California’s top health official explained today how the state came to the surprising decision of lifting stay-at-home orders in all 58 counties.
Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said officials used a not-so-simple formula, which considers COVID-19 case rates and growth of the disease, to predict what intensive care hospitalizations will look like four weeks out.
“We know that today’s cases become hospital cases in about two weeks, and those become ICU cases in three to four weeks later," Ghaly said Tuesday. "So if we want to determine what the impact is on where we want to be at the hospitals, we have to look about 4 weeks out.”
Despite pushback, the actual model hadn’t been revealed until today, which Ghaly previously said was to reduce confusion. Ghaly said there are currently plans for regions to re-enter the stay-at-home order, so counties will remain in the state’s colored tier system for now.
With California’s stay-at-home orders now lifted, state health officials are urging people not to get too relaxed about adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols.
Ghaly says case and hospitalization rates are improving, and will continue to do so as long as people heed safety guidelines, which he says have proven effective.
“Even if our residents aren’t 100% compliant with it, even if it’s difficult to always measure compliance, just the notion that these interventions come into place, three weeks later, you see that beginning flattening,” Ghaly said.
Counties have moved back into the colored tier system. As of today, 99% of the state’s population is in the most restrictive purple tier. Ghaly said a few counties could move into less restrictive tiers in the coming weeks, but at least one county might have to tighten restrictions.
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