Yolo County and Davis officials stress education before punishment, but urge residents to take restrictions seriously
Effective Nov. 21, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a mandatory curfew for all counties in the COVID-19 purple tier. A press release from the governor’s office described the curfew as a “limited Stay at Home Order.”
Yolo County Public Information Officer Jenny Tan listed the curfew’s guidelines.
“The curfew says that any unnecessary or nonessential travel or gathering should cease by 10 p.m.,” Tan said. “Nothing should happen between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. the next day, unless you’re associated with essential work, critical infrastructure or if you’re required to by law.”
Despite the order’s strict wording, Davis Police Department Deputy Chief Paul Doroshov explained that at the moment, the police department will prioritize education over punishment for breaking the curfew.
“At this point, we’re really just shooting for education,” Doroshov said. “We’re hoping that people will simply comply with it for the greater good. We’re not out there looking to pull people over or do those types of things that people generally associate with a curfew.”
Although Doroshov stated that people can exercise at night and drive their cars, Tan explained that holding and attending parties could lead to consequences.
“Parties usually get going late at night,” Tan said. “If there is an egregious party or gathering, then our local police departments do have the choice of responding to that call. If they go to someone’s house, it’s always going to be education first. If that gathering doesn’t stop, then our police departments do have the ability to escalate the incident.”
Doroshov said that consequences for students who hold gatherings on and off campus would involve both the Davis Police Department and UC Davis.
“We’re working closely with university administration, so students throwing parties and organizations like fraternities throwing parties will be referred to the UC Davis administration if [the police] have to respond to those calls,” Doroshov said.
Doroshov also highlighted that if someone were caught committing a crime during curfew and arrested, breaking curfew could be an additional charge.
Yolo County Supervisor Jim Provenza explained that the curfew was put into effect in order to prevent California from running out of medical resources.
“The governor is trying to do everything he can to bring the numbers down as much as possible,” Provenza said. “We’re at risk right now because we’re starting to see hospitals filling up throughout the state. The contagion rate has gone up significantly, and once you see those numbers, you start to see the possibility of the system being overwhelmed.”
Similarly, Tan said that this action is important for reducing the number of COVID-19 cases in California.
“We’re at the point where there are so many COVID-19 cases surging all across the state and the country—and even in our county—that as many measures as we can take to control and reduce COVID-19 is a good thing,” Tan said. “I hope that people take this new order to heart and really think about the lives of not just their families and their neighbors but of their communities and even the people that they work with.”
Provenza underscored the need for people to adhere to official guidelines in order to best control COVID-19.
“Everything that’s done, added together, has a positive effect on reducing the virus,” Provenza said. “The more compliance there is, the more positive effect that there is.”
Written by: Eden Winniford — email@example.com