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Greater Sacramento Region Headed for Tighter Restrictions as ICU Units Scarce

Thirteen counties in Northern California will be placed under the state’s most restrictive coronavirus rules this week because capacity in intensive care units has fallen below 15%, and officials warned Wednesday that hospitals across the state are filling up with COVID-19 patients.

The greater Sacramento region, encompassing the state capital, has an ICU capacity of 14.3% and will face a regional stay-at-home order starting at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, according to the state Department of Public Health.

The 13 counties that comprise the state-designated region are  Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba.

The region includes Lake Tahoe, the popular ski destination where vacation travel is now banned for the second time this year.

“Unfortunately, yet again, Tahoe is closed,” said Chris Fiore, communications manager for the city of South Lake Tahoe. “If we can get things under control in the next three weeks, we can reopen just in time for New Year’s.”

Under the restrictions, restaurants must stop outdoor dining, personal care businesses such as barbers must close and the number of people allowed inside stores is reduced. Residents are asked to stay home except for essential activities.

The huge Southern California and San Joaquin Valley regions are already in the strictest category, and several counties in the San Francisco Bay Area chose to implement their own voluntary orders independent of the state.

For a more detailed look at the COVID-19 situation in the Greater Sacramento region, see The Sacramento Bee.

—Associated Press and KQED


Copyright 2020 KQED