Here’s what California’s stay at home order means for residents

California
A nearly empty 110 Freeway is seen near downtown Los Angeles on March 19, 2020. (Credit: Apu Gomes / AFP / Getty Images)

A nearly empty 110 Freeway is seen near downtown Los Angeles on March 19, 2020. (Credit: Apu Gomes / AFP / Getty Images)

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday ordered the state’s 40 million residents to stay at home, restricting non-essential movements to control the spread of the coronavirus that threatens to overwhelm the state’s medical system.

Here are the highlights:

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STAY AT HOME REQUIREMENTS

All Californians must stay at home except to get food, prescriptions and health care, care for a friend or relative, walking the dog and taking outdoor exercise such as walking, running or hiking. When people do go out, they should practice social distancing.

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BUSINESSES

Most businesses and business venues such as indoor malls will be closed to the public. According to state health officials, they include dine-in restaurants; bars, nightclubs and other entertainment places where people gather, along with gyms and fitness studios. Convention centers and public events are also out of bounds.

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WHAT’S STILL OPEN?

Businesses that provide essential services will remain open. They include grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, pharmacies and other health care providers, news outlets, banks and laundromats. Restaurants can still provide take-out food and make deliveries. Businesses involved in construction and “essential infrastructure” such as plumbers, electricians, gas stations, auto repair shops and hardware stores also are exempt. Public transportation and utilities will continue to provide service.

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ENFORCEMENT

Misdemeanor penalties apply but the governor said he hopes law enforcement won’t need to enforce the order and believes social pressure will encourage people to “do the right thing.”

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HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?

Until further notice, according to the order. The governor didn’t give a prediction but said he doesn’t expect it to extend for “many, many months.”

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