Restrictions return amid COVID-19 outbreak in the United States

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From New York to Seattle, states and metropolises have reintroduced restrictions in recent days in an attempt to stem the blaze of the coronavirus in the United States. The number of cases in the country now exceeds 11 million, with more than 247,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

With the approach of American Thanksgiving, on November 26, usually the occasion of large family reunions, a series of measures were announced, very variable from state to state, without going as far as confinement, except in New- Mexico.

Notable difference from the spring: a majority of states – 31 out of 50, including states with Republican governors generally more hostile to restrictions than Democrats – now impose the wearing of masks. Including very rural North Dakota, where Republican Doug Burgum imposed the measure on Saturday after refusing for a long time.

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A series of restrictive measures

In New Mexico, Democratic Governor Michelle Grisham introduced a two-week confinement order as of Monday. Residents are called to stay at home, except for essential travel, and only businesses deemed essential remain open.

Illinois hasn't imposed lockdowns, but its main metropolis – Chicago, the third largest city in the United States – has. Its inhabitants are called to stay at home from this Monday for a period of 30 days, except for essential trips.

Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Sunday the closure of high schools and universities for three weeks, forcing online education to everyone except the youngest.

Cinemas and dining rooms are closed, group gym classes prohibited, and those who can have to work remotely. But shops, hairdressers and others personal services remain open.

In Washington state, which was the first in the United States to deplore coronavirus cases earlier this year, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee announced a series of restrictions beginning this Tuesday and through December 14.

In particular, residents will no longer be able to receive home if visitors have not placed themselves in isolation at least seven days before and have not been declared negative in the 48 hours preceding the visit.

On the other hand, schools and universities are exempt from new restrictions.

People demonstrate with posters.

Traders and entrepreneurs protest restrictions in San Diego, California.

Photo: Getty Images / Sandy Huffaker

In California, after a doubling in 10 days in the number of positive cases recorded daily – for a positivity rate now of 4.6% – Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom announced Monday that 41 of his 58 counties – instead of 12 until – there – were now classified as a maximum restriction zone: most domestic commercial activities are closed there.

Schools can only open at 25% of their capacity and only receive students deemed to have priority.

Even though masks are now mandatory, most businesses remain open in Texas, the second most populous state after California, when it recorded more than 10,000 new cases per day on average last week. The situation is particularly worrying in El Paso, where mobile mortuaries are to be deployed.

Workers in lab coats transfer a body from a stretcher to the back of a bus.

The body of a person who died of COVID-19 is transferred to a mobile mortuary on November 16 in El Paso, Texas.

Photo: Reuters / Ivan Pierre Aguirre

In New York, restaurants and bars closed at 10 p.m.

In the northeast of the country, long spared by the resurgence of the epidemic, restrictions are also back, but remain limited compared to the peak in spring. Especially in New Jersey, which this weekend reached records for new contaminations, with more than 4,500 new cases identified on Sunday.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday announced a 10-person limit at indoor gatherings, and 25% capacity limits at venues hosting weddings and church services. But outdoor gatherings can still bring together 150 people.

Citizens line up outside a clinic in New York City for a COVID-19 test.

Citizens line up outside a clinic in New York City for a COVID-19 test.

Photo: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

In New York State, where the rate of positive cases is currently limited to 2.8%, Governor Andrew Cuomo has since Friday imposed a curfew on bars and restaurants, which must close at 10 p.m. .

In New York City itself, public schools remain open, but could close overnight. The mayor reiterated Monday that, in accordance with commitments made to teachers' unions, he would close them if the average rate of positive cases over seven days exceeded 3%.

Read also :

  • COVID-19: the United States, a ship without a captain for the second wave
  • People 25 to 44 and Hispanics Most Affected by COVID-19 in the United States
  • COVID-19: the clinical trial of an experimental treatment suspended in the United States


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