California · COVID-19 · Highlight

Newsom rolls-out second shelter-in-place order by region


Dec. 3, 2020, 6:16 p.m.: California public health officials issued the first regional ICU capacity figures for the 5 Golden State regions.

The San Joaquin Valley sits at 19.70 percent ICU capacity, nearly 5 percent higher than the state minimum before lockdown orders take effect.

Here’s a look region-by-region:

  • Northern California – 18.60%
  • Bay Area – 25.30%
  • Greater Sacramento – 22.20%
  • San Joaquin Valley – 19.70%
  • Southern California – 20.60%

Dec. 3, 2020, 1:00 p.m.: California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that the state is implementing a regional shelter-in-place order to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases amid the recent surge. 

The shelter-in-place order will be enacted on a region-by-region basis as the state is split up into five sectors: the San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, Greater Sacramento, Bay Area and Northern California. 

With this decision to implement the order, Newsom said the state is pulling the “emergency break.” 

“The bottom line is if we don’t act now, our hospital system will be overwhelmed,” Newsom said. “If we don’t act now, we’ll continue to see a death rate climb, more lives lost.”

Regions will be required to follow the stay-at-home order when the ICU capacity falls below 15 percent. Once the order is in place, regions will follow the order for three weeks. 

Newsom said the state projects the San Joaquin Valley region to fall below 15 percent ICU capacity in early December. 

The following sectors will be required to close under the shelter-in-place order:

  • Bars
  • Wineries
  • Personal services
  • Hair salons and barber shops

Schools that have already received a reopening waiver by the state department of public health will be allowed to remain open. All critical infrastructure will remain open, and retail businesses will be capped at 20% capacity. 

All restaurants will only be allowed to offer take-out and delivery, which is not different from the purple tier guidelines that currently affect over 99% of California’s population. 

Newsom also announced that all non-essential travel is temporarily restricted state-wide. 


Dec. 3, 2020, 10:55 a.m.: Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to announce a shelter-in-place on a regional basis during a Thursday press conference, sources briefed on the matter told The Sun.

The new shelter-in-place order comes after Newsom introduced a curfew for California counties classified under the purple tier of the state’s reopening scheme, which currently covers 99 percent of the state’s population.

The shelter-in-place order, driven by hospital capacity in five different regions in the state, will remain in effect for a three-week period, spanning through Christmas.

Sources could not confirm what specific capacity metric – either hospitalizations at-large or intensive care unit – would drive the lockdown determination in a particular region.

Sources tell The Sun that schools that have opened under waivers issued by the California Department of Education can remain open under the shelter-in-place order.

According to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle, the new shelter-in-place order will be grouped by regional hospital networks, and the order will apply to regions where ICU capacity drops below 15%. Essential businesses will be allowed to remain open at 20% capacity.

Daniel Gligich contributed to this report.

Alex Tavlian
Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at alex.tavlian@sjvsun.com.