California, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts and Washington Closes Bars, Cafes and Restaurants

Governors across five states — California, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington — are combating the spread of the coronavirus by severely limiting the activities in their states.

As USA Today reports the governors each issued orders to close bars and restaurants, and most other gatherings of more than 50 people to comply with new recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is allowing bars and restaurants to stay open for carry-out and delivery purchases only, saying: “What we can’t have is people congregating and seated.”

“I’m aware that this will impact many, many good workers,” DeWine said in a social media post. “I can’t tell you how sorry I am, but we will work to mitigate the suffering. It is our goal for everyone to get through this.

“Every day we delay, more people will die,” he cautioned.

California Governor Gavin Newsom similarly advised all bars, wineries, pubs, and nightclubs to close their doors to the public. He also advised individuals over 65 years old to self-isolate, USA Today reports.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced on Sunday that he would be ordering restaurants and other public places to close amid the coronavirus outbreak to limit its spread.

“There are no easy decisions left to make as we address this unprecedented crisis,” Pritzker said per the report. “As your governor, I can’t allow the gravity of these decisions from taking the measures that the science and the experts say will keep people safe.”

“The time for persuasion and public appeals is over,” he added. “The time for action is here.”

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer followed suit, temporarily shutting down all bars and restaurants as of Monday at 3 p.m.

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Fox Detroit reports:

She said she’ll be releasing more information later today about the order, but that it still permits restaurants to make food for carry-out and delivery. The big closure comes just days before thousands of Michiganders were sure to head out to the bars for St. Patrick’s Day.

Whitmer said fitness centers would also be included in this latest order, as well as a number of other “large places of assemblage,” though she didn’t elaborate. You can watch her full interview here.

Meanwhile, as cases in Michigan just jumped up to 53, Gov. Whitmer said she, too, is working remotely from home or the office during this state of emergency.

Whitmer confirmed the coronavirus could run its course so as long as “everyone does their part.”

She added: “And that means the curtailing of community spread through best hygenic practices and social distancing and washing your hands.”

USA Today adds:

In Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker ordered all bars and restaurants close starting Tuesday, March 17, and remain closed for a month.

Describing coronavirus as “incredibly contagious” at a Sunday news conference, Baker told reporters, “If we take decisive steps now and everyone plays their part by following the best medical guidance, we can slow down the spread.”

In announcing his decision, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said “hours count and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease.”