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Governor issues statewide shelter-in-place order
Turlock opens Emergency Operations Center

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a stay at home order statewide Thursday night as officials try to avoid a possible scenario that could see 25 million people contracting the coronavirus in eight weeks.

The order from the California Department of Public Health calls for all 40 million California residents to stay at home, except for those in essential service industries. Essential services that will remain open include grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery services,and laundromats. People can also leave their homes to take care of a relative or seek healthcare.

Businesses that are expected to close include bars and nightclubs, restaurants except for take-out or delivery, gyms and fitness studios, entertainment venues, and conference centers.

On Wednesday, Newsom requested President Donald Trump deploy USNS Mercy Hospital Ship to the port in Los Angeles to help elevate the crush on the healthcare system in the state. 

In the letter, Newsom said the state had seen a 21 percent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases overnight and that some counties are seeing the number of cases double every four days. Newsom said the state had a projection to hit 56 percent of the population infected within eight weeks.

The City of Turlock announced Wednesday that it is opening an Emergency Operations Center with the goal of helping meet the needs of some of Turlock's at-risk community members.

The Stanislaus County Health Services Agency announced the fifth confirmed case Wednesday and said the man's point of contact with the virus is under investigation. The City of Turlock said all five cases are in Modesto.

The City's Emergency Operations Center is working with the Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services and has drafted a Turlock Specific Incident Action Plan to assist in mobilizing local emergency and support resources to meet the needs of at-risk individuals for the delivery of emergency medical care, public safety calls, as well as food and medicines, if necessary.

SCHSA has not yet called for a shelter in place or stay at home order like several other California counties, particularly those in the Bay Area.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 10,442 cases and 150 deaths in the United States as of noon on Thursday. 

The California Department of Public Health reported 675 cases and 16 deaths in the state as of Wednesday night.

The City of Modesto is considering issuing a shelter in place advisory that would ask all residents to stay at home from Thursday through April 6. It would be part of an emergency resolution the Modesto City Council will consider Thursday night. Additionally, the emergency proclamation would direct city staff to identify sites, both public and private, to be used by local healthcare providers as needed.

The San Joaquin County Public Health Department announced on Wednesday that two people had died from COVID-19. The individuals were among the high-risk populations, elderly with underlying medical conditions. One death was travel related and the other was from community transmission. The total number of COVID-19 positive cases in San Joaquin County is now 14.

Merced County has not had any confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday.

Stanislaus County Superior Court has been granted an emergency suspension of all criminal and civil jury trials for 30 days. Anyone with a jury summons from March 18 to April 16 do not need to go to the courthouse.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). This occurs through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

Health officials recommend people:

-       Washing hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

-       Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

-       Cover a cough or sneeze with your sleeve, or disposable tissue. Wash your hands afterward.

-       Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

-       Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, a dry cough, and body aches. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19, or recently traveled to countries with apparent community spread, call your healthcare provider or local public health department first before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.