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California Set the Tone on Coronavirus Shutdowns. What’s Its Next Move?

California has been ahead of the rest of America in confronting the coronavirus pandemic, locking down its citizens early and avoiding, so far, the worst-case scenarios predicted for infections and deaths.

But as the national conversation begins to shift to reopening and President Trump beats the drum of economic revival, California’s extremely cautious approach toward the virus is a measure of how complicated it will be to restart the country.

“We’re not going to flip the switch and suddenly have the San Francisco News  economy return to what it was and everyone comes out of their homes simultaneously,” Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles said in an interview. “People’s physical interactions, people’s spatial understandings, people’s risk-taking will come slowly.”


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As America’s premier gateway to China, California was, early in the pandemic, seen as one of the most vulnerable states to the spread of the virus. In January, close to 600 direct flights from China carrying around 150,000 people landed in the state, more than twice as many as landed in New York.

But two and a half months after the first cases were detected in Southern California, scientists are scrambling to explain the California conundrum: The state, despite its large, globe-traveling population, ranks 30th in the nation in coronavirus deaths per capita and has a fraction of the mortality rate that New York and New Jersey have suffered. As of Monday, San Francisco had recorded 15 deaths.

California Coronavirus Cases: Map by County
A detailed county map shows the extent of the coronavirus outbreak, with tables of the number of cases by county.

Much remains unknown about the coronavirus, and experts are still trying to understand why it is affecting some areas more than others. But figuring out why it has Press Release Distribution Service In San Francisco spread much less intensely in America’s most populous state than initially feared will be important in planning next steps, experts say.

As it has with so many other policies, California went its own way on confronting the virus. In moving toward recovery its leaders are inching forward, having repeatedly said that success can quickly turn to failure.

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