Several states have announced renewed efforts to combat the coronavirus as more than 11 million cases ofhave now been reported in the United States — with the most recent million coming in less than a week — and as many Americans prepare to observe a marked by the pandemic.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Sunday announced the state would enforce new restrictions on businesses and social gatherings for the next month as it continued to combat a rising number of cases.
Starting Tuesday, gyms and some entertainment centers in Washington will be required to close their indoor services. Retail stores, including grocery stores, will be ordered to limit indoor capacity and multiple-household, indoor social gatherings will be prohibited unless attendees have quarantined for 14 days or tested negative for COVID-19 and quarantined for a week. By Wednesday, restaurants and bars will again be limited to outdoor dining and to-go service.
The actions also follow grim milestones passed byand last week as the states each marked more than 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
In Texas, sporting events were canceled and at least one city added mobile morgues in anticipation of hospital-overwhelming virus deaths. Meanwhile, in California, the nation's most populous state and the first one to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, officials urged those planning holiday gatherings to take strict precautions, including keeping visits small, outdoors and under two hours long
And in, a previously resistant Governor Doug Burgum ordered a statewide mask mandate and imposed several business restrictions late Friday in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus that has stressed the state's hospital capacity. The Republican heeded the advice of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to require face coverings. Bars, restaurants and other venues were also ordered to reduce capacity.
Though not nearly as sweeping as those imposed last spring,and Washington signified returns similar to measures taken in the beginning months of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. when both were under strict stay-at-home orders.
In Washington — which was among the first states to report a COVID-19 case and death in early 2020 — all 39 of its counties have been paused in either the second or third phase of a four-stage reopening plan that started in early May after a lockdown that began in March.
The restrictions announced by Inslee, a Democrat, temporarily rolls back all counties and places them under the same guidelines. The advisories say people should avoid non-essential out-of-state travel and quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country.
Health experts and officials across the nation are now cautioning people to forego or revise gatherings and holiday travel plans as Thanksgiving and winter celebrations approach.
As of Sunday, Johns Hopkins University's coronavirus tracker has reached 11 million after topping 10 million cases November 9 — with the most recent million coming in just six days. It took 300 days for the U.S. to hit the 11 million mark since the first case was diagnosed in Washington state on January 20.
For most, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks, although long-term effects are unknown. But for some, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.