The Thanksgiving holiday came and went, and Americans seem to largely ignore the warnings from health experts who said to stay home and avoid gatherings.
Data from the travel industry showed that we the stubborn people largely went ahead with our plans to visit with friends and family, and now, data from the healthcare industry shows that this may have been a terrible mistake. COVID-19 cases are on the rise again, and some of the metric have surpassed even the darkest days of April, when the virus reached its first peak.
In response to this recent uptick, Golden State Governor Gavin Newsom is taking extreme precautions…and irking a vast number of Californians in the process.
Some 33 million Californians will be subject to the new order, representing 84% of the state’s population. The state mandated the restrictions in the Southland and Central Valley as capacity at hospitals’ intensive care units hit dangerously low levels. Five Bay Area counties will also begin lockdown restrictions in the coming days despite not yet reaching the threshold at which such action is mandated by the state.
The rules are less sweeping than California’s pioneering stay-at-home order in the spring, which is credited with slowing the first COVID-19 wave. But the new order will change daily life for many, especially in suburban Southern California counties like Orange and Ventura, which so far have enjoyed more open economies than hard-hit Los Angeles County.
The rules will remain for at least 21 days, and severely limit the day-to-day activities of Californians.
Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley will implement the order Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Restaurants must halt in-person dining and can offer food only for delivery and takeout. Gatherings of people from different households will be prohibited, except for outdoor church services and political demonstrations. Affected communities will be required to close hair and nail salons, playgrounds, zoos, museums, card rooms, aquariums and wineries. Nonessential travel and use of hotels for leisure will be banned, as will overnight, short-term stays at campgrounds. All retail can remain open, but at 20% capacity.
The move has been largely lambasted by those who believe that COVID-mandated lockdowns are creating an economic harm that far outweighs the humanitarian crisis caused by the virus itself.
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