Written by Lucas Murawsky (News Writer)
In the past three weeks in Santa Cruz County, the cases of COVID-19 have exploded, and 94% of California has moved up into the ‘Purple’ tier including us, most likely due to lack of social distancing and holidays and large gatherings. The number of cases of the virus in the county comes with more strict restrictions. According to California Governor Gavin Newsom, we are “Pulling the emergency brake” which means closing down businesses that are already struggling. Lowering the capacity of people in buildings and several other safety measures. According to Gavin Newsom, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) hospitals capacity is down to 15%, and with hundreds of thousands more cases coming in each day, Gavin Newsom is ordering a new stay at home order for counties that have hospital capacity under the 15% mark.
Santa Cruz County officials said they will not yet join the five other Bay Area counties in ordering a stay-at-home order announced by Gavin Newsom. “In collaboration with County leadership, Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel is considering what additional measures may be necessary to protect the health and safety of local residents. At this time, we have not reached any conclusions but are considering all options,” county spokesman Jason Hoppin said in an email. The new stay-at-home order, which is similar to the restrictions that happened at the start of the pandemic. According to numbers reported by the state, 43 people were in Santa Cruz County hospitals with Covid-19 last week on Thursday. That included eight people in the ICU, and that left only six ICU beds available for use.
With the 94% of California residents, Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered a 10 pm curfew, for the Counties in the purple tier which means there you can’t be out to do unessential activities “The virus is spreading at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic and the next several days and weeks will be critical to stop the surge,” Newsom said in a statement. “It is crucial that we act to decrease transmission and slow hospitalizations before the death count surges. We’ve done it before and we must do it again.” This order is requiring restaurants and diners to close at the latest of 10 p.m. and it also applies to all “non-essential” activities. All enforcement will be up to local jurisdictions.
The new COVID-19 restrictions according to a news article said the new restrictions in Santa Cruz County include outdoor gatherings only with modifications with a max of three households. Outdoor playgrounds and recreational facilities may open with modification. Hair salons and barbershops may open indoors with modification. All retail may open indoors with a max 25% capacity. Shopping centers may open indoors with a max of 25% capacity. Museums, zoos, and aquariums can only be open outdoors only. Places of worship outdoors only with modifications. Movie theaters are outdoor only with modifications. Hotels and lodging open with modifications. Gyms and fitness centers are outdoor only with modifications. Restaurants are outdoor only with modifications. Bars, breweries, and distilleries, where no meal provided are required to be closed.
Governor Gavin Newsom is now ordering everyone to wear a mask when you leave your house for the whole of California. You are required to quarantine yourself after you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 and after you have traveled somewhere. Please stay updated with your local County COVID-19 restrictions.