California officials lifted regional coronavirus stay-at-home orders across the state today, a change that could allow restaurants and salons in many counties to reopen outdoor dining and other services. This reopening comes after the last lockdown which was issued on Dec. 3rd, 2020 by Governor Gavin Newsom.
All counties will return to the colored tier system that assigns local risk levels based on case numbers and rates of positive test results for coronavirus infections.
Most counties will be classified under the “widespread” risk tier, which permits hair salons to offer limited services indoors but restricts many other nonessential indoor business operations.
The change, which takes effect immediately, could lessen restrictions in in the Southern California, Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley regions, which were still under stay-at-home orders, unless local officials adopt stronger restrictions.
According to an article from the San Diego Union Tribune, it's not clear whether the decision will lead to easing stay-at-home rules in Los Angeles County, which has become a national hotbed of the coronavirus, with hospitals overwhelmed by patients. In less than one month, more than 5,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the county alone.
The California numbers are tracked daily on a State Dashboard. As of January 24, California has 3,109,151 confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in 36,790 deaths. The number of COVID-related deaths increased by 1.2 percent from the prior day total of 36,361.
The California Department of Health issued a press release that outlines and reiterates guidelines that Californians are urged to continue following.
"Californians heard the urgent message to stay home as much as possible and accepted that challenge to slow the surge and save lives," said Dr. Tomás Aragón, CDPH director and state public health officer. "Together, we changed our activities knowing our short-term sacrifices would lead to longer-term gains. COVID-19 is still here and still deadly, so our work is not over, but it's important to recognize our collective actions saved lives and we are turning a critical corner."
While there are positive signs that the virus is spreading at a slower rate across the state, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. It is still critical that Californians continue to wear masks when they leave their homes, maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet, wash their hands frequently, avoid gatherings and mixing with other households, follow all state and local health department guidance and get the vaccine when it's their turn.
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