The Central Coast is headed for a statewide curfew, due to increasing COVID-19 cases. The state health department issued a stay-at-home order Thursday that applies to nightime nonessential activities, as of November 21.
“We are putting forward a limited stay-at-home order, one that is more targeted, one that is more focused,” said the state secretary of health and human services, Dr. Mark Ghaly. “It impacts counties that are in the purple tier.”
Ghaly said the revised health order is aimed at gatherings, and nonessential businesses.
“We asked that they close operations by 10 p.m. so that people can get home by then, and that they stay home, and those businesses don't resume operations till at least 5 a.m.,” Ghaly said.
California’s public health department is justifying the nighttime curfew because it covers a time period when there’s more social activities and gatherings.
Ghaly said he’s gotten a lot of questions about the revised health order, such as “why are you focused on the time period from 10 to six? Why are we not doing what we did in March?”
Ghaly replied at a live streamed briefing Thursday afternoon, “well, we've learned a lot and we've been a state that has been guided by data, guided by science.”
The governor’s office says overnight activities have “a higher likelihood of leading to reduced inhibition and reduced likelihood for adherence to safety measures like wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distance.”
Meanwhile, at Wednesday’s San Luis Obispo County briefing, health officer Dr. Penny Borenstein indicated the governor wasn’t considering another stay-at-home order, but that “everything is open for consideration, as things potentially get to a place where we need to have more dramatic actions.”
The first of those actions, a nighttime curfew in the purple-tiered counties, kicks in on Saturday night at 10 p.m. and is in effect until December 21.