California lifted regional stay-at-home orders across the state Monday in response to improving coronavirus conditions, returning the state to a system of county-by-county restrictions. The order had been in place in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California, covering the majority of the state's counties. The change allows restaurants and churches to resume outdoor operations and hair and nail salons to reopen in many areas, though local officials could choose to impose stricter rules, the AP reports. The state is also lifting a 10pm to 5am curfew. Gov. Gavin Newsom imposed the stay-at-home order in December as coronavirus cases worsened. Under the system, a multi-county region had to shut down most businesses and order people to stay home if ICU capacity dropped below 15%.
An 11-county Northern California region was never under the order and the Greater Sacramento Region exited the order last week. "Together, we changed our activities knowing our short-term sacrifices would lead to longer-term gains. COVID-19 is still here and still deadly, so our work is not over, but it’s important to recognize our collective actions saved lives and we are turning a critical corner," Dr. Tomas Aragon, the state's public health director, said in a statement. Public officials in some major cities and counties indicated they could soon lift local restrictions. "We will be moving forward with some limited re-openings, including outdoor dining and personal services," San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a tweet.
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