California imposes overnight curfew to rein in coronavirus

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Drivers wait in long lines at a COVID-19 testing site in a parking lot at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

The Orange County Register via AP

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California is imposing an overnight curfew for nearly all residents as the most populous state tries to head off a surge of coronavirus cases that threatens to overwhelm its health care system, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday.

What officials are calling a limited stay-at-home order requires people who are not on essential errands to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting Saturday. The order will last until Dec. 21 but could be extended if disease trends don’t improve. The curfew covers 94% of the state’s nearly 40 million residents. It’s in place in 41 of the state’s 58 counties that have the most significant increases in virus cases and face the most severe restrictions under California’s four-tier system for reopening the economy. It’s a swift escalation that comes just three days after the state imposed tougher restrictions limiting business operations in those 41 counties. COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths are surging nationwide ahead of Thanksgiving, when many will be tempted to gather with family and friends. “The virus …

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