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Stay-At-Home Order For Santa Cruz County Begins Thursday

Erika Mahoney
Restaurants and bars must close under the new order. Retail shops can only operate at 20% capacity.

A stay-at-home order will go into effect for the Bay Area after the region’s intensive care unit (ICU) capacity fell below 13% Wednesday, according to state data. The order is triggered when a region falls below 15% ICU capacity. Santa Cruz County officials said the new regulations will take effect Thursday, December 17 at 11:59 p.m.

Both Monterey and Santa Cruz counties are considered part of the region. Monterey County voluntarily opted into the order on December 13.

The Regional Stay Home Order means residents can only leave home for essential services. Grocery stores can remain open but must operate at only 35% capacity. Retail stores must not exceed 20% capacity. Bars and other drinking establishments must close, restaurants can only provide carry out service and churches are restricted to outdoor services.

Personal care services, including hair salons, barber shops and tattoo parlors, must close. Hotels, inns and other lodging services can only take reservations for essential travel. Schools that were already open are allowed to stay open with safety precautions. Non-urgent medical and dental care as well as child care and pre-K may also stay open.

Parks including playgrounds may remain open but campgrounds must close to overnight camping.

Additional information from Santa Cruz County:

• Coffee Shops – Considered restaurants and may open for take-out and delivery only.
• Youth sports – May operate outdoors only with restrictions.
• Farmers markets – May remain open with modifications.
• Gyms, group exercise and personal trainers – May offer outdoor services only with precautions.
• Libraries – Considered retail and should follow capacity limits.
• Pet grooming – Considered a limited service and must close.
• Residential and janitorial cleaning services – May remain open.
• Funeral Homes – Considered critical infrastructure and can remain open.
• Massage therapy – Must close unless client has a valid prescription.
• Real estate – May offer in-person showings to individual prospective buyers only. Open houses not allowed

Once triggered, the Regional Stay Home Order will be in effect for at least three weeks.