This State Is on the Verge of a "Full Shutdown," Official Warns

"The direction we're going in could well be one of those fuller shutdowns," one government official said.

At the beginning of the pandemic, there was no state hit harder than New York. As the novel coronavirus took over the Empire State and specifically the densely populated New York City, a lack of understanding of effective treatment and how COVID spread resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. Now, as numbers begin to reach heights the state hasn't seen since the spring, government officials are threatening serious action. According to data from The New York Times, over the last 14 days in New York, cases have gone up 54 percent, deaths have gone up 88 percent, and, the number the governor and other officials are watching most closely, hospitalizations have gone up 66 percent. Now, according to the governor of New York and the mayor of New York City, it seems the state will have to shut down soon. Read on for more on New York and other state lockdowns, and for the latest COVID news, check out If You Have This Blood Type, You're at a High Risk of Severe COVID.

The fear is that these growing case numbers in New York may overwhelm hospitals. "If our hospital capacity becomes critical, we're going to close down that region, period," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a Dec. 7 press conference. "It's a little complicated, but if your seven-day average says that, if it were to continue for three weeks, you're going to hit 90 percent of your hospital capacity … If you are at a rate that is going to overwhelm your hospitals, you must shut down. Not just indoor dining. Shut down. Only essential businesses."

During a press conference on Monday, Dec. 14, Cuomo hinted that New York may shut down again next month. "The increase in hospitals could overwhelm some hospitals in some regions if nothing changes by January. That is the problem we are looking at," he said, according to CNN.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has also warned that a "total lockdown" is a possibility in the face of soaring COVID-19 cases. Since September, restaurants had been allowed to operate indoors at 25 percent capacity, but this week, all indoor dining has been halted. On Dec. 14, de Blasio told CNN's New Day that further restrictions were likely. "You're talking about the potential, and again I'm quoting from Governor Cuomo and I think he's right, there's a potential of having to do a full pause—a full shutdown in the coming weeks—because we can't let this kind of momentum go."

When asked if he believed the shutdown would affect certain areas or the entire state, de Blasio said: "The State of New York makes the ultimate decision, but I think what we're looking at now is something that would be more across the board because of the sheer magnitude of what we're facing. … We obviously are sensitive to the fact it's the holidays, it's the holiday shopping season. We want people to shop at those local small businesses, mom-and-pop stores, help them through. But in the end, our number one job is to protect people's health and safety. So, I think the direction we're going in could well be one of those fuller shutdowns."

Of course, New York is not alone in preparing to lock down. Read on to see the states that have already shut down, and for more areas struggling to contain coronavirus, This Surprising State Is Seeing the Worst COVID Surge in the U.S.

Read the original article on Best Life.


cityscape photo of buildings and houses in San Jose, California at dusk

On Dec. 3, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he would institute stay-at-home orders in any region of California where the available ICU beds dropped below 15 percent. And in many areas, that's exactly what's happened. Under the order, private gatherings of any size are prohibited, all non-essential businesses must close, and masks and physical distancing are mandatory in all essential businesses. These orders remain in effect for at least three weeks. At that point, if a region's projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15 percent, they'll be lifted. If not, they'll remain. And for more up-to-date information on the pandemic, sign up for our daily newsletter.

New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA streets at dusk.

On Nov. 13, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced a two-week "reset," reinstating previous strict COVID restrictions from the spring. Through Nov. 30, New Mexicans were required to shelter in place, and no non-essential businesses or nonprofits could operate in-person. Now that the reset has expired, her state has a tiered system of restrictions for each county, and all but one county is in the most restrictive tier, which prohibits indoor dining. Bars and entertainment venues are closed in all tiers. And for the one person in your life who could make you sick, check out This Is Who Is Most Likely to Give You COVID, Study Finds.


city skyline of downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at twilight

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, who himself recently tested positive for COVID, instituted mitigation efforts starting Dec. 12 through Jan. 4. All gyms, indoor dining, and indoor entertainment venues are closed and other businesses are limited to 50 percent capacity. As for private social gatherings, there's a 10-person limit indoors and a 50-person limited outdoors.

Rhode Island

cityscape photo of pier and building in downtown Providence, Rhode Island

Rhode Island just extended Gov. Gina Raimondo's "two-week pause" that began on Nov. 30 and was intended to end on Dec. 13, but will now last through at least Dec. 20. The order includes a stay-at-home advisory (from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Sunday through Thursday and from 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday), and it also forces gyms, bars, theaters, bowling alleys, and casinos statewide to close. Social gatherings are limited to your household only, indoor dining is limited to 33 percent capacity, and religious services are capped at 25 percent capacity. And if you're curious if you're sick, know that This Surprising Body Part Can Determine If You Have COVID, Study Says.


downtown skyline and river in Richmond, Virginia at twilight

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam elevated the existing restrictions in his state on Dec. 14, issuing a new order that requires residents to follow a "modified stay-at-home order" from midnight until 5 a.m. daily. Additionally, the sale of alcohol is cut off at 10 p.m., face mask requirements have been ramped up, and private gatherings of more than 10 people are banned.

"I've put an ungodly amount of people in body bags," Emily Nichole Egan, a coronavirus ICU nurse from Virginia, said in a video appearance during a press conference announcing the new order. "I understand the sacrifice, and that it's hard to stay home and it's hard to wear a mask and you feel like you can't breathe. But seeing these people die that can't breathe—it starts to take a toll on you."


city skyline and busy highway in Seattle, Washington at night

The state of Washington has had tight restrictions in place since Nov. 15, but case numbers are still on the rise. As a result, Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Dec. 8 that he would be extending the current restrictions through the end of the year. For the remainder of 2020, indoor dining and gyms will be closed, and mixing households to gather is banned, unless all attendees have properly quarantined or received a negative COVID-19 test result.

"This is because we remain concerned about COVID activity and we still do not have a clear picture of the situation following the Thanksgiving weekend," Inslee told reporters in a press conference announcing the extension. And for insight from the nation's leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Fauci Says These 2 Places Need to Close Right Now.

John Quinn
John Quinn is a London-based writer and editor who specializes in lifestyle topics. Read more
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