Trump endorses ending coronavirus social distancing soon, against health experts’ advice – The Washington Post

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Employees of Eli Lilly prepare to start drive-through testing of Indianapolis-area health-care workers for covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, at company headquarters in Indianapolis on March 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Employees of Eli Lilly prepare to start drive-through testing of Indianapolis-area health-care workers for covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, at company headquarters in Indianapolis on March 23, 2020. (Michael Conroy)

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced a stay-at-home order starting Monday night.

The order bans all gatherings and closes many businesses, aside from grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and other essential businesses. There are more than 2,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Washington state, and at least 110 people have died from the virus.

“Make no mistake,” Inslee said. This order is enforceable by law. We know that to be socially irresponsible in these times is to risk the lives of our loved ones.”

While the first U.S. novel coronavirus case was identified in Washington state, other governors are issued similar orders aimed at flattening the curve as the outbreak crosses state lines and claims lives in its wake.

West Virginia

On Monday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) issued a stay-at-home order effective on Tuesday. The order directs residents to isolate in their homes and limit movements beyond essential need, such as going to the grocery store or medical necessity.

On Monday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) ordered citizens to stay home and closed nonessential businesses for at least the next three weeks while the state tries to lower its growing total of positive coronavirus cases.

The order begins at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday. Michigan has recorded 1,232 confirmed cases and 15 deaths as of Monday, Whitmer said in a news conference.

Michigan’s rising caseload will likely cause a severe strain on the state’s health-care system, Whitmer said. Pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations and banks will remain open, as will delivery and carryout at restaurants. Other nonessential businesses could face fines and closure, she said.

A lack of direction and medical supplies from the federal government has exacerbated the situation in Michigan, Whitmer said. Michigan recently received its allotment from the National Strategic Stockpile, and it was barely enough to cover one shift at a local hospital, Whitmer said.

Schools will remain closed at least through April 13, and state leaders are exploring how people can cast their ballots at home in local elections in May, she said.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) issued a similar order that will take effect from noon on Tuesday until April 7 at noon. Baker said at a Monday news conference that he will also direct the state’s Department of Public Health to issue a “stay at home advisory” that will outline self-isolation and social-distancing protocols.

The order came shortly after city and state representatives pressured him to sign a “stay at home order” in a public letter.

“I do not believe I can or should order U.S. citizens to be confined to their homes for days on end,” he said, saying such an order did not make sense and was not realistic.

Baker’s order will likely be enforced at the local level and carries a graduated set of penalties.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) also ordered all nonessential business shut down at 5 p.m. on Monday following a previous mandate of closing down casinos and racetracks earlier in the month.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) delivered sweeping orders on Monday for Hoosiers to remain inside with exceptions for going out for essentials or for health-care needs.

Holcomb will also close the doors to all state government offices. Orders are effective from March 25 to April 7.

Hoosiers with soon-expiring licenses or registrations will receive an automatic extension from the governor that will prevent law enforcement from issuing citations for expired materials during the state’s emergency.

This article originally appeared here in https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/03/23/coronavirus-latest-news/

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