Lockdowns, closures: How is each US state handling coronavirus?

Some states are taking sweeping action while others are taking a limited approach. Here is a breakdown, state by state.

A classroom sits empty ahead of the statewide school closures in Ohio, inside Milton-Union Exempted Village School District in West Milton, Ohio
Classrooms will sit empty for weeks across the United States as local and state governments fight the coronavirus's spread [Kyle Grillot/Reuters]

As the United States continues to ramp up testing, it is seeing a rapid increase of coronavirus cases.  As of Monday, there were more than 592,000 cases and over 25,239 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. 

The US government, especially the administration of President Donald Trump, has been criticised for a slow response, but has ramped up action in recent weeks, easing restrictions on testing vaccines and passing benefit packages for workers, employers and international corporations. 

The White House has also recommended limiting gatherings to 10 people, among other guidelines that were issued with frank urgency but that are not mandatory.  

But the states of the US have significant powers to handle the crisis, with many adopting similar approaches, including school and public business closures.

Here is a list of restrictions imposed in each of the 50 states:


Alabama Governor Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency on March 13 and said that all public schools would be closed from March 18. Ivey later announced that schools would be closed through the end of the school year.


Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy announced on March 16 that state-run libraries, museums and archives will be closed through the end of March and he ordered boarding school programmes to send students home.

Schools are expected to remain closed through at least May 1. 

Some municipalities, such as the state capital Anchorage, ordered bars, eateries and public spaces to close before federal officials expanded the order statewide, starting on March 18.


Governor Doug Ducey alongside Superintendent Kathy Hoffman announced the closure of Arizona schools starting March 16. 

Arizona took time to adopt an aggressive approach to the spread of coronavirus, with the governor garnering criticism for not closing bars, restaurants and businesses. 

A coalition of labour and community organisations, including some of the state’s largest unions, called on Ducey to “act more boldly and swiftly to protect working families across the state”.


Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said at a news conference on March 16 that restaurants can remain open “on their own choosing and based upon market demand”.

Hutchinson initially ordered schools to close starting March 17.

Many businesses in Arkansas have closed of their own choice.


President Trump announced on March 23 the deployment of the National Guard, a branch of the US military that operates domestically, typically in times of national disasters, to aid California, Washington State and New York. 

Governor Gavin Newsom previously called on Trump to take greater steps in assisting his state. Newsom will have control over the National Guard troops in California. 

Newsom on March 19 ordered all 40 million Californians to stay home, venturing outside only for essential jobs, errands and some exercise. 

Newsom ordered the closure of restaurants on March 17, following previous orders to close bars, breweries, wineries and similar establishments.

Restaurants will still be able to deliver carry-out orders.

Food trucks, a staple of California’s food industry, are currently allowed to remain open.

Newsom declared a state of emergency on March 4, saying “protect consumers against price gouging, allow for health care workers to come from out of state to assist at health care facilities, and give health care facilities the flexibility to plan and adapt to accommodate incoming patients.” 

On March 17, Newsom announced that schools, which were already ordered closed, would likely not reopen for the school year. 

In the San Francisco area, a shelter-in-place order began on March 17. Under the measure, considered the most severe taken by local governments since the outbreak, residents of six counties have been told to stay inside and away from others as much as possible for three weeks. Businesses that do not provide “essential” services have also been ordered to close.


Colorado Governor Jared Polis followed other states in prohibiting on-site dining at eateries and bars in Colorado, while still allowing takeout service, effective the morning of March 1. Up to five customers will be allowed inside at any one time to pick up orders, but they must maintain a 1.8m distance.

The order will last for at least 30 days.

On March 18, Polis ordered all in-person schooling to end. He also banned crowds of more than 10 people.

Polis issued a stay-at-home order, effective March 26. 


Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, in a joint statement with the governors of New York and New Jersey, announced that bars, restaurants and cinemas will be closed as of March 16.

 “If you have any options at all, stay home,” Lamont said. “If you’re over 60, 70, stay home.”

On March 15, Lamont ordered all public schools to close. 

On March 18, after the state recorded its first death from the virus, the order was extended to include places of public amusement, including malls, bowling alleys and amusement parks.

Lamont issued an order urging residents to stay home unless necessary, effective March 23. 


Delaware Governor John Carney on March 16 ordered all restaurants and bars to reduce service to carryout and delivery.

“Delawareans should continue to support these businesses, and their workers, by ordering takeout or delivery,” Carney said.

The state has also ordered schools to close for two weeks, beginning March 16. Carney later announced that schools would remain closed through May 15.

These measures came as an amendment to Carney’s original state of emergency, which was declared on March 12.

The state was placed under a shelter-in-place order effective March 24.


The Florida Department of Education ordered all public schools closed as of March 16 until March 30, which was later extended to April 15. Governor Ron DeSantis has urged public universities to finish their courses online.

DeSantis ordered residents to stay home beginning at midnight on April 1. At the time, it was the only state with 5,000 cases not to issue such an order. The decision came as data experts concluded that Florida could see deaths reach nearly 7,000, even with social distancing. 

DeSantis previously resisted calls to close beaches in the state, urging caution for holiday-makers celebrating spring break. 

INTERACTIVE: Covid-19 Social distancing


On April 1 Governor Brian Kemp ordered a statewide shelter-in-place order and extended school closures through the end of the academic year. 

Kemp declared a public health emergency on March 14, with the state setting up mobile housing units for people who need to be quarantined but cannot stay in their homes. 

Kemp signed a shelter in place order on April 2 that went into effect at midnight on April 3. 

“Building on the previous order and directives we have issued, this order is a common sense, measured step forward to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Kemp said. 

Kemp had been reluctant to issue such an order, facing criticism as the majority of states had already issued similar orders. 


Governor David Ige closed all bars and clubs in the state on March 17, while telling restaurants to only order takeout food. Public attractions, state libraries and parks have also been closed. 

Ige also asked for tourists to postpone their visits to the island state, and for Hawaiians to avoid hoarding foodstuffs and supplies, a common issue across the US.  

Hawaii public schools extended spring holidays on March 13, and later announced that schools will remain closed until at least April 30. 

Hawaii imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine of all people travelling to the state, including returning residents.

US Coronavirus Hoarders
Shoppers line up outside a Costco supermarket to buy supplies in Hawaii [Duane Tanouye/Reuters]


Governor Brad Little signed a “proactive emergency declaration” on March 13, when no cases were confirmed. 

On March 18, Little announced the state was adopting federal guidelines, which urge people not to gather in groups of more than 10. He has also advised residents not to eat at restaurants. 

Those guidelines are not mandatory, but Little said that was subject to change. 

“Given the circumstances we have now, we need to do all we can to escalate awareness and preparedness,” Little said during a March 15 press conference. “Prepare for the worst-case scenario, but we should also de-escalate alarmism – and that is critical.”

Little issued a stay-at-home order that went into effect on March 25. 


On March 20, Governor JB Pritzker issued a statewide stay-at-home order, effective March 21.

Under the order, all non-essentials businesses were closed and residents were told to stay home, but are still permitted to go to the grocery store, pharmacy, doctors office and perform other necessary tasks.  

“We don’t know yet all the steps we’re going to have to take to get this virus under control,” Pritzker said at a news conference, adding that the state “would rise to this occasion”. 

Americans take serious about stocking supplies due to coronavirus outbreak
Most food supplies were out of stock at the Whole Foods store following the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Weehawken, New Jersey, in the United States on March 15, 2020. [Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu] [-]


On March 16, Governor Eric Holcomb closed restaurants, bars and nightclubs through the month, following the state’s first coronavirus-linked death.

The governor’s office also said that as of March 15, 273 public school districts have closed or moved instruction online. There are 16 more public school districts working with the state education department to plan their next move.

Officials have also recommended that hospitals postpone elective surgeries. 

Holcomb announced on March 20 the state would move its primary from May 2 to June 2 in response to the virus. 

The governor issued a shelter-in-place order, effective at midnight on March 24. 


Governor Kim Reynolds ordered bars, eateries and other facilities such as gyms to close for two weeks on March 17. Restaurants will be able to continue delivery and pick-up services, in line with other states.

Gatherings of 10 or more were also banned, and Reynolds recommended schools close for four weeks. 


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly banned gatherings of 50 or more on March 16 for two months as local officials began ordering certain businesses to close.

The next day, Kansas became the first state in the US, according to NPR, to end K-12 classes for the remainder of the school year. 


Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, who declared a state of emergency on March 6, announced statewide closures of bars and restaurants on March 16, along with the state’s first death as a result of the virus.

All schools are closed until at least May 1, with hospitals directed to postpone elective procedures.

The Kentucky Derby, an important horse racing event, has been postponed until September 5. It was originally scheduled for May 2.

kentucky derby
The Kentucky Derby has been postponed in light of the coronavirus pandemic. [File: Matt Slocum/The Associated Press]


Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards ordered on March 16 all restaurants and bars to close while still allowing for delivery and takeout and he limited gatherings to 50 or less people. The order also closed casinos and cinemas.

Edwards closed schools and delayed its primary for the Democratic presidential nominee scheduled for April 4.

Edwards issued a statewide stay-at-home order on March 22, as a study from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette reported that Louisiana had one of the fastest-growing coronavirus infection rates in the world. 


Maine Governor Janet Mills announced a state of emergency on March 15. Three days later, Mills banned gatherings of more than 10 people in the state. 

Bars and restaurants were ordered to end dine-in services, and non-essential businesses were urged to close. 

Mills also recommended that schools stop classroom instruction, as many have already done.

Portland, Maine, one of the largest localities in the state, issued a stay-at-home order effective from March 25.


Maryland, along with Virginia and the District of Columbia, announced strict closures on public spaces such as bars, restaurants, nightclubs and cinemas on March 16, with restaurants offering only takeout food.

All public schools in the region were closed as of March 16.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has also ordered that the state’s casinos and racetracks be closed for the foreseeable future. Gatherings of over 50 people have also been suspended.

Hogan issued a stay-at-home order on March 30, alongside his counterparts in Virginia and DC. “We are no longer asking or suggesting that Marylanders stay home. We are directing them to do so”, Hogan said. 

Harvard coronavirus
A student carrying a box to her dorm at Harvard University in Massachusetts, after the school asked its students not to return to campus after spring break [Brian Snyder/Reuters]


Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency on March 10. He then limited gatherings to 25 people on March 15 and closed bars and restaurants on March 17, effective until May 7.

There is currently a three-week school closure in the state for all public schools, with residential and day schools for special-needs students unaffected.

Massachusetts has also authorised pharmacies to create and sell hand sanitiser and the state has ordered hospitals to cancel non-essential elective procedures, among other measures.

Massachusetts is considered to have adopted one of the most aggressive responses to the epidemic.


Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has closed all nonessential public spaces, limiting groups to 50 or less, and ordered bars and restaurants to close except for takeout and delivery services as of March 16. 

Whitmer announced a stay-at-home order for Michigan effective starting March 24 banning all public gatherings and keeping non-essential workers from going to their jobs. 

“The most effective way we can slow down the virus is to stay home,” Whitmer said during the announcement. 

The state has taken gradual and increasingly strong action to mitigate the crisis since its first confirmed case of coronavirus on March 10. 

Whitmer, on March 12, ordered the closure of all K-12 public schools. 


Minnesota Governor Tim Walz ordered schools to close starting from March 15 and restaurants and bars to close as of 5pm (22:00 GMT) on March 17 along with other public venues such as gyms, effective through early May. 

On March 25, under the hashtag #StayHomeMN, Walz ordered residents in nonessential jobs to stay at home March 27 throrugh April 10. Under the updated regulations restaurants, bars and other public spaces would remain closed until May 1, and distance learning for students would begin on March 30 and last until May 4.

Walz said the restrictions were critical to allow the state to protect its most vulnerable people and give time to build up the state’s capacity to handle a flood of infections.


Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves announced the state’s plan to confront the coronavirus during a streamed press conference on March 16, in which he urged all schools to extend their spring holidays and informed citizens that emergency service personnel were working at “stage 1” for the first time since the destructive Hurricane Katrina hit the state in 2005. Schools have been ordered shut.


Governor Mike Parson declared a state of emergency in Missouri on March 13, and ordered the closure of all casinos on March 17.

Parson issued a statewide stay at home order effective from April 6, after having previously rejected the step. 

Residents in the Kansas City, St Louis and St Louis county areas were already under stay-at-home orders issued by their local officials. 


Montana Governor Steve Bullock ordered a state of emergency on March 12. Three days later, he ordered schools to close through March 27, though this was extended.

Visits to nursing homes have also been limited, and Montana is under a statewide stay-at-home directive since March 28. 

Bullock announced a suspension of evictions and late fees for renters on April 1, during a press call. Bullock also directed companies not to turn off utilities during the ciris. 


Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts limited gatherings to 10 people or less March 16, but said that businesses can remain open. Ricketts said restaurants and bars may face further limitations to takeout and delivery service in the coming days.

The 10-person limit applies to child care centres, weddings and funerals, Ricketts said.

“It is not a law enforcement action,” Ricketts said in a statement on March 16. “It’s going to take individual action from all of us to make this work.”

The governor has issued statewide shelter-in-place orders. However, many local school systems have been shut.

nebraska coronavirus
A man is confronted with a closed sign at the Douglas County Treasurer’s office in Omaha, Nebraska. [Nati Harnik/The Associated Press]


Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced a state of emergency on March 12. He later ordered that all K-12 schools close on March 16.

Major casinos and hotels in Las Vegas announced the indefinite suspension of operations until further notice on March 17.

Governor Sisolak has said that all non-essential services in the state should close and gatherings and crowded events should be avoided or postponed. 

“I am telling non-essential businesses you have two choices,” he said in a news conference on March 17. “Find a way to service your customers through delivery, drive-through, curbside pickup or front-door pickup – or close your doors.”

New Hampshire

Governor Chris Sununu declared a state of emergency in New Hampshire on March 13. Schools were ordered closed for three weeks starting on March 16 and transitioned to remote education. 

The state has also banned gatherings of 50 or more people as of Monday, and has ended dining in eateries.

On March 26 Sununu ordered a stay-at-home order starting March 27, and ordered all non essential businesses to shut. He also extended the school closures. The updated orders are in effect until May 4.

New Jersey

In a joint statement with the governors of New York and Connecticut, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that bars, restaurants and cinemas will close as of March 16. The states also limited recreational and social gatherings to 50 people. 

Murphy, who declared a state of emergency on March 9, also ordered all schools to close by March 18, ordering all in-person university courses to cease.

New Jersey’s governor ordered on March 21 that all non-essential retail businesses close their stores and almost all state residents stay home to curb the spread of the coronavirus. He exempt healthcare and food industry workers. The order also banned all gatherings including weddings and parties.

New Mexico

New Mexico Health Secretary Kathy Kunkle announced on March 15 that she amended a previous public health emergency order to drastically limit public gatherings.

The new regulations, which went into effect the next day, limit bars and eateries to 50 percent of their seating capacity. Similar to cases in other states, all occupied tables must be at least six feet (1.8m) apart.

Gatherings of 100 people or more are prohibited. Casinos and horse tracks in the state will also be closed. 

Public schools were closed for three weeks starting on March 16.

Officials had declared a public health emergency on March 11.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an order on March 23 that, while not called shelter-in-place, she said was “tantamount” to such an order.

New Mexico’s stay-at-home order took effect on March 22. 

New York state

NYC coronavirus
A woman wearing a face mask walking near Herald Square in New York City[Eduardo Munoz/Reuters]

Governor Andrew Cuomo had declared a disaster emergency on January 30, the same day the World Health Organization declared the virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Several counties, including Westchester, as well as New York City, have since declared a state of emergency. 

Cuomo announced that bars, restaurants and cinemas would close as of March 16, in a joint press conference with his counterparts in New Jersey and Connecticut. The states also limited recreational and social gatherings to 50 people.  

“We have agreed to a common set of rules that will pertain in all of our states, so don’t even think about going to a neighbouring state because there’s going to be a different set of conditions,” Cuomo said. “So if you can’t do a party in New York City, you can’t do a party in New Jersey, you can’t do a party in Connecticut.” 

On March 16, Cuomo also closed schools statewide.

Cuomo on March 20 told all non-essential workers to stay home and ordered the closure of tattoo parlours, nail salons and barber shops, effective on March 21 at 8pm local time (24:00 GMT)

Trump announced on March 22 the National Guard would be deployed to assist in efforts to contain the virus in New York, along with California and Washington State.

New York has the highest number of cases of any state. 

North Carolina

Governor Roy Cooper on March 17 said that all bars and restaurants will close in North Carolina, while keeping takeout and delivery operations open. 

The declaration prompted the state’s lieutenant governor to say Cooper did not have the authority to impose such a restriction. A spokesman for Cooper’s office responded, accusing the number-two state official of creating “a chaotic situation in the middle of a pandemic”.

The state has also closed schools for two weeks starting March 16, six days after declaring a state of emergency. 

“Closing schools now will give us time for further understanding of COVID-19 and its effects on our state”, Cooper said after signing the executive order to close schools. 

Cooper promised teachers will be paid for the time they would have been teaching. 

North Dakota

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum declared a state of emergency on March 13 and announced two days later that K-12 schools will shut down for a week. The order was later extended the school closure through May 1. 

Burgum said the state of emergency will allow the state to issue guidelines that follow those of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including urging residents not to gather in groups larger than 50. 

Officials had not yet ordered any statewide business closures. 


Governor Mike DeWine closed all bars and dine-in eateries in Ohio from 9pm onward on March 15, allowing for restaurants with carry-out and delivery options to continue operation.

The move made Ohio among the first states to impose these restrictions.

“This is a crucial time,” DeWine said at the announcement. “Delay means people will die.”

Should there be lines for take-away orders, customers will need to remain 1.8m apart. Gatherings of more than 50 people have been banned

Schools have also been closed for at least three weeks, with DeWine saying the order may be extended.

DeWine issued a shelter-in-place order on March 22, urging residents not to leave their homes unless absolutely necessary. The order also closed all non-essential businesses. 


Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, who faced criticism for tweeting a photo of himself and his family at a crowded restaurant on Saturday, declared a state of emergency on March 15.

The executive order encourages state government agencies to establish work-from-home policies, according to local media.

Stitt has recommended that Oklahomans use “common sense” to limit the spread of the virus. A spokesperson for the governor told CNN that Stitt “will continue to take his family out to dinner and to the grocery store without living in fear and encourages Oklahomans to do the same”.


Governor Kate Brown on March 16 ordered the closure of bars and restaurants to all service except takeout across the state, as well as limiting gatherings to 25 people or fewer. The order became effective the following day.

Oregon schools closed on March 15 to coincide with preplanned holidays, and were to remain closed until at least April 28.


Governor Tom Wolf ordered K-12 public schools to close for two weeks starting on March 16.  

He initially ordered all restaurants and bars in the counties of Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery, where most of the state’s major population centres are found, to close their dine-in facilities for two weeks, but later extended the order statewide. The governor has also strongly urged non-essential businesses – such as recreation and entertainment facilities – to close. 

Statewide crowd limitation orders have not been given, but the city of Philadelphia, as of March 12, has banned crowds of more than 1,000.

Officials also “strongly encouraged” suspensions of gatherings of more than 10 people. 

coronavirus pennsylvania
Healthcare workers direct a car at a COVID-19 temporary testing site in Radnor, Pennsylvania [Matt Slocum/The Associated Press]

Rhode Island

On March 10, Governor Gina Raimondo declared a state of emergency in Rhode Island.

Six days later, Raimondo announced that dine-in service will end at all bars and restaurants as of March 17. As with other states, takeout services would remain an option.

Raimondo closed schools through the end of April, with many expected to offer remote learning.  She has recommended that gatherings of 25 or more be banned. 

South Carolina

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency on March 13, followed by an announcement to close public schools starting on March 14. 

On April 6, McMaster ordered all residents of the state to stay at home except for essential outings to get groceries or exercise.

Restaurant dining rooms were ordered shut as of March 18. Takeout and delivery is still available, in line with measures taken by other states.

Other businesses and sporting organisations have closed their doors or suspended operations indefinitely.

South Dakota

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem ordered on March 13 that schools close. She has also ordered non-essential personnel in state government to work from home.

Noem has said the restaurant and bar closures are not currently needed in the state, because instances of community spread have not yet been confirmed. 

South Dakota State University has also closed and moved all classes online. 


Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, who declared a state of emergency on March 12, urged schools to close. 

On March 30, Lee issued a “safer-at-home” order, which recommends residents of Tennessee stay in their homes unless they need to perform essential activities, like buy food, go to medical appointments, pick up medicine, or go to work at an essential business.

“This is not a mandated ‘shelter-in-place’ order, because it remains deeply important to me to protect personal liberties,” Lee said at a news briefing.


Texas’s approach to coronavirus containment is a “patchwork” of local regulations, according to statewide media the Texas Tribune.

Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster on March 13, but has largely allowed cities, counties and school districts to adopt proprietary approaches to the virus.

Abbott said over the weekend that local authorities will make the best decision for their communities, and has so far resisted statewide closures. 

He has, however, implemented restrictions on visitors to elderly care facilities, hospitals, prisons, and daycare centres. Officials have also waived standardised testing requirements for public schools.  

Certain localities have cancelled classes and closed restaurants, bars and other locales. Others, including smaller towns, have not.

Mexico asylum seekers - coronavirus
Asylum seekers wearing masks enter a door while attending a mandatory immigration court hearing on Monday. [Cedar Attanasio/AP Photo]


Governor Gary Herbert, on March 12, recommended a restriction on public gatherings of 100 people or fewer, while saying people over 60 should limit gatherings to under 20 people. 

“Today we stopped making decisions based on the hope that things will get better,” Herbert said in announcing the voluntary guideline.

The governor has yet to mandate statewide shutdowns.


Election 2020
Vermont’s Senator Bernie Sanders and fellow candidate Joe Biden elbow bump before the Democratic presidential primary debate [Evan Vucci/The Associated Press]

Governor Phil Scott issued on March 16 a state of emergency and announced statewide closures of bars and restaurants, in line with other states. Delivery and pick-up will continue.

Scott also banned gatherings of 50 or more people and limited venues to operate at 50 percent capacity. Schools were ordered to close by March 18.

On March 24, the state issued a stay-at-home order, effective March 25. The new measure excludes essential workers, getting groceries, takeout and exercise. 

“I need all Vermonters to understand that the more quickly and closely we follow these stay-at-home measures, the faster and safer we can get through this and get our daily lives, and our economy, moving again,” Scott said.


Governor Ralph Northam, on March 12, declared a state of emergency in Virginia. The next day, officials closed all schools. 

On March 17, Northam issued an order banning more than 10 patrons in restaurants, fitness centres and theatres at one time.

“I hope that everyone will have the common sense to stay home tonight and in the days ahead,” said Northam. “This order will ensure that state and local officials have the tools they need to keep people safe”.

Northam issued a stay-at-home order on March 30, saying those still engaging in large, public gatherings, are “being very, very selfish because you are putting all of us, including our health care providers, at risk”.


Washington state was the first to experience a significant outbreak of coronavirus, centred mostly on 11 homes for the elderly in early March. On February 29, Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency. 

On March 15, all bars, restaurants, recreational and entertainment facilities were ordered closed. Officials also limited gatherings to under 50 people.

Inslee had previously called for more restrictions on elderly and assisted living facilities, including limiting the number of visitors, keeping visitors in patient rooms and reviewing employees for virus symptoms.

“This is an unprecedented public health situation,” Inslee said. “One main defence is to reduce the interaction of people in our lives.”

Trump announced on March 22 the National Guard would be deployed to assist in efforts to contain the virus in Washington State, along with California and New York State. 

Servpro cleaning workers are sprayed as they exit the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash., Thursday, March 12, 2020, at the end of a day spent cleaning inside the facility near Seattle. The nursing ho
Servpro cleaning workers are sprayed as they exit the Life Care Center, the nursing home at the centre of the outbreak in the state, in Kirkland, Washington State [Ted S. Warren/The Associated Press]

West Virginia

Governor Jim Justice declared a state of emergency on March 16, although West Virginia was, at the time, the last US state without a confirmed case of coronavirus. The declaration will ease rules on staffing and purchasing, the governor’s office explained. The state confirmed its first case of the coronavirus on Tuesday. 

Justice has closed schools. Bars, restaurants and casinos have also been closed

US Senator Joe Manchin said in a media call that it’s “no excuse when you know how vulnerable our state is. If it gets ahold of our state, we don’t have healthcare in order to defend ourselves. It could be devastating”.

Justice ordered residents to stay at home unless necessary, effective on March 25. 


Governor Tony Evers announced on March 16 that bars and restaurants would close and gatherings of 10 or more people would be banned as of March 17, allowing for delivery and takeout.

Schools are closed. 

“We are seeing community spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin. This means that there are people who have tested positive who have no exposures to a known case, nor did they travel to a location where there is known community spread,” Evers said in a news conference announcing the closures. 

Evers issued a stay home order, effective March 25, after saying he hoped it would not be necessary. 


Governor Mark Gordon and top school officials recommended that schools be closed. 

ing is sparsely populated. As of March 18, Gordon had yet to order the same business closures as other states.

The state “must realise that closing businesses and suspending travel and public events poses a threat to employment and business viability. Our responses to these threats must be focused and measured, and that’s what these teams will bring to a changing situation,” Gordon said in a statement.

District of Columbia

The seat of the nation’s capital announced strict closures on public spaces such as bars, restaurants, nightclubs and cinemas on March 15, offering only takeout food. 

The district also suspended public service activities such as street sweeping and is encouraging all government employees to work from home.

Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a public health emergency on March 11. All public schools in the region are closed as of March 16.

On March 25, the city announced the closure of all non-essential businesses for a month.

“This Mayor’s order requires temporary closure of the on-site operation of all non-essential businesses and prohibits gatherings of 10 or more people,” Bowser’s office said in a statement.

Bowser issued a stay-at-home order on March 30, which “reinforces” the previous “direction to residents to stay at home except to perform essential activities.”

Editor’s note: Check with state and local governments for the most up-to-date actions taken. 

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies