California Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted his stay-at-home order across California on Monday, a move that impacts millions but changes little in Del Norte County.
Last year, Newsom announced the state was being placed in five regions, and if ICU capacity in any region dropped below 15 percent, a mandatory stay-at-home would go into effect. That order was triggered in four of the five regions, with only Northern California escaping the stay-at-home order.
Newsom announced Monday that improving COVID numbers statewide were enough to lift the orders and return to the state to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which lists each county in a colored tier based on COVID transmissions in that county. As of Monday, Del Norte County remained in the Purple Tier, the most restrictive tier in the state.
“Effective immediately, all the region in the state of California are no longer in the stay-at-home order and will move back into the Blueprint,” Newsom said.
The governor said in making the decision, he looked at current COVID information and projected out four weeks. In that projection, all five regions would have ICU capacity greater than 15 percent. The greater Sacramento Region was the lowest, at 18.9 percent. Northern California was projected to have 27.3 percent ICU capacity in four weeks.
“Our projections show the state being at 30.3 percent by Feb. 21,” Newsom said. “We’re not out of the woods. We’ve seen a flattening of the curve. What should be up is up and what should be down in down. Our hope and expectation is that the trend line continue and we’ll be moving quickly through the tiers.”
Newsom pointed to the positivity rate in the state as one of the key metrics. Over the last week, the positivity rate in California was 8 percent, a sharp decrease from a 13 percent rate two weeks ago. Hospitalizations are down 20 percent over the last two weeks, and ICU admissions are down 10 percent.
“Today, we can lay claim to seeing some real light at the end of the tunnel,” Newsom said.
But the news isn’t all good. On Sunday, 328 deaths were reported in California with an average of 508 COVID-linked deaths over the last week.
“Deaths continue to be significant,” the governor said. “This is a sobering reminder of how dangerous the pandemic remains, more so now than ever as we have battled our way through the most challenging surge. It’s a reminder of important it is to remain vigilant.”
Newsom said vaccinations were also increasing in California, climbing to 153,000 a day. He said after front-line healthcare workers, the state has prioritized first responders, food and agriculture workers, teachers and school staff and anyone over age 65.
Newsom also said California is weeks away from unveiling a website where anyone in the state can sign up for the vaccine. The website, called My Turn, will allow people to sign up regardless of age. When it is their turn, they will receive a text or email and they can then schedule their vaccine. The website is being tested in Los Angeles and San Diego counties and should be expanded statewide in early February.
“We’re going to bring it the rest of the state in the next few weeks,” Newsom said. “It’s one of the most robust systems of any state.”