Can California avoid a third devastating COVID-19 winter wave? Cautious signs of hope in a crisis
May 26, 2020 by John Vidgen
Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an unprecedented directive ordering all non-essential businesses to close until at least May 30. The directive took immediate effect and applied to nearly all of the state’s essential businesses, including all of the state’s schools and universities. These businesses were asked to comply with the order, which was accompanied by restrictions on public gatherings at all times statewide. The Governor also called on all Californians, including those outside of California (except for essential workers), to practice social distancing to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. On April 8, the Governor had issued a similar order directed at all non-essential industries in all of the state, including schools, universities, health care providers, service providers, and grocery stores.
In a separate letter issued on April 17, Governor Newsom extended his social-distancing order beyond California’s borders. His letter to the nation’s governors and mayors declared that they should follow in California’s footsteps and implement similar orders as well. In that letter, the Governor stated the following:
“In order to save lives, prevent the spread of this deadly virus, and protect the health and well-being of all Californians and all Americans, I am issuing an order that requires all non-essential businesses and public gatherings to close and all Californians to practice social distancing.”
On April 21, President Trump, Governor Newsom, and California Governor Gavin Newsom held a virtual meeting on the Governor’s COVID-19 response. California is the first state to pass an order against commercial activity, and this marks a potential turning point in the coronavirus outbreak.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been the most severe in its modern history, requiring unprecedented responses from the federal government, state governments, and businesses. On May 1, the state of Hawaii became the first to require all restaurants (and other food service establishments) and all gatherings in public or private areas – including schools – to shut down for at least two weeks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also issued the following guidelines on the proper steps to take when ordering a stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order.
All employees and guests should wear a mask or