More states close restaurants, entertainment venues amid pandemic
States across the country ramped up closures on bars, restaurants and entertainment venues on Monday as part of their efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will close all entertainment venues across the three states starting Monday night.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the joint regional action plan to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus pandemic on Monday.
Bars and restaurants will be reduced to takeout and delivery options only. All movie theaters, casinos and gyms will also be closed.
Crowd capacities will be reduced to 50 people.
Effective 8PM TONIGHT:
-Crowd capacity reduced to 50
-Restaurants/bars will be takeout/delivery ONLY
-Movie theaters closed
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 16, 2020
“These temporary closures will last as long as is necessary to protect the public health,” Cuomo tweeted.
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.
I have called on the federal gov’t to implement nationwide protocols, but in their absence we are taking this on ourselves.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 16, 2020
In Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced bars and restaurants will also be closing, limited only for drive-thru and delivery.
“It’s not lost on me that most of these are small businesses,” Beshear said at a Monday press conference announcing the closures, adding that in some cases owners have put their entire life savings into opening their business. “We’re going to do everything we can to be there for you. I realize the impact it’s going to have but we have to take the steps to make sure that we are protecting our people.”
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) also announced she will be calling for a temporary ban on bars and restaurants. Whitmer made the announcement in an appearance on Fox 2 Detroit, and further details are expected to be released later Monday, with the closures reportedly going into effect starting at 3 p.m. EDT.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), meanwhile, called for bars and restaurants across the state to close, limited only to delivery, carry out and drive-thru orders, beginning Monday at 5 p.m. EDT. He also limited social and religious gatherings of more than 50 people.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) also announced that bars, night clubs and restaurants will be closed for in-person patrons through the end of March.
And Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) announced that dine-in services at restaurants, bars and coffee shops will be shut down through the end of the month. The decision will be revisited in two weeks.
Rhode Island is also restricting gatherings to no more than 25 people.
“I am mindful of the economic impact of this directive. Many restaurants are small businesses, and shutting down dine-in services is a huge blow. I want you to know we’re doing everything we can to support you and your employees through this difficult time,” Raimondo tweeted, adding that the state is applying for the federal Small Business Administration’s economic injury disaster loans in addition to providing resources by the state department of labor.
Today, I announced that effective tomorrow until March 30, dine-in services at all restaurants, bars, and coffee shops in RI will be shut down. Drive-thru, take-out and delivery services can remain open. We’ll revisit this direction in two weeks.
— Gina Raimondo (@GovRaimondo) March 16, 2020
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) ordered all bars and restaurants in the state to close for dine-in business, while permitting drive-thru, carry-out and delivery services.
“I understand that this is disruptive to businesses as well as patrons who just want to enjoy themselves, but in the best interest of individuals and families in the mitigation counties, we must take this step,” Wolf said in a statement.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) followed suit Monday, announcing that bars, casinos and movie theaters would close, starting at midnight, and restaurants would move to delivery, take-out and drive-thru service only. All gatherings of 50 or more people are banned.
“We believe we are still unearthing community spread that’s been around for the past several weeks, which means it is a statewide problem that requires statewide solutions,” Edwards posted on Twitter.
Today, I am taking additional measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by further limiting gatherings to fewer than 50 people, closing casinos, bars & movie theaters and limiting restaurants to delivery and drive-through orders only. #lagov #lalege
— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) March 16, 2020
The latest round of restrictions follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Sunday recommendation to cancel or postpone events with 50 or more people for the next eight weeks.
Other states, including Ohio and Illinois, have implemented similar restaurant and bar closures, while other cities and states have put in place restrictions and limitations on the number of people allowed in establishments.
Connecticut is among the dozens of states that have closed schools statewide. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is likely to announce Monday the shuttering of all schools, NJ.com reported.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced Sunday city schools would be closed, and officials in several New York counties decided to close schools, as well.
More than 4,200 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed across the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Updated at 5:47 p.m.