California governor orders entire state to stay at home except for essential needs amid coronavirus pandemic.
California is now living its first full day under some of the most wide-reaching measures in the country, aimed at halting the coronavirus outbreak.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the “stay home” order for the state’s nearly 40 million residents on Thursday night
“We need to bend the curve in the state of California,” Newsom said during a news conference. “There’s a social contract here. People, I think, recognize the need to do more. They will adjust and adapt as they have.”
He added, “This is a moment we need to make tough decisions. This is a moment where we need some straight talk and we need to tell people the truth.”
The order took effect at midnight Friday, but what exactly does it entail?
The order has forced the closure of dine-in restaurants, bars and nightclubs, entertainment venues, gyms, public events and gatherings, and convention centers, according to the California state government website.
Doctors and nurses are increasingly working without proper masks, gowns and eye gear in the face of a supply shortage; Mike Tobin reports.
Services and businesses that have been deemed “essential”– such as gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, banks and laundromats–will be allowed to stay open, as well as “law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.”
The order also asks Californians who work in more than a dozen federally-designated “critical infrastructure sectors” — ranging from defense to nuclear reactors – to keep reporting to their jobs.
“I order that Californians working in these 16 critical infrastructure sectors may continue their work because of the importance of these sectors to Californians’ health and well-being,” Newsom wrote in his order.
He added the sectors are considered “so vital to the United States that incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, economic security, public health or safety, or any combination thereof.”
Newsom also called for the state’s healthcare system to “prioritize services to serving those who are the sickest and shall prioritize resources, including personal protective equipment, for the providers providing direct care to them.”
Shelter-in-place restrictions are rapidly expanding in California, affecting over 10 million residents; Claudia Cowan reports from San Francisco.
Overall, the order is designed to keep Californians at home and encourages them to only venture outside when necessary.
“People will ask ‘Well, how will you enforce?'" Newsom told reporters Thursday night. “As I say there is a social contract here, people I think recognize the need to do more and to meet this moment.
“We will have social pressure that will encourage people to do the right thing,” he added. “I don’t believe the people of California need to be told through law enforcement that it's appropriate just to home isolate, to protect themselves, go about the essential patterns of life, but do so by socially distancing themselves from others and do so using your common sense.”
California’s over 151,000 homeless people are being moved into hotels to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on the street.
California says the order is to remain in place until further notice.
As of Friday morning, California has 1,030 confirmed coronavirus cases and 18 deaths, according to statistics compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Newsom's office projected the virus will infect more than half of California’s within two months, according to a letter he sent to President Trump on Wednesday in which he said the state has been disproportionately impacted.