Over 40 million California residents have been ordered to stay home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide stay-at-home order on Thursday evening to help fight the spread of the novel coronavirus. Until further notice, residents can only leave their homes when absolutely necessary.
The announcement came less than an hour after Los Angeles County officials ordered locals to stay home. Indoor shopping malls, as well as nonessential retail stores, have also been instructed to temporarily shutdown. San Francisco and surrounding counties were the first in the state to implement shelter-in-place orders.
CA is issuing a statewide, mandatory STAY AT HOME order.
Those that work in critical sectors should go to work. Grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and more will stay open.
We need to meet this moment and flatten the curve together.
Go to https://t.co/xtXFwVeWc2 to learn more.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) March 20, 2020
Activities that are permitted include taking a walk (but maintaining 6-feet distance from others), picking up food, and visiting the doctor. The goal is to slow the spread of the disease and keep health systems from being overwhelmed, hence “social distancing.” As Newsom’s announcement lists, the “essential services” that will remain open include:
- Gas stations
- Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants
- Laundromats/laundry services
The emergency order goes on to say that “[essential] state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.” However, dine-in restaurants, bars and nightclubs, entertainment venues, gyms and fitness studios, public events and gatherings, and convention centers must all close immediately.
Violating the state and city order can get you a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment for no more than six months, but Gov. Newsom and police officials say they have no plans of police handling enforcement.
“We are confident the people of the state of California will abide by it. They’ll do the right thing…” says Newsom. “They’ll meet this moment, they’ll step up as they have over the course of the last number of week to protect themselves, their families and to protect the broader community, and this great state and the world we reside in.”
The order goes into effect immediately and will currently remain in place indefinitely. The Los Angeles order specifically is set to stay in effect until at least April 19. While the state-wide order now. supersedes our localized emergency order, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced his “safe at home” regulations only an hour or so before the Governor, stating on Twitter that while it “is not a lockdown, [he wants] to be clear: the only time you should leave your home is for essential activities.”
(Tweet 2/2) This is not a lockdown, but I want to be clear: the only time you should leave your home is for essential activities.
— Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) March 20, 2020
You can learn more about LA County’s “safer at home” order, here.
Featured photo: ShutterStock
Also published on Medium.