Health care workers are among the 16 essential groups of workers exempt from Gov. Newsom’s new statewide order for people to shelter-in-place amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Physicians, nurses and others in the health care field are “considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof,” according the guidelines set out by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Hospitals and other facilities are expecting to see a surge of COVID-19 cases over the next several days and months. Having the physicians and other health care workers needed to care for these patients will be critical to helping the state get through this unprecedented health care crisis.

Newsom’s mandatory order, issued Thursday evening, allows Californians to continue to visit gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, takeout and delivery restaurants, banks and laundromats. People can also leave their homes to care for a relative or a friend or seek health care services.

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