On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom hinted at the possibility of implementing a curfew across all California states in hopes to halt the rise of COVID-19 cases within the country. According to Newsom at his press conference, he and other public administrators are considering establishing time-limit regulations. However, he also noted that the idea is currently under thorough review, including assessing its positive and negative impacts it may inflict on the state.
Newsom declared that he’s currently assessing curfew studies from Saudi Arabia, France, and Germany. However, health professionals said that the research concerning curfew hours of the previously mentioned countries are limited.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, many other countries have employed this method to stop the widespread COVID-19. Under their time-restricting measures, companies and small businesses must close at a specific time during the night and reopen early in the morning.
According to French research, curfew measures helped decelerate coronavirus spread within the state. Moreover, the plan has effectively helped in protecting France’s elderly population. Lockdown regulations, on the other hand, aided in decreasing COVID-19 cases within the populace of people with ages below 60.
A Lancet study showed that a full lockdown versus a partial curfew positively contributed to the rise of recovery cases. However, only 5 out of 50 countries analyzed applied curfew regulations to combat the surging coronavirus outbreak.
This week, both Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo instigated curfew hours in their respective districts. The curfew rules include requiring restaurants and bars to shut down at 10 p.m. every day. Massachusetts inspired this order, which is already using the same law to govern its nation.
Meanwhile, Florida’s Miami-Dade County implemented a countywide curfew in response to the ongoing pandemic. Under this ruling, it requires locals and businesses to halt operations from midnight to 6 a.m. daily.
UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Chin-Hong confirms the effectiveness of curfew hours. According to him, the plan aids in preventing full closedowns across states and allow their economies to thrive amidst the crisis. Additionally, curfew rules help reduce the coronavirus’s risk while permitting businesses to resume everyday activities.
Another medical health expert supports the implementation of curfew restrictions. According to the UCSF epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford, it urges bars to close down early for the night. He stated that the ordinance usually establishes restrictive daily hours from about 10 p.m. to 5 a.m, preventing people from being outside during the wee hours of the night. Moreover, he noted that bars that only serve alcoholic drinks got closed in California for its citizens’ health and safety precautions. The previously mentioned news meant to slow activities involving mass gatherings of individuals in one place, such as off-hour clubs and fraternity parties.
However, Chin-Hong added that curfew could become problematic if restaurant and gym businesses get more crowded due to the shorter opening hours they follow daily, increasing the risk of COVID-19 spread. He noted that Newsom would have to monitor the numbers more closely should he plan to push through with the curfew hours ruling. Moreover, Chin-Hong worries about the curfew’s effect on public transportation, making it harder for essential workers to arrive at their workstations during the day and go back home at night.
Nevertheless, Chin-Hong expressed his agreement towards the implementation of curfew hours in California. According to him, it helps people realize that they should take their time seriously and attend to their needs and duties within the given free period. Additionally, it becomes a win-win situation: people can go about their lives working while preventing stress and fatigue put on medical staff in hospitals who attend to COVID-19 patients.