by Lisa Fernandez
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Stopping short of a state order, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday called for the home isolation of all seniors in the state of California and the immediate shutdown of bars, nightclubs, brew pubs and wineries to help stop the spread of coronavirus, now considered a global pandemic.
In addition, Newsom said all restaurants should reduce capacity by half and provide “deep social distancing.”
In terms of hospital visits, Newsom said there should be no more of these unless it was “end of life.” Finally, he said that on Monday, he may announce possibly halting evictions in California.
He said he realized that these are harsh measures and that isolation is hard, especially when 85 percent of California’s school children won’t be in school on Monday. He acknowledged that many workers need a paycheck and times will be tough.
Newsom said he called for these measures because the public must anticipate the rapid spread of COVID-19, and people need to think about those who are older, chronically ill and homeless. He said California had about 5.3 million people who are 65 or older.
“The most important thing is to focus on the vulnerable and prioritize their safety,” Newsom said. “We are guided by science, not the framework of hysteria.”
In the question and answer period with reporters, Newsom clarified that he is not ordering the shutdown but he expects his requests on restrictions to be upheld.
The exact details of how to deliver meals and pharmaceuticals to seniors are still being worked out, Newsom said, but he said “this is what we do.”
Newsom issued guidance last week to cancel or postpone gatherings large and small that have roiled California’s economy, which is the fifth-largest in the world. He said even though that call was voluntary, as far as he knows, everyone has adhered to his guidance.
Absent a national lockdown order, such as ones implemented across the globe in France and Spain, individual U.S. government leaders this weekend began implementing orders for people to stay in the house and for businesses to close or offer restricted services.
The political leaders of Los Angeles, Boston, New Jersey, Ohio and Illinois, to name some, all imposed restrictions on bars and restaurants, cutting capacity and restricting hours.
The governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker, for example, said said bars and restaurants must close at the end of business day on Monday. The mayor of Teaneck, New Jersey asked all residents to self-quarantine, and to only leave their homes to get food or medicine. Reported by KTVU.com.