California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) issued a “stay at home” order late Thursday night in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, effective immediately throughout the entire state.
Under the order, Californians are required to stay home unless they seek “essential services” at gas stations, pharmacies, banks, laundromats. For food, they may leave their homes to go to grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, and get take-out at restaurants.
All bars, entertainment venues, dine-in restaurants, gyms, public events, and convention centers will be closed.
The order will remain in place until further notice. Those who violate it will face misdemeanor charges.
“Our goal is simple, we want to bend the curve, and disrupt the spread of the virus,” said Dr. Sonia Y. Angell, who serves as California’s State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health.
The order came several days after six counties in the Bay Area instated a “shelter in place” order that put similar restrictions on the nearly 7 million residents in those counties.
“The California Department of Public Health looks to establish consistency across the state in order to ensure that we mitigate the impact of COVID-19,” said Angell.
The full order can be read here.