Wine Country and San Mateo County were mandated to shut down as California announced on December 16 that the entire Bay Area is on lockdown until January 7, with the California Department of Public Health saying the region has reached a critical low of intensive care unit beds.
Entire Bay Area Shuts Down
California Governor Gavin Newsom released a statement less than two weeks ago detailing the surging number of positive coronavirus cases in the region. Only ten days after several counties in the Bay Area preemptively entered more restrictive lockdown protocols, authorities made it official that the entire region would implement the new stay-at-home orders.
The Department of Public Health revealed that it recorded a total of 200,518 cases of the COVID-19 virus in the Bay Area and that 2,156 people have lost their lives. The region’s ICU bed capacity shrunk down to 12.6%, surpassing Newsom’s threshold of 15% to avoid the new stay-at-home order.
However, the entire Bay Area’s shutting down only mildly affected some counties that voluntarily implemented the new orders since December 6. Officials decided to take the initiative in the hopes of curbing the spread of the virus and reopening themselves by January 4, the San Francisco Eater reported.
Officials announced the shutdown is scheduled until January 7 and could be extended depending on the state of the region’s ICU bed capacities. Counties that wish to reopen must meet the required minimum of 15% ICU bed capacity to be placed back into one of the colored tiers.
Health experts anticipate that the upcoming Christmas and New Year holiday festivities would result in more recorded coronavirus cases. They note that the Bay Area could experience an extended period of not experiencing outdoor dining.