California Governor Gavin Newsom announced new restrictions for residents of California whose counties fall in the purple tier: a curfew for all non-essential 10 PM and 5 AM. The curfew is set to being on Saturday, November 21.
From the Capitol, Sacramento: In light of an unprecedented, rapid rise in COVID-19 cases across California, Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced a limited Stay at Home Order requiring generally that non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 PM and 5 AM in counties in the purple tier. The order will take effect at 10 PM Saturday, November 21 and remain in effect until 5 AM December 21. This is the same as the March Stay at Home Order, but applied only between 10 PM and 5 AM and only in purple tier counties that are seeing the highest rates of positive cases and hospitalizations.
“The virus is spreading at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic and the next several days and weeks will be critical to stop the surge. We are sounding the alarm,” said Governor Newsom. “It is crucial that we act to decrease transmission and slow hospitalizations before the death count surges. We’ve done it before and we must do it again.”
“We know from our stay at home order this spring, which flattened the curve in California, that reducing the movement and mixing of individuals dramatically decreases COVID-19 spread, hospitalizations, and deaths,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “We may need to take more stringent actions if we are unable to flatten the curve quickly. Taking these hard, temporary actions now could help prevent future shutdowns.”
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims held a press conference late Thursday afternoon to discuss the issue with media. Mims outlined the curfew and assured media that her officers will not be enforcing this mandate adding that she had been told by the Director of State Emergency Response that there would not be any “strike teams” dispatched to deal with offenders.
“We have fought unfunded mandates for a long time,” said Mims, and “The Fresno County Sheriff Office will not be out enforcing this limited closure order. I have not seen any data that supports between the hours of 10 PM and 5 AM that things happen that cause a big spread of covid. From the very beginning, we have said we are not going to be supporting these kinds of orders. We are not going to make criminals out of normally law-abiding citizens. We’ve got a lot of things to do including taking guns away from gang members, stopping narcotic trafficking, and saving children from internet predators, and have a lot of things to do rather than enforce whether or not a normally law-abiding business is violating this type of order.”
“I don’t see how this is going to impact the spread of covid,” Mims stated as a footnote to her speech.
“We are asking Californians to change their personal behaviors to stop the surge. We must be strong together and make tough decisions to stay socially connected but physically distanced during this critical time. Letting our guard down could put thousands of lives in danger and cripple our health care system,” said Dr. Erica Pan, the state’s acting Public Health Officer. “It is especially important that we band together to protect those most vulnerable around us as well as essential workers who are continuing their critical work amidst this next wave of widespread community transmission across the state. Together we prevented a public health crisis in the spring and together we can do it again.”
From Newsom’s Office:
COVID-19 case rates increased by approximately 50 percent in California during the first week of November. As a result, Governor Newsom and California’s public health officials have announced a list of measures to protect Californians and the state’s health care system, which could experience an unprecedented surge if cases continue their steep climb.
On Monday, the state pulled an emergency brake in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy putting more than 94 percent of California’s population in the most restrictive tier. The state will reassess data continuously and move more counties back into a more restrictive tier, if necessary. California is also strengthening its face covering guidance to require individuals to wear a mask whenever outside their home, with limited exceptions.
Late last week, the state issued a travel advisory, along with Oregon and Washington, urging people entering the state or returning home from travel outside the state to self-quarantine to slow the spread of the virus. The travel advisory urges against non-essential out-of-state travel, asks people to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country, and encourages residents to stay local.
This article will be updated as new information is released.