BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Butte County leaders say the county is not overwhelmed by hospitalizations right now, and still, the best way to slow the spread of Covid-19 is staying distant and wearing your mask.
"According the governor's press conference today," said Director of Butte County Public Health, through a zoom press conference, Danette York. "It's projected that the region we are in, may go below that 15% ICU capacity by early to mid-December. It could happen so, but for right now it has not happened for us in our region."
Butte County falls into the Greater Sacramento Region.
"When a region has to implement the stay at home order, it is determined by that region's ICU bed capacity, then that region will be notified and have 24 hours to implement the stay at home order," she explained.
Once a region meets the threshold, it's out of the local health leader's hands.
"The county nor the local public health agency has the authority to lift or modify any state orders," said York. "When a state order is put in place we do have to follow that order."
"I think it's unfortunate that we're getting to that point especially at this time of year when you want to be around family and friends and I totally understand that," said Kaari Martin, a Chico resident. "It can be avoided, we just need to be better."
Meanwhile, Butte County Public Health says it's preparing for the first round of vaccine doses, expected around Dec. 15.
"Vaccine distribution plan is in process of being developed," said York.
But until then, "the only defenses we have against Covid have not changed, they're the non-pharmaceutical interventions, like wearing a face covering," said York at the beginning of her portion of the press conference.
One other thing Butte County Public Health mentioned is that even if a region is placed under the stay at home order, K-12 grade schools that are already open for in-person learning may continue to stay open.
To learn more about the new Regional Stay at Home order, click here.