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COVID-19 WATCH

Gatherings banned in California

Agence France-Presse

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LOS ANGELES (AFP) — California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced new statewide bans on gatherings and “non-essential” activities, as hospitals in the nation’s most populous state face being overwhelmed by record Covid-19 cases.

The limits will come into effect once 85 percent of intensive care unit beds have been filled — a development expected in four of California’s five regions “as early as the next day or two.”

“We are announcing and introducing a regional ‘stay-at-home’ order in the state of California, fundamentally predicated on the need to stop gathering with people outside of your household,” said Newsom.

Once a region is placed under the new limits — an “emergency brake” which will last for a minimum of three weeks — the gathering of people from different households will be banned.

Bars and personal services such as hair salons will be temporarily closed, and restaurants will only be allowed to offer take-out and delivery.

“We’re also establishing a framework where all non-essential travel is as well temporarily restricted statewide,” Newsom said.

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