Counties in purple tier will limit non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom is imposing an overnight curfew as the most populous state tries to head off a surge in coronavirus cases.

Newsom announced Thursday a limited stay-at-home order in 41 counties that account for nearly the entire state population of just under 40 million people.

Starting Saturday, all non-essential work, movement and gatherings must cease between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The move comes only days after the state imposed restrictions limiting business operations in those 41 counties, which have the most significant increases in virus cases.

The order will last one month, until Dec. 21, but could be extended if infection rates and disease trends don’t improve.

“The virus is spreading at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic and the next several days and weeks will be critical to stop the surge. We are sounding the alarm,” Newsom said in a statement.

While nonessential businesses must close by 10 p.m., restaurants will be permitted to offer takeout food. Residents will still be able to get medical care, pick up prescriptions and take care of other essential needs.