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County imposes curfew due to COVID surge

San Joaquin County is imposing a curfew daily from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. staring this Saturday through at least Dec. 21 in a bid to discourage large gatherings and such heading into the holidays as a way to combat the surge in COVID-19 cases.

The order Thursday came on the heels of a requirement that people must now wear face masks outside of their homes with few exceptions.

Specifically the order states, “that all gatherings with members of other households and all activities conducted outside the residence, lodging, or temporary accommodation with members of other households cease between 10 pm. and 5 a.m., except for those activities associated with the operation, maintenance, or usage of critical infrastructure or required by law. This order does not apply to persons experiencing homelessness. Nothing in this order prevents any number of persons from the same household (during the curfew time) from leaving their residence, lodging, or temporary accommodation, as long as they do not engage in any interaction with (or otherwise gather with) any number of persons from any other household, except as specifically permitted herein.”

“These immediate actions will help reduce community spread, protect individuals at higher risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19, and prevent the state's health care delivery system from becoming overwhelmed,” according to a statement by Acting State Public Health Officer Dr. Erica S. Pan. “Reducing movement and mixing of individual Californians is critical to decreasing transmission, hospitalizations, and deaths.”

San Joaquin County’s current COVID-19 statistics include:

*1,670 active cases out of 24,450 cases since march meaning 22,276 people have recovered. Those that have tested positive do not always get ill.

*504 deaths as of Thursday.

*Positive case rate 16.4 per 100,000 residents.

*81 hospitalizations including 18 patients in ICU; and 10 on ventilators as of Nov. 16.

* COVID patients occupy 12 percent of total hospital beds.

San Joaquin County’s return to the Purple Tier means many local businesses will now have to close indoor business operations or reduce capacity. Effective November 17, the following businesses will have these restrictions:

*Family entertainment centers: Outdoors only with modifications

*Gyms and fitness centers: Outdoors only with modifications

*Movie theaters: Outdoors only with modifications

*Museums, zoos and aquariums: Outdoors only with modifications

*Places of worship: Outdoors only with modifications

*Retail: Open indoors with a maximum of 25% occupancy

*Restaurants: Outdoors only with modifications

*Shopping centers: Open indoors with a maximum of 25% occupancy

*Schools that were open previously for in-person learning, will remain open following State Guidance.

Personal care services, nail salons, hair salons and barber shops can still remain open indoors with modifications in the Purple Tier and must follow the State’s industry guidance. Any schools that have reopened for in-person learning while San Joaquin County was in the Red Tier, or with an approved waiver, are not required to close and can remain open. Schools that have not yet opened will need to receive a waiver to reopen under the Purple Tier or wait until San Joaquin County has moved back into the Red Tier. Due to the current case rate, San Joaquin County does not meet the stipulations to accept school waiver applications at this time.

“We are seeing an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations due to large gatherings. While we all need to make our own individual decisions this holiday season, it’s critical that we take into account the lives and livelihoods of everyone in the community,” said Kathy Miller, Chair of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. “It’s a hard decision to make, but we need to step up and listen to our Public Health officials and refrain from gathering with others which will protect families, front line workers, essential businesses and the overall community.”


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email