While the day’s events in Washington, D.C. overshadowed everything else, January 6 also brought about the release of a new travel advisory from the California Department of Public Health, aimed at curbing the continued spread of COVID-19 by restricting the movements of residents and outsiders alike.
Amid the current surge that’s threatening to overwhelm the country, with California already being a major epicenter, the state is taking steps to prevent new sources of infection from entering its borders. But, there are also concerns that intra-state travel will “exacerbate community spread within California”, especially given that the new, highly-transmissible variant (known as B117) that was first identified in the U.K. has already been found inside California.
The new travel advisory instructs Californians to avoid any non-essential travel that would take them farther than 120 miles away from home. The new guidance also strongly discourages travelers from other states or countries from coming to California for non-essential purposes (i.e., tourism or recreation), and imposes a 10-day, post-travel quarantine on those who are either entering or returning home to the Golden State.
January 6 was also the day that America recorded its highest number of pandemic deaths to date at 3,856, Deadline reported. On that same day, California alone experienced 35,385 new cases and 583 COVID-related deaths (just shy of December 31’s all-time high of 585), according to its online tracker tool.
While December was the deadliest month of the pandemic in the U.S. thus far, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci told NPR yesterday that conditions are likely to get worse in the wake of holiday gatherings. “We’ve seen [surges] following most events that require travel and…have people, you know, understandably getting together in a social setting. So, we believe things will get worse as we get into January,” he said.