Extension of stay-at-home order possible as Bay Area ICU capacity continues decline

The availability of intensive care unit beds in the Bay Area region fell to 6.3%, according to the first California figures of 2021.

The new data shows that the region continues to move further away from the 15% threshold that is required to lift the stay-at-home order imposed by the state.

ICU capacity has fallen sharply during the latest surge of the coronavirus pandemic in the Bay Area.

State health officials have not yet determined whether the Bay Area's stay-at-home order that is set to expire on Jan. 8 would be extended or eliminated. Based on ICU capacity, the conditions are worsening in the group of counties from the North Bay to Monterey.

San Francisco individually announced on New Year's Eve that its local stay-at-home order and mandatory quarantine for travelers would be indefinitely extended.

To determine the extent of pandemic restrictions, Gov. Gavin Newsom divided the state into five regions—the Bay Area, Greater Sacramento, Northern California, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California. All except for the Northern California region are under the stay-at-home order. 

San Joaquin Valley and Southern California's available ICU capacity is still at zero-percent, where it has remained for weeks now. Orders in both those counties were extended on Tuesday. 

State officials said it's also likely the order will be extended for the Greater Sacramento region.