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Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced every county 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 November 21.
And since the announcement came via tweet, many Californians were left with more questions than answers. Mainly, what this meant for the restaurant and hence the food delivery industry. Since then, the full order has been released, noting exactly what is and isn’t allowed under this new stay-at-home order.
The counties that are currently in the purple — representing “widespread” risk of infection— tier of reopening must follow the curfew, which includes every county in Southern California. According to the release, 41 counties in total are currently in the purple tier, accounting for 94% of the state’s population.
“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 the release. “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.”
As far as restaurants go, all patrons dining outdoors, since the purple tier forbids open dining rooms, must leave the dining area by 10 p.m. However, people are allowed to go pick up items they need, even if it’s takeout at a restaurant past 10 p.m; it’s just dining that must stop at that time. “Restaurant carry-out and quick serve food operations, including food preparation, carry-out and delivery,” are also allowed, the release states. Moreover, essential businesses — like grocery stores and drug stores— are allowed to remain open. In a nutshell, this means that everything but outdoor dining is still on the table.
As the order states, the point of this new curfew is: “This Limited Stay at Home Order will reduce opportunities for disease transmission with the goal of decreasing the number of hours individuals are in the community and mixing with individuals outside of their household,” because “every intervention to decrease mixing of households is critical.”
And when it comes to enforcement, Sgt. Michael Low with the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office told ABC 7 that they expect “voluntary compliance,” but also added that “the curfew will be another tool our deputies can use to enforce the law, however our primary focus will be on more serious crimes in the community.”
Last week, California reported 11,478 new cases of coronavirus over the previous 24 hours, the state’s highest single-day number to date during the pandemic. The seven-day average has ticked upwards to 9,665.
The curfew will last at least a month.