California Has Worst Coronavirus Outbreak in U.S. — and Some of the Tightest Restrictions

CORONADO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 14: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Registered nurse Priscilla Sepulveda cares for a COVID-19 patient in the COVID unit at Sharp Coronado Hospital on December 14, 2020 in Coronado, California. According to state figures, Southern California, which includes San Diego County, currently has only 1.7 percent of its …
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The State of California officially has the worst coronavirus outbreak in the country — as well as some of the tightest restrictions.

SFGate.com reported Sunday:

California is now reporting the highest number of new daily COVID-19 cases per capita in the country.

Last week, the state reported the nation’s fourth highest number of daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over a seven day period, but California jumped to first place when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its case per capita tracker Saturday.

The state is posting the country’s worst COVID-19 numbers despite a new stay-at-home order that took effect in most of the state in early December. Cellphone data suggests compliance is low, and some have speculated the state’s strict restrictions contributed to the winter explosion.

Restrictions have become tighter in California even as other states have been able to relax some of their rules. In Los Angeles, even walking has been forbidden except for particular purposes (though the rule is not enforced).

The theory that restrictions might have contributed to the surge suggests that because Californians were not given the same freedom earlier in the year that residents of other states enjoyed, public patience with restrictions has been exhausted and people are no longer obeying the rules.

The poor example set by many public officials has also hurt compliance. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and other officials have come under severe criticism for ignoring their own policies — in Newsom’s case, by joining a dinner party at the French Laundry restaurant.

Stay-at-home orders that were issued in November are set to last through the new year in the San Francisco Bay Area.

They are also likely to be extended in Southern California, according to the Los Angeles Times, which reported on Sunday: “The earliest date that Southern California could have become eligible to exit the existing order was Monday, but state officials said Sunday that the region and several other areas of the state would likely have to continue following the restrictions for several more weeks as the recent surge is pushing hospitals to the breaking point.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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