California's Stay-At-Home Order And Curfew Begins Saturday Night

Kat Schuster
·5 min read

CALIFORNIA — The Golden State added a record high of 15,442 new coronavirus cases Saturday, coinciding with the first day of the state's new stay-at-home order. The emergency order includes a statewide curfew that will go into effect for 94 percent of residents at 10 p.m. Saturday evening.

The new curfew implemented by Gov. Gavin Newsom this week prohibits nonessential businesses, movement and gatherings with other households from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for all residents living in widespread or purple tiered counties. The new mandate, which ends on Dec. 21, will effect 37 million Californians.

The overnight stay-at-home order came just days after the governor announced that cases had doubled in Caliornia over a 10-day period, prompting him to rollback reopening plans for much of the state.

Now 41 counties are under the state's most restrictive tier as cases continue to stack dramatically each day. On Saturday, the state reported a 1.4 percent increase in cases from the previous day.

“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,” Newsom said in a Thursday statement. “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.”

The order differs from the more stringent stay-at-home order issued in March which required all nonessential businesses to close statewide. This order aims to curb late night drinking, parties and even small gatherings.

Included in the set of new mandates this week was the requirement for all Californians to wear face coverings when leaving the house or within six feet of others.

Last week, the state also issued a travel advisory along with Oregon and Washington to deter people from traveling and to urge those that do travel to quarantine for 14-days.

What you need to know about California's Limited Stay-At-Home Order:

  • All nonessential businesses, including bars, restaurants, clothing shops, etc. will be closed after 10 p.m.

  • Prohibits nonessential movement from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in counties under the purple, widespread tier restrictions.

  • Californians in purple counties may still move about after 10 p.m. to buy groceries, go for a walk, pick up takeout orders or visit essential services.

  • Gatherings and interactions with outside households are prohibited after 10 p.m. in purple counties.

  • The order does not apply to Californians experiencing homelessness.

  • The order expires Dec. 21, just a few days before Christmas and the New Year, but it could be extended.

While the new curfew doesn't completely bar residents from leaving their homes, the mandate could serve a significant blow to California's restaurant and hospitality industry as eateries and bars will now be forced to close their doors at 10 p.m.

Those who work in California's hospitality and restaurant industry could face additional roadblocks to making ends-meet beginning this as many restaurant workers could have their hours cut since the mandate will require nonessential businesses to close their doors by 10 p.m. Restaurants may still serve takeout orders but will not be allowed to seat patrons.

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said last week that he would back the idea of a curfew in California, echoing Newsom's concerns about late night gatherings.

"It is certainly true that in other countries curfews for example for people in general — for bars closing at certain times, restaurants closing at certain times — has actually helped when you look at late into the evening," Fauci said during a virtual award ceremony with San Jose State University, adding, "people let down their guard, people maybe drink a little bit too much, people get in congregate settings."

But not all Golden State residents were on board with the idea of a curfew.

At least two "curfew breaker" demonstrations were planned in two Orange County cities, Huntington Beach and San Clemente Saturday night to protest the new order.

Police said they were aware of the planned demonstration and would keep an eye on it, although several law enforcement agencies in California have said they would not enforce the order.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's office was among several agencies that said they would not be enforcing the curfew.

"The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office will not be determining—including entering any home or business—compliance with, or enforcing compliance of, any health or emergency orders related to curfews, staying at home, Thanksgiving or other social gatherings inside or outside the home, maximum occupancy, or mask mandates," Sheriff's Deputy Scott Jones said in a statement Thursday.

In California, state health officials recorded a 51 percent increase in cases between Nov. 1 and Nov. 7. The state also eclipsed a grim milestone of 1 million coronavirus cases in November.

California reported 15,442 new cases of coronaviurs Saturday, up 1.4 percent from Friday. At least 18,643 COVID-19 deaths had been reported, with 86 added before noon on Saturday. There have been a total of 1,087,714 cases of coronavirus reported in California.

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This article originally appeared on the Across California Patch