Newsom Closes Parking Lots At State Parks, Urges Californians To Stay Home

Mar 24, 2020

After a weekend when some California state parks and beaches received record visitation despite a statewide stay at home measure to limit the coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the closure of parking lots for state parks. 

"We can’t bend the curve if everyone is out," Newsom said at a press conference Monday. "I don't want to close big, beautiful open spaces. But we can't see what we saw over the weekend."

The state will be updating a list of closed parking lots here.

The announcement came just after San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced the closure of all city parks, beaches and boardwalks Monday to prevent gatherings that could spread the coronavirus.

The governor said young people have a unique obligation to seniors to keep them safe by practicing safe social distancing.

"And you can't do that at a pickup basketball game," he said. "You can't do that when you're recreating as you have in the past. So please, please, let us all step up our game and recognize our obligation not just to ourselves but to each other to meet this moment."

Also Monday, Newsom said that based on updated modeling on coronavirus spread, California needs 50,000 additional hospital beds. The state currently has 416 hospitals with around 75,000 beds.That number was up from a need for 20,000 additional surge beds last week. 

Newsom also said he is working to get an additional 200 million sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers, which he said would last about three months in a surge. Some extra PPE will be imported from China on chartered flights, Newsom said. 

On Monday, President Donald Trump said he was eyeing a quarantine period of weeks rather than months, saying he didn't want to “let the cure be worse than the problem.” 

When asked about it, Newsom — who was among the first governors to declare a state of emergency and issue statewide orders for business closures — said only that California is “moving in a different direction.” 

“Whatever he chooses to do will not get in our way to meet these challenges head on,” the governor said. 

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