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Sonoma County on watch as most of California advances into COVID-19 shutdown

in Business
Janet Callister of Santa Rosa and her friend Sarah Irwin of Sebastopol enjoy drinks and snacks at Beer Baron in Santa Rosa, California, on Thursday, October 8, 2020. (Alvin A.H. Jornada / The Press Democrat)

A second pandemic shutdown began this week for most of the Bay Area and more than 33 million Californians, the latest effort to curb record-shattering COVID-19 transmission rates that health authorities say threaten to overwhelm hospital facilities and staff.

Sonoma County, with a rising infection rate and new cases topping more than 1,170 over the past seven days, remains on the sidelines of that shutdown, though for how long remains unclear.

That’s because regionwide capacity at intensive care units in the Bay Area stood 10 points above a key threshold ― at 25.7% on Monday ― and has hovered in that range since Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his new regional approach Thursday. It requires more closures and restrictions on businesses should regionwide capacity drop below 15%. Five Bay Area counties, including Marin, opted not to wait last week and advanced their shutdown to this week.

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