More states issue stay-at-home orders as coronavirus crisis escalates
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South Carolina's Republican Gov. Henry McMaster issued a statewide "home or work" order Monday, with exceptions for family visits, exercise or trips to obtain essential goods.
The big picture: In a matter of weeks, the number of states that issued orders nearly quadrupled, affecting more than 300 million Americans.
The state of play: Governors that were originally against stay-at-home orders, like those in Georgia and Florida, finally succumbed last week after COVID-19 cases in their states increased rapidly.
- Florida is the third biggest state in the U.S. and one of the highest-risk for coronavirus. Yet Gov. Ron DeSantis' response lagged well behind other populated states.
- States that still don't have such orders have a number of local directives suggesting residents stay indoors.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the first state to issue a shelter-in-place order, had a message on CNN last week to governors who have not mandated its residents stay home:
"What are you waiting for? What more evidence do you need? … There’s no greater intervention, period, full stop, none, than physical distancing."
The big picture: Most of the orders allow citizens to leave their homes for "essential" reasons like grocery shopping, pharmacy pick-ups or trips to restaurants for takeout only. They also permit people to assist others in obtaining supplies, as well as to walk their dogs and be in nature — as long as they keep 6 feet between themselves and others.
- Some excursions deemed essential in North Carolina include traveling to and from places of worship and volunteering.
- "Many people want to know how they can help right now, and for most people this is how — by staying home," Washington, D.C. Mayor Bowser said Monday.
- There is no doubt in my mind that we have to ratchet down what we are doing in society," Amy Acton, director of Ohio's Department of Health, said. "Listen to Italy begging us not to make mistakes — you're hearing it from folks who are ahead of us in this curve. We don't have a day to spare."
States/territories that issued stay-at-home orders:
- New York
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- North Carolina
- District of Columbia
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina