In summary

Gov. Gavin Newsom directed Californians to shelter in place to slow the coronavirus spread. Watch as we explain what that means.

As President Donald Trump considers easing national restrictions by Easter, Californians are into their first week of an official shelter-in-place directive to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered Californians to stay home except for essential services, leading many to wonder: What’s essential?

That’s a long list. And some counties have tighter rules. This video explains what the shelter-in-place order means for Californians, why it could slow the spread of infection and what powers Newsom has to force Californians to stay home.

YouTube video

“There’s a social contract here,” Newsom said. “People will self-regulate their behavior; they’ll begin to adjust and adapt as they have been quite significantly.”

But while some Californians have played by the rules, others have ignored them, forcing even more restrictions. Photos of packed state beaches last weekend spurred the closure of parking lots at all state beaches and parks. Campgrounds were already closed.

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Byrhonda Lyons is a national award-winning investigative reporter for CalMatters. She writes and produces compelling stories about California’s court and criminal system. Her reporting has uncovered...