SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A lockdown is looming for more than a dozen Northern California counties, with the Greater Sacramento region now falling under the state’s new stay-at-home order.

The state says the region’s ICU capacity fell below the 15 percent threshold. Thousands of businesses will have to close, or modify operations for at least three weeks.

Franco Casella, the owner of Brick House Restaurant, is taking his restaurant to new heights. He was getting his space ready for winter just as the Sacramento region was slapped with another stay-at-home order.

“It’s all for not,” he said.

As part of the new restrictions that go into effect at midnight Thursday, he’ll have to shut down outdoor dining altogether.

“We gotta do what we gotta do,” he said.

READ ALSO: What’s Open During The Regional Stay-At-Home Order?

The trigger set by the state is when ICU units in a region fall below 15 percent available capacity. As of noon Wednesday, the state published new numbers for the Sacramento-Region where ICU numbers now stand at 14.3 percent.

For Casello, the holiday season is his “bread and butter.” He says financially, it’s been tough, and with this new order in place, he’ll lose 50 percent of his staff.

“Our plan is just to ride it out and see how long we’re going to be able to make it,” he said.

Sacramento County Health Leaders call the closures necessary and say about seven percent of cases in the county have been linked to restaurants so far. As the county prepares to distribute the vaccines, they’re hopeful this is the last time the county will have to ask businesses and families to sacrifice.

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“It’s not a small matter and it’s not a small sacrifice that we’re asking for,” said Dr. Olivia Kasiyre, Sacramento County’s Public Health Officer.

But experts like Dr. Jeffrey Klausner with UCLA say there are unintended consequences with the stay-at-home advisory. He says it’s possible the change may actually drive people to gather inside.

“Instead of going to an outdoor dining facility which many of us think is safe, people may be dining with friends inside the home, and inside the home, they may not take the same precautions in terms of mask use,” Dr. Klausner said.

Dr. Klausner also said there’s not enough data in California to show there’s a connection between coronavirus cases and outdoor dining.


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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