What Governors Are Doing To Tackle Spreading Coronavirus

Governors around the U.S. are taking a variety of steps to try to contain the spread of coronavirus and protect the public.

More than 30 state leaders, as well as officials from Washington, D.C., have declared states of emergency, clearing the path to respond to the dangers posed by the COVID-19 pandemic as experts warn the number of cases will increase in future weeks.

The following is a list of measures taken by some governors to contain the highly contagious disease in recent days:

Arizona

Gov. Douglas Ducey declared a state of emergency on Wednesday and issued rules for nursing facilities that require screening of all staff, visitors, vendors and contractors. Insurers regulated by the state must waive all costs associated with COVID-19 diagnostic tests regardless of whether the laboratory is in-network, as well as telemedicine visits. Ducey’s order also prohibits price gouging by licensed health professionals or health care institutions.

California

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday expanded an executive order recommending a ban on large gatherings of more than 250 people across the state until at least the end of March. Smaller events can proceed only if organizers can implement social distancing of 6 feet per person. The executive order also includes protections for state workers, including workers’ compensation benefits if they contract COVID-19 during the course of their work. It also delays the deadline for state tax filing by 60 days for individuals and businesses unable to file on time.

Delaware

Gov. John Carney declared a state of emergency effective at 8 a.m. on Friday. It orders all event hosts to cancel all “non-essential mass gatherings” of 100 people or more. Facilities serving older adults — including nursing and assisted living facilities, hospice providers and rehabilitation facilities — are required to screen and restrict access to anyone showing symptoms of the coronavirus or who has had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis in the previous 14 days. It also says staff members of those facilities should not travel outside the U.S. State employees are restricted from any business travel outside of Delaware. The declaration also forbids any entity doing business in the state to engage in price gouging.

Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency on Monday. Miami-Dade county officials have suspended all evictions during the outbreak.

Kentucky

Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday made a “significant recommendation” that all public and private K-12 schools should close their doors effective Monday and remain closed for two weeks. Beshear also urged residents to avoid crowds and large gatherings, including church services and other community gatherings.

Maryland

All public schools across the state are shutting down for two weeks, starting on Monday, Gov. Larry Hogan announced. In addition, he signed an executive order prohibiting gatherings and events of more than 250 people and closing all senior centers. The order also closed the cruise ship terminal at the Port of Baltimore.

New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced restrictions on gatherings of more than 500 people, including new limits on crowd density, effectively shutting down Broadway shows and other live performances. Cuomo also asked hospitals to prepare for a surge in patients, which could include canceling elective surgeries to free up bed space. The governor announced a statewide ban on visitation to nursing homes aimed at protecting seniors. Families can visit under special circumstances, wearing protective gear.

Ohio

Gov. Mike DeWine announced that children will have an extended spring break of three weeks beginning Monday. He said that state officials would review whether schools can reopen after that. Gatherings of 100 people or more have also been banned.

Oregon

Gov. Kate Brown banned gatherings of more than 250 people for the next four weeks.

Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf announced that all schools, gyms, community centers and entertainment venues would be shut down in Montgomery County outside Philadelphia for 14 days. Wolf also encouraged people to cancel or postpone large gatherings and discouraged people from going to recreational activities in public places.

Tennessee

Gov. Bill Lee declared a state of emergency and expanded coronavirus testing sites. He also lifted licensing requirements for health care professionals to allow them to provide “localized treatment of patients in temporary residences.” Pharmacists will be allowed to dispense an extra 30-day supply of maintenance prescriptions without the usual authorization if necessary to respond to and prevent the spread of COVID-19. He also prohibited price gouging on medical or emergency supplies.

Virginia

Gov. Ralph Northam has halted all official travel outside of Virginia by state employees for at least 30 days. The state is also phasing in teleworking for state employees, while Northam is directing agencies to limit in-person meetings and nonessential gatherings. The state has also canceled state conferences and large events for a minimum of 30 days.

Washington

All public and private schools in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties will close for the next six weeks, Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Thursday. The move impacts 43 school districts in the three counties, which have been hard hit by the virus.

This is a developing story. We will continue to update as new information becomes available.

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