After the recent rise in COVID-19 cases across the state, the California Department of Public Health and Gov. Gavin Newsom have issued a limited stay-at-home order, effective on Saturday at 10 p.m.
The order is to be enforced in all counties under the purple tier of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy initiative, and came days after Orange County was moved back into the most restrictive tier.
Newsom confirmed the order will require non-essential work, movement and gatherings of any sort to stop between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and will remain in effect until Dec. 21. This curfew is similar to the stay-at-home order that was implemented in March, however the current curfew only applies to counties with the highest rates of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
“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 press release. “It is crucial that we act to decrease transmission and slow hospitalizations before the death count surges.”
The idea behind the curfew is to reduce movement related to social activities and gatherings as Thanksgiving approaches, which could cause individuals to not adhere to COVID-19 safety measures.
Erica Pan, the state’s public health officer, said in a statement that she is confident that every intervention to decrease mixing of households is a crucial step to decrease the case rates, which have risen about 50% during the first week of November.
The order does not prevent individuals within the same household from leaving their residence; as long as there is no interaction or gathering with people outside of their household, Pan said
Should a county be placed in the purple tier after the order takes effect, the curfew will be applied the following day.
Pedro Gonzalez, a third-year communications major at Cal State Fullerton, said the curfew is going to impact people’s ability to go out to restaurants, bars and events.
“It’s going to make businesses shut down,” Gonzalez said. “Honestly, at this point, I have the expectation that we’re going to go into a second lockdown just because cases are rising again.”
Gabriel Ponce, a senior philosophy and sociology major, said he does not agree with the ideals behind the curfew.
“Why are they enforcing it during those times as opposed to during the height of the day when everything is so busy?” he said. “If they really wanted to get things fixed, why wouldn’t they just shut it down completely?”
As of Thursday, Orange County has reported 582 daily positive COVID-19 cases, and some students believe a complete lockdown is needed to significantly decrease the number of cases.
Guadalupe Santana, a second-year child development major, said she does not believe the curfew will impact her Thanksgiving holiday or the COVID-19 curve.
“I wasn’t planning on going anywhere or doing much for the holidays just because it’s kind of dangerous,” Santana said. “I think the curfew is going to help a little bit, but I think a lockdown will be the only thing that will actually stop it.”