On Saturday, Nov. 21 at 10 p.m. California’s Stay at Home curfew goes into effect where non-essential businesses and activities must close until 5 a.m. This curfew will be in effect daily until Monday, Dec. 21 at 5 a.m. Counties in the Purple Tier — including Santa Clara County along with 94 percent of California counties — are under this curfew.
Grocery stores can stay open, you can still walk your dog, and restaurants can still do takeout and delivery, said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. However, personal gatherings and other non-essential activities are not allowed. Find details on what is considered essential on the State’s website: https://covid19.ca.gov/essential-workforce/.
Dr. Erica Pan, Acting State Public Health Officer, says the Stay at Home order requires “that all gatherings with members of other households and all activities conducted outside the residence, lodging, or temporary accommodation with members of other households cease between 10:00pm PST and 5:00am PST, except for those activities associated with the operation, maintenance, or usage of critical infrastructure or required by law. This order does not apply to persons experiencing homelessness. Nothing in this order prevents any number of persons from the same household from leaving their residence, lodging, or temporary accommodation, as long as they do not engage in any interaction with (or otherwise gather with) any number of persons from any other household, except as specifically permitted herein.”
According to Dr. Pan, activities conducted from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. 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 to adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures (e.g., wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distance).”
Dr. Ghaly said this curfew order is necessary to avoid future restrictions. Similar to the March curfew order, the hope is to flatten the steep spike in COVID-19 cases that the Purple Tier counties are seeing.
“We know from our stay at home order this spring, which flattened the curve in California, that reducing the movement and mixing of individuals dramatically decreases COVID-19 spread, hospitalizations, and deaths,” said Dr. Ghaly. “We may need to take more stringent actions if we are unable to flatten the curve quickly. Taking these hard, temporary actions now could help prevent future shutdowns.”
Today, Dr. Ghaly shared our highest case rate number to date — 11,478 COVID-19 cases reported today across the State. COVID-19 case rates increased by approximately 50 percent in California during the first week of November. COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased 63.6 percent over the last 14 days while ICU hospitalizations have increased 40.5 percent.
Dr. Ghaly emphasized that these unpopular restrictions, like curfews, can help the healthcare system not get flooded. He said that they have seen that 12 percent of COVID-19 cases end up in the hospital two or three weeks later. If the case numbers keep trending as they are, it can overwhelm the healthcare system.
Learn more about the State’s restrictions on its website: https://covid19.ca.gov/.