While the current ICU availabilities for the Bay Area (8.2 percent), Greater Sacramento (9.9 percent), San Joaquin Valley (0.0 percent) and Southern California (0.0 percent) regions are all under 15 percent, and none of the regions with an active Stay Home Order were projected to meet the State’s black box criteria to exit an active order as of yesterday, all Regional Stay at Home Orders have been lifted statewide with the “four-week ICU capacity projections” for all regions “above 15%” as of this morning.

And in fact, the Regional Stay at Home Order itself has been “ended.”

As such, all Bay Area counties are now eligible to return to “Purple” level restrictions per the State’s Blueprint for reopening which allows for outdoor dining and recreation/entertainment, along with limited indoor salon services, but not gyms, offices, indoor attractions or bars.

All real estate related appointments and residential real estate viewings, including for rentals, financings and sales, will still be required to be held virtually unless “a virtual viewing is not feasible,” in which case viewings can be held “by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time residing within the same Household and one individual showing the unit (except that in person visits are not allowed when the occupant is present in the Residence).”

UPDATE: The activities that will officially be allowed to reopen in San Francisco, starting Thursday, January 28, include outdoor dining with no more than two households and up to six people per table; indoor and/or outdoor salon services, including tattoo parlors, except for services that require a mask to be removed; outdoor zoos, museums, attractions and recreational activities in general; small outdoor gatherings of up to 3 households with a maximum of 12 people, “if social distance can be maintained and no food or drink is being consumed” (otherwise, only members from two households and a maximum of 6 people); indoor personal training with no more than 3 people (which includes the customer, the trainer and support staff); and expanded capacities for activities that were minimized during the Stay at Home Order.

In addition, while San Francisco will allow hotels to resume operations for tourism use, including short-term rentals, travelers from outside of the Bay Area will be required to quarantine in-place for 10 days, necessitating that hotels and short-term rental operators only accept and honor reservations made by travelers from outside the Bay Area that are for 10 days or more.

UPDATE (1/26): The State of California has released their four-week ICU availability projections for all five regions and projects that Bay Area availability will be up to 25 percent by February 21, the Greater Sacramento Region will be up to 27.3 percent, Northern California will drop to 18.9 percent, the San Joaquin Valley will be up to 22.3 percent and Southern California will be up to 33.3 percent with a statewide ICU availability of 30.3 percent.

UPDATE (2/4): The Regional ICU availability for the Bay Area has ticked up to 18.1 percent, albeit with a change in how the metric is being calculated.

UPDATE (2/9): The revised Regional ICU availability for the Bay Area has ticked up to 21.6 percent; the availability for the Greater Sacramento Region has ticked up to 19.5 percent; Northern California is up to 36.0 percent; and Southern California has ticked up to 10.6 percent while the ICU availability for the San Joaquin Valley has just slipped to 10.5 percent.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    The L.A. Times dashboard is showing Bay Area regional ICU bed availability at 23.4% suddenly. They don’t say why it leapt up.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      That’s yesterday’s number (and likely the result of a fat finger error or the like). It’s currently 8.2 percent as outlined above.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        In SF at least, per the City’s own website as of Jan. 25 p.m., the 7-day average of ICU beds is 26%. That’s not to say that multiple 0% capacities in other counties might not be driving down the Bay Area average to 8.2%, but that would be some pretty stark county-by-county distinctions.

        • Posted by SocketSite

          That’s correct, as we highlighted last week. But keep in mind that San Francisco benefits from a relative abundance of ICU beds (along with a relatively low COVID case rate and a population that’s less likely to require a stay in an ICU).

          At the same time, the ICU availability in San Mateo County was under 2 percent as of yesterday and down to 9 percent in Santa Clara County (which has twice the population of San Francisco).

          • Posted by Backtotheburbs

            And ICU capacity at 0% in Santa Cruz metro …

      • Posted by jimbo

        it makes no sense to lift restrictions now. we should wait 2 more weeks to see if the decline continues. at least get most of our over 75 yr olds vaccinated 1st

        • Posted by Cave Dweller

          We are all going to get ‘double’ N-95 masks. The 100 day mask challenge will curb the spread. The virus will be wiped by Summer. Or Not. We’ll see.

  2. Posted by ST

    I am always doubtful how effective these stay home orders are, as most infections happened during gathering at home, NOT at restaurants and bars and hair salons….

    • Posted by Bluntcard

      How would someone become infected in a bar that isn’t opened? Yes, people are getting infected where people gather.

      • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

        Yup, that is the effect. Close public places where people gather socially and some of them will gather at home instead. While it is easy to crack down on retail establishments that should not be open, it is very difficult to crack down on home dinner parties or bible studies..

    • Posted by Backtotheburbs

      Without contact tracing we really can have little idea where people get infected. Was is it in that crowd in the park? Did someone sneeze into your takeout bag? Maybe that cloth mask was a bit leaky in the ride share/public transit? Or maybe the public restroom ventilation was just not good enough? So many options even with ‘everything’ closed.

    • Posted by jimbo

      there is no way that bars should open anytime soon. people take over masks, become inebriated and dont follow rules. hopefully no bars are open until at least April

  3. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The activities that will officially be allowed to reopen in San Francisco, starting Thursday, January 28, include outdoor dining with no more than two households and up to six people per table; indoor and/or outdoor salon services including tattoo parlors (except for any services that require a mask to be removed); outdoor zoos, museums, attractions and recreational activities, with limits in place; small outdoor gatherings of up to 3 households with a maximum of 12 people, “if social distance can be maintained and no food or drink is being consumed” (otherwise, only members from two households and a maximum of 6 people); indoor personal training with no more than 3 people (which includes the customer, the trainer and support staff); and expanded capacities for activities that were minimized during the Stay at Home Order (such as retail).

    In addition, while San Francisco will allow hotels to resume operations for tourism use, including short-term rentals, travelers from outside of the Bay Area will be required to quarantine in-place for 10 days, necessitating that hotels and short-term rental operators only accept and honor reservations made by travelers from outside the Bay Area that are for 10 days or more.

  4. Posted by Notcom

    Zoos should have never have been (re)closed in the first place..

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      Nor salons, nor outdoor dining. None of those were high-risk transmission activities, and like so many of the orders just drive people into doing other potentially more dangerous activities.

      • Posted by Neighborhood Activist

        They were the low-hanging fruit. It’s basically impossible to get (some) people to obey the orders and stop gathering with family and friends, which is where most of the transmission is occurring. But closing salons and outdoor dining, etc., helped keep new infections down enough that our hospitals weren’t completely overrun (though it got pretty close.)

        There’s a lot of indignation out there, but I think the closures were justified. The alternative would have been police checkpoints and an enforced curfew to try to stop people from gathering, and I think we can all imagine how that would have gone….

        • Posted by Notcom

          The problem is the State has put zero effort into documenting a risk index – other than that someone, somewhere, had some thought – and so we’re left with “we just have to do something.” Black cats are probably meowing a sigh of relief.

        • Posted by Sierrajeff

          Agreed that they were easy-action items, but in that sense they’re like the TSA’s security theater, with all the non-TSAPre people still having to remove their shoes almost 20 years after *one* guy tried to light his heel on fire. And the problem with security / covid theater is that the masses see thru the curtain, and eventually all government pronouncements are greeted with the same degree of skepticism. If instead, as Notcom implies, there was more transparency with risk factors from specific behaviors (and then the sheltering orders were in line with those risks), there’d be a lot less skepticism and (I hypothesize) a greater willingness to abide by the orders that are issued.

          Because to be clear, don’t mistake me for a covid-denier; I’m aghast when I read things like “bars might have to close in Chicago” (WTF are they doing open in the first place?!) or, this morning, that the new Brazilian strain was found in the US, in someone who recently returned from Brazil (WTF is someone doing flying internationally right now?!). But in a way those illustrate my points; if I can go into a bar in Chicago or fly to Brazil, it makes it pretty da*n hard for me to feel like a prohibition on getting my hair cut is justifiable…

          • Posted by Backtotheburbs

            Isn’t it so simple though?
            Tragedy of the commons … in a society that values individual freedom over all else (and Local over State, and State over Federal) the society as a whole suffers. Note that this principle applies to many aspects of life in America, not just COVID.

            But if you asking for accurate risk estimates for exposure in X vs Y vs Z — how could we even get that? Those inferences require meticulous data on contact tracing to validate and prove that exposure happened in X and not Y or Z. There is effectively no contact tracing happening in the US and in many places the extreme positivity rates would make that futile anyway.

            It is completely insane that we are going from no dining to six people from two households, and tables separated by 6ft. No nuance.

            Also the cries for in person dining are really childish — restaurants can still operate via takeout and delivery. Some have done very well, including pivoting to ‘mini stores’ in addition to prepared food. The same can’t be said for a very long list of other businesses …

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            “…restaurants can still operate via takeout and delivery…”

            Some perhaps though the majority are still bleeding and staffed with a skeleton crew. I’m not advocating prematurely opening restaurants, bars, gyms, etc. though we should recognize that these businesses are disproportionately hit by the pandemic and deserve a greater level of support.

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            Seconding Milkshake’s comment – I know venues in the central Richmond which were popular pre-covid, and are now permanently closed… and even the restaurants that still “operate” are doing much lower volume and are not employing waitstaff (often it’s just the owner and maybe one cook in the back).

            I’d love to see citations on examples of restaurants that “have done very well” during covid.

  5. Posted by Another anon

    So California opens up 5 days after the inauguration. It’s a miracle! What an amazing coincidence. Never could have seen that coming.

    Having outdoor dining open likely would have decreased cases as people could meet up outside rather than indoors.

    • Posted by GMZ

      Now wait a minute, you be careful with those conspiracy theories Another Anon or you might be called Another Q Anon. Opening the state while our numbers are currently worse than they were we shut them makes perfect sense.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      By all means, lay out this conspiracy. What is the tie between the inauguration and ending regional stay at home orders, which is not the same as ‘opening up’, by the way?

      (Remember when the Covid Truthers said that Covid would go away after Election Day? That we wouldn’t have to wait for Biden to be sworn in?)

      • Posted by jimbo

        yes, maybe it had to do with cases and hospitalizations dropping pretty dramatically over the past 2 weeks

        • Posted by Backtotheburbs

          Dramatically? Hmm, plenty of areas in CA with 0% ICU capacity at the moment, some even in Bay Area.
          It is important to note that we are still at levels a few times higher for cases and hospitalizations vs the spring peak.

          Remember when we were doing well in November? And then things opened up?
          The truth is that another lockdown soon is more likely than not…

          • Posted by jimbo

            i agree we shouldn’t open. my point was the juxtaposition that this is some conspiracy because Biden is now President

      • Posted by GMZ

        The bigger the shutdown the bigger the bailout.

    • Posted by heynonnynonny

      Nothing to do with the President, but some combination of cases dropping and the petition to recall the Governor. Too many business owners trying to punish Newsom for making lives more important than commerce.

  6. Posted by bg

    Inauguration? No, probably no correlation. Newsom’s recall campaign picking up serious steam? Yeah, thats it.

  7. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The State of California has released their four-week ICU availability projections for all five regions and projects that Bay Area availability will be up to 25 percent by February 21, the Greater Sacramento Region will be up to 27.3 percent, Northern California will drop to 18.9 percent, the San Joaquin Valley will be up to 22.3 percent and the Southern California Region will be up to 33.3 percent with a statewide ICU availability of 30.3 percent, four weeks from now, as newly outlined above.

  8. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The Regional ICU availability for the Bay Area has ticked up to 18.1 percent, albeit with a change in how the metric is being calculated.

  9. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The revised Regional ICU availability for the Bay Area has ticked up to 21.6 percent; the availability for the Greater Sacramento Region has ticked up to 19.5 percent; Northern California is up to 36.0 percent; and Southern California has ticked up to 10.6 percent while the ICU availability for the San Joaquin Valley has just slipped to 10.5 percent.

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