CALIFORNIA—Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced on Monday, January 25 that the state’s regional stay-at-home order will end due to a decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases.

Effective January 25, the order’s termination comes nearly two months after Governor Newsom first announced it, which requires a region to undergo a stay-at-home order if its ICU (Intensive Care Unit) capacity goes below 15 percent.

The five regions are Southern California, Northern California, Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, and Greater Sacramento. Before the termination, three of the regions were under a stay-at-home order: Bay Area, Southern California, and San Joaquin Valley.

The CDPH said Northern California “never entered the order,” while Greater Sacramento “exited the order on January 12.”

According to a 4-week projection by the CDPH, ICU capacity in all five regions will be above 15 percent by February 21.  Southern California will be at 33.3 percent, Greater Sacramento at 27.3 percent, Bay Area at 25 percent, San Joaquin Valley at 22.3 percent, and Northern California at 18.9 percent. The entire state of California will be at 30.3 percent.

Governor Newsom tweeted on January 25 that coronavirus cases decreased by 37.9 percent over the last week.  In the last couple of weeks, ICU admissions are “down 10%” while hospitalizations are “down 20%.”  The average test positivity rate is at 8 percent.

After Newsom noted that 328 lives were lost on January 24, he said “deaths continue to be significant and this is a sober reminder of how deadly this pandemic remains more so now than ever,” during his January 25 video conference.

He added that “we have battled our way through the most challenging surge and now are seeing truly light at the end of that surge, at the end of the proverbial tunnel.”

Dr. Mark Ghaly, CA Secretary of Health and Human Services, said words similar to Newsom’s, stating that CA is “slowly starting to emerge from the most dangerous surge of this pandemic yet” and calls it “the light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been hoping for.”

Dr. Ghaly and Governor Newsom’s optimism comes more than a month after coronavirus vaccines made its way to California on December 13, 2020 after being given an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This week, the governor said California’s “rate of administration of the vaccine” has “tripled.”

As of January 25, the state has more than 3.15 million confirmed cases and 37,527 residents dead. In the United States, more than 419,000 lives have been lost along with more than 25 million confirmed cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, globally, more than 2.1 million people died from COVID-19 along with more than 100 million confirmed cases.