Lawmakers across America are turning off the lights in bars and restaurants to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) announced that his state, along with Connecticut and New Jersey, are taking regional action to prevent the spread of the virus. Starting 8 p.m. Monday night, movie theaters and casinos will close in all three states, and restaurants and bars can only deliver meals or allow customers to carry out their orders. Grocery stores will remain open.
“Our primary goal is to slow the spread of #Coronavirus so that the wave doesn’t crash our healthcare system. Social distancing is the best way to do that,” Cuomo tweeted Monday.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D), urged tribal casinos in his state to follow the state’s goal of decreasing events with more than 50 people.
“This should not be a legal or jurisdictional discussion. It should be a discussion among tribal and state governmental partners in furtherance of public health. We will continue [to] have discussion with our CT tribes,” he tweeted Monday.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) ordered all bars and restaurants to close dine-in seating as of 3 p.m. Monday, 9 & 10 News reporter Eric Loyd tweeted. Restaurants will only be able to deliver and process orders and allow takeouts.
“At the federal level, we’re behind as a country. At the state level, we’re taking this incredibly seriously and trying to do everything we can to mitigate the impacts of this virus,” she told reporters via Skype, according to Sinclair Broadcast Group Michigan reporter Mikenzie Frost.
Governors throughout the country are issuing similar drastic orders along with states of emergency to curtail the spread of the virus. At least seven states have suspended casino activities, according to CDC Gaming Reports.
The Alabama Department of Public Health on Monday said it was recommending against gatherings of 50 people or more and urging senior citizens or people with chronic health issues to avoid air, train or bus travel as well as gatherings of more than 10 people who are not close family. They also said restaurants and other businesses should not allow more than 50 percent of their normal capacities.
Mayors also are cracking down on their constituents’ activities.
On Sunday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced that he will sign an executive order Monday that will limit restaurants to takeout and delivery services and require all nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses and concert venues to close. The order will become effective Tuesday at 9 a.m.
“The virus can spread rapidly through the close interactions New Yorkers have in restaurants, bars and places where we sit close together. We have to break that cycle,” he tweeted Sunday.
The mayor of the Big Apple acknowledged that the closings will take a huge bite out of the culture of the city, but said the metropolis is under an unprecedented threat that requires “a wartime mentality.”
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh (D) ordered city bars, nightclubs and restaurants to operate at half their capacity, prevent lines from forming outside establishments and to close by 11 p.m.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) closed all bars, restaurants, entertainment venues and fitness centers as of Monday. Garcetti said closing the businesses wasn’t an easy decision, but a necessary one, in a Sunday tweet.
“We will do everything we can to help businesses & workers impacted during this time,” he said.