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A man crosses a nearly empty street in San Francisco, on Tuesday. Jeff Chiu/AP

Sonoma County joined nine other Northern California counties today, ordering residents to shelter in place to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, raising the total number of residents under the orders in the region to nearly 8 million.

Shelter in place means residents are required to stay at home except for essential needs, like going out to buy medication or groceries, or going to care for someone in another household.

The Sonoma County order goes into effect at midnight Wednesday local time and will be in place through April 7.

“The violation of any provision of this Order constitutes an imminent threat to public health and will be enforced by law enforcement,” said the statement from Sonoma County health officials.

Other counties currently ordered to shelter in place include Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz.

California’s public schools are also closed. And they will likely stay closed for the rest of the school year, said Gov. Gavin Newsom today.

Nearly all school districts in the state, with a total student body of 6.1 million students, have been closed.

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