Outraged Californians marched across the Pacific Coast Highway and cheered when a face mask was set aflame during a protest against the state’s month-long curfew that started Saturday.
The newest restriction from Gov. Gavin Newsom came as The Golden State recorded a concerning uptick in cases, hospitalizations and positivity rates.
The newest restrictions require people to stay home from 10pm to 5am unless they are responding to an emergency, shopping for groceries, picking up takeout or walking their dogs. The month-long curfew could be extended if rapidly worsening trends don’t improve.
A large crowd of residens in Huntington Beach, California, (pictured) gathered to participate in a ‘Curfew Breakers’ rally in defiance of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new statewide curfew
A woman in Huntington Beach, California, brandished a sign reading ‘Recall Newsom’ at the ‘Curfew Breakers’ rally on Saturday that began at 10.01pm
Demonstrators waved America, Make America Great Again and thin blue line flags while attending the ‘Curfew Breakers’ rally to fight Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest coronavirus restriction
People carried signs reading ‘Newsom is not my daddy’ and ‘Newsom is non-essential’ while marching along the Pacific Coast Highway in California on Saturday night
‘The limited stay-at-home order does not apply to employees deemed essential workers – manufacturing is listed as an essential workforce,’ said California’s Department of Public Health, specifying in particular transport products and equipment.
The exemption will allow Tesla’s auto assembly plant to avoid a new curfew across much of California while continuing to abide by a health plan already in place.
The curfew applies to 41 of the state’s 58 counties that are in the ‘purple’ tier, the most restrictive of four state tiers allowing various stages of economic reopening. Those counties encompass 94 per cent of the nearly 40 million people living in the most populous U.S. state. The curfew will remain in place through December 21.
California has seen more than 1 million infections, with a record of almost 15,500 new cases reported Friday. There have been 18,672 deaths in the state.
In Huntington Beach and San Clemente, supporters of President Trump decried the provisions in a rally that echoed anti-lockdown demonstrations performed this summer.
Some California law enforcement have said they will not enforce Gov. Newsom’s curfew, with Sheriff Margaret Mim saying: ‘We’re not gonna make criminals of normally law abiding citizens’
The ‘Curfew Breakers’ event took place along the coastal streets of Huntington Beach with an intentional start time of 10.01pm – a direct challenge to the new curfew orders.
A large crowd of residents, almost none of whom wore face masks or social distanced, waved American and ‘Trump: Make America Great Again’ flags on street curbs as passing cars honked in support.
The demonstration more closely resembled a jubilant block party than an act of defiance, with people running into street intersections to cheer and others dancing to ‘God Bless the USA.’
In San Clemente, found 35 miles south, a group of protesters crowded together to light a face mask on fire.
‘Burn it!’ men yelled, as people pulled out their cell phones to record the occasion.
The growing flames coincided with the crowd’s excitement as they chanted: ‘Burn the masks!’
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office, as well as other California law enforcement officials, said they would not enforce the curfew amid a flurry of other obligations.
Demonstrators march across Pacific Coast Highway while shouting slogans Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 during a protest against a stay-at-home order amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Huntington Beach
Many of the banner’s displayed durng the protestt were aimed at Gov. Newsom, including one that said ‘Our governor is an idiot! Demand recall!’
Protester per KCAL9: ‘Obviously, a lot of people don’t agree with what our governor and city officials are doing, but I’d prefer to see something done a little bit different but curfews are just a little too far’
‘We’re not gonna make criminals of normally law abiding citizens,’ Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said in a video briefing, per KMPH-TV.
‘We’ve got a lot of things to do, including taking guns away from gang members, stopping narcotic trafficking, and saving children from internet predators.
Kings County Sheriff’s Commander David Dodd told the station: ‘We’re not going to enforce any of those orders. The Kings County Board of Supervisors has asked us to take an educational approach. We’re going to refer people to the written guidelines to prevent the spread.’
Residents at the ‘Curfew Breakers’ protest said the new curfew mandate was too stringent.
‘I’d like to see curfews go away’, one attendee told KCAL9. ‘I don’t really agree with it. I think there are too many restrictions, as is.
‘Obviously, a lot of people don’t agree with what our governor and city officials are doing, but I’d prefer to see something done a little bit different but curfews are just a little too far. ‘
But in California, the coronavirus numbers suggest the need for mitigation efforts.
A demonstrator wears military fatigues as he shouts slogans Saturday during a protest against a stay-at-home order amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Huntington Beach, California
Demonstrators carry American flags and one woman records herself standing out of the vehicle’s sun roof while driving along Pacific Coast Highway Saturday
California’s COVID-19 dashboard, which last updated on Friday, reports that the state saw 3,325 confirmed cases based on a 14-day rolling average. Exactly one month later, that number jumped to 15,442.
The positivity rate between that time also increased, with officials noting a uptick from 2.7 per cent to 5.4 per cent.
There are currently 5,475 hospitalized coronavirus patients – up 248 patients from the day before – and 1,332 people administered into ICU. Only 1,921 ICU beds are available out of California’s 7,881 total,
In Orange County, where Huntington Beach and San Clemente are found, there have been 68,212 infections and a death toll of 1,540. The local positivity rate is 6.6 per cent, more than 400 people are hospitalized with coronavirus and 96 are in the ICU.
Although California’s death count is third in the nation behind New York and Texas, nearby states have seen worrisome numbers as well.
Arizona has recorded 295,334 cases, just under 6,500 deaths and a positivity rate of 14.7 per cent. Nevada ranked second with 131,733 cases, 2,011 deaths and a 8.74 per cent rate.
Oregon experienced 63,668 cases, 819 deaths and positivity rate of 6.36 per cent.
Nationally, there have been 12million cases and 255,000 deaths amid a seven-day positivity rate of 9.8 per cent.
In Orange County, where Huntington Beach and San Clemente are found, there have been 68,212 infections and a death toll of 1,540. Pictured: a woman holds an American flag while marching the ‘Curfew Breakers’ rally on Saturday
According to John Hopkins University, the three US counties with the highest case counts are: California’s Los Angeles County at 361,000, Illinois’ Cook County with 277,000 and Florida’s Miami-Dade County with 7,337.
Deaths included 7,478 in Kings County, New York, and 7,337 in Queens County. Los Angeles County edged in between at 7,397 deaths.
‘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,’ Gov. Newsom said Thursday. ‘
Still, residents who attended the ‘Curfew Breakers’ protests were unconvinced.
‘I think we’ve tried lots of tools throughout the past nine months and none have really worked, if you will,’ a Huntington Beach protest told KCAL9 on Saturday.
‘This one is certainly less restrictive than the other ones, which leads me to believe that it’s probably not going to do much.’
Meanwhile Californians were spotted panic-buying and enjoying a last supper out before a new curfew.
Last minute shopping: People buy toilet papers and paper towels at a Costco Wholesale store in Alhambra, California on Saturday
Stocking up: People stand in line at a Costco in Alhambra, California, ahead of the new curfew
A general view of boarded-up shops along 5th Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego before the curfew begins Saturday
The curfew applies to 41 of the state’s 58 counties that are in the ‘purple’ tier, the most restrictive of four state tiers allowing various stages of economic reopening. people dine in San Diego on Saturday above
People dine along 5th Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego before the new curfew on Saturday
People dine along Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach, San Diego before the new curfew rules begin on Saturday
Authorities say the focus is on keeping people from social mixing and drinking – the kinds of activities that are blamed for causing COVID-19 infections to soar after dipping only a few months ago.
In May, Musk (pictured) feuded with authorities over the reopening of the California plant and threatened to move his headquarters and future projects to Texas or Nevada.
In May, Musk feuded with authorities over the reopening of the California plant and threatened to move his headquarters and future projects to Texas or Nevada.
He at one point announced the restart of production on Twitter and challenged authorities to stop him.
Last month, Tesla said profits in the previous quarter more than doubled as the electric car giant forecast deliveries hitting 500,000 this year.
Los Angeles County, the state´s largest with about 10 million people, could see even more stringent lockdowns as early as next week as its caseload and hospitalization figures reach stratospheric levels.
The county accounts for a quarter of the state’s 40 million residents, but it has about a third of the coronavirus cases and close to 40 per cent of the deaths.
California as a whole has seen more than 1 million infections, with a record of almost 15,500 new cases reported Friday. There have been 18,643 deaths in the state
Final catch? Night-fishing will not be permitted under the new curfew. People fish off the Ocean Beach pier in San Diego on Saturday before the new rules begin
A waiter wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) returns a credit card to a customer dining outdoors in Manhattan Beach, California, Saturday, a few hours before the start of the new 10pm to 5am curfew
California as a whole has seen more than 1 million infections, with a record of almost 15,500 new cases reported Friday. There have been 18,643 deaths in the state. Pictured: people dine at Manhattan Beach before the curfew
Pedestrians wear face masks while walking past retail stores and outdoor dining in Manhattan Beach, California, Saturday
Authorities say the focus is on keeping people from social mixing and drinking – the kinds of activities that are blamed for causing COVID-19 infections to soar after dipping only a few months ago. Pictured: People dining in Manhattan Beach Saturday
Hitting the beach: People gather to play volleyball on the beach in Manhattan Beach, California, Saturday, just a few hours before the new curfew
Walkies: Pedestrians wearing face masks walk past the ‘Light Gate’ art installation in Manhattan Beach, California before the new curfew
County public health Director Barbara Ferrer said Friday that the county had 4,272 new cases in a single day and 13,247 over the past three days. The rate of positive COVID-19 tests has jumped to 7.3 per cent, and nearly 1,300 people have been hospitalized.
‘We´re seeing cases increase at a faster rate than we saw over the summer,’ Ferrer said. ‘The data looks really bad now and we´ve had … three terrible days in terms of case rates and increases in hospitalizations.’
Officials hope to avoid full-on lockdown orders of the kind enacted back when the COVID-19 pandemic was gaining steam in March. Public health officials since then have reacted to swings in infection rates by easing and then reinforcing various stay-at-home orders in an effort to balance safety and the economy.
The result, however, has been confusion and what some health officials term ‘COVID fatigue’ in which people simply become tired of the rules and let down their guard.
Health officials acknowledge that the curfew will help flatten the infection rates only if people heed it voluntarily. Violators could face fines or be charged with a misdemeanor, and businesses could have their business licenses revoked. But counties are mainly responsible for enforcement.
A restaurant employee cleans a plexiglass table divider in Manhattan Beach, California,on Saturday as the sun sets before the new curfew
Workers at Tesla’s factory in Alameda County in California have been exempted from a new curfew because they are deemed essential. A file photo of the factory is seen above
Officials in El Dorado, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Placer, Sacramento, San Bernardino and Stanislaus counties were among those saying they would not enforce the curfew, with some strongly opposed.
‘I think it’s unlawful and unconstitutional. The government has stripped us of our civil rights, using the virus to do that,’ said Alan Hostetter, who organized a curfew-breaking protest in San Clemente set for 10:01 p.m. He said several similar protests were planned across the state Saturday night.
In Huntington Beach, a restaurant owner who has been denouncing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s orders since March said he will open an hour past the curfew.
Pushback on COVID-19 rules also came from groups representing thousands of fitness centers. Most gyms in the state have closed or are limited to outdoors.
The California Fitness Alliance said the Newsom administration is using ‘arbitrary criteria that defy both science and common sense … to determine the level of risk at which businesses must close, causing thousands of Californians in the fitness field to lose their jobs.’
West Hollywood, famously known for its clubs and vibrant LGBT community, ‘will be impacted like no other city’ by the curfew, Mayor Lindsey Horvath said.
‘These businesses have created places, safe places for our LGBT community to go out in particular, to enjoy our nightlife, to be together in community,’ Horvath said. ‘It’s terribly heartbreaking to see what´s happening right now.’
The curfew even could be counterproductive, said Dr. Lee Riley, an infectious disease professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.
Officials in London who tried a similar approach found that ‘if anything, for the young people it may have increased their social gathering activities,’ he said. ‘They can´t go out, so they congregate in somebody´s home or dormitories.’
‘I´m not sure how effective this is going to be,’ Riley said. ‘But the state feels that they have to do something. I think it´s going to be mostly a cosmetic effect and not so much a real impact on interrupting this transmission.’
The new stay-at-home order comes as Newsom continues to weather sharp criticism for attending a birthday dinner at The French Laundry, a Michelin star restaurant in Napa Valley. Photos of the dinner were obtained by Fox 11 LA via a Twitter user
Photos of the gathering on November 6 were released last Saturday, showing Gov Newsom and his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom sitting at a table surrounded by at least 10 friends, none of them wearing masks
The new stay-at-home order comes as Gov Gavin Newsom continues to weather sharp criticism for attending a birthday dinner at The French Laundry, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Napa Valley, just days before advising Californians not to host indoor Thanksgiving dinners.
Photos of the gathering on November 6 were released last Saturday, showing the governor and his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom sitting at a table surrounded by at least 10 friends, none of them wearing masks.
NEWSOM’S THANKSGIVING RULES
- Three households mixing at a maximum
- No longer than 2 hours together
- All festivities must be outdoors; people ‘can go indoors to use the bathroom’
- Hosts must take information for contact tracing
It was a 50th birthday party for Jason Kinney, one of Newsom’s political advisers, and witnesses from the restaurant say that at one stage, the doors were closed so the group was completely inside.
Two top officials at the California Medical Association – CEO Dustin Corcoran and Senior Vice President Janus Norman – were also among those in attendance. The CMA represents 50,000 doctors in the nation’s most populous state and has recently tweeted messages including #StayHome and #WearAMask.
‘The dinner was held in accordance with state and county guidelines,’ CMA spokesman Anthony York told the Associated Press in an emailed statement Tuesday.
The CMA is considered a lobbying powerhouse in Sacramento. Last year, the organization spent $2.1million lobbying state leaders.
This year, CMA successfully lobbied Newsom and the Democratic supermajority in the state legislature not to slash Medi-Cal reimbursement rates funded by a 2016 tax on tobacco, according to POLITICO.
Before the photos emerged, Newsom apologized for the outing and said he should not have gone and should be setting a better example. He also claimed he did not know how many people would be there.
‘I made a bad mistake. should have stood up and … drove back to my house. The spirit of what I’m preaching all the time was contradicted. I need to preach and practice, not just preach.
‘You have to own it, and you have to be forthright and I’m doing my best every single day in trying to model better behavior,’ he said.