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County supervisors unpack purple tier adjustments, discuss possible state curfew

Posted at 6:20 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 21:20:33-05

KERN COUNTY, Calif. — The Kern County Board of Supervisors had an extensive meeting on Tuesday as the community adjusts to the purple tier restrictions once again, but more changes could be coming at a statewide level.

There was a lot that the supervisors and health officials unpacked, including a possible curfew that the state is considering.

"There was quite a bit of discussion over the weekend about the state evaluating an advisory curfew at 9 or 10 p.m.," said Matt Constantine, Kern County Public Health director.

That curfew is the latest move the state is considering as California endures a second surge of COVID-19.

"I have on my desk quite literally three studies from France and Germany and Saudi Arabia interestingly, that have done comprehensive studies on the efficacy of their strategies as it relates to curfews," said Governor Gavin Newsom.

But when it comes to a curfew, some Kern residents are split on the idea.

"It might be a good idea to get people to stay inside," said one community member.

While another added, "Well, I don't really think we need a curfew for California, I think there may be a few places that he's overstepped his bounds amid these discussions, restaurants, churches, and gyms are having a different conversation.

Those industries only had 24 hours to halt indoor services following Monday's announcement that the county is back in the purple tier, in prior weeks, they would have had three days to make those adjustments, but the state has now changed those rules.

"I've learned we are back in the game of patios, it's going to be a little different this time before with the heat we put cooling systems in, now when the weather gets cold, we've got to tackle a whole 'nother problem," said Mike Earhart, owner of Wiki's Wine Dive and Grill.

Retailers are also affected, they have to reduce indoor capacity from 50% to 25%.

The Fox Theater had their first major show since the pandemic began on Monday, but now in the purple tier, they can't operate indoors.

"It's a little concerning to us how quickly we are moving upwards. I think we need to be careful," said Constantine.

Constantine says that schools that have already opened will not be affected by the purple tier restrictions, however, for those schools that did not decide to open up while the county was in the red tier, they have to remain closed until we are back in that tier.