California imposes ‘limited’ curfew in purple tier counties

Coronavirus

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The state has imposed a “limited” stay-at-home order in counties under California’s purple, or widespread, reopening tier as the state experiences a spike in coronavirus cases, Governor Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The order affects dozens of counties and will include a curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The curfew will begin Saturday, Nov. 21 at 10 p.m. and remain in place for one month.

Ninety-four percent of Californians, more than 37 million people, live in the 41 purple tier counties.

The curfew only applies to nonessential work and gatherings.

“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,” a statement from the governor’s office read.

“Even our everyday activities become higher risk,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said at Thursday’s news conference.

While nonessential businesses must close by 10 p.m., restaurants will be permitted to offer takeout and delivery food and people can do some routine activities like walking the dog, Ghaly said. They will still be able to get medical care, pick up prescriptions and take care of other essential needs.

Officials said overnight movements are more likely to involve social activities that bring increased risk of infection, particularly if people drink and let down their guard on precautions like wearing masks and staying a safe distance apart.

Hospitalizations are up nearly 64% in 14 days, while the positivity rate has jumped from less than 3% to a seven-day rate of 5.6%, Ghaly said. The state recorded 11,478 cases Thursday, “widespread across the state,” he said, a figure that “intensives our resolve to get it back under control.”

Most counties in the Sacramento area are in the purple tier, including Placer County, where Bonnie Gore is a county supervisor.

“It’s another nail in the coffin for our local small businesses. If they need to stay open on a Friday or Saturday night to get the after shopping crowd or folks who are coming home from a night shift to provide meals for those folks, they should have the freedom to do so,” Gore said.

She said she also agrees with the approach law enforcement has taken.

“We have been arguing about COVID for eight months. Our residents know how to take care of themselves and this is wrong, this is wrong,” Gore said.

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones released a statement before the state’s announcement, saying his office would not enforce the order.

In response to much social uncertainty and numerous inquiries, I wanted to clarify the position of the Sacramento Sheriff’s Office relative to existing health orders, as well as any potential impending orders at the County or State level.

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. Further, we will not dispatch officers for these purposes—callers will be advised to call 3-1-1 and be routed to County Health. Of course, if there is potential criminal behavior or the potential for impacts to public or personal safety we will continue to respond appropriately.

I would like to wish everyone a happy and meaningful Thanksgiving Holiday.

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones

The Sacramento Police Department, Placer County Sheriff’s Office, Roseville Police Department, Sutter County Sheriff’s Office and others also said they will be taking an educational stance and will not criminally enforce the curfew.

Like other agencies, the California Highway Patrol said their mission remains “unchanged.”

“CHP officers will continue to patrol throughout California and use their sound professional judgment to conduct enforcement stops for violations of the law based upon probable cause,” said CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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