Bay Area issues new stay-at-home order

California

FILE – Little traffic is seen near the toll plaza of the Golden Gate Bridge Friday, March 27, 2020, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The health officers in six San Francisco Bay Area counties have issued a new stay-at-home order as the number of virus cases surge and hospitals fill.

The changes announced Friday will take effect Sunday and last through Jan. 4. The counties have not yet reached Gov. Gavin Newsom’s threshold announced a day earlier requiring such an order when 85% of ICU beds at regional hospitals are full, but they said the hospital system will be overwhelmed before the end of December when Newsom’s order would apply.

“We don’t think we can wait for the state’s new restrictions to go into effect later this month. This is an emergency,” said Contra Costa Health Officer Chris Farnitano.

It means restaurants will have to close to both indoor and outdoor dining, bars and wineries must close along with hair and nail salons, along with playgrounds. Retail stores and shopping centers can operate with just 20% customer capacity. Gatherings of any size with people outside of your household are banned.

The new stay-at-home order will cur sharply into the most profitable shopping season and threaten financial ruin for businesses already struggling after 10 months of on-again, off-again restrictions and slow sales because of the pandemic.

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