States Issue “Stay at Home” Orders
Restrictions are dramatically ramping up amid the growing coronavirus pandemic, with state governors across the nation imposing more closures of restaurants, bars, non-essential businesses, venues, and public gatherings. As of this week, a few officials took more severe actions, ordering residents to stay at home whenever possible. Exceptions include buying groceries, picking up medicine, caring for others, and activities for exercise and health, such as walking. Although no threats for disobeying the orders have been forthcoming, authorities say punishments—including fines or possible incarceration—could result. But it appears that every state urging residents to observe “stay at home” protocols have no desire to levy punitive measures.
Regions with “Stay at Home” Orders
New York, California, Illinois, and Florida are currently the states imposing more serious restrictions on the movements of their populations. From the coronavirus reporting by the Washington Post:
Illinois and its 13 million residents — 10 million in the Chicago area — the latest to join California by moving closer to an effective lockdown. Meantime, New York told nonessential workers to stay home, Florida closed restaurants, bars and gyms amid spring-break revelry, and the U.S.-Mexico border is closing to nonessential travel.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) on Friday ordered residents to stay at home for nonessential activity. The order will take effect Saturday evening 13 million people in the state, until the end of April 7. People will still be able to go to the grocery store, get food or gas, go running or hiking or get to work.
As NBC5 Chicago announced on Friday, March 20, Southwest Airlines has significantly reduced its fights in and out of Midway International Airport, its Chicago hub, following the closure of the airport's control tower by federal authorities after technicians tested positive for the coronavirus.
"Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Brandy King said the Dallas-based airline canceled about 170 of its roughly 250 daily flights in and out of Midway due to the airspace restrictions that followed the control tower's closure."
Significant COVID-19 Updates and Developments
- Italy announced another record-breaking death toll on Friday: 627, up from 427 the previous day. The country cited 9,600 people in one day for violating lockdown.
- New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo ordered all workers in his state to stay home, except for those in essential services. The move came after California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered 40 million residents to remain at home.
- The U.S. tax filing deadline has been pushed back from April 15 to July 15. “All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Twitter.
- More than 250,000 cases have been confirmed across the globe. The World Health Organization noted that it took more than three months to reach 100,000 cases worldwide — but only 12 days to log the next 100,000. The number of deaths and confirmed cases continues to surge in Spain and Iran.
- For a second consecutive day, China reported no new local infections. But concerns are growing about a new wave of imported cases elsewhere in the region: Hong Kong reported its biggest daily jump in cases Friday, including many that involved recent travel.
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