The Slatest

Around 33 Million Californians to Fall Under New Stay-at-Home Order by Sunday Night

A server serves customers at a table outside.
Customers ate outside on Wednesday in Pasadena, the only city in Los Angeles County that still allowed outdoor dining. Rates of new COVID cases have been surging in the county for the past week. Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images

The majority of people in California are just hours away from falling under a three-week stay-at-home order as the state continues to set grim new records for the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday, regions of the state will enact new restrictions once their intensive care units reach more than 85 percent capacity. That mark has been hit by Southern California, where the I.C.U.s have just over 12 percent availability, and the San Joaquin Valley, which has less than 9 percent.


As of late Sunday night, playgrounds, hair salons, museums, theaters, and bars will all be closed for at least three weeks.* Restaurants can offer only delivery and takeout. Stores must limit the number of customers in their stores to 20 percent capacity, and all businesses must require masks and social distancing indoors. Gatherings from people of different households are banned, unless they are for worship or political protests. Travel for nonessential reasons will be prohibited.


More areas may soon follow. In the San Francisco Bay Area, officials have said they will enact the restrictions before they are required to, and several counties are implementing stay-at-home orders in the coming days. A large portion of the state is already under a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.


Some in the state are pushing back on what they see as an overly broad approach, and the sheriff of Orange County said on Saturday that he would not enforce the restrictions, characterizing the situation as a matter of personal responsibility. Newsom has said the state will withhold funding from counties that do not enforce the order.

California set yet another record for the number of single-day COVID-19 cases reported on Saturday, with more than 25,000 new cases. According to the Los Angeles Times, rates in L.A. County have held at four times higher than the previous month, and four of the last five days in have broken single-day case records. On Saturday, the county reported more than 9,200 cases.

Nationally, the pandemic is surging at rates not seen since its early days. According to the New York Times, Saturday added 205,513 new cases and 2,190 new deaths. The number of cases and hospitalizations have continued setting new records, and around 2,000 deaths are announced each day.

Correction, Dec. 7, 2020: This post mistakenly included schools in the list of things that would have to close under the stay-at-home order.