Governor Ties Lockdowns to Hospital Capacity; CalChamber Urges Responsible Behavior Now to Keep California Open

Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday that regions of the state will be subject to more restrictive stay-at-home orders when their hospital capacity erodes to an alarming level. As reported by the Los Angeles Times yesterday, “despite initial indications that 11 counties in Southern California and 12 counties in the San Joaquin Valley could be required to implement the new restrictions immediately, state health officials later provided a list showing no regions currently at the threshold for closure…”

“What this means,” according to CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg, “is we should all be focused on acting responsibly now so that the harsher restrictions don’t need to go into effect. This will help keep as many businesses open as possible – a development we all are hoping for during the holiday season.”

Estimates of intensive care unit (ICU) capacity will be updated by state officials daily and the information will be available online at

“Small business revenues will now be a function of hospital capacity and we need every Californian to support small business by practicing responsible behavior,” said Zaremberg.

In his announcement yesterday, the Governor indicated that lockdowns will be put in place when the remaining capacity of ICUs in a region falls below 15% and would last for at least three weeks to ensure the ICUs will be able to handle the anticipated surge in patients. To avoid reaching this threshold, the CalChamber is urging all Californians to make personal responsibility their priority–wear face masks, limit mixing and ensure social distancing.

Following protocols that will reduce the risk of virus transmission will ultimately help keep California small businesses afloat.

The California Chamber of Commerce is the largest, broad-based business advocate to government in California, working at the state and federal levels to influence government actions affecting all California business. As a not-for-profit, we leverage our front-line knowledge of laws and regulations to provide affordable and easy-to-use compliance products and services.