California abruptly rescinds stay-at-home order

California lifted its regional stay-at-home orders for the entire state on Monday, including the hard-hit region of Southern California (Los Angeles County). The sudden reversal came as welcome news to struggling business owners who’ve been pining to re-open, but it left many state and local officials even more confused and frustrated than before.

California has been keeping much of the public health data it relies on hidden from the public. That changed yesterday amid heavy criticism. The data released Monday show the following projections over the next four weeks:

  • Southern California will go from 0% ICU capacity to 33.3%
  • The San Joaquin Valley will go from 0% ICU capacity to 22.3%
  • The San Francisco Bay Area will go from 8.2% ICU capacity to 25%
  • The Sacramento region will go from 9.9% ICU capacity to 27.3%

Experts lauded the disclosure of the data, but say more information is still needed. There are also serious questions about why it was shrouded in the first place. The state has said it didn’t want to confuse the public, but that’s not good enough. Even state lawmakers say they’ve been kept in the dark about how public health decisions are being made. 

Critics of Gov. Gavin Newsom have taken aim at the conflicting messages and lack of transparency. Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulkner, who is considering a run for governor, tweeted: “Californians want to follow the science. Instead we’re forced to follow a governor who decides on a whim the fate of millions of Californians while refusing to release the data behind his contradictory and arbitrary decisions.”

Well, at least outdoor dining is open again. Salut!