California Governor declares state-wide order for all to stay at home amidst COVID-19 outbreak


Screenshot of California Gavin Newsom during the live streamed news conference on Thursday, March 19.

By Ryan Bough

Thursday evening, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide order for all to stay at home just hours after Los Angeles County ordered its own stay at home measure, which stopped all non-essential activities outside residences. An end to the statewide stay at home order is currently undecided at this time.

Newsom said in the conference on Thursday evening that California must bend the curve and stop the rise of COVID-19 cases.

“We are not victims of circumstance, we can make decisions to meet moments and this moment we need to make tough decisions. This is a moment where we need some straight talks and we need to tell people the truth,” Newsom said in the news conference. “We need to bend the curve in the state of California.”

Newsom also announced that a predicted 25.5 million Californians, which is 56% of the state population, could potentially be infected by the COVID-19 virus.

“That number in and of itself should not be overly alarming,” Newsom stated. “The vast majority of us, the overwhelming majority of us wont have symptoms, we’ll be perfectly fine.”

Newsom predicted out of that 56%, there would be a 20% hospitalization rate. Newsom also said that number could be argued to be higher or lower.

In a letter to President Donald Trump on March 18, Newsom requested that the United States Navy USNS Mercy be deployed to California. The USNS Mercy is the largest hospital ship in the world.

“This resource will help decompress the health care delivery system to allow the Los Angeles region to ensure that it has the ability to address critical acute care needs, such as heart attacks and strokes or vehicle accidents, in addition to the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases,” Newsom stated in the letter.

In order to stop the spread of COVID-19 many public gathering places have been asked to closed, these include bars, nightclubs, gyms and convention centers. The stay at home order asks Californians to stay in their residence except for essential needs.

The executive order has some exemptions including, gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, banks and laundromats. Restaurants will also remain open but only for takeout and deliveries.

Newsom called for Californians to use common sense and practice social distancing when it is necessary to go outside.

“I can assure you home isolation is not my preferred choice, I know it’s not yours, but it’s a necessary one,” Newsom said. “You can still take your kids outside, practicing common sense and social distancing. You can still walk your dog.”

According to the L.A. Times, as of March 19 California has 1,001 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus with 19 deaths. To stay up to date on COVID-19 in California visit the California Coronavirus Response website.