California Imposes Curfew as Cases Surge, Forcing More Businesses to Delay Reopening
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As COVID-19 cases surge in California, 40 counties with more than 94% of the population are back under the most restrictive “purple tier” of operation. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state will impose a statewide curfew order that will take effect on November 21.
The purple tier rolls back reopenings for most indoor operations, especially for businesses such as restaurants, bars, indoor gyms, and churches.
Thousands of small businesses across the state have been forced to permanently close due to the closures.
Issued by the California Department of Public Health officer Erica Pan on Nov. 19, the order, Limited Stay At Home Order, requires counties in “purple tier” to ban all non-necessary gatherings and activities conducted outside the residence between 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM PST. The order will begin Saturday, Nov. 21, and remains in effect until Dec. 21. Extensions will be taken into consideration on a case to case basis.
“This Limited Stay at Home Order will reduce opportunities for disease transmission with the goal of decreasing the number of hours individuals are in the community and mixing with individuals outside of their household,” Dr. Eric Pan wrote in a statement.
“Every intervention to decrease mixing of households is critical during this unparalleled increase in case rate rise of about 50 percent during the first week in November,” Pan wrote.
He said, “activities conducted during 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. 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 to adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures.”
Under the state’s policy of Blueprint for a Safer Economy, 58 counties fell under the scrutiny of the colored-coded (Purple, Red, Orange, Yellow) system to reopen the economy, according to the pandemic situation.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 5,031 new cases and 29 deaths on Thursday, reaching its record high daily number since the pandemic began earlier this year.
“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 stopping the surge. We are sounding the alarm,” said Newsom in a 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.”