What statewide curfew means for the Coachella Valley


Photo courtesy of Getty Images. Cars driving on a Desert Hot Springs, Calif. street.

California has begun a night-time curfew in an attempt to stop the spread of Coronavirus cases. The state reported a total of one million cases last week, making it the second state to do so after Texas.

Gov. Gavin Newson announced a 10.p.m curfew that began on Nov. 19. It will last for a month in the California counties in the strictest level of the state’s pandemic restrictions.

Non-essential work and gatherings must be over by 10 p.m. To 5 a.m in California’s 58 counties, which include 94% of the states, nearly 40 million residents. The order will be applied until Dec. 21 but could be extended if the contagion rates continue to spread throughout the state drastically.

“We are sounding the alarm,” Newsom said in a statement. “It is crucial that we act to decrease transmission and slow hospitalizations before the death count surges. We’ve done it before, and we must do it again.”

According to California regulations, all individuals living in California are currently ordered to stay home or at their place of residence, except for permitted work, local shopping, or other permitted errands or as otherwise authorized.

The curfew is less strict than the near-total ban on nonessential business and travels Newson imposed in March, which he credited with flattering the rate of COVID-19 cases and despite summer peak.

The new order does not close any businesses. However, nonessential businesses must shut their doors by 10 pm, but restaurants will be permitted to offer takeout and delivery after that time.

The directive does not apply to people who are homeless. People can perform some routine activities such as walking dogs, officials said. They will still be able to get medical care, pick up prescriptions, and take care of other essential needs.

A few residents believe the curfew was necessary, but many also consider police officials should have enforced it. Many people work night shifts, but their employers have been required to give out a permission slip allowing them to get home after work without any issues.

It is the essential workers who are allowed to be out passing the 10 p.m curfew. Unfortunately, there are still many residents out there who consider physically socializing is better to maintain their mental health at good ease.

Coachella Valley resident Cruzzanna Hernandez is one of the many who believe the curfew is a good idea but considers it should also get enforced. She said, “So personally, I think it’s a good idea to initiate a curfew. Having a curfew means fewer will be out, fewer parties and overall fewer gatherings that typically happen during the evenings. It won’t stop everyone because we have those who don’t like to follow the rules or believe COVID is a “hoax.”

Hernandez continues, “But if the authorities actually make it a priority to really patrol the cities and local areas and not just say that there is a curfew and everyone is expected to follow it, I believe it will definitely show some improvement towards the increase of positive COVID tests. Being in Salton City, I believe we are often forgotten about. This past Thanksgiving weekend was by far the worst.

Thanksgiving weekend is typically one of the biggest weekends for our local fast-food restaurants and gas stations because many people from out of town come off-road. I assumed it would not be as big as every year due to the pandemic. However, people continued to swarm our desert and local stores. It was ridiculous.

I saw multiple occasions where people attempted to come without masks into the stores and then get upset when told to do so, and there were times where I saw on social media parties taking place in the desert that went past curfew. The curfew is not being strictly enforced out here, to my knowledge, and I really don’t think that it will get strictly enforced, which is upsetting considering that we are in a pandemic. These social gatherings are costing people their lives.”

Here’s what residents should know about enforcement measures in the Coachella Valley.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department released a statement on the agency’s Facebook page where Sheriff Chad Bianco mentions that we must do everything we can to protect ourselves from contracting or spreading this virus.

He explains the only way to ensure you do not contract the virus is to stay at home and avoid contact with others. It is essential for those going out into public to protect themselves from contracting and/spreading the virus by wearing a mask and social distancing.

Bianco claims it has been the sheriff’s department’s policy to encourage responsible behavior and compliance with the governor’s orders.

To ensure constitutional rights are not violated, to limit potential negative interactions and exposure to our deputies, we will not be responding to calls for service-based solely on non-compliance with the new order or social distancing and mask guidance.

It is important that we as residents of the Coachella Valley, cooperate and hope for the COVID-19 cases to drop. Many might not be happy with the idea of not being able to be out by 10 p.m, but we must get used to the idea of not physically socializing late at night. It will help save many lives.