On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all 40 million residents of California to stay at home as much as possible in an effort to fight the spread of the new coronavirus. This announcement comes on the heels of a similar shelter-in-place order issued for seven counties in the San Francisco Bay Area. As other cities (including New York) discuss the possibility of adapting similar measures, there’s a lot of confusion flying around about what such an order entails. Below, find a guide to understanding what a stay-at-home order like the one issued in California means for residents. The measure was implemented as a response to the projection that as many as 56% of Californians could be infected with COVID-19 over the next eight weeks. Yes, you can still exercise outdoors and perform essential tasks like grocery shopping and picking up medications, as long as you stay six feet apart from other people, per the Centers for Disease Control and and Prevention’s guidelines. Most retail shops and corporate offices in California are being temporarily closed, but essential services will stay open. Banks, grocery stores, laundromats, pharmacies, health care providers, child-care providers, auto repair, and transportation providers are included in the list of businesses that will remain open.
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