In a press conference held March 19, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a stay-at-home order for the entire state.
Newsom said the order would go into effect immediately but did not provide a timeframe. The orders will be in place until further notice.
“We need to meet this moment and flatten the curve together,” Newsom said, referring to the projected number of cases.
In a letter to President Trump requesting the assignment of a U.S. Navy hospital ship to the Los Angeles area, Newsom said that California has been significantly impacted by a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, and he offered a startling forecast of what the state could face in the coming weeks.
“We project that roughly 56% of our population – 25.5 million people – will be infected with the virus over an eight-week period,” he said.
The question of enforcement was addressed in the press conference and later discussed with the audience. Newsom stated he believed the people of California will self-regulate.
“There’s a social contract here … We will have social pressure that will encourage people to do the right thing,” he said. “ … It’s time for us as individuals and as a community to recognize we need to do more to meet this moment.”
As of March 19, Contra Costa County has 42 confirmed cases with no related deaths, while in the state there have been 675 confirmed cases and 16 deaths.