Governor Newsom announced he is locking down the residents of California. This is not a strict quarantine, however, as residents can leave their house for exercising, emergencies, and running errands such as going to the grocery store.
Most businesses have closed during this time. Newsom made this decision over fears that the medical facilities in California would become overwhelmed. He cited a model that state planners have been using that have suggested the virus will affect 56% of the population of California, about 22 million people.
Details of order to lock down California
Malls and shopping centers are being forced to close as part of the lockdown. Corporate offices are already closed with employees working from home. All the businesses are not closed because of exemptions for banks, laundromats, and pharmacies.
The order is not exclusive and allows residents to go outside and walk with their children or go to the grocery store. “I can assure you home isolation is not my preferred choice, I know it’s not yours, but it’s a necessary one,” Governor Newsom stated during his press conference as reported by AP News.
He told the residents when outside, to “practice common sense and social distancing.”Governor Newsom does not plan now to use law enforcement to make sure they follow the order. He activated 500 soldiers from the National Guard strictly for humanitarian purposes. The expectation is that they will follow the order by “social pressure.” LA Times reported that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office will not arrest individuals for disobeying the order.
The expectation is that peer pressure will force the residents to stay in their homes. Residents can still go outside for certain activities, so enforcement would be difficult.
Governor Newsom took extra steps to combat coronavirus
Governor Newsom has taken more steps to stop the spread of the disease. He took these steps to free up more hospital space for Californian citizens. So far, California has 1080 cases confirmed with eighteen deaths.
The state has taken over a bankrupt 357-bed hospital in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s unclear if they purchased the hospital or took it over to help combat the virus.
There is also a plan to buy a hospital in Southern California, similar size to the hospital in the bay area. They will also use college dormitories at the state’s colleges and universities.
Donald Trump expressed the importance of working together to overcome this epidemic. Governor Newsom also requested a hospital ship from the Navy. They would station this ship in the Los Angeles harbor and it would give California extra capacity for 1000 patients.
He also requested a billion dollars for the Coronavirus. This funding would help them set up portable hospitals. They would also use the money for the homeless population to be able to shelter them. He requested to extend unemployment benefits over the twenty-six-week limit which is the normal length of unemployment.
The terms of the lockdown in California against coronavirus
Governor Newsom did not give a timeline for the end of the lockdown. The hint he gave according to AP News is that “many, many months.” This is the uncertainty of the length of this epidemic.
The officials from across the nation do not know the length and severity of the coronavirus.
They are examining how other countries are handling the virus and then making their decisions. This is a new virus and no known procedures were in place to stall the spread of the virus.
The good news about this virus is that the majority of individuals get a weak case. They develop a cough or fever and do not need hospitalization and are well within two weeks like the flu. The more severe cases need hospitalization and up to 6 weeks to recover.
It is estimated in California that twenty percent of the cases will need hospitalization. The expectation is for 22 million people to be affected. If this percentage is correct, then 4.4 million residents will need hospitalization.
These numbers do not show the restrictions that were already in place. The estimate is the rate of growth now. The restrictions will possibly slow down the spread and the new cases of coronavirus.
Locking down California is the most drastic step taken by a governor in the United States. New York has more cases, and they have refrained from locking down the state to stop the spread. Now that California has taken this step, it might encourage other states to do the same.
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