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California Issues Stay-At-Home Order Over Coronavirus Fears

coronavirus march20 lt

California Governor has issued a stay-at-home order to protect the health of all Californians and to slow the spread of COVID-19 across the most populous U.S. state.

"We need to bend the curve in the state of California, and in order to do that, we need to recognize the reality, the fact is, the experience we're having on the ground throughout the state of California… require us to adjust our thinking and to adjust our activities," Governor Gavin Newsom said at a news conference Thursday.

The order is in place until further notice.

Essential services such as gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants, banks and laundry services will remain open.

Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.

Dine-in restaurants, bars and nightclubs, entertainment venues, gyms and fitness studios, public events and gatherings, and convention centers will remain closed.

The California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health said exception for stay- at-home order is given to those who are needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction.

Currently, there are 675 positive coronavirus cases and 24 deaths in California. The figures exclude U.S. citizens who landed in Californian airports on repatriation flights from abroad.

More than half of the state's population is at risk of contracting the deadly virus in the coming weeks, according to a letter that the Governor sent to President Donald Trump.

He requested the immediate deployment of the US naval hospital ship Mercy to the Port of Los Angeles through September to "help decompress the state's health care delivery system in Los Angeles in response to COVID-19."

The Governor also sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy requesting federal assistance to support California's efforts to combat COVID-19.

Governor Newsom had declared a State of Emergency in California on March 4.

COVID-19 death toll in the United States has crossed 200, while the number of infected cases increased to more than 14,000.

A 40 percent increase in coronavirus cases was reported in the country in the last 24 hours.

California, New York and Washington are the worst hit states.

New York's governor announced a 90-day mortgage relief in the wake of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the State Department issued the top-tier Level 4 travel advisory calling on Americans to avoid foreign travel.

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