Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020
News Every Day |

Governors, Mayors Roll Out Sweeping Restrictions Ahead of Thanksgiving

Ethen Kim Lieser

Thanksgiving, Americas

Engaging in proactive measures now could offer immense benefits until a vaccine can be distributed widely to the general public.

With Thanksgiving only about a week away, many states hard hit by the coronavirus are rolling out sweeping lockdowns and restrictions in an effort to contain the unrelenting spread of the virus.

The United States now has eclipsed 11.2 million coronavirus cases and registered nearly 250,000 related deaths—both figures the highest in the world, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. That’s an unsettling one million new infections in just one week and two million since the beginning of this month.

Due to the surging number of cases, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its forecast to state that newly reported deaths “will likely increase over the next four weeks, with 5,500 to 13,400 new deaths likely to be reported in the week ending December 5, 2020.”

In response, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced that he is pulling the “emergency brake” on efforts to reopen businesses, saying that if no action is taken, it will lead to “catastrophic outcomes.”  

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s stay-at-home order went into effect on Monday, allowing only essential businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, to be open.  

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has ordered gyms, bowling alleys, movie theaters, museums, and zoos to shut down indoor operations and all stores must limit capacity to 25 percent. He has also banned people from different households from gathering indoors unless they have quarantined first.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has called on residents in the nation’s third-largest city to restrict social gatherings to ten people and stay at home as much as possible for the next thirty days. Last week, she asked all citizens to cancel their Thanksgiving plans. “This is serious life and death,” Lightfoot said during a press conference.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced that high schools and colleges must halt in-person classes, restaurants must suspend indoor dining, and entertainment businesses must shutter their doors for three weeks. Gathering sizes were also tightened.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has issued an order limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings to ten people. In addition, the gatherings should only involve members from three households or less, including the host.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s new restrictions limit restaurants to take-out service only and have closed gyms, fitness centers, and indoor and outdoor event centers. She has also banned gatherings of more than six people from two different households.  

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who has resisted a statewide mask mandate since the pandemic began, put one in place over the past weekend. The state has one of the most rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreaks, per capita, in the country. “Our situation has changed, and we must change with it,” Burgum said during a press conference.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds shared similar sentiments as she also announced a statewide mask mandate on Monday. She, however, had for months disparaged face-covering restrictions as “feel good” measures.

“If Iowans don’t buy into this, we lose,” Reynolds said during a press briefing. “Businesses will close again. More schools will be forced to go online and our health-care system will fail. The cost in human life will be high.”

Under the new guidelines, any individual over the age of two must wear a mask when in an “indoor space that is open to the public and within six feet of individuals who are not members of their household for fifteen minutes or longer.”

Indoor gatherings with more than fifteen people are prohibited as well. “No one wants to do this,” Reynolds added. “I don’t want to do this especially as we’re coming into a holiday season that is normally filled with joy. I cherish Thanksgiving with my family and this year, we’re postponing that.”

Dr. Jill Foster, a professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School, told the National Interest that “we need to support our governors since they have the best information on our individual regions.”

“We have learned so much since the beginning of the pandemic of what does work that it’s more useful to focus on implementing measures that have a high impact with lesser disruption of the economy,” she said.

“We need to stop swapping air as closely as we are. Wearing a face covering is the best example of that. People can at low cost reduce their own and others risk without changing their behaviors of how and where they shop, and in most cases, continue their jobs and recreation. Beyond that, not congregating in groups outside their own household and keeping a distance when they need to be with others is somewhat harder, but not impossible. Americans have strength in ingenuity in solving so many problems, but there are still pockets of paralysis in coming up with creative solutions preventing the spread.”

Dr. Dean Winslow, an infectious-disease specialist at Stanford Health Care, noted that engaging in proactive measures now could offer immense benefits until a vaccine can be distributed widely to the general public.

“Many of us feel that nationwide restrictions on indoor dining, bars, gyms, indoor religious services, and other indoor gatherings would be very appropriate until a significant proportion of the population is immunized against COVID-19—and that might be a year from now,” he told the National Interest

Like in many other states, hospital resources in Iowa have been hit particularly hard as more coronavirus-positive patients are admitted. A record-breaking nearly seventy thousand people are hospitalized with the coronavirus in the United States, which is thirteen thousand more than a week earlier, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Deaths have eclipsed more than eleven hundred per day on average, an increase of more than 50 percent from early October.

“Our hospitals are just on the cusp of being overrun,” Dr. Jason Keonin, of Northwest Iowa Surgeons PC, in Spencer, Iowa, told the National Interest.

“We are even to the point of canceling some surgical cases to make sure we have enough beds available. Most of our referral hospitals are full and not able to accept transfers, so the outlook is not good for our patients that get really sick. I just recommend that people take this seriously.”

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.  

Image: Reuters

Read also

Star Wars: The Untold Truth Of Ahsoka Tano

Los Angeles residents ordered to stay at home until Christmas week, with all gatherings BANNED… except for church & PROTESTS

The system failed them — then they threw innocents onto the subway tracks

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here