With COVID-19 cases on the rise in California, the California Department of Public Health is implementing a limited curfew for the next month in counties currently in the purple tier.
Starting on Saturday, all gatherings with members of other households and all activities conducted outside the residence, lodging, or temporary accommodation with members of other households must cease from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
This order does not apply to persons experiencing homelessness.
"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" said State Public Health Officer Dr. Erica Pan in a press release. "Every intervention to decrease mixing of households is critical during this unparalleled increase in case rate rise of about 50 percent during the first week in November. In particular, activities conducted during 10:00pm to 5:00am are often non-essential and more likely related to social activities and gatherings that have a higher likelihood of leading to reduced inhibition and reduced likelihood to adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures."
The order does not apply to essential workers who have to be out for work during that time period.
The order also does not stop any number of persons from the same household from leaving their residence, as long as they do not engage in any gathering with people from other households.
The order applies to all counties currently in the purple (widespread tier). If a county is subsequently moved into the purple tier, the order will be implemented starting the second day in the tier.
As of now, the order will continue through Dec. 21, though the CDPH said it could be extended or revised if needed.
The order is relying on people to comply with it willingly, because there are no real plans for enforcement efforts. Stanislaus County Sheriff Jeff Dirkse wrote on Facebook that he views the curfew order in the same manner as the stay-at-home order from March.
"My position hasn’t changed since March 19th," Dirkse wrote. "We will not be arresting anyone as a result of this or any other order. This is a public health crisis and we are not going to solve it by arresting people and making criminals out of the members of our community.
"The Sheriff’s Office will not come to your home, question you or your guests or pull you over for driving during the curfew.
"We will continue to work with the county and the cities in our county to do education, as we have since day one, regarding the need to protect our community," Dirkse wrote.
The Turlock Police Department also does not plan on enforcing the curfew.
"The Turlock Police Department is attempting to garner compliance of all restrictions through education," said Turlock Police spokesperson Sgt. Mike Parmley. "As for the curfew for non-essential work, movements, and gatherings; the Turlock Police Department is also asking for voluntary compliance as to not violate state guidance. Essential travel is not restricted and identifying individuals for those traveling between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for non-essential purposes would not be something our limited staff would be participating in."
As of Friday, Stanislaus County has recorded 19,964 cases, with 1,176 presumed active, according to the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency. The county has recorded 416 deaths from COVID-19.
A total of 134 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Stanislaus County. Of those, 21 are in ICU. Total hospital be availability is at 37.2% and ICU bed availability is at 6.5%.