SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — With coronavirus cases surging in California to the point that Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he is pulling that state’s “emergency brake,” leaders are looking at a possible curfew to try and get control of the pandemic.
The governor announced on Monday that most California counties would be jumping back into the most-restrictive tier of reopening.
Just 13 counties were in the purple tier last week, but Monday’s action meant 41 counties were now in the most-restrictive status.
CA is experiencing the fastest #COVID19 increase we have seen yet. We are sounding the alarm and pulling an emergency brake.
We must do all we can – government at all levels and Californians – to flatten the curve again as we have done before. https://t.co/S1dtEoXy83
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) November 16, 2020
“We are sounding the alarm,” Newsom said in a statement. “California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet – faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer.”
As part of the new restrictions announced on Monday – which included make being required to be worn when outside the home with limited exceptions – Newsom quickly mentioned how he was looking at the efficacy of curfews.
Newsom noted how a couple of other states, as well as numerous cities, had already implemented curfews.
Countries like France, Germany and Saudi Arabia have also implemented coronavirus-related curfews, Newsom said.
If California were to implement a curfew, it could take the look of several different kinds of restrictions. Some cities, like Kansas City, have mandated that restaurants close by 10 p.m. In France, specific areas – like the Paris region – have implemented an overnight curfew (like from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.) for all residents.
The thinking of implementing a curfew follows the reasoning that it will help reduce behaviors considered “high-risk” of transmitting the virus – like people mingling at restaurants or bars. However, some experts have warned that forcing places to close early could also encourage other risky behavior – like forcing more people to visit a business in a more narrow timeframe.
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While Sacramento implemented an emergency curfew over the summer, it was in response to unrest over death of George Floyd and not coronavirus. For the moment, Sacramento businesses have not been given specific guidance to close at a certain time.
Any attempt that Newsom would make in terms of a curfew will probably be challenged immediately, however, with the recent ruling against the governor’s executive order on issuing all registered Californians mail-in ballots looming large. In that ruling, a judge said Newsom overstepped his bounds and restrained the governor from making more executive orders that create a new law.