Tuolumne County Included In New Limited State Curfew Order
Sacramento, CA – Tuolumne County is one of 41 in the state that due to the spike in COVID-19 cases will face new curfew restrictions starting this weekend and lasting a month as health officials also warn of further restriction if the surge continues.
On Monday, the state pulled the emergency brake on the Blueprint for a Safer Economy by putting more than 94 percent of California’s population in the most restrictive purple/widespread tier, including Tuolumne County, as reported here. Today Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) implemented a limited “Stay at Home Order” curfew requiring non-essential work, movement and gatherings to stop between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for all purple tier counties.
The order begins at 10 p.m. Saturday, November 21, and will remain in effect until 5 a.m. Monday, December 21. State officials relay that this is the same as the order enacted in March but applied to the overnight hours and purple tier counties experiencing the highest rates of positive cases and hospitalizations, like Tuolumne, as detailed here.
“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,” said Governor Newsom. “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.”
This newest order is designed to reduce opportunities for disease transmission during social activities and gatherings that have a higher likelihood of leading to “reduced inhibition and reduced likelihood for adherence to safety measures,” such as wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distance. Citing the spring stay at home orders help in flatten the state curve and dramatically decreasing the virus spread, hospitalizations, and deaths, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly warned, “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.”
In the first week of this month, COVID-19 case rates increased by around 50 percent in the state. To protect Californians and the state’s health care system, which could experience an unprecedented surge if cases continue their steep climb, other measures have also been put in place. Those include requiring face masks whenever outside the home, with limited exceptions. And just last week, a travel advisory, along with Oregon and Washington, urging people entering the state or returning home from travel outside the state to self-quarantine to slow the spread of the virus, as reported here.
“We are asking Californians to change their personal behaviors to stop the surge. Letting our guard down could put thousands of lives in danger and cripple our health care system,” said Dr. Erica Pan, the state’s acting Public Health Officer. “It is especially important that we band together to protect those most vulnerable around us as well as essential workers. Together we prevented a public health crisis in the spring and together we can do it again.”