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Governor Orders All Californians To Stay Home To Help Contain Spread Of Coronavirus

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference at the California Department of Public Health on Feb. 27, 2020 in Sacramento. Late Wednesday, Newsom called for large gatherings to be canceled (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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All residents of California have been ordered to stay home or otherwise remain at their place of residence in order to combat the spread of coronavirus, the governor said today.

Exceptions are in place for those who work to maintain critical infrastructure in 16 key sectors that "are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, economic security, public health or safety, or any combination thereof."

Those sectors include:

  • Chemical
  • Commercial Facilities
  • Communications
  • Critical Manufacturing
  • Dams
  • Defense Industrial Base
  • Emergency Services
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Government Facilities
  • Healthcare and Public Health
  • Information Technology
  • Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste
  • Transportation
  • Water and Wastewater Systems

Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement came on the heels of a similar one made in Los Angeles County just minutes earlier. Newsom said:

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"We'll be putting more detailed information out in the next hours and days about the exemptions to the stay at home order." Newsom said.

In an acknowledgment of the anxiety just about everyone has been feeling since the coronavirus response moved into high gear, Newsom said there's "no greater way you can rationalize this moment than to just practice common sense, to be safe, stay indoors — particularly our seniors."

"This is a moment in time. And it's a challenging moment. And it may be many moments in the foreseeable future. But nonetheless, we will process, we will work together through this moment of challenge, and we will work through and we will triumph over fear, anxiety, and this disease."

Earlier in the day, Newsom sent a request for $1 billion in federal assistance, in addition to sending the hospital ship USNS Mercy. In a letter to President Donald Trump, Newsom said the state anticipates that more than half of the population of California, or 25.5 million people, will be infected over an eight-week period.

To bolster the health care system to handle the expected influx of patients, Newsom said the state is acquiring hospital facilities and bringing former health care workers out of retirement to help run them.

Newsom said given that many volunteers for key services like food banks have stayed home out of an understandable concern, about National Guard troops will be deployed on a "purely humanitarian" basis to help fill those ranks and help distribution and food.

He also said the state will work in partnership with social media sites like Nextdoor to develop information kits to help you prepare at home and give tips for checking in on loved ones.


We're all living through this extraordinary and frightening pandemic. The vast majority of our newsroom has been working from home (here's some advice on that) since March 11 to bring you calm, helpful reporting. We are answering your questions and taking more.

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