Newsom Issues New Lock-down Order


Nate Taylor

Gov. Newsom announced that California residents can now opt in for COVID-19 exposure notifications through the app “CA Notify.” According to Newsom, the app does not track location and is designed to help slow the transmission of COVID-19.

Gov. Newsom implemented the Regional Stay At Home Order for regions under intensive care unit (ICU) bed capacity of 15 percent on Dec. 3 as COVID-19 cases skyrocket across California, with a record 37,000 new cases on Dec. 11. Orange County is among the areas with a lockdown in effect, for a minimum of until Dec. 28. to keep hospitals in lower capacity. 

“If there was ever any time to put aside your doubt, to put aside your skepticism, to put aside your cynicism, to put aside your ideology, to put aside any consideration except this: lives are in the balance. Lives will be lost unless we do more than we’ve ever done,” Newsom said in his live press conference on Dec. 3. 

Non-essential businesses like hair salons and barber shops are to be shut down while essential businesses like restaurants are under tighter restrictions. Gatherings with members of other households are prohibited. Portola High, among other schools that have already opened, is unaffected by the lockdown orders. 

“As IUSD has shared in their communications, protocols on campus are really stringent already, and we have everything very transparent on the [COVID-19 dashboard],” assistant principal Jen Ochsner said. “Our protocols are not changing. Because our school was already open, we are allowed to continue with in-person instruction with the same protocols in place.”

According to the secretary of California’s Health and Human Services Agency Dr. Gahly schools have been proven not to be a major reason for COVID-19 spread. Rather, students contract the virus from other sources outside of school. 

On Dec. 5, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes released a statement on Newsom’s stay-at-home order. 

“Compliance with health orders is a matter of personal responsibility and not a matter of law enforcement,” Barnes said. “Orange County Sheriff’s deputies will not be dispatched to, or respond to, calls for service to enforce compliance with face coverings, social gatherings or stay at home orders only.”

Gov. Newsom had left local authorities to enforce the lockdown. He had also warned that non-cooperation will result in consequences. 

“We have dollars that are set aside specifically to address this pandemic,” Newsom said. “If you’re unwilling to enforce the rules, if you’re unwilling to adopt the protocols to support the mitigation and the reduction in the spread of this disease, we’re happy to redirect those dollars to counties that feel differently.”

Regardless, to reduce the spread of COVID-19, state health officials recommend following the stay-at-home order.