California orders coronavirus curfew across state starting Saturday

Coronavirus

SAN FRANCISCO – A curfew affecting nearly the entire state will go into effect in California starting Saturday evening as the Golden State grapples with another surge of coronavirus cases.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the “limited stay at home order” Thursday afternoon, saying it will apply to counties in the state’s “purple tier” for virus restrictions, which currently comprise about 95% of California.

The order requires “generally that non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 PM and 5 AM in counties in the purple tier,” a news release explained.

“The order will take effect at 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21 and remain in effect until 5 a.m. Dec. 21. This is the same as the March Stay at Home Order, but applied only between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and only in purple tier counties that are seeing the highest rates of positive cases and hospitalizations.”

That means residents can still walk the dog, get groceries or order takeout from a restaurant after 10 p.m. Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s health and human services secretary, said the aim of the limited measures was to avoid “further restrictions.”

COVID-19 case rates have increased by about 50% in California during the first week of November, according to state statistics.

“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. “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 announcement came just days after Newsom revealed he was considering such a statewide curfew to curb the surge in cases, and as the Centers for Disease Control updated its Thanksgiving guidance Thursday to warn people against traveling for the holiday.

Ohio has similarly enacted a statewide curfew, and Oregon will soon go on a two-week statewide “freeze” to curb cases.

See a map of the state’s counties and their level of current virus restriction below:

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