California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered his state’s residents to stay at home. The order affects roughly 40 million people in the country’s largest state.
The announcement comes as the country attempts to blunt the rapidly escalating reported cases of the coronavirus, which has surged past 13,600 cases, including 200 deaths, according to data compiled by John Hopkins University.
There are more than 1,000 cases in California.
The directive went into effect on Thursday evening, restricting non-essential movement, while allowing essential business and services like grocery stores and pharmacies to operate.
“We’re not victims of circumstance. We can make decisions to meet moments.
This is a moment we need to make tough decisions,” Newsom said in a televised address.
Newsom said the decision would be enforced through “social pressure” and regulatory frameworks, but he did not believe the order would require policing.
The order allows residents to leave their homes for exercise and fresh air.
Newsom’s state-wide order was announced shortly after Los Angeles County announced a similar measure.
Six counties in Northern California, including San Francisco, issued stay-at-home orders last week.