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Media Release

Bay Area Runs Low on ICU Beds, Triggering California's Regional Stay-at-Home Order

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Due to the dwindling supply of hospital beds for patients who need intensive care in the Bay Area, the state will apply a regional stay-at-home order across the nine-county region to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent the region's hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.

Now more than ever, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) urges everyone who lives or works in the county to follow the health advice within the law to keep themselves and their loved ones safe during the holiday season.

  • Avoid in-person gatherings with people who do not live in your household, especially indoors.
  • Always wear a face covering and practice physical distancing whenever you go out, and avoid unnecessary trips outside the home.
  • Always stay home if you are not feeling well, and consider a COVID-19 test if you have symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath.

The state's stay-at-home order evaluates hospital capacity of California by region of the state, triggering when the amount of intensive care unit (ICU) beds available in a region's hospitals falls below 15%.

Only 12.9% of ICU beds in Bay Area hospitals were available on Tuesday afternoon, according to the California Department of Public Health. In Contra Costa, 13% of ICU beds were available.

The number of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals in the county and occupying county ICU beds has more than doubled in the past 30 days.

While the state order will add additional restrictions to business and community activities in some other parts of the Bay Area, Contra Costa County will experience no practical changes because of it.

We can all support local businesses by shopping via their websites when possible, and using the takeout and delivery options for our local restaurants.

Contra Costa and five other Bay Area jurisdictions used local health orders to enact all the features of the state order last week, before local hospitals were critically impacted, in hopes of reducing transmission and loss of life due to surging COVID-19 infections in the region.

The state order takes effect in the Bay Area, including Contra Costa, at 11:59 p.m. Thursday. At that time, Contra Costa will lift its local order because it will become redundant. Once triggered, the state's regional stay-at-home order lasts a minimum of three weeks. Read the order here.

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  • CCHS Media Line