“I can assure you home isolation is not my preferred choice, but it’s a necessary one,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said. 

Santa Monica, California
A deserted 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica after Los Angeles ordered the closure of all entertainment venues following the governors order to "stay at home."
| Credit: Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order Thursday night, instructing all Californians to stay home indefinitely. It is the first mandatory restriction for all of the state’s 40 million residents during the coronavirus outbreak. 

The order took effect Thursday night and will continue indefinitely. Californians are asked to stay at home, except if necessary to “maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors,” according to the executive order. 

Essential trips to places like gas stations, pharmacies, convenience stores, banks, food banks, laundromats and take-out restaurants will remain in operation. State and government functions, like law enforcement and government programs, will also remain.  

“I can assure you home isolation is not my preferred choice, I know it’s not yours, but it’s a necessary one,” Newsom said at a press conference. 

Newsom said that while Californians may be stuck at home, they “can still take your kids outside, practicing common sense and social distancing. You can still walk your dog.”

Additionally, he said he did not expect that police presence would be necessary to enforce the ruling. 

On March 5, California declared a state of emergency after the first coronavirus-related death in the state. The individual is believed to have contracted the virus while on the Grand Princess cruise ship, which led to the quarantine of the ship on a following trip. It is believed the passenger came in contact with the virus during a San Francisco to Mexico trip from Feb. 11 through 21, according to The Associated Press

California followed Washington and Florida in declaring a state of emergency. Hawaii also declared a state of emergency the same day. 

There are now at least 14,250 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. California has had 18 deaths since the virus broke out, according to Johns Hopkins University's real-time map.

Around the world, there have been more than 246,000 infected and at least 10,000 coronavirus-related deaths since the virus broke out at the start of this year. 

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