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Coronavirus: California issues stay at home order, GOP reveals stimulus package and lights offer cheer in dark time

Americans will likely have to continue staying at home for “at least several weeks,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said on the “TODAY” show Friday.
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General overall view of sparse traffic on the Interstate 5 in Los Angeles, California, on Thursday. Kirby Lee / AP

Good morning, NBC News readers.

California's governor ordered residents to stay at home as the state confronts the coronavirus crisis. GOP Senators revealed their economic stimulus plan and your questions answered by NBC's Coronavirus Crisis Team.

Here's what we're watching this Friday morning.


40 million Californians ordered to stay home

Residents of America's most populous state have been ordered to stay at home to help combat the spread of coronavirus.

California's Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the state's 40 million residents to go out only when necessary until further notice.

The order, which went into effect Thursday evening, is the most extreme measure any state has taken to control the virus. New York, with over 5,000 confirmed cases, has far more confirmed cases than California. (See a map of confirmed cases in the U.S.).

Here are the latest updates on the virus and the global response:


Are you eligible for coronavirus checks under GOP plan?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday released the Republican proposal for a massive emergency coronavirus stimulus bill, which includes direct cash payments for some Americans.

The proposal, expected to cost around $1 trillion, calls for direct payments on a tiered scale. It also includes emergency aid for small businesses and industries such as airline companies.

Would you be eligible for the payout? Under the plan, individuals making up to $75,000 annually would be eligible for a $1,200 check from the federal government.

Check the details of the proposal here.

News analysis: One trillion dollars sounds like a lot of money. But, it might be too little, too late to save the economy from the coronavirus, writes NBC News Jonathan Allen.

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Coronavirus uncertainty bites at small businesses around the world

The Northcote Arms has been a pub since 1890, surviving two world wars, several global financial crises and even the flu of 1918, which killed tens of millions of people.

Now this traditional watering hole in east London is one of countless businesses around the world facing the prospect of being crushed by the spiraling coronavirus pandemic.

"It's just like quicksand," said Tuesday Roberts, 39, who runs the pub. "Every time I come up with a plan, I have to scrap it two days later. The situation just gets worse and worse."

Of course, the pub owner is not alone. Across the pond in the U.S. small business owners have into survival mode as lawmakers debate economic relief.

Many small businesses "don't have reserves to make it for days or weeks or months," said one financial analyst. "They're all living on borrowed time."

San Francisco is an early test of what the rest of the U.S. may see in the coming days as mayors and governors curtail daily life to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

And so far, the lockdown there has been a shock to the system.

"Everything is out of control," said one chef in her shuttered restaurant.


NBC's coronavirus crisis team answers your questions

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, NBC News held a one-hour special report with the latest news, analysis and information on the pandemic last night.

From questions about immunity, to financial stability, and test result timing, NBC News' coronavirus crisis team answered some of your questions.

See the full special report hosted by Lester Holt here. Or watch a bit of it below:


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Plus


THINK about it

What it's like to be a college senior in the middle of a pandemic?


Shopping

Working remote and sick of distractions? Here are the best noise canceling headphones.


Quote of the day

"There have been a lot of tears."

First grade teacher Kim Taylor on coronavirus threatening to keep schools shuttered until the fall.


One cheerful thing

It may be March but some people are turning their holiday lights back on to help spread some cheer during the coronavirus outbreak.

People across the country are stringing up their Christmas lights and sharing the photos under #LightsForLife — using their decorations to shine bright during this unprecedented time.


Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

And thank you for all of your coronavirus questions and comments. Please keep them coming and email me at: petra@nbcuni.com

If you find the newsletter helpful, please forward it to your family and friends. They can sign-up here.

Be safe and stay healthy, Petra Cahill