Central Valley likely to be under Newsom's new stay-at-home order in next few days

The San Joaquin Valley's ICU capacity is currently 19.7%.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Governor Gavin Newsom is pulling what he calls an 'emergency brake' to stop the spread of COVID 19.

It comes as California has broken its record for most hospitalizations five times in five days. As of Thursday, almost 9,000 people are hospitalized with the virus.

Once structured by phases, then tiers, California's COVID-19 restrictions now include a 'regional stay-at-home order.'

RELATED: Gov. Newsom announces new, regional stay-at-home order in California

Once a region has 85% of all ICU beds filled - it triggers a three-week stay at home order, closing bars, wineries, salons, and barbershops and limiting retail to 20% capacity and restaurants to take out and delivery.

Many regions are already close to hitting that threshold.

The San Joaquin Valley's ICU capacity is currently 19.7%. That means more than 80% of our hospitals' ICU beds have already been filled, and officials expect the capacity to dip below 15% and trigger the 'regional stay-at-home order' in the next few days.

Fresno County Emergency Medical Services Director Dan Lynch said hospitals already see a surge in patients during the winter months, so COVID-19 is adding to the pressure.

"Our healthcare system right now is under a great deal of pressure and we have to somehow figure out a way to decrease the number of patients impacting those hospitals," Lynch said. "The healthcare workers, those frontline nurses and physicians out there, are doing a tremendous job and they are truly our heroes in this pandemic but they're tired."

He says the county has requested backup in the form of 80 healthcare workers.

The Valley's hospital workers are spread thin as many test positive for the coronavirus or need to quarantine because of exposure.

Lynch said, "We don't have a problem with not having enough beds we have a problem with having staff to staff those available beds."

Central California is also home to two of the state's 11 surge facilities.

One is in Fresno, the other in Tulare County offering 248 additional beds.
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