On 19 March 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an indefinite statewide stay-at-home order, restricting all non-essential movements in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The mandatory order requires residents to remain in their homes, except to obtain food, seek medical care or to provide essential services. Banks, pharmacies, grocery stores and laundromats will remain open; however, non-essential businesses, such as dine-in restaurants, bars and nightclubs, entertainment venues, gyms and fitness studios and convention centers will cease operations. The order exempts individuals working in critical infrastructure sectors, including — but not limited to — commercial facilities, communications, critical manufacturing, dams, defense, emergency services, energy, financial services, food and agriculture, government, health care, information technology, nuclear materials, transportation systems and water supply. Individuals may also go outdoors for walking or other physical activity as long as they practice social distancing. As of last report, California has recorded 1,039 COVID-19 cases with at least 19 fatalities.
Elsewhere in the U.S., Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a public health disaster and ordered a statewide ban on gatherings of more than 10 people from 20 March-3 April. He also ordered the closure of non-essential businesses — such as bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms and fitness centers — although food establishments can continue carryout and delivery services. A number of major U.S. cities have employed similar stringent measures to combat the disease; in Miami, Florida, the city mayor ordered the closure of all non-essential commercial establishments and urged residents to stay in their homes if there is no essential need to procure food or medicine. The mayor of Memphis, Tennessee, also ordered bars, gyms and workout facilities to shut down as of 19 March. Additional such measures, including stay-at-home orders, are highly likely to be imposed in other cities as confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to spread rapidly. The U.S. has so far recorded at least 14,250 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 200 fatalities. The disease has spread rapidly across the country, particularly since early March; for comparison, there were approximately 100 confirmed cases in the country on 1 March. Notably, confirmed cases of COVID-19 have more than doubled over the past 48 hours. While COVID-19-related effects are at present most severe in the states of New York and Washington, in addition to California, experts warn that the situation will certainly worsen across the country as new cases emerge.