Nearly 85% of California residents are now under sweeping new restrictions as the state’s struggles to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control. The new restrictions come as coronavirus cases continue to surge and while the state’s intensive care capacity has neared dangerously low levels.

Residents in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley are under a stay-at-home order through the Christmas holiday as of 11:59 Sunday evening. The order means strict new closures for many businesses and a ban on gatherings with people outside your immediate household in two regions of the state that are collectively home to some 27 million people. The order will be in effect for at least three weeks.

The order was triggered after ICU capacity in the two regions fell below a 15% threshold announced this past week by Gov. Gavin Newsom. In Southern California, the rate fell to 12.5%, while in the San Joaquin Valley it had dipped to 8.6%, state health officials announced Saturday.


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