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Southern California, Central & South Coasts Still Have Enough ICU Capacity To Avoid New Shutdowns

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The coronavirus case surge continues on the Central and South Coasts, with more than 6oo new cases reported Friday.  Ventura County has 488 new cases, Santa Barbara County 75, and San Luis Obispo County 81 for a regional total of 644.

Friday’s numbers push the three-county total since the start of the pandemic to more than 40,000.  Ventura County has had 21876 cases, Santa Barbara County 11917, and San Luis Obispo County 6540.

The region’s death toll increased by five Friday, to 368 people.  Ventura County moved to 188 cases with one additional death.  Santa Barbara County has had 138, and San Luis Obispo County stands at 42 deaths.

Southern California’s hospital intensive care unit available capacity is at 20.6%.  That’s important, because if it drops below the 15% level, it would trigger new stay-at-home orders for the Central and South Coasts.   Restaurants could no longer offer for in-person dining.  It would also force new shutdowns for barber shops, hair salons, and nail salons.

The Bay Area isn’t waiting for its capacity to drop below 15%, with officials there announcing they will implement the order on Sunday.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.