Governor Orders Statewide Shelter in Place
By edhat staff
California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced a statewide shelter in place order for all residents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Nearly 40 million people are ordered to stay home until further notice unless it's absolutely necessary to leave starting at midnight on Thursday. An end date was not given as this is expected to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The order states the following businesses are allowed to remain open: gas stations, pharmacies, food stores (grocery, foodbanks, convenience stores, take out, delivery), banks, laundry services. Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.
The same closure guidelines are in place for dine-in restaurants, bars and nightclubs, entertainment venues, gyms and fitness studios, public events and gatherings, and convention centers.
Individuals working in "Critical Infrastructure Sectors" as defined by the federal government may continue work. This includes healthcare, energy, transportation, water and waste management, and more.
State law dictates that violations of the order are punishable of a fine up to $1,000, however, officials state they do not plan to direct police to enforce this.
"This is a moment we need to make tough decisions," said Newsom. "This is a moment where we need some straight talk and we need to tell people the truth: We need to bend the curve in the state of California."
Newsom also requested the immediate deployment of the USNS Mercy Hospital Ship to the Port of Los Angeles through September 1, 2020, to help decompress the state’s health care delivery system in Los Angeles.
California health officials predict 56% of the state's population, approximately 25.5 million people, will be infected with COVID-19 within the next eight weeks, according to a letter Newsom sent to President Donald Trump on Thursday morning.
The governor's announcement comes after Los Angeles and Bay Area counties issued "shelter-in-place" mandates to their residents.
As of Thursday evening, there are 9 cases of positive COVID-19 with at least 100 pending test results in Santa Barbara County. California currently has 1,040 confirmed cases with 19 deaths. These numbers are expected to grow as more testing results are released.
Santa Barbara County health officials previously stated they were planning to issue a shelter in place mandate for those over 75 years of age and those 70 years of age and over with underlying health issues.
There are currently 17 confirmed cases in Ventura County, 13 in San Luis Obispo, and 230 in Los Angeles County.
The full announcement can be viewed below:
Governor Gavin Newsom makes a major announcement on California’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. https://t.co/VlQM38OkYK
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) March 20, 2020