LODI (CBS13) – Local counties are headed for a new stay-at-home order as COVID-19 cases explode in California.

The new order begins when a region reaches 85% ICU capacity. The San Joaquin Valley region, which includes San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Calaveras and Tuolumne, counties hit that threshold.

In the San Joaquin Valley region, some feel things are looking grim. The area has the worst numbers in the state with only 8% of ICU beds left across the region.

Times are also tough for business owners as they’re forced to change course again. Scott Porter, the owner of Porter’s Pub, poured a customer one of the last beers he can for the next few weeks. Another shut down looms ahead, with only hours left.

This shut down is more dire than the last.

“We’re a little nervous we’re not going to make it, honestly,” Porter said.

It’s back to the basics with takeout and delivery. The tables allowed outside will soon be gone.

“I just hope the best for everybody,” said Gupreet Singh, a customer at Porter’s. “It’s sad times right now.”

Restaurant owners hope customers like Singh continue to show support during the toughest times. He said he plans on it.

“Bring the family out to eat, get takeout food,” he said. “Whatever we can do to support them.”

The new stay at home order shuts down several businesses in the community as hospital beds in the San Joaquin Valley dwindle and COVID positive cases surge.

Vicki Snell, owner of Smack Pie in downtown Lodi, tries to stay positive.

“You have days when you get discouraged, you really do,” Snell said. “But then you have to realize you’re not in this alone.”

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Tiffany Heyer, a spokesperson with the San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services, said she knows it’s not easy but hopes the end may be in sight.

“We’ve asked a lot of our community and business member,” Heyer said. “They really stepped up and met the challenges that have been thrown their way. All we’re asking is just three more weeks. Hopefully we can get through this.”

The results of the shutdown could be make-or-break for Porter, though, as he’s fighting to hold on.

“We just hope everyone stays safe, continue to stay healthy and we may it through,” Porter said. “It’s a little emotional.”

The pandemic continues to put the pressure on people and on businesses. The new order goes into effect Sunday at 11:59 p.m. and lasts for three weeks. But even then, some business owners aren’t hopeful it will end there.

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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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