A girl walks sporting a masks to guard herself from the Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Los Angeles, California on March 19, 2020. Apu GOMES / AFP
All 40 million residents of California had been Thursday ordered to remain at residence indefinitely in a bid to battle the coronavirus pandemic within the nation’s most populous state.
The statewide directive, which Governor Gavin Newsom mentioned goes into impact “this evening,” is probably the most dramatic containment measure but by a US state.
“There is a recognition of our interdependence that requires of this moment that we direct a statewide order for people to stay at home,” he mentioned.
No finish date was set for the measure as a result of the pandemic is a “dynamic situation,” mentioned Newsom.
California has been among the many worst hit by the virus, with no less than 18 confirmed deaths to date, in accordance with a Johns Hopkins College tally.
Round 1,000 Californians have examined constructive.
Though a compulsory government order, the measure will probably not be enforced by police, Newsom mentioned.
“People I think recognize the need to do more, and to meet this moment, and people will self-regulate their behavior,” he mentioned.
Important jobs and duties equivalent to grocery procuring can be exempt, he mentioned.
“We want people to go to essential jobs — we want people to deal with their essentials in a thoughtful and judicious way.”
Gasoline stations, pharmacies, banks and laundry providers all depend as “critical infrastructure” and can stay open.
Eating places can nonetheless present take-out and supply, and meals banks will nonetheless function.
In a letter to US President Donald Trump Wednesday requesting federal assist, Newsom had warned that circumstances had been doubling each 4 days in some elements of the state.
“We project that roughly 56 percent of our population — 25.5 million people — will be infected with the virus over an eight week period,” he wrote.
The brand new stay-at-home order is meant to scale back that determine, Newsom mentioned Thursday.
“The point of the stay at home order is to make those numbers move — to bend that curve,” he mentioned.
“That means that projection no longer becomes a reality because we changed our behavior.”
Underneath the projections, California would have a shortfall of round 10,000 hospital beds, Newsom mentioned.
Along with the isolation order, college dormitories, accommodations and motels had been being leased to supply extra space.
Newsom’s announcement got here moments after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had imposed an identical order on the state’s largest metropolis.
That order prohibited gatherings in enclosed areas of greater than 10 folks.
A number of counties within the Bay Space, together with San Francisco, had already imposed related stay-at-home measures earlier within the week.
Newsom on Thursday additionally wrote a letter to Congress requesting “more than $1 billion in initial funding” for California to deal with the pandemic.
“If we’re to be criticized at this moment, let us be criticized for taking this moment seriously,” mentioned Newsom.”
“That, is being criticized for going full force and meeting this virus head on.”
He added: “It’s time for all of us to recognize, as individuals and as a community, we need to do more.”