SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The holidays may be over, but the effects of them may be felt for weeks to come.
COVID-19 cases continue to surge and ICU beds dwindle in the Greater Sacramento region. Data released by the state reflect the number of beds in the area made it impossible for the area to leave the stay-at-home order after three weeks.
“We’re just glad we’re still here,” said Edward Roehr, one of the owners of Magpie in midtown Sacramento.
Roehr is thankful the restaurant is still standing, thanks to creative adaptations and support from regulars. The restaurant is one of the many affected by the shutdown and is only able to serve takeout.
“For us, we’re doing 20% of what we’re supposed to be doing,” Roehr said.
Though he feels that loss in sales can’t be compared to a loss of life.
“Doing what is safe is going to be most important,” he said.
Deaths, hospitalizations and COVID cases have climbed in California in recent weeks. Currently, ICUs in the Greater Sacramento region are 93% full, which forced the area to remain in lockdown.
“Will we ever go back to normal?” asked Mark Shepherd of Sacramento. “That’s the question.”
The answer – “normal” is likely still months away, but getting out of the stay-at-home order could come sooner. To do so, the state relies on an area’s ICU capacity projections over a period of four weeks to make their decision.
Their projections are based on four key pieces of data: an area’s current regional ICU capacity, community transmission, case rates and proportion of ICU admissions.
A region is able to leave the order when those four-week projections reflect an ICU capacity of 15% or more.
“It’s pretty obvious we have no handle on what’s going on,” Ron Stark said.
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Stark said he feels frustrated and concerned things are about to get worse now that the holidays are wrapped up for the season.
Space in the ICU is already slim with little room to grow. People like Shepherd are pleading for the public to listen to health officials and follow protocols.
“I think everybody feels ‘Well I haven’t caught the virus, I’m not going to catch it,’ ” he said. “You’re wrong – you can, and it’s very easy to catch it.”
To give an idea of how quickly ICU capacity has shrunk in the area, on Friday, the Greater Sacramento region had 11% of their ICU beds, and on Saturday, only 7% remained.