LOS ANGELES, CA – Most Californians are under a nightly curfew that began last night as a surge in coronavirus cases threatens to overwhelm local healthcare systems, and the state’s largest county. he warned that even more drastic lockdown could be imminent.
Because of the new measure, the population must remain at home from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., unless they face an emergency, go out to buy groceries, collect take-out orders or take their dogs for a walk. The curfew will last until December 21, and the state government may extend it if the rapidly worsening trends are not reversed.
Authorities say the goal is to prevent people from crowding to socialize and drink alcohol, the kinds of activities that are blamed for the rise in Covid-19 cases after they dropped just a few months ago.
“I think this is the best way to overcome this situation, so that we can all move forward,” said Eric Gore, a musician from Oakland. “My job depends on the night life. But I’ve stayed home to stay safe. “
Dr. Mark Cullen, an infectious disease expert who recently retired from Stanford University, said the ultimate goal is based on reasonable interpretation of data.
“A lot of people gather without attending checkpoints – they don’t wear masks, they don’t respect social distancing, often indoors – and a lot of these things happen at night,” Cullen said. However, he also questioned the effectiveness of a limited curfew.
The curfew is applied in 41 of the 58 counties in the state that are in the “purple” level, the strictest of the four that allow various stages of economic reopening in the state. These counties include 94% of the nearly 40 million people who live in the most populous state in the United States.
California accumulates more than a million infections and on Friday registered its highest number, with 15,500 new cases daily.
Los Angeles County, the largest in the state with about 10 million residents, could face tighter lockdowns next week as new cases and hospitalizations have skyrocketed. The county represents a quarter of the 40 million inhabitants of the state, although it registers a third of the coronavirus cases and almost 40% of the deaths.
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