San Bernardino County sues Gov. Newsom over coronavirus stay-at-home order

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Thursday, December 17, 2020
San Bernardino County sues Newsom over COVID stay-at-home order
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San Bernardino County has filed a lawsuit to stop the state's stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus pandemic.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- San Bernardino County has filed a lawsuit to stop the state's stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The county is taking the fight directly to the California Supreme Court, arguing that Gov. Gavin Newsom lacks legal authority over the local closures.

Some businesses have been openly defying the lockdown.

In the lawsuit, San Bernardino County is asking for a decision by Dec. 28 -- when the current three-week health order is set to either expire or be renewed.

The governor's office had not commented on the case as of Wednesday morning.

IE hospital overwhelmed by COVID surge forced to treat patients in parking lot tents

With many intensive care units already at maximum capacity in the Inland Empire, doctors are warning that an increase in cases after Christmas and New Year's could be catastrophic.

At an online briefing on Tuesday, Newsom said that California is expecting another 393,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine next week.

The state is distributing 5,000 body bags mostly to the hard-hit Los Angeles and San Diego areas and has 60 refrigerated trailers standing by as makeshift morgues.

In Orange County, health officials planned to send large tents to four hospitals to help accommodate patients.

Bruce Barton, EMS director for Riverside County, said a couple of hospitals hit capacity in the past week and local officials had to step in to take some bodies.

In Fresno County, officials said that just 16 ICU beds remained available and were filling rapidly. To keep up, the county's hospital system has contracted with a Virginia company to supply doctors, nurses and others to staff a temporary 50-bed facility that will start receiving patients by the end of the week.

"Unfortunately, I'm anticipating a grim set of weeks before and after the New Year, just given the trends that we're seeing with the number of cases," said Dr. Rais Vohra, the county's interim public health officer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.