By Michael Hernandez
SACRAMENTO—Governor Galvin Newsom issued a “Safer at Home” emergency order impacting all 40 million residents of California to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus effective Thursday at midnight and continuing thru April 18th (with the possibility of an extension).
“The people of California need to be told to home isolate,” said Newsom. “We believe that this virus will attack 56 percent of us and that 20 percent of those affected will need hospitalization.”
Newsom said it was important that there be “no surge” that will overpower the health care system and create a gap or deficit of 10,000 beds. The Governor stated that in the meantime, the State was seeking additional beds through the housing at University of California and Cal State University campuses. (Editor’s Note: See covi19.ca.gov)
Likewise, Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, Pasadena and Long Beach established their own “Safer at Home” emergency orders earlier in the afternoon. The emergency order establishes the following for the county’s 10 million residents:
–no gatherings of 10 or more (these only recommended if social distancing of six feet is applied);
–only leave home for essentials (food and grocery pickup, going to health facilities, etc.);
The emergency order effectively closes all indoor malls and outdoor malls and also closes indoor and outdoor playgrounds for children. Already closed in earlier emergency orders were bars, entertainment centers, gyms, theaters, and indoor dining at food establishments.
Banks and financial institutions as well as hardware stores will remain open. Plumbers and electricians will also be allowed to continue their operations. All health care operators will remain open as well as transportation centers and residential care facilities.
“Residents should only purchase what they need,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Chair Kathryn Berger. “Do not stockpile. There are essential items and food for everyone at our grocery stores. Continue to support your local food establishments through take out or food delivery. Help out an elderly neighbor or friend and see if they might need groceries. Donate food to nonprofits. Heed your local, state and public health guidance.” (Editor’s Note: Please see LACounty.gov/covid 19.).
“All businesses, for profit companies, nonprofits must stop operations that require persons outside a single home,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The only (reason) to leave home is for essential activities: to get food, for necessary health care, to walk in the neighborhood. This is not shelter-in-place. Our children, this will be their 9-11. We (need to) safeguard them. This is the moment we save them through the actions we take. We must act now if you love this city.”
“Be kind, be compassionate, especially to seniors,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “I have a special message to young people, be responsible and take care of your parents and grandparents.”
Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He has worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].
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