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Coronavirus curfew in California: What are the rules and will it work?

UNIVERSAL CITY CA- JUNE 08 Actor Kevin Sorbo arrives at the premiere of Universal

California is imposing an overnight curfew for almost all residents as the most populous state tries to head off a surge of coronavirus cases that threatens to overwhelm its health care system, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday.

Newsom said in a statement announcing this measure: "The virus is spreading at a rate not seen since the beginning of this epidemic, and the next several days and weeks will be crucial to stop the increase". "We are sounding the alarm", said Governor Newsom in a news release. "If we don't make these decisions now, there really is only one outcome: We will nearly certainly have to shut things down again".

Friday was the 10th consecutive day more than 600 new coronavirus cases were reported by the county, and the most reported in a single day.

According to the governor's office, the curfew will require all "non-essential work, movement and gatherings" to stop between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Newsom and state health officials have significantly ramped up warnings about the virus in recent weeks after the state saw a 50 percent increase in new cases during the first week of November.

Some 41 of the state's 58 counties, including most of Southern California, will be under the curfew, which will be in effect until at least December 21.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has instituted a controversial curfew across much of California, but he may have trouble getting law enforcement to take any action backing up the curfew order. That means based on just the one-day total about 1,200 people will be in hospitals in the next two to three weeks.

In total, there have been 34,997 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 12,504 active, and 463 COVID-related deaths (1.3%).

The curfew has been classified by the state as a "limited stay at home order". "We may need to take more stringent actions if we are unable to flatten the curve quickly". The curfew hours run 10 5 a.m., but exempts essential workers. Nothing in the order prevents any number of people 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 people from any other household, except as specifically permitted by the order.

In Riverside County, the sheriff questioned the data being produced to justify the governor's public health lockdowns, as well as additional requirements then imposed by county Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser, saying during one Board of Supervisors' meeting that the mandates hindering people's freedoms "cannot be the new normal". "The sheriff's office will continue to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America". "Now more than ever it is vital that San Diegans avoid gatherings and crowds, wear a face covering when they are out in public and stay home if they are sick".

And, as Eater noted yesterday, Laurie Thomas of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA) suggested that a curfew would only further cut into the revenue of the already struggling hospitality industry, and may have the "unintended consequence" of pushing more households to intermingle indoors at home. He also joined governors of OR and Washington in urging residents not to travel and for anyone to quarantine for two weeks if arriving from another state.