Governor’s letter to Trump says roughly 56% of state’s residents likely to contract disease over eight weeks
California has extended its shelter-in-place order to cover the entire state, the governor announced, in a dramatic escalation of efforts to battle the coronavirus outbreak.
The order, which will go into force on Thursday evening, requires the state’s nearly 40 million residents to remain indoors and limit outdoor movement to what is “absolutely essential”.
The move came as Newsom on Thursday estimated that 25.5 million people – roughly 56% of California’s population – were likely to become infected with the coronavirus, an alarming projection offered by the governor in a letter to Donald Trump. Newsom called on the president to deploy a navy hospital ship, the USNS Mercy, and station it in the port of Los Angeles to help the giant metro area deal with a fast-moving health crisis.
“In the last 24 hours, we had 126 new Covid-19 cases, a 21% increase. In some parts of our state, the case rate is doubling every four days,” Newsom wrote, adding that evidence of community transmission had been found in at least 23 counties.
“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.
At a press conference on Thursday evening, Newsom acknowledged the severity of the order and urged Californians to band together. “This is not a permanent state, this is a moment in time,” he said.