By Dominic Taylor-
California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced a mandatory overnight stay-at-home order to be instituted throughout most of the city to combat a surge in new coronavirus cases. The measure comes days after the governor re-opened much of the state.
The overnight curfew for nearly all residents is an attempt to head off a surge of coronavirus cases threatening to overwhelm its health care system.
The order issued by the California Department of Public Health will prohibit most nonessential activity outside the home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in counties in the strictest tier of the state’s reopening road map the purple tier.
The restriction will begin on Saturday and lasts through Dec. 21, though it could be extended.
The limited stay-at-home order requires people who are not on essential errands to stay home from 10pm to 5am starting on Saturday. The curfew covers 94% of the state’s nearly 40 million residents.
It is in place in 41 of the state’s 58 counties that have the most significant increases in virus cases and face the most severe restrictions under California’s four-tier system for reopening the economy. In a statement released on Thursday, Newsome said:
”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
It is a swift escalation that comes just three days after the state imposed tougher restrictions limiting business operations in those 41 counties.
“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,” California governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement.
Hospitalisations are up nearly 64% in two weeks and the positivity rate — the percentage of people testing positive for the virus — has increased more than 50% and now stands at 5.6% for the last seven days.
The state’s top health officer, Dr Mark Ghaly, said throughout the pandemic about 12% of positive cases end up requiring hospitalisations.
That means based on just the one-day total about 1,200 people will be in hospitals in the next two to three weeks.
The new health order does not close any businesses. However, nonessential businesses must shut their doors by 10pm, though restaurants will be permitted to offer takeout and delivery after that time.