Washington State stay-at-home during the coronavirus crisis


Washington State stay-at-home during the coronavirus crisis.

A growing list of states is telling residents to stay at home during the coronavirus crisis, as COVID-19 takes hold in the U.S.

The virus has now infected more than 41,500 people in the U.S., including at least 499 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Health officials have said “social distancing” is key to slowing the spread of the virus, leading schools, places of worship and other large gathering spaces to shutter.

The latest restrictions follow similar moves by states including New York, California and New Jersey.

Here’s a round-up of what states announced on Monday. The list will be updated through the day:

State of Washington issues ‘stay home, stay healthy’ order
The state of Washington on Monday issued a stay at home order effective immediately, Gov. Jay Inslee announced in a series of tweets.

The order says Washingtonians must stay at home except for essential activity, which includes grocery shopping, doctor appointments and essential work duty, Inslee said. People can still go outside for a walk, a bike ride or to garden, but they must remain six feet away from others at all times, Inslee said.

“This order is enforceable by law, but the legal penalties are not what should convince people to follow these orders,” Inslee tweeted. “The real penalty may be the loss of a loved one to COVID-19.”

Indiana has ‘stay-at-home’ executive order

Indiana residents have been ordered to “hunker down” and remain at home, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Monday. The “stay-at-home” executive order is effective Tuesday at 11:59 pm and ends April 6, but could be extended if the outbreak worsens.

“Stay at home unless you’re going out on an essential errand or essential work or essential business,” Holcomb said at a press briefing Monday.

Essential businesses and services include grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, police stations, fire stations, hospitals, doctor’s offices, health care facilities, garbage pickup, public transit and public service hotlines such as SNAP and HIP 2.0, as well as others, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

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The “Stay order will be enforced by the Indiana State Police and local law enforcement, but not the National Guard.

Holcomb also issued an executive order that authorizes the state’s Alcohol and Tobacco Commission to suspend the food and beverage licenses of bars and restaurants that still allow sit-down dining. He said these measures are necessary to help stop the outbreak.

“Our neighbors and our economy need to see that we’re taking steps that will help flatten the curve to ensure our health-care system is able to treat the most vulnerable,” Holcomb said.

Indiana currently has 259 total positive cases of the coronavirus, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ordered the closure of certain nonessential businesses and banned gatherings of more than 10 people. The order goes into effect Tuesday at 11:59 pm until April 23. Northam also shuttered the state’s K-12 schools for the rest of the academic year.

“This is an unprecedented situation, and it requires unprecedented actions to protect public health and save lives,” Northam said in a statement.

Non-essential businesses ordered to be closed include theaters, fitness centers, bowling alleys and hair salons, as well as others. Restaurants and other dining establishments are mandated to close to the public, but can still provide take-out and delivery services.

“These restrictions on non-essential businesses will create hardships on the businesses and employees affected,” Northam said in a statement. “But they are necessary, and we do not undertake them lightly.”

Certain retailers that are considered essential are allowed to remain open such as grocery stores, electronics stores, pet stores and laundromats.

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Virginia currently has 254 reported cases of the coronavirus, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice issued a “stay at home” order for the entire state on Monday. It will go into effect Tuesday at 8:00 pm.

“This order asks West Virginians to stay at home and limit movements outside beyond essential needs,” Justice said in a tweet.

Only those who provide essential services or are employed by essential businesses can go to work, according to the order.

Residents will still be allowed to go to grocery, convenience and warehouse stores, as well as to the pharmacy. They can also bike ride, jog and walk outside as long as they maintain distances of six feet apart from other people.

West Virginia has 16 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to data gathered by the state.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan enacted an executive order Monday that closes non-essential business, organizations and facilities in the state. The order goes into effect 5:00 pm Monday.

Hogan said at a press briefing Monday that he is following federal guidelines in determining which businesses are essential. Maryland currently does not have a stay-at-home order like other states have implemented.

“We are not issuing or ordering a shelter-in-place directive or forcing people to stay at home,” Hogan said.

However, Hogan urged residents to practice social distancing. The state previously banned gatherings of more than 10 people and Hogan admonished residents for holding large gatherings in public places like parks and beaches.

“If you are engaged in this kind of activity, you are breaking the law and you are literally endangering the lives of your family, your friends and your fellow citizens,” Hogan said.

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Maryland currently has 288 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to data from the state.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order Monday that directs residents to remain at home as much as possible.

The restrictions go into effect on March 24 at 12:01 am, and continues through April 13.

“If we all stay at home, except for critical work and needs, we can mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Whitmer said in a tweet announcing the order.

The order will also help prevent the state’s health care system from being overwhelmed, allow time for the production of critical medical equipment like test kits and ventilators, and prevent deaths from the virus, according to a statement from the Michigan state government.

Michigan has 1,035 confirmed cases of the virus, according to data compiled by the state.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issued an emergency order to close all nonessential businesses across the state to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“I am issuing the following emergency order: Effective Tuesday March 24 at noon, all nonessential businesses shall close their physical workplaces and facilities to all workers, customers and the public,” he said at a news briefing.

Baker’s order will last until April 7. The governor also directed the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to issue a “stay-at-home” advisory to residents.

“I am also directing the Department of Public Health to issue a stay-at-home advisory outlining self-isolation and social distancing protocols,” he said. “We will always allow all grocery stores, pharmacies and other types of businesses that provide essential goods and services to Massachusetts residents to continue to operate.”

Restaurants and bars can remain open for delivery and takeout orders, he said.

Massachusetts has 646 confirmed cases of COVID-19, state health officials said.


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