Officials in March ordered would-be shoppers to stay at home. (Matthew Hall)

Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered Californians to stay at home Thursday as the number of coronavirus cases in the state reached 1,000 and 19 people died.

Newsom’s mandatory order, which allows California residents to continue to use essential services and perform necessary work, follows a Thursday order from Los Angeles County to close nonessential retail stores, malls, shopping centers and playgrounds. Newsom said Thursday that 56% of Californians could be infected with coronavirus by May if the state’s 40 million residents do not follow orders to stay at home as much as possible.

The state and county orders apply to Santa Monica, which on Monday closed schools, public buildings, bars, theaters, gyms, salons, dine-in restaurants and Santa Monica Pier to slow the spread of coronavirus. The city also put a temporary moratorium on evictions for residents and businesses financially impacted by coronavirus. As of Thursday, two people in the city had tested positive.

Under the state order, Santa Monicans will be only able to visit grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, restaurants offering delivery and takeout, pharmacies, convenience stores, laundromats, gas stations and banks — as long as they practice social distancing.

Newsom said people can also leave their homes to seek healthcare, care for loved ones or go for a walk.

He allowed workers in 16 critical sectors, including emergency services, transportation and information technology, to continue to go to work.

The county order prohibits residents from gathering indoors in groups of 10 or more and closes nonessential retail stores, malls and playgrounds, including Santa Monica Place and the Third Street Promenade.

The city of Los Angeles went a step further than the county, ordering all nonessential businesses to close and move to work at home arrangements. The L.A. order also banned public gatherings of any size.

All orders are punishable as misdemeanor offenses. The county order is in place until Apr. 19 but could be extended, and the state order is in effect indefinitely.

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1 Comment

  1. Only one small problem with that. It’s unlawful for such “orders” and “mandates”. Not to mention unconstitutional. Then if you look at the factual numbers compared to any other flu, this is an obvious power grab.

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