By Alberto Garcia
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday ordered a stop to all non-essential travel in the state until at least April 19th to help stop the spread of the COVI-19 virus which experts now warn could infect up to 56% of the state’s nearly 40 million residents.
The emergency order now only allows travel to and from essential services including banks, gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, food banks, convenience stores, and restaurants that can only offer food for delivery or takeout. All local government offices that provide programs and services and law enforcement agencies will also remain open.
Newsom had already issued an order to close all dine-in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms, and convention centers.
The order comes as California has experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases with more than 900 confirmed cases and 19 deaths.
“Go about the essential patterns of life, but do so by socially distancing themselves from others and do so using common sense,” Governor Newsom said. “Home isolation is not my preferred choice, but it is a necessary one. This is not a permanent state, it is a moment in time.”
Newson also said the order will not be enforced by law enforcement agencies.
“I don’t believe the people of California need to be told through law enforcement that it’s appropriate just to home isolate, protect themselves,” Newsom said. “We are confident that the people of the State of California will abide by it and do the right thing.”
Under the order, residents can still go out for walks and also gather in groups of less than 10 within their homes, but experts still recommend practicing social spacing of six feet between individuals.
Newson’s order came on the same day he sent a letter to President Trump asking him to send the US Navy’s USNS Mercy medical ship to dock in Los Angeles to provide more health care options for the state, warning that more than half of California’s population could get infected in two months.