With 41 California counties now in the state’s Purple COVID-19 tier—meaning the virus in those counties is widespread—midday Thursday Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced an upcoming statewide curfew.
Santa Clara County, Milpitas included, is in the Purple zone, as is almost 95% of California’s population.
The curfew has been classified by the state as a “limited stay at home order.” This means that as of 10pm on Saturday, November 21, ‘til 5am on Monday, December 21, all work, movement, and gatherings deemed by the state as “non-essential” will be prohibited.
What’s allowed? You can go buy groceries or go shopping at the drugstore. You can also walk your dog or pick up takeout from a restaurant. Essentially, the order exists to keep members of households from intermixing with members of other households. Some cities have pledged not to enforce the order, citing issues with the scientific reasoning behind it. San Jose intends to enforce the order, but does not plan to cite people for curfew violations.
As for Milpitas, the Milpitas Police Department (MPD) informed The Beat that for the time being their hope is to see compliance from residents and educate them about the curfew order when appropriate. If Milpitas residents are defiant of the order and enforcement is necessary, then enforcement measures may be carried out.
Statewide, over the past two weeks, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have been up almost 64%, with 40.5% of those hospitalized requiring ICU care.
In Milpitas, cumulatively, 791 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began. The city’s population of 77,562 means that just over 1% of Milpitas residents have tested positive for the virus. The city was fast to impose a face-covering order in the pandemic’s early weeks, mandating mask-wearing so as to reduce viral spread.
Whereas Californians have grown accustomed to state- and county-issued stay-at-home orders in 2020, the curfew element this time around is new: “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 while announcing the latest order.