Newsom will lift stay-at-home rule, restaurant group says

Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected on Monday to lift the stay-at-home order for all regions of California, according to a memo from a restaurant group.

memo from the California Restaurant Association said that senior officials in Newsom’s office had revealed the plan to eliminate the stay-at-home order.

"Late this evening, senior officials in the Newsom administration informed us that the Governor will announce tomorrow that the stay-at-home order will be lifted in all areas of the state," said the memo addressed to CRA members. No official’s name is on the memo.

The San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California and San Joaquin Valley regions are under the stay-at-home order which forced many businesses to shut and limited the ways in which residents could socialize. The rules kicked in when the intensive care unit capacity in those regions fell below 15% as COVID cases surged. 

In the Bay Area, ICU capacity is no longer stretched as thin. On Saturday, capacity grew to 23.4%.

Northern California and Greater Sacramento, the state’s two other regions, are not under the lockdown.

Newsom's office did not comment, but an official with the state Office of Emergency Services expected an update to be made Monday.

"We see promising signs that California is slowly emerging from the most intense stage of this pandemic," said Brian Ferguson, a deputy director at the OES. "We continue to look at what that means for the Regional Stay at Home order and anticipate that the state Department of Public Health will provide a formal update tomorrow morning."

Newsom issued the regional stay-at-home order in early December. The rules took effect in the 11-county Bay Area region in mid-December when the ICU capacity dropped. Several counties, however, had acted more strictly by imposing the rules even before the ICU capacity fell below the state threshold.

Without the regional approach to COIVD, the state could return to its color-coded tier system that sets openings and closures on a county-by-county basis.