Curfew issued for much of California as COVID-19 cases spike

Tanya Simon
November 20, 2020

The curfew will take effect 10 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, and remain in effect until 5 a.m. December 21.

However, Gore said he needed more time to study the curfew order before he takes a position on enforcing it in San Diego County. In purple tier counties, the restrictions have forced many businesses to suspend or severely restrict the number of customers allowed indoors. It covers all counties in the most restrictive purple tier, which signals widespread COVID-19 transmission.

The announcement comes days after Gov. Gavin Newsom hinted at a possible curfew and said 40 counties would move into more restrictive tiers in the state's reopening system as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to surge.

In his statement announcing the order, Newsom acknowledged that California reported almost 200,000 cases last week - a record high in a single day since March - and that COVID-19 cases surged by 50% in the first week of November.

But along with many other states, California is now seeing surges in virus infections, hospitalizations and deaths that threaten to overwhelm its health care system. "We are sounding the alarm", Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday. "We've done it before and we must do it again".

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According to the governor's office, the order is aimed at reducing opportunities for spread of the virus, nothing that activities conducted overnight "are often non-essential and more likely related to social activities and gatherings that have a higher likelihood of leading to reduced inhibition and reduced likelihood for adherence to safety measures like wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distance".

This new curfew order goes beyond the "business curfew" established by Los Angeles County, which primarily applies to bar and restaurant service. "This is simply the fastest increase California has seen since the beginning of this pandemic". In recent weeks, health officials across the state have seen a surge in cases, with Los Angeles County reporting a record 5,031 cases and 29 additional deaths on Thursday. The state's positivity rate now stands at five percent - up 1.7 percent from November 5.

The curfew covers 94% of the state's almost 40 million residents. Masks must be worn by individuals whenever they leave their homes. 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.

Late last week, the state issued a travel advisory, along with OR 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.

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