California Will Impose Its Strongest Virus Measures Since the Spring
Millions of people across Southern and Central California are likely to see outdoor dining shuttered, playgrounds roped off and hair salons closed within days.
California, the first state to impose far-reaching lockdowns because of the coronavirus, announced on Thursday its strictest new measures since the earliest days of the pandemic in an effort to keep a surge in cases from overwhelming hospitals.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said the new round of regional stay-at-home orders would take effect as intensive-care beds filled up. Millions of people across Southern and Central California are likely to see outdoor dining shuttered, playgrounds roped off and hair salons closed within days if the available intensive-care capacity in their areas dips below a 15 percent threshold. The new restrictions will last for at least three weeks, strictly limit store capacity and allow restaurants to serve only takeout or delivery. The governor also said people should temporarily call off all nonessential travel.
“If we don’t act now our hospital system will be overwhelmed,” Mr. Newsom said. “If we don’t act now we’ll continue to see our death rate climb.” The state’s new orders feel eerily like the spring, when spiraling deaths compelled leaders in California, New York and elsewhere to start telling people to stay home. Only now things are even worse. More than 2,750 Americans died of the coronavirus on Thursday, and another 100,000 were in hospitals. Case counts continue to skyrocket.