In the United States, where confirmed coronavirus cases have doubled over the past two days, California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday ordered all of California — 40 million residents — to remain at home, effective immediately. The order came as models for the coronavirus outbreak estimated 56% of Californians — or over 22 million people — will become infected, with the state’s hospital capacity at 20,000 fewer beds than will be needed at the peak of the epidemic.
Gov. Gavin Newsom: “We need to bend the curve in the state of California. And in order to do that, we need to recognize the reality. The fact is, the experience we’re having on the ground throughout the state of California, the experience that’s manifesting all across the United States and, for that matter, around the rest of the world, require us to adjust our thinking and to adjust our activities.”
Governor Newsom’s order will close restaurants, bars, social clubs and gyms across California. Essential services will remain open, including pharmacies, grocery stores, takeout and delivery restaurants, and banks.
The lockdown order came as a group of unhoused and housing-insecure people in Los Angeles — including mothers and their children — have moved into at least 12 vacant and publicly owned homes in the neighborhood of El Sereno. The families say the government has failed to provide them with shelter to protect their health during the pandemic.