Coronavirus cases are running rampant across the U.S., and a handful of states and cities are closing nonessential businesses, limiting public and private gatherings and imposing mask mandates to try to slow the rapid spread ahead of the winter season, CNBC informed.
The U.S. is reporting a weekly average of roughly 157,318 new coronavirus cases every day, soaring to record highs as scientists warn Americans that the next few months of the pandemic could be the worst yet.
Unlike other peaks in the spring and summer that hit the Northeast and Sunbelt states particularly hard, this one has no clear epicenter, medical experts say. Some state and city officials say the virus is everywhere; local outbreaks cannot be traced back to a single event or venue.
Without a cohesive federal plan, state and local officials are reinstituting some of the stay-at-home orders, curfews and other public safety measures that were rolled back over the summer and fall.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, announced a “two-week” freeze Friday on most activities and nonessential businesses across the state, making it one of the first to reinstitute widespread closures of nonessential businesses.
Brown limited restaurants to takeout service only, closed gyms, fitness centers and indoor and outdoor event centers and limited attendance at places of worship, among other restrictions.
In New Mexico, Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a Twitter post that the state will “hit reset” and begin a statewide stay-at-home order on Monday. Residents are instructed to stay at home unless venturing out for essential services for two weeks.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, followed suit on Sunday, ordering a one-month ban on indoor services at restaurants and gyms and reduced in-store retail capacity to 25%. Later in the day, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a ban on in-person high school and college classes as well as indoor dining service for three weeks.
“We are in the worst moment of this pandemic to date,” Whitmer, a Democrat, said during a news conference. “The situation has never been more dire. We are at the precipice and we need to take some action.”
The U.S. first crossed 100,000 new Covid-19 cases on Election Day, and the cases have continued to climb to record highs since then. That’s pushed hospitals to capacity and has prompted state leaders such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom to roll back reopening efforts. A record 76,823 Covid-19 patients were in the hospital Tuesday, according to the Covid Tracking Project, which is run by journalists at The Atlantic.
Newsom, a Democrat, said Monday that his state is “pulling the emergency brake” on its reopening process and banning most nonessential indoor businesses for a majority of the state’s population. The Democratic governor also floated the idea of instituting a statewide curfew.