00:50 GMT28 November 2020
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    Several California police departments have made it clear they will not enforce the Democratic state governor’s limited stay-at-home order or penalize residents who may defy the monthlong COVID-19 mitigation effort.

    California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that, beginning Saturday, “non-essential work, movement and gatherings” would be restricted between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. local time in “Purple Tier” counties - the state label provided to areas where the contagious disease is widespread, amounting to more than seven new positive COVID-19 cases a day per 100,000 residents.

    The curfew will last for one month for the impacted counties, extending through December 21. However, the governor has reserved the right to issue an extension to the order.

    Some 37 million Californians live in “Purple Tier” counties, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    “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,” Newsom said on November 19.

    “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.”

    Fresno Sheriff Margaret Mims has already declared that her department will not be penalizing locals who defy Newsom’s order.

    "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," Mims stated during a video briefing Thursday afternoon, as reported by Fox 26.

    Mims noted that she has not observed data showing “things happen that cause a big spread of COVID” between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. local time.

    Police leadership from California’s Kings County and Mercer County also communicated to Fox 26 that they would not be enforcing the curfew.

    "We're not going to enforce any of those orders,” said Commander David Dodd of the Kings County Sheriff’s Department. “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."

    The Golden State has reported an average of 10,000 new COVID-19 cases per day in the last week, the LA Times reported. As of Wednesday, around 4,300 individuals were hospitalized in California in connection with the contagious disease.

    According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the US has recorded more than 253,000 COVID-19-related deaths and logged over 11,808,698 positive cases of the novel coronavirus.

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    health, COVID-19, police, California, mandate, curfew, mask, Gavin Newsom
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