SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday ordered the state’s 40 million residents to stay at home, restricting non-essential movements to control the spread of the coronavirus that threatens to overwhelm the state’s medical system.
“This is a moment we need to make tough decisions,” Newsom said. “We need to recognize reality.”
His move came after counties and communities covering about half the state’s population already had issued similar orders.
People may still leave their homes for walks and exercise and for essential needs such as food and medical care. Restaurant meals can still be delivered to homes.
He added that the order will not be enforced by law enforcement, and that he is relying on the social contract to keep people indoors.
"I don't believe the people of California need to be told through law enforcement," Newsom said.
Newsom also said that more information about the specifics of the order will be released soon.
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