STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS COULD START SUNDAY

Stay-at-home orders that would affect the Morongo Basin could start Sunday. Governor Newsom’s stay-at-home order for California is based on the percentage of intensive care beds that are in use. According to the order, a region must have at least 15 percent of its ICU beds available in order for the region’s businesses to stay open. San Bernardino County is in the southern California region, and as of Friday evening, the region’s ICU availability was at 13 percent. This means that if the percentage doesn’t improve Saturday, barbershops and hair salons must close Sunday, restaurants will be limited to take-out and delivery only, and capacity inside retail stores and shopping centers will be maxed at 20 percent. Todd Burke, a spokesman for Tenant Healthcare, which runs Hi-Desert Medical Center, says the hospital in Joshua Tree has four ICU beds. Burke said they were all occupied as of Friday, although only one bed was in use by a COVID patient. He stressed the hospital has the capability to increase its number of ICU beds, if necessary, and provide the same ICU-level of care in other beds if needed. 

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