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The three-week regional stay-at-home order issued in Southern California will “very likely” be extended based on current coronavirus trends, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.

The order, implemented when the region’s intensive care unit capacity dropped below 15%, is set to expire on Dec. 28.

“It’s very likely based on those current trends that we will need to extend that stay-at-home order,” Newsom said during a briefing Monday, which he held while quarantined following a possible coronavirus exposure.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s Health and Human Services secretary, said officials will be looking at current ICU capacity, the average number of new cases, transmission rate and projections on capacity based on those factors.

He added that officials won’t make any decisions until the models are analyzed, but that it doesn’t look like Southern California or the San Joaquin Valley — also under the restrictions until Dec. 28 — will get out of the order once it expires.

It’s unclear, however, how long a potential extension would last.

Orders for the Greater Sacramento and Bay Area’s restrictions expire in January.

Gov. Gavin Newsom discussed current ICU capacity in regions across California on Dec. 21, 2020.
Gov. Gavin Newsom discussed current ICU capacity in regions across California on Dec. 21, 2020.

The tighter restrictions put in place included the closure of outdoor dining and personal care facilities, as well as limitations on retailers and shopping centers.

The Southern California region hit 0% ICU capacity last week, triggering local hospitals to prepare to ration care. Statewide, capacity is now at 2.5%.

The governor reported 37,892 new cases statewide Monday. And while the figure was slightly below the state’s seven-day average, there has been a 63% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, and the death rate is also climbing, Newsom added.

There are 1,867,722 coronavirus cases in California with 22,676 deaths as of Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times.