On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a regional stay-at-home order based on a region’s available hospital capacity in an effort to curb soaring coronavirus cases. The order goes into effect when a region’s hospital capacity falls below 15%.
This amid an unprecedented surge of new coronavirus cases in the nation’s most populous state. The new order divides the state into five regions. Kern County is in the “San Joaquin Valley” region. Newsom is urging Californians in the most severely affected regions to stay home for three weeks.
Newsom said none of the regions currently meet the threshold for the new rules. When they do, the state will order them to close hair salons and barber shops, limit retail stores to 20% capacity and only allow restaurants to offer take-out and delivery.
The rules don't apply to school districts.
Political leaders were quick to respond to the announcement:
Assemblyman James Gallagher (R), 3rd Assembly District:
The only thing consistent with the Governor’s handling of COVID-19 has been his inconsistency.
He started with the essential vs non-essential game. Then he took us into a statewide lockdown after promising local control. Next was his color-coded Gummy Bear fiasco. And now we’re back to another arbitrary lockdown without the evidence to back it up.
When you combine this inconsistency with hypocrisy, the end result is a complete lack of trust.
Government lockdowns do NOT reduce cases or stop spikes. Neither science or reality justify the Governor’s announcement today – just look at how California’s case count compares to less restrictive states.
We know that this virus hits our most vulnerable populations the hardest. Yet, under the leadership of the California Department of Public Health and Governor Newsom, we’re still seeing outbreaks at senior living facilities. This is insane and shows a complete failure of leadership.
The other important thing to do is to make sure our healthcare infrastructure is ready to respond. Instead of arbitrary mandates on small business, the Governor should be spending his time marshaling resources and ensuring we have emergency healthcare workers to help with additional staffing needs.
Unlike changing laws (see Gallagher/Kiley v. Newsom), his power under the Emergency Services Act does allow the Governor to make critical healthcare preparations and protect our most vulnerable populations.
Assembly Leader Marie Waldron (R), 75th Assembly District:
We have great concerns about the strategic decisions being handed down and about being able to protect the health, safety and economic vitality of our constituents. We also are concerned about the lack of information made available and the lack of scientific data backing up the decisions, as we are asked daily by concerned constituents about what is going on with their jobs, their kids' schools, their ability to move around their communities and every other facet of daily life. Californians deserve answers, not constantly changing rules and threats.
Senator Melissa Hurtado (D), 14th Senate District:
This is a crisis calling for national leadership from both sides of the aisle. It’s unbelievable that testing access is still haphazard without instantaneous results for everyone. It’s unbelievable our families and businesses are being asked to sacrifice without Congress stepping up to make us whole with effective, targeted relief to the states. It’s unbelievable that some leaders are still using the pandemic as a political weapon as hospitalizations and deaths increase. We all have COVID-19 fatigue – no one likes the situation we find ourselves in. But we must pull together at this critical time to defeat this deadly disease and get California, and our Nation, moving again.
Senator Shannon Grove (R), 16th Senate District:
Governor Newsom continues to disrupt life as we know it without releasing the full data behind his decisions or showing the impact his actions are having on our lives. With all the changing guidelines over the last 9 months, evidence-based decision-making has to become the standard and not this hodgepodge approach advanced by the governor. Californians have a right to public health data that is being used to shape their lives, and the governor owes the state leadership that is committed to transparency and accountability.
And to be clear, it’s not just about the numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations he runs through in his almost-daily press conferences, but the data and facts about the toll his shutdown orders are taking on Californians’ mental health, on our children’s education, including the achievement gap, on domestic violence and child abuse rates. The response cannot be worse than the disease itself and we have to ensure the state's actions are based on a holistic approach that protects our mental, social, and emotional well-being along with our physical health.
According to a statement released by Grove's office, "Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) recently delivered two letters to Governor Newsom requesting he make fundamental adjustments to the existing Blueprint for a Safer Economy and provide imperative data relating to mental health statistics, the achievement gap, domestic violence, and child abuse since the governor’s shutdown order in March. These requests are urgent as today the governor announced a regional shutdown for non-essential industries."
Assemblyman Vince Fong (R), 34th District:
The Governor’s inconsistency and continual moving of the goal post befuddles logic and has dire consequences for so many families, businesses, and those who are struggling. I am incredibly frustrated that we still do not see the data to justify these drastic actions by the Governor. Californians are suffering and sacrificing each and everyday, while the Newsom Administration imposes mandates that are not supported by relevant data. I am continuing to work with our local health officials and hospitals to address our pressing health needs during this uncertain time, and I will demand transparency and accountability from this Administration.
Senator Melissa Melendez (R), 28th District:
Governor Newsom clearly doesn’t understand that Californians are tired of being locked in their homes. He has ignored the calls from parents with children falling behind socially and academically while his own children attend in-person private school.. He is ignoring the cries from small business owners struggling to keep their dreams alive, desperately trying to avoid the over 19,000 businesses that have permanently closed. The insanity of another lockdown and expecting a different result is madness. To add insult to tremendous injury, the Governor and too many democrat elected officials don’t even follow their own mandates. Californians damn well deserve better