California prepares to toughen stay-at-home rules as COVID-19 cases top 20,000

California has reached another milestone in the coronavirus battle as the number of confirmed cases soared past 20,000 and the state prepared for a weekend of unprecedented restrictions, including efforts to keep people at home during Easter.

Sweeping rules limiting people’s movements have already been imposed statewide, but officials have added new restrictions in a desperate bid to slow the virus’ spread.

“Being safe means safe at home, for the next few weeks to come,” Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Thursday. “Everything we can do to avoid having to be in contact with other people is a really good idea.”

Beginning Friday, a new order requires Los Angeles residents to wear masks when they go shopping and do other essential trips. The order also requires many essential workers to wear masks.

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