What Gov. Newsom’s New Order Means

Governor Newsom announced yesterday a new public health order based on current regional projections of the rising number of patients who have been admitted to intensive care units (ICU). The new order is in addition to the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew already in place for purple-tier counties.

COVID-19 cases continue to rise sharply in California. According to data compiled at the Los Angeles Times, California has averaged nearly 15,000 COVID-19 cases a day over the last week, triple the rate in the last month. COVID-19 hospitalizations have also tripled over the same period. During the last week, an average of 67 Californians died daily from COVID-19, a 60% jump from mid-November. On Wednesday, California recorded its biggest one-day jump in new COVID-19 cases to date, with 20,759. 

The new order affects regions with less than 15% of ICU capacity remaining. None of the five regions designated by the state (Northern California, Greater Sacramento, Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California, which includes Orange County) currently meet that criteria, but some are expected to as early as this weekend. 

Closed Per the Order

  • Amusement parks 
  • Bars, breweries and distilleries 
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering 
  • Casinos 
  • Family entertainment centers 
  • Hair salons and barbershops 
  • Indoor and outdoor playgrounds 
  • Indoor recreational facilities 
  • Limited services 
  • Live audience sports 
  • Movie theaters 
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums 
  • Personal care services 
  • Wineries 

Open with Modifications

  • Doctors’ offices
  • Entertainment production/professional sports (without a live audience)
  • Grocery stores
  • Outdoor activities, such as hiking or worship 
  • Outdoor recreation facilities 
  • Restaurants—takeout only
  • Retail stores/shopping centers—indoors at 20% capacity

Open for Critical Infrastructure

  • Offices to allow remote work only except for sectors where remote working is impossible
  • Hotels and lodging

According to state officials, once a region falls below that 15% capacity, the new shutdown rules must remain in place for at least three weeks. Following that period, reopening of closed services and activities will occur once a county’s four-week ICU capacity projections are above or equal to 15%.

The state will assess regions on a weekly basis. Once released from the order, a county will return to its color category in the state’s tiered system, based on its case and test positivity rates.

Click here to read the full regional stay-at-home order issued December 3 by the California Department of Public Health. 

Vaccines and Distribution

According to Newsom, California is set to receive 327,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer sometime in mid-December. 

He said distribution, being planned by a state committee that meets weekly to develop guidance for the first distribution phase, will be challenging, because the vaccine must be stored at ultra-low temperatures, and they require a second dose.

The dose distribution plan is expected this week, Newsom said, adding that the first phase of the plan prioritizes health care workers, those in congregate care settings, first responders and other critical infrastructure workers. 

On Tuesday, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory board recommended that frontline healthcare workers and elderly residents of long-term care facilities receive the very first COVID-19 vaccinations. For more information about vaccines, visit the CDC website

Village Management Services CEO Jeff Parker and executive management have been working diligently in monitoring the efforts of any potential vaccine distribution. At this time a distribution strategy/timeline has not been determined. Mr. Parker and executive staff are in regular contact with state and county representatives, as well as the county task force, and are committed to collaborating with the City of Laguna Woods and the County of Orange as plans are identified and developed. 

Please remember that Mr. Parker and the VMS staff have no guaranteed access to the vaccine but are committed to communicating the latest developments to Village residents. 

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