- Thirty-two states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico have issued stay-at-home orders, encouraging isolation measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
- Some metro areas in states without such orders – including Birmingham, Alabama; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Houston and Dallas, Texas – are also under stay-at-home orders.
- In total, that brings about 80% of America’s population, or about 265 million people, under some form of lockdown.
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As of Tuesday, 32 US states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico have issued stay-at-home orders, asking residents to shelter in place and go out only for essential services like buying food and medicine.
Many cities and counties in states that don’t have these policies have issued similar orders. And at least three states and one territory – Guam, Nevada, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania – have ordered nonessential businesses to close but haven’t asked all residents to stay home.
The goal of all of these policies is to minimise how often people come within 6 feet of one another, thereby reducing the spread of the coronavirus and “flattening the curve” so healthcare systems aren’t overwhelmed.
The state-wide orders are represented on the map below in red. Different leaders have called the directives by various names – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee dubbed his state’s policy “stay home, stay healthy,” while Hillsborough County, Florida, is calling it “safer at home,” and Anchorage, Alaska has told residents to “hunker down.”
Arizona and Tennessee’s stay-at-home orders, the latest additions to the list of state-wide policies, go into effect Tuesday evening.
How many people are staying at home?
Together, the state and city populations affected by some kind of stay-at-home order hold approximately 265 million people – about 80% of the US population.
The 32 states with stay-at-home orders are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The list of cities with local orders includes Birmingham, Alabama; Boca Raton, Gainesville, Miami, Orlando, and Tallahassee, Florida; Atlanta, Savannah, Blakeley, and Carrollton, Georgia; Wichita and Topeka, Kansas; Portland, Maine; St. Louis, St. Joseph, and Kansas City, Missouri; Charlotte, Durham, and Raleigh, North Carolina; Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Norman, Oklahoma; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio, Texas; Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah; and Jackson, Wyoming.
The precise definition of an “essential” business varies by location, but “nonessential” tends to apply to most recreational businesses. Grocery stores, banks, and pharmacies are staying open, but in some places, restaurants had to convert their operations to takeout. Museums and salons are mostly closed. Rules about construction operations and marijuana dispensaries vary by region.
In some places, stay-at-home orders are causing confusion and even conflict. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced an executive order that effectively overrode measures implemented by local officials. It classified businesses including gun shops, department stores, and real-estate offices as “essential,” while urging employees to work from home “to the extent feasible.”
The US has reported more than 177,400 confirmed coronavirus cases – more than Italy (105,700), Spain (94,400) and China (82,200).
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