THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) — A large group of people, lead by actor Kirk Cameron, gathered again Tuesday evening in Thousand Oaks to protest the likely extension of the Southern California stay-at-home order.
More than 150 people came together in the parking lot of the Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks around 5:30 p.m. Many were not wearing masks or adhering to social distancing guidelines.
The demonstrators, lead by Kirk Cameron, the actor known for “Growing Pains,” sang various Christmas carols. Under the constitution, religious gatherings and protests are protected from law enforcement intervention.
This wasn’t the first such protest from Cameron, who held a similar caroling event on Dec. 13, also drawing hundreds of people.
However, local health officials said Tuesday’s demonstration could be deadly.
“Some super spreading events end up in people dying,” said Dr. Suman Radnakrishna of Dignity Health California Medical Center. “This is just for the season. The vaccine is coming, if we can just wait it out.”
The Oaks Mall said in a statement online that it did not condone the event.
The demonstration comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday the regional stay-at-home order imposed for the entire 11-county Southern California region will almost assuredly be extended beyond the Dec. 28 expiration date. The order initially took effect on Dec. 7.
“We are likely, I think it’s pretty self-evident, going to need to extend those regional dates,” Newsom said.
“Based upon all the data and based upon all these trend lines, it is very likely based on those current trends that we’ll need to extend that stay at home order, (which) you recall was a three-week order when we announced it,” he added.
Movements like this have been happening across the nation since Dec. 6. The protests gained traction in California when Cameron encouraged people on Instagram to peacefully protest with song. It has spread to other communities around L.A. through social media.
Newsom did not give an indication of exactly when a decision on extending the order would be made or how much longer the order would remain in place.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Tuesday reported 12,954 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 88 deaths, bringing countywide totals to 647,542 cases and 9,016 deaths.