California Places All Residents Under ‘Stay at Home’ Order

California’s governor on Thursday issued an unprecedented statewide “stay at home order” directing the state’s 40 million residents to hunker down in their homes for the foreseeable future in the face of the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic.

Governor Gavin Newsom’s directive, effective immediately, marks the largest and most sweeping government clampdown yet in the worsening public health crisis brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak, which he predicted could infect more than half the state within eight weeks.

California Governor Warns of More Restrictions to Stop Virus

California Gov. Gavin Newsom urged the state’s nearly 40 million residents to avoid sporting events, concerts and large gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and adamantly warned the elderly to stay away from cruise ships as he pondered measures to restrict cruise travel off the California coast.

The warning came as Newsom announced an update to the painstaking process of disembarking more than 2,000 passengers from a cruise ship struck by the coronavirus and moving them to military bases around the U.S. for a two-week quarantine. The Grand Princess docked in the Port of Oakland Monday after being forced to idle for days off the coast while authorities scrambled to find a suitable port and plan to move the passengers into safe quarantine sites. While at sea, tests on people who showed symptoms of illness confirmed 21 contracted the coronavirus.

PG&E Not Committing to Expanding Tree-Trimming Force in California

Lawyers for Pacific Gas & Electric said the utility can’t commit to hiring hundreds more tree trimmers in the way that a federal judge wants to cut the risk of starting more catastrophic wildfires in California.

U.S. District Judge William Alsap ordered the utility last month to add at least 1,100 more tree trimmers to help prevent trees and branches from falling onto its power lines and igniting. The judge is overseeing PG&E’s criminal probation imposed after its natural gas lines blew up a San Francisco Bay Area neighborhood and killed eight people in 2010. He has taken a strong interest in PG&E’s safety record after the company’s power lines started a series of wildfires that killed 130 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

California Bill Aimed at Property Insurance in Communities Investing in Wildfire Prevention

Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-Marin County, has introduced Assembly Bill 3258, which would require property insurance providers to take into consideration local government investments in wildfire prevention when determining insurance rates.

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and a group of Legislators earlier this month introduced Assembly Bill 2367, which is being called Renew California. That bill would require admitted insurance companies to write or renew policies for existing homes in communities that meet a new statewide standard for fire-hardening. The bill also would authorize the insurance commissioner to require insurance companies to offer financial incentives for homeowners to do the work to make their homes more fire-safe.

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