California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order for the whole state to stay at home. This went into effect on Thursday, March 19, however, unlike the recent local COVID-19 shelter in place order, this state order is in place until further notice.
The purpose of the stay at home order is to slow the spread of COVID-19, which Newsom said could infect more than half of the state’s population in eight weeks — he said COVID-19 could potentially have a 56 percent attack rate in California — if they don’t act to “meet the moment.”
Similar to the shelter in place order that affected almost the entire Bay Area earlier this week, the state-wide order allows some essential functions to remain open. Essential services include gas stations; pharmacies; banks; laundromats and laundry services; and food-related services like grocery stores, farmers’ markets, food banks, convenience stores and restaurant take-out. If a service or business is not included in this list, Newsom said more details will come, but it may be included in a local order — for Santa Clara County the local order details some more exclusions.
On March 18, the California Department of Public Health said that there were 675 COVID-19 cases, as of the Governor’s order last night there are now about 1,000 cases.
Newsom says enforcement of the stay at home order comes in many shapes. He said that there is a “social contract” and “social pressure” that will enforce the order.
“I don’t believe that the people of California need to be told through law enforcement that’s it’s appropriate to home isolate,” said Newsom.
Newsom also said that they will deploy 500 members of the National Guard to help with food distribution — “humanitarian” activities.
Regarding acts of violence and racism against the Asian population, in particular, the Chinese community, Newsom said “we are better than that” and said they will enforce it more aggressively.
At last night’s press conference, Newsom repeated his statement that he has made before: he doesn’t expect schools to be open before summer break. In fact, on March 18 the Governor issued an executive order to suspend standardized testing for California students if schools do open.
Additionally, on March 18, Newsom authorized $150 million in funding to protect homeless Californians from COVID-19.
To learn more about the state’s side of the fight against COVID-19, visit covid19.ca.gov.