10 P.M. Curfew Announced for 94 Percent of California

This is a breaking story, and will be updated as more details are made available

In a tweet published on Thursday afternoon, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that all California counties in the state’s most restrictive reopening tier will have a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., with enforcement to begin on Saturday, November 21.

Newsom warned Monday that a curfew was possible, saying in a press conference that state officials “are considering… the notion of a curfew.” According to Newsom’s tweet, it applies only to the 41 counties in the purple tier of California’s color-coded reopening plan, which is for regions that have over seven new cases of coronavirus reported per 100,000 residents daily. According to the Bay Area News Group, as of Thursday, the state’s most recent average of 10,075 cases per day is an all-time high, which suggests that the actual rates in those purple-tier counties is likely far higher.

In the Bay Area, those purple areas include Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma counties. San Francisco and San Mateo counties remain in the red tier, and will not face a shutdown. A full list of tier assignments can be found here.

According to a statement from the Governor’s office, “this limited Stay at Home Order is designed to reduce opportunities for disease transmission. Activities conducted during 10 PM to 5 AM 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 for adherence to safety measures like wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distance.”

The curfew will take effect at 10 p.m. Saturday, and will continue for at least a month. “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,” Newsom said 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.”

Unlike curfews elsewhere, like the one in New York state or the one announced in L.A. last week, this order isn’t just one requiring restaurants to close to diners as of 10 p.m. Instead, it applies to all “non-essential” activities. Enforcement will be up to local jurisdictions, which means that in some areas, it won’t happen at all. For example, in Sacramento County, where Newsom toils, Sheriff Scott Jones has already said that he will not enforce any sort of 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,” Jones said in a statement reported on by Fox 40. “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.”

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