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San Francisco Bay Area to enforce stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate

San Francisco Bay Area counties announced on Friday that they will implement California’s regional stay-at-home order early due to an aggressive rise in coronavirus cases across the region.

The counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and Santa Clara, along with the city of Berkeley, said they would implement the order early, with most implementing it starting Sunday.

Officials said they would move ahead with restrictions, which will stay in place until Jan. 4, 2021, even if their areas don't fall under the state's threshold for new limits.

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California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia governor calls in National Guard to secure state Capitol Mississippi runs out of coronavirus vaccine as state expands eligibility Overnight Health Care: US sets new record for daily COVID deaths with over 4,300 | Johnson & Johnson vaccine has promising immune response in early trial | In-person learning doesn't appear to drive COVID cases MORE (D) unveiled a new system for regional closures on Thursday under which restrictions would be imposed once ICU capacity falls below 15 percent in any given area.

No area meets the threshold yet, but Newsom said most regions could come under the new restrictions as early as this week.

He predicted that the Bay Area would likely meet the threshold by mid-to-late December, later than the rest of the state.

The rules close bars, indoor dining, playgrounds, wineries, live sports with crowds, nail and hair salons, and other personal services for a three-week period.

Schools already open will remain open, as will retail stores and malls, with a 20 percent capacity and metering restrictions. Religious institutions would also be limited to outdoor services.

California recorded 22,018 new coronavirus cases on Friday, according to the state health department, setting another daily record. Hospitalizations also topped 9,000 for the first time.

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San Francisco officials said that at the current rate, the city would run out of hospital beds by Dec. 26.

"We are in our worst surge yet of COVID-19. It is stressing health care systems across the state of California and taxing our health care workers," San Francisco Director of Health Grant Colfax said in a statement. "We need urgent intervention now if we want to be able to care for the sick in mid-to-late December."

As of Friday, California has seen 1.28 million cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. More than 19,500 people have died.