California governor orders statewide stay-at-home order

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San Francisco Ballet Homeless

Homeless people camp out in from of the San Francisco Ballet Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in San Francisco. Officials in seven San Francisco Bay Area counties have issued a shelter-in-place mandate affecting about 7 million people, including the city of San Francisco itself. The order says residents must stay inside and venture out only for necessities for three weeks starting Tuesday. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has put the nation’s most populous state on a stay-at-home order. It expands to nearly 40 million people restrictions he said already applied to about half the state. He said late Thursday that the statewide restriction on any non-essential movement outside the home is needed to control the spread of the coronavirus that threatens to overwhelm the state’s medical system. He earlier in the day issued the dire prediction that 56% of California’s population could contract the virus over the next eight weeks. 

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