As the widespread coronavirus continues to alter daily life in the United States and abroad, California governor Gavin Newsom has imposed the strictest state lockdown, ordering all of his residents to stay at home to curb the spread of the virus.
According to Politico, Newsome issued the order, which was made effective immediately, on Thursday, forbidding Californians from leaving their home except when absolutely necessary, such as for seeking health care, purchasing groceries and commuting to essential jobs.
“This order is being issued to protect the public health of Californians. 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. Our goal is simple. We want to bend the curve and disrupt the spread of the virus,” Newsom wrote in his order.
If anyone is found in violation of the order, they could face misdemeanor penalties, although Newsom told Politico he doesn’t believe it will come to that, with social pressure doing the job to keep people home.
“There’s a social contract here,” Newsom said. “People, I think, recognize the need to do more and meet this moment.”
The order will remain in place “until further notice,” but the governor does not expect it to last “many, many months.”
In the meantime, his administration will offer more details on what is acceptable for the duration of the order.
“We’re going to keep the grocery stores open,” he said. “We’re going to make sure that you’re getting critical medical supplies. You can still take your kids outside, practicing common sense and social distancing. You can still walk your dog, you can still pick up food at one of our distribution centers, at a restaurant, at a drive-through—all those things we will still be able to do.”