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Coronavirus

COVID curfew garners mixed reaction before it begins

Curfew to impact restaurants
Tracy Lehr / KEYT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Tonight and tomorrow night may be the last late night out for many people due to a curfew that begins on Saturday night.

Governor Newsom and public health leaders announced a month-long 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew that begins before the holidays.

It will run from Nov. 21 through Dec. 21.

Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly blames what he calls the "rate of rise." The state has seen a steep rise in new cases and hospitalizations.

Dr. Ghaly said 1100 people are now in ICU beds. Testing shows cases have soared 52 percent the past two weeks.

More than 40 counties in the strictest purple tiers are being ordered to follow the curfew.

"You know the blueprint has really helped us move as a slow and stringent way forward. We used the emergency brake function because we always knew that and as I say COVID can go from zero to 60 very quickly, and it has, " said Dr. Ghaly.

Essential workers will still be able to go to and from work and there are some things people will still be able to do.

The curfew allows people to walk their dogs and go to grocery stores that are open after 10 p.m. They can also pick up take out orders.

The curfew is being put in places to reduce the risk of more restrictions.

Baja Sharkeez general manager Elliot Spechler said they were just welcoming back customers under new guidelines and now the popular spot on State Street in Santa Barbara will have to encourage people to come earlier than many are used to.

"It's a bummer, especially with taking away the inside seating as well but we are just gonna do what we have been going and take it day by day," said Spechler.

He said some young adults don't usually go out until 10 p.m.

Baja Sharked is usually open until 11:30 p.m. on weekdays and later on weekends.

Spechler said the curfew will mean a loss of thousands of dollars each night for many local businesses.

UCSB Freshman Sarah DeVries said she is usually in by 10 p.m.

She hopes the curfew will work. She already missed out on a regular high school graduation and hopes to enjoy in-person classes at UCSB next year.

The curfew is intended to prevent a further spike in COVID19 cases over the holidays. Only time will tell if people follow the curfew directions.

Health / Money and Business / San Luis Obispo County / Santa Barbara - South County / Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County / Ventura County

Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of KCOY|KEYT|KKFX.

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