California Governor Announces Likelihood Of Impending Stay-At-Home Orders For Purple Tier Counties

November 30, 2020

At today's press conference, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the likely return of stay-at-home orders to be announced in the next few days due to unprecedented increases in coronavirus cases around the state.

Following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Governor Newsom announced a statewide average weekly high of more than 14,000 positive COVID-19 cases per day. Newsom explained that the previous high during the height of the coronavirus pandemic was just a little over 9,000 average positives per day. The state reported around 15,600 new cases on Saturday alone. There have been nearly 20,000 virus-related deaths in California over the course of the pandemic. Although California is considered the 11th best in the country in increasing cases, due to the surging rates, Newsom indicated the almost certain possibility of imposing more serious stay-at-home orders within the next 1-2 days for 51 of California's 58 counties in the state's most restrictive purple tier, similar to those instituted during the early days of the pandemic. 

Described as "deep purple moves", Newsom explained the likely imposition of more stringent precautions to be assessed in the next few days. State health officials are working with healthcare leaders across California to gauge hospital capacities and preparedness and develop new public health mandates. The new restrictions would be similar to the state's strictest stay-at-home order with some modifications, according to Newsom, though he did not further explain what those restrictions may entail. In mid-March, as COVID-19 took the world by storm, California issued "shelter in place" orders that required non-essential businesses to close, including dine-in at restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, fitness centers, hair salons, and more. Effective today, Los Angeles County issued a new COVID-19 stay-at-home order that prohibits most gatherings and discourages crowds. Within the past two weeks, Gov. Newsom has moved most of California into the state's purple tier and also added a 10pm curfew on nearly the entire state. Newsom warned that hospitalizations could double or triple over the next month if new precautions are not imposed.

Newsom also announced today a new line of immediate relief funds for businesses where billions in sales tax will be deferred for a 3-month extension for taxpayers with less than $1million in sales tax. This new program will also expand interest-free payment agreements to larger companies with up to $5million in sales tax and will expand the program to industries heavily impacted by operations restrictions, including bars, restaurants, hair salons and more. This emergency relief package is in partnership with the CA legislature and will provide up to $500 million in COVID relief funds with grants up to $25k for small businesses, non-profits and cultural institutions in need. This program will act as an economic bridge until the state takes further action in January, Newom said.

This is a developing story. We will update this post as we learn more.