Mar 15, 2020 - Health

California governor calls for heightened measures to battle coronavirus

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newson announced new guidelines on Sunday designed to combat the spread of the coronavirus, including a call for self-isolation among residents 65 and over and those with chronic conditions, as well as the closing of all bars, wineries and pubs.

Why it matters: California is the most populous state in the country, making it imperative for it to take drastic measures to slow down the spread of the virus.

Highlights:

  • Newsom also called for restaurants to cut their occupancy rates by half to avoid unsafe crowding.
  • Nursing home visits will now be limited to end-of-life visits given the heightened risks of the elderly. Overall, about 5.3 million Californians are 65 and over.
  • The state will also be ramping up efforts to help people who are homeless and unsheltered, including adding more shelters and trailers.
  • He added that 51% of the state's school districts are now closed, which means that about 85% of the state's students will not be going to school come Monday.

Yes, but: These are not government-mandated orders. Newsom said he expects these recommendations will be broadly followed across the state and that he does have the ability to escalate enforcement.

  • Questions also remain about the impact of seniors staying home on the state's health care system—a number of doctors and other workers are over 60, some placing the numbers at about a quarter of practicing physicians.

Editor's note: The story has been updated with more details.

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The number of cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. soared to 1,037 and the death toll to at least 31 by early Wednesday, per data from Johns Hopkins and state health departments.

The big picture: Nearly 40 states had reported cases by Tuesday and at least 12 have declared a state of emergency — Washington, California, New York, Oregon, Kentucky, Maryland, Utah, Colorado, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Florida and Michigan — which reported its first two cases on Tuesday evening.

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Washington schools shut as Gov. Inslee seeks $100M to fight coronavirus

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) told a news conference Monday he directed officials to ask the state legislature to designate $100 million from this year's budget to help fight the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: The state is at the center of the U.S. outbreak. All six of the deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. have occurred in Washington state. Four of those who died were residents of the Life Care Center in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland in King County. Several of the 18 coronavirus infections in the state are residents of the nursing home.

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New York City and L.A. to close all bars and restaurants

A man eats lunch in a deserted restaurant in New York City on Saturday. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

New York City and Los Angeles both announced plans Sunday night to close all bars, restaurants and entertainment venues in an effort to curb the novel coronavirus spread.

The big picture: L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said restaurants "may sell food for takeout only," with the measures "effective at midnight tonight" L.A. time. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said only pick-up and delivery would be allowed from restaurants. NYC announced earlier it would begin closing its nearly 1,900 public schools this week through April 20 as it reported 329 coronavirus cases. Los Angeles County had reported 69 cases and one death by Sunday night.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include measures in Los Angeles.

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