By Velena Jones

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The stay-at-home order was lifted for the Greater Sacramento region Tuesday.

During a Sacramento County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, acting County Executive Ann Edwards said the order would be lifted immediately based on ICU projections. Edwards said she was informed by state officials.

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“Looking at the projection out four weeks and anticipating that we will be above 15% ICU bed capacity, and they are thinking that the Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s surges, we’re seeing the worst of it and it’s getting better,” Edwards said.

Butte County also posted a press release to Facebook stating, “ICU bed capacity four-week projection exceeds 15%, ending the Regional Stay at Home Order (RSAHO), effective immediately.”

Initially, the state did not confirm county reports, but around 4:30 p.m., Gov. Gavin Newsom posted a video message on Twitter confirming that the region is “coming out of the Regional Stay-at-Home.” Newsom said the state is starting to see stabilization in ICUs and in the positivity rate.

“Today, effectively immediately, we’re pulling the Sacramento region out of the stay-at-home order,” Newsom said.

This means most of the counties in the region will revert to the purple tier of reopening. Under the purple “widespread” tier, most indoor businesses are closed but many can reopen outdoors with modifications. That includes outdoor dining, places of worship and family entertainment.

Personal care services, including hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors and piercing shops, can also reopen indoors.

“It shows we are moving in the right direction, although our own hospital still doesn’t have any ICU beds as of today, so we are still struggling locally,” said Yuba County Spokesperson, Russ Brown.

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Brown says Yuba-Sutter Counties are still at a critical stage with 71 COVID patients hospitalized and 112 confirmed cases reported Tuesday.

“December was extremely harsh on us, in seeing the numbers spike, they are easing up right now but they are still high,” Brown explained. “The community can’t let up just because they see this move from the stay-at-home order to the purple tier, because the purple tier is purposely still very restrictive.”

Several counties, including Sacramento, have to adjust their own public health orders to reflect the change. Sacramento County said its updated health order will be effective on Wednesday.

The Greater Sacramento region had been under the stay-at-home order since Dec. 10, when ICU capacity dropped below 15%. The three-week order could have been lifted on the first of the year, but surging COVID-19 cases and dwindling ICU capacity made it impossible for the area to leave the stay-at-home order.

According to the state’s COVID-19 website on Tuesday, the Greater Sacramento region has only 9.4% ICU availability. Local officials say the decision to lift the stay-at-home order is based on ICU projections which put capacity at 19% in four weeks.

The region includes Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties.

After news of the order being lifted spread Tuesday afternoon, some businesses started welcoming back customers. In Old Sacramento, the owner at Brannan Manor told CBS13 he was thrilled and started calling his employees back to work.


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Velena Jones