California Gov. Gavin Newsom issues a statewide 'stay at home' order

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a state-wide order for all residents to stay at home to battle the coronavirus spread. 
  • Newsom said that those who work in critical sectors should go to work, and that grocery stores, pharmacies, and banks will stay open.
  • Newsom said the order would last for at least eight weeks but said that he could not give a concrete deadline because it is a "dynamic situation."
  • "This is not a permanent state, this a moment in time," Newsom said during a press conference on Thursday. "And we will look back at these moments as a critical decision."
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a state-wide order for all residents to stay at home in order to stop the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. 

During his live press conference on Thursday, Newsom ordered all 39 million California residents to stay indoors. As a result, this also means that all non-essential businesses will close.

Newsom said that those who work in critical sectors should go to work and that grocery stores, pharmacies, and banks will stay open.

"This is not a permanent state, this a moment in time," Newsom said. "And we will look back at these moments as a critical decision."

Newsom said the order would last for at least eight weeks but said that he could not give a concrete end date. 

"We could not give you a deadline that we really could believe in," he said. "This is a dynamic situation."

Newsom said the decision was made after consulting with healthcare professionals and after updated models painted a grim picture for California as it continues to battle the virus. 

"We felt it was appropriate to up the ante and do what we can to bend that curve," he said, referring to slowing the spread of the coronavirus so as not to overwhelm the healthcare system.

Newsom's office estimated on Thursday that 56% of Californians, or 25.5 million people, will test positive for the virus within two months. Newsom asked President Donald Trump in a letter to "immediately deploy" a United States Navy hospital ship to the Los Angeles port to assist with the coronavirus outbreak. 

The city of Los Angeles issued a "Safer at Home" order earlier on Thursday, prohibiting public gatherings outside of the home, while the San Francisco Bay Area had ordered residents to "shelter in place" from Tuesday.

The enhanced measures come as California sees a bump in the number of reported coronavirus cases. The state experienced 126 new coronavirus cases, a 21% increase, within one day. As of Thursday evening, the state has confirmed over 1,000 cases and 74 deaths. 

Several other US cities and states have taken major steps meant to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, including shutting down nightclubs, canceling holiday festivities, and forcing restaurants to serve food by delivery or takeout only.

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