California Protesters Block Roads Outside Capitol During Anti-Lockdown Rally

A crowd of protesters rallied around California's Capitol building on Monday to protest against the state's lockdown order put in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Hundreds of people, in and out of their vehicles, gathered outside the Capitol in Sacramento to put pressure on Governor Gavin Newsom to lift the quarantine restrictions.

"We are losing our small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. The shutdown is not warranted, nor sustainable for our area," a statement on the Reopen California Facebook group page reads.

"The vulnerable can be isolated or protected in other ways, without sacrificing our entire state economy. It's important to note, several other states have not enacted stay at home orders."

Reopen California currently has more than 78,000 members on Facebook.

Like the "Operation Gridlock" protest in Michigan last week which sparked similar rallies across the U.S., demonstrators blocked the roads with their cars, with dozens gathering on the streets while holding placards demanding an end to the shutdown.

"Everybody in my family is fine. Nobody has got it," protester Charles Morris told KCRA. "I keep hearing about it, but I don't see it. Is it even worse than the regular flu?"

The event was approved by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) on the basis that no more than 500 people attended, according to reports.

However, other groups said their planned protest was rejected as the CHP canceled all gatherings of more than 50 people.

Newsom said he will look into what was approved by CHP prior to the protest taking place.

"My understanding is the protest that CHP supported [had] socially distancing that was allowable on the basis of people being in their vehicles, and not congregating as a group," Newsom said in Monday's COVID-19 briefing.

"But I'll ask our CHP spokesperson to get back to you on the details of whatever they may have provided in terms of authorization."

Hundreds of people gather to protest the lockdown in spite of shelter-in-place rules still being in effect at California's state capitol building in Sacramento, California on April 20, 2020. Some people intentionally jammed roads while honking and holding out signs while others disrespected social distancing rules by gathering in close proximity, blaring Americana music and shouting to end the lockdown. Josh Edelson / AFP/Getty

Elsewhere, Newsom said he will provide an update on if the state is hitting the six-point criteria which must be met before they decide when to reopen the state.

"If we're ultimately going to come back economically, the worst mistake we can make is making a precipitous decision based on politics and frustration that puts people's lives at risk and ultimately sets back the cause of economic growth and economic recovery," Newsom said, the LA Times reported.

There are more than 37,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California with at least 1,200 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. In total, 73,527 people have recovered from the virus.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, shows the countries with the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of April 20.

Statista Graph COVID-19 Cases April 20

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.