Governor Newsom announced his new plan to institute a second attempt at a statewide shutdown of small businesses, restaurants, and other entities that are incapable of operating primarily through online or other remote means.

Under Governor Newsom’s directive, California has been split into five regions:

Northern California: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity

Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma

Greater Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba

San Joaquin Valley: Calaveras, Fresno, kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne

Southern California: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura

At Governor Newsom’s direction, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will monitor each of the five regions, specifically looking at the number of all available Intensive Care Unit beds throughout the region. Should the region have fewer than fifteen percent (15%) of its total ICU capacity available for new cases, California will then shut down the entire region.

As of the time this is written (December 8, 2020), only two regions, Southern California and San Joaquin Valley, are currently ordered to shut down. However, despite Governor Newsom’s mandate, many sheriffs throughout California have stated that they will not enforce any stay-at-home orders.

What is Closed?

The affected regions must close all indoor and outdoor playgrounds, indoor recreational facilities, hair salons and barbershops, personal care services, museum, zoos, aquariums, movie theaters, wineries, bars, breweries, distilleries, family entertainment centers, cardrooms and satellite wagering, live audience sports, and amusement parks.

The orders do allow for modified use of outdoor recreation facilities, retail operations at no more than 20% capacity, shopping centers at no more than 20% capacity, hotels and lodging for critical infrastructure support only, and restaurants may only have take-out or pick-up. Offices may only operate remotely except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible. Governor Newsom has also allowed entertainment production, including professional sports, but only if done without live audiences. Finally, Governor Newsom has allowed places of worship to continue to operate but only for outdoor services.

Critical infrastructure, non-urgent medical and dental care, and child care services may continue to operate when a remote option is not possible, so long as the businesses comply with Governor Newsom’s mask and physical distancing mandates.

Furthermore, Governor Newsom has mandated that all gatherings with members of other households are prohibited throughout the entire region, except for those gatherings allowed above. Governor Newsom has also ordered that all people living within the region must stay home or at their place of residence except as necessary to conduct activities associates with the operation, maintenance, or usage of critical infrastructure, as permitted in the order, or as required by law. Homeless individuals are explicitly exempted from the lockdown order.

Governor Newsom has also allowed California residents in the locked-down regions to engage in “political expression” outdoors, but has seemingly suspended the rights of residents within the affected regions from engaging in “political expression” while indoors.

When Does The Stay-at-Home Order End?

Every region that Governor Newsom locks down must remain locked down for a minimum of three weeks. After the minimum three-week lockdown, the CDPH will conduct twice-weekly projections for the next four-week period. If the CDPH thinks that region’s ICU availability will be at or equal to 15 percent, the region will be released from lockdown. If the CDPH’s projections show that it believes the ICU availability will be less than 15 percent, the region will remain locked down. 


Raimondo & Associates will continue to monitor these mandates and provide updates as necessary.