California Governor Gavin Newsom’s regional stay-at-home order for Southern California has officially been extended amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospital ICUs hitting capacity.
The stay-at-home order enacted three weeks ago was initially expected to last at least three weeks. It would have only been lifted if hospital ICU capacity in Southern California increased to greater than 15% (meaning that over 15% of intensive care beds would still be available to new ICU patients). However, given the current status of hospitals in SoCal and COVID-19 case numbers in the region, it was expected for the order to be extended.
About the Southern California stay-at-home order
The stay-at-home order means that restaurants can only offer takeout and delivery (no indoor or outdoor dining allowed), gyms and other fitness centers must remain closed completely, and many other businesses and public sectors must remain closed, as well.
Retail locations are still allowed to operate, though capacity must be strictly limited. Additionally, face coverings are enforced throughout the state. The stay-at-home order and other policies across California are in place in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and, therefore, allow for hospital ICUs to continue to serve patients, as they have been hitting capacity amid the virus surge.
Local Southern California news source the OC Register provided a breakdown of what California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly shared during his update on COVID-19 today:
New four-week projections that weigh current ICU capacity and admissions, as well as other coronavirus tracking metrics such as case and transmission rates, will decide going forward when the stricter stay-at-home order can be lifted.
If the projections – to be updated each day – show a region’s ICU capacity will be greater than 15% over the next month, a region will be released from the order, said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly during a news conference Tuesday.
ICU capacity is not improving in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley and demand will continue to exceed capacity for the next month, Ghaly said.
By Tuesday, the adjusted capacity in both areas was 0%, though Ghaly reminded that the zero figure doesn’t mean there are no beds left in the region.
The rate of new COVID-19 cases, too, is used to anticipate demand for hospital beds.
“If your seven-day average case rate is still very, very high, we know that those cases are going to end up in the hospital, 10 to 12 days later at a rate of about 12%,” Ghaly said.
It is not yet known when the stay-at-home order will be lifted, and Dr. Ghaly stated that mid-January is expected to be a difficult time for California hospitals due to the predicted rise in COVID-19 cases following the holidays. You can watch the full update from Dr. Ghaly and the State of California in the video below.
Disneyland Resort operations
So, what does this mean for Disney?
For now, there are no changes to Downtown Disney operations. Prior to the enactment of the stay-at-home order, Downtown Disney — including the shopping and dining district as well as (for now) Buena Vista Street inside Disney California Adventure — was operating for shopping and dining only, as the theme parks of the Disneyland Resort remain temporarily closed. However, with the stay-at-home order in place and with Disney continuing to take pandemic protocol seriously, the company is no longer allowing food and beverages to be consumed on property. Some dining locations in the Downtown Disney District remain open for takeout only, but all food and drink must be consumed offsite.
The Disneyland website states, “Guests are not permitted to open or consume any food or beverage items on property, and food and beverage items must be taken to-go, for consumption off property only. Select retail locations remain open.”
As there is no word on an exact date for when the stay-at-home order in Southern California will be lifted, there is no word on when dining will be available at Downtown Disney and Buena Vista Street again.
Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park remain temporarily closed for the time being. We will update our website with more information on Disneyland Resort operations as soon as it is released.