SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — With the surge of post-holiday COVID-19 cases beginning to ebb, Gov. Gavin Newsom could lift the restrictive stay-at-home order that has shuttered businesses across the San Francisco Bay Area as early as Monday.
In a letter to its members Sunday, the California Restaurant Association said it has received word the order could be lifted Monday during Newsom’s weekly COVID-19 update and outdoor dining could be reopening again soon.READ MORE: Bay Area Health Expert Hails Potential of Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine in Pandemic Battle
“Late this evening, senior officials in the Newsom administration informed us that the Governor will announce tomorrow that the stay-at-home order will be lifted in all regions of the state. The regions of the state currently under the stay-at-home order are: Bay Area; Southern California; and San Joaquin Valley. Two other regions – Northern California and Sacramento region – are currently not under the stay-at-home order.”
“Again, a formal announcement is expected tomorrow and we will send you further information as soon as it’s available. For now, we thought you’d like to know this good news.”
With cases soaring and hospitals filling up with new patients after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Newsom abandoned the COVID-19 county-by-county tier system and instead broke the state up into 5 regions in December. If a region fell below 15 percent capacity in its ICU availability, strict new restrictions went into place.
Eventually, the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento Area, Southern California and San Joaquin Valley all dropped below 15 percent. The only region that did not was Northern California.
Sacramento has since reopened and the Bay Area has experienced a large swing ICU capacity from just 6.5 percent to 23.4 percent this weekend.READ MORE: High School Girl Sues San Mateo County, State of California to Allow Indoor Youth Sports
UCSF Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Monica Gandhi told KPIX 5 that she was encouraged by the region’s ICU availability. She is seeing hospitalizations drop first-hand at Zuckerberg San Francisco General, where she also works.
“We did not see the surge that was predicted. We did from Thanksgiving, and then it was not as bad at Christmas and New Year’s at all that was predicted,” she added.
While not indicating that a change to the health order was imminent, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said in a statement Sunday that conditions have improved.
“We see promising signs that California is slowly emerging from the most intense stage of this pandemic,” the statement read. “We continue to look at what that means for the Regional Stay at Home order and anticipate that the state Department of Public Health will provide a formal update tomorrow morning.”
News that the order may be lifting soon was welcomed relief for Bay Area businesses that were forced to cutback in December.
Danielle Rabkin owns CrossFit Golden Gate and has been holding limited classes outdoors.MORE NEWS: Longtime San Francisco Merchants Lament Recent Spike in Burglaries
“My business has been absolutely decimated since March. First, the biggest thing that has hurt me is how many people have left the city. It’s just destroyed – all my members are gone, I have no business,” she said.