Gov. Newsom Issues Month-Long Curfew for California Amid COVID Scare

Governor’s nighttime stay-at-home order will be in effect until Dec. 21

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Californians will be under a new curfew and nighttime shutdown for a month to address a new surge in coronavirus cases, which increased by approximately 50 percent during the first week of November. 

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“We’ve done it before and we must do it again,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The state is locking down businesses with a new, evening stay-at-home order, citing an “unprecedented, rapid rise in COVID-19 cases across California.” The “limited” order requires nonessential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in counties in the purple tier. That includes Los Angeles County, Orange County and about 94 percent of the state’s population.

The order will take effect at 10 p.m. Saturday, and remain in effect until Dec. 21. 

“This is the same as the March stay-at-home order, but applied only between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.,” according to a press release from Newsom’s office. The announcement explained that activities during those times are “often nonessential 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.”

“We are asking Californians to change their personal behaviors to stop the surge,” said the state’s acting public health officer, Erica Pan, in a statement. “We must be strong together and make tough decisions to stay socially connected but physically distanced during this critical time. Letting our guard down could put thousands of lives in danger and cripple our health care system.”

The announcement comes days after L.A. County officials warned of a possible new lockdown order. Restaurants, breweries, wineries and nonessential retail establishments were already set to close at 10 p.m. starting Nov. 20 in L.A., while indoor gatherings were restricted to 15 people from no more than three households.

Newsom also issued a travel advisory and mask mandate this week.