Starting this Saturday and continuing through at least the next month, Santa Barbara County and the 40 other counties in the purple reopening tier will be under a mandatory overnight curfew that prohibits nonessential activity outside the home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., Governor Gavin Newsom announced Thursday afternoon.
The overnight curfew does not apply to houseless individuals and those leaving their residences during the curfew, so long as “they do not engage in any interaction with (or otherwise gather with) any number of persons from any other household,” Erica S. Pan, acting state public health officer, said in a statement about the curfew.
The overnight curfew adds to a growing number of restrictions in Santa Barbara County, where an ordinance is already in place to prohibit large gatherings in I.V. and other unincorporated areas of the county to curb rising COVID-19 case numbers.
“Activities conducted during 10:00pm to 5:00am are often non-essential and more likely related to social activities and gatherings that have a higher likelihood of leading to reduced inhibition and reduced likelihood to adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures,” Pan said.
Santa Barbara County moved back to the purple tier — the most restrictive reopening tier — on Tuesday along with 27 other California counties, only two days before the overnight curfew was announced. For the first time since September, nonessential indoor businesses must shutter, churches may not meet indoors and schools must switch to remote instruction, according to guidance from Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
Currently, Santa Barbara County has 10,702 total COVID-19 cases — 301 of which are active as of Thursday. In I.V., there have been a total of 483 reported cases, 24 of which are active, according to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.