State’s new Covid restrictions target in-person shopping

Newsom’s measures will take effect if a region’s ICU bed usage tops 85%

Gov. Gavin Newsom (Getty, iStock)
Gov. Gavin Newsom (Getty, iStock)

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new Covid rules that would restrict in-person shopping, travel and other activities in areas where local health services are increasingly strained.

The rules would take effect in a region, such as Southern California, 24 hours after intensive care unit bed capacity falls below 15 percent availability, according to the Los Angeles Times. No region has crossed that threshold yet.

If that does happen, retail businesses will be limited to 20 percent of capacity indoors. Some businesses will have to shutter completely, including hair and nail salons and wineries, along with playgrounds, zoos, museums, and aquariums. Restaurants will be limited to takeout only.

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Those restrictions are meant to be in place for at least 21 days, but could last longer — state officials will reopen those businesses and activities based on the four-week projection of ICU capacity in the affected region.

There has been an average of around 15,000 new cases of Covid-19 per day statewide over the last week, according to the Times. Hospitalizations have tripled over the last month and an average of 67 people have died each day over the last week, a 60 percent increase from mid-November.

The L.A. area is one of the most heavily affected. L.A. County and the City of L.A. have issued stay-at-home orders in the last week. The state put a 10 p.m. curfew in place two weeks ago. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch