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California governor issues statewide 'stay at home' order over coronavirus

Reuters logo Reuters 3/20/2020 By Dan Whitcomb

A general view of Hollywood Blvd during the global outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni © Reuters A general view of Hollywood Blvd during the global outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES, March 19 (Reuters) - California's governor on Thursday issued a statewide "stay at home order" directing residents to leave their homes only when necessary during the coronavirus pandemic.

Governor Gavin Newsom said that modeling has shown that 56 percent of California residents were expected to contract COVID-19 over the next eight weeks, requiring nearly 20,000 more hospital beds than the state could currently provide.

Newsom earlier on Thursday asked President Donald Trump to send a U.S. Navy hospital ship to the port of Los Angeles "immediately" as the state braces for the expected surge in the number of coronavirus cases.

He said Los Angeles, as the nation's second-largest city, would likely be "disproportionately impacted" by the pandemic in the coming weeks.

In a separate letter sent to U.S. congressional leaders, the governor asked for additional federal funding for unemployment insurance and social safety net programs and aid to small businesses, schools and universities. (Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Tom Brown)

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