State Governors Take Steps to Stem Growing COVID-19 Cases
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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, In Homeland Security
The coronavirus has infected almost 350,000 people worldwide as of Monday morning with more than 15,300 deaths, according to Business Insider. The U.S. reported more than 30,000 confirmed cases and 473 deaths.
On Saturday, Everett, Wash., became the latest American city to order all residents off the streets. Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin ordered the city’s 110,000 residents to stay home, the Seattle Times reported.
The Times said, “it is believed to be the first Washington city to take the drastic step to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.”
Earliest Cases of COVID-19 Were Found in a Nursing Home Facility in Washington State
Everett is only 24 miles north of Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle, where the earliest cases of the deadly COVID-19 were reported in a nursing home facility.
At least 35 residents died from the virus, and the Seattle area quickly became the U.S. epicenter of the disease. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, however, “has opted against a similar statewide order, preferring to urge and plead with residents to stay home,” the Seattle Times noted.
Other state governors have been far more active.
“Governors have ordered schools to shut down. Gatherings, meetings and sporting events have been canceled,” The New York Times reported. “In Michigan, hair and nail salons were among the businesses forced to close. People arriving in Hawaii will soon have to quarantine themselves for two weeks or risk a year in jail.”
New York City Has Become the New Epicenter of the Novel Coronavirus
The metropolitan area of New York City has become the new epicenter of the novel coronavirus with the city and suburbs accounting for roughly 5 percent of the world’s cases, The Times noted.
On Sunday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced measures intended to prepare for a wave of patients. Those measures include setting up temporary hospitals in three New York City suburbs and erecting a massive medical bivouac in the Jacob Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side.
Cuomo and the governors of California and Illinois have been among the most active state officials to order preventive measures to stall the spread of COVID-19.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday afternoon issued an order for all Illinois residents to stay at home, National Public Radio reported. “The deadly coronavirus has spread to a quarter of the state’s counties and infected more than 500 people,” NPR said. The stricter limits went into effect on Saturday.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a similar order on Thursday. According to the LA Times, “To help cities in California beef up their response to the pandemic, President Trump on Sunday approved a request from Newsom to declare a major disaster and for the federal government to provide ‘mass care,’ emergency aid, unemployment assistance and disaster legal services.”
More Than 1,800 Coronavirus Cases and 35 Deaths Reported in California
As of early Monday, more than 1,800 cases of coronavirus had been reported in California and 35 people had died.
Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut issued an Executive Order effective through April 22, closing all workplaces except for all essential business.
Florida’s confirmed coronavirus cases climbed toward 800 on Saturday with at least 12 deaths. That prompted Gov. Ron DeSantis to “consider” moving certain people at risk to isolation shelters “such as abandoned convention centers or hotels, to prevent them from returning home and infecting those they live with,” the Miami Herald said.
“It would be a dramatic change in strategy toward combating the spread of coronavirus, which has killed a dozen people in Florida,” the Herald added. Florida’s largest newspaper has been critical of DeSantis’s response to the pandemic.
In a Sunday editorial, the Herald wrote:
“There is no operator’s manual for handling the most singular health threat in this country in more than a century. But if there were, we would urge Gov. Gavin Newsom, of California, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, of New York, or Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut to share it with Florida’s governor — quickly. These other state leaders have taken decisive actions, not necessarily popular, but deemed necessary, nonetheless, to slow the virus’ spread. Newsom ordered the 40 million state residents, with some exceptions, to stay home. Cuomo, Lamont and others have issued similar directives.”
“Unfortunately, DeSantis, who despite trying to appear large and in charge in front the microphone and TV cameras delivering coronavirus updates, has been a timid leader in the face of the growing scourge — and growing number of deaths from the disease in his state.”
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