California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom announced during a press conference late on Thursday that he has issued a statewide order for the entire state of California to shelter in place due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, which originated in China.
“We’re not victims of circumstance, we can make decisions to meet moments, and this is a moment we need to make tough decisions,” Newsom said. “This is a moment where we need some straight talk and we need to tell people the truth.”
“We need to the bend the curve in the state of California and in order to do that we need to recognize the reality,” Newsom continued. “The fact is, the experience we are having on the ground throughout the state of California, the experience that is manifesting all across the United States, and for that matter, around the rest of the world, requires us to adjust our thinking and to adjust our activities.”
“In the state of California many people are very familiar with these adjustments,” Newsom continued. “A number of days ago, there were six bay area counties that led with stay-at-home orders. Now, as I speak, some 21.3 million Californians reside in a community in a city and or county that have similar orders.”
“A state as large as ours, a nation-state, is many parts, but at the end of the day, we are one body,” Newsom said. “There is a mutuality and there’s a recognition of our interdependence that requires of this moment that we direct a statewide order for people to stay at home.”
“That directive goes into force and effect this evening and we are confident that the people of the state of California will abide by it, will do the right thing, they’ll meet this moment, they’ll step up, as they have over the course of the last number of weeks to protect themselves, to protect their families, and to protect the broader community in this great state in the world that we reside in,” Newsom continued.
Newsom said that the order would be enforced through social pressure from people’s peers.
“As I say, there is a social contract here, people I think recognize the need to do more and to meet this moment,” Newsom said. “People will self-regulate their behavior, they’ll begin to adjust and adapt as they have been quite significantly. We will have social pressure that will encourage people to do the right thing, just a nod and look saying, ‘hey, maybe you should reconsider just being out there on the beach, being 22 strong at a park.’”
“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, go about the essential patterns of life but do so by socially distancing themselves from others and do so using your common sense,” Newsom said.
Newsom said that coronavirus outbreak was spreading so quickly that California that the virus would “impact” about 56% of California’s population.
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) March 20, 2020
This report has been updated to include additional information.