Monterey County logoTo preserve critical hospital bed capacity and to protect the health and safety of residents, the County of Monterey Health Officer is announcing that the County of Monterey will proactively implement the State Regional Stay At Home Order.

The Order will take effect at 10 p.m. on Sunday, December 13, 2020 and continue until 6 a.m. on Monday, January 11, 2021.

The State Regional Stay At Home Order issued December 3, 2020 creates five regions in the state and requires additional restrictions if a region’s intensive care unit (ICU) bed availability drops below 15 percent. Monterey County is in the Bay Area Region, which has not yet reached the 15 percent threshold. However, local data indicate the healthcare system in our county is seeing a scarcity of both general acute bed and ICU bed capacity.  In addition the ability of health care workers to attend to the sheer number of hospitalizations has suffered.

While the state provides daily metrics of the ICU capacity in each region, the regional metrics do not adequately reflect the current situation at our local hospitals nor the strain on health care workers caring for our most critically ill patients.

“I have been closely monitoring data including ICU bed capacity for both the Bay Area Region and our county. While our region has fared better than others, regional and local trends are changing. The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in our counties has dramatically increased in just the past couple of weeks. We are at risk of exceeding our hospital capacity sooner than the State anticipates, imperiling our ability to treat not just COVID-19 patients but patients suffering from trauma, strokes and heart attacks as well,” says Dr. Edward Moreno, Monterey County Health Officer.  “I understand the profound impact these restrictions will have on businesses and the daily lives of our residents, but it is time for us to implement restrictions to preserve hospital bed capacity, support our health care workers, and protect human life.”

On Friday, December 4th, five Bay Area counties and one major city also opted to implement the State Regional Stay Home Order before meeting the regional threshold. Two of the state’s five regions have met the Regional Stay Home Order threshold and have also implemented additional restrictions. Those regions include San Luis Obispo and San Benito Counties which implemented the Regional Stay Home Order on Sunday, December 6th.

Information about what additional restrictions are in place for counties under the Regional Stay Home order is available on the California COVID-19 website