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'Not Trying To Be Punitive;' Oakland Mayor Schaaf Focusing COVID Curfew Enforcement On Businesses

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said residents and businesses should heed California's stay-at-home order but downplayed concerns about individual enforcement, saying authorities will be mainly focusing on establishments violating the order.

Schaaf told CBSN Bay Area Friday that she appreciates the state putting an emphasis on pausing gatherings over the next month, and says the order is not seeking to punish people.

"This is a year like none other in that large family gatherings, social occasions, we've got to wait until 2021 for all those fun things. And I know that the state is not trying to be punitive. They are trying to send a clear message. That is certainly how we're taking it," said Schaaf. "That doesn't mean you can't walk the dog - you can - but just no more of these gatherings and certainly, businesses must not be open unless it's for take-out or delivery after 10 o clock."

ALSO READ: Some Alameda County Residents Skeptical About New Stay-At-Home Order Impact

While the virus can infect people equally during late night or early morning hours as it can during the rest of the day, Schaaf said the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. order follows the science and is appropriate.

"My understanding is that this is what the science says, and that's what we have to be doing right now. That late at night, people tend to be consume alcohol, they tend to be less careful wearing masks, so that's my understanding about the time frame," said Schaaf. "And I think the state is conscious that we are sacrificing so much right now. I think people are tired, and so to try and give a reasonable time frame is trying to meet the public halfway."

ALSO READ: San Francisco Edging Towards Purple Tier And State-Mandated Curfew

Schaaf offered the example of Humanist Hall, an events space that the city has obtained a restraining order against for holding large parties and indoor events in violation of health orders.

"That kind of behavior has to stop," said Schaaf. "We were successful in getting restraining orders from the courts. So we will be enforcing against that business. Our focus is people who are making money off violating our health orders. That's my highest enforcement priority."

California stay-at-home order goes into effect for all counties in the state's Purple Tier of coronavirus infection level beginning Saturday through December 21.

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