Gov. Gavin Newsom hopes people will voluntarily obey the order to stay at home

Newsom ordered people to stay home except for essential needs or jobs and for indoor shopping malls and nonessential retail to close.

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The governor of California on Thursday evening issued a statewide stay-at-home order to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The order, which takes effect Thursday night, asks residents to leave their homes only when necessary. It will remain in place until further notice.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement came about an hour after officials in Los Angeles County ordered people to stay home except for essential needs or jobs and for indoor shopping malls and nonessential retail to close.

San Francisco and surrounding counties had previously issued orders to stay at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19.

Newsom said the statewide order is consistent with the local orders. Places like grocery and convenience stores, delivery restaurants, gas stations, pharmacies, banks and laundromats will remain open.

Bars, nightclubs, theaters, gyms and convention centers have been ordered closed.

The goal is to encourage “social distancing,” which health experts have stressed can slow the spread of the disease and keep health systems from being overwhelmed.

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