu season on public transit and in stores.  Somehow I don’t see that catching on here 😐

        1. Alan Miller

          More should be wearing masks (and social distancing), I assume.

          I’m not sure.  They are outside, so the risk is drastically lower than if they are inside.  I don’t know how many of these people live together, so it’s hard to judge without more info.  Most also appear to be students, and from my experience and observation, young people feel pretty invincible and there’s not much we can do to change that.

          I used to defend the Davis Farmer’s Market from the criticism over practices there.  They are outdoors, so better than shopping inside, I reasoned . . . that’s until I actually went there.  Despite the fact that their website, on page 1, says to send one person per family – large family units wander the market – this isn’t enforced/practiced at all.  I found people coming right up to me and standing way too close.  Some people weren’t wearing masks and no one did anything about it.  I tried a few more times, but same situation, so I won’t go there.

          I use the Davis Food COOP curb-side pickup for most everything.  Great service to the community.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for