A medical staff member treats a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease COVID-19 in the Intensive Care Unit at Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A regional stay-at-home will likely go into effect at midnight Sunday in San Diego County and Southern California after available beds in intensive care units, as expected, dropped below 15%.

The region’s ICU capacity measured 13.1% on Friday because of the growing number of coronavirus cases, the California Department of Public Health announced Friday night.

Under the order issued Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, if ICU capacity remains under 15% on Saturday afternoon, then the lockdown would begin at 11:59 p.m. the following day, which is Sunday.

It would remain in effect for three weeks.

In addition to San Diego, the Southern California region consists of Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange, Imperial, Inyo, Mono, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

When triggered, the order bars gatherings of people from different households.

The following businesses/recreational facilities will be forced to close:

  • indoor and outdoor playgrounds and indoor recreational facilities
  • hair salons and barbershops
  • personal care services
  • museums, zoos, and aquariums
  • movie theaters
  • wineries
  • bars, breweries and distilleries
  • family entertainment centers
  • cardrooms and satellite wagering
  • live audience sports
  • amusement parks

Schools with waivers may remain open, as well as sites deemed “critical infrastructure.”  Retail stores will be limited to 20% capacity.

Restaurants again will be restricted to takeout and delivery service. Hotels would be allowed to open “for critical infrastructure support only,” while churches would be restricted to outdoor-only services.

Entertainment productions, including professional sports, would be allowed to continue without live audiences.

Some of those restrictions remain in effect in select counties.

Newsom called the order “fundamentally predicated on the need to stop gathering with people outside of your household, to do what you can to keep most of your activities outside and, of course, always … wear face coverings, wear a mask.”

On Friday, a number of counties in the Bay Area announced a pre-emptive stay-at-home order even though ICU capacity in that region is above the threshhold.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that the stay-at-home order could begin on Saturday afternoon.

Updated at 7:40 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020

– From Staff and Wire Reports

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