KANSAS CITY — More states and cities could see temporary stay-at-home orders and shutdowns as COVID-19 continues to spread, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The number of new cases already was rising before the Thanksgiving holiday, which saw many Americans travel or gather in both large and small groups. The full extent of a Thanksgiving-related surge will not be known until around Christmas, which may prompt another surge of cases, the agency said.
Restaurants and bars in New York City were ordered to close for indoor dining indefinitely beginning Monday, Dec. 14. Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday the city was on course to reach 90% of its hospital capacity, at which point all nonessential businesses in the city could be ordered closed.
In Delaware, restaurants and bars will be a subject to a 10 p.m. curfew for indoor dining beginning Monday, Dec. 14. Other new restrictions include a 30% capacity cap on restaurants and a universal mask order. A statewide stay-at-home advisory also goes into effect Monday. Under the advisory, which lasts until at least Jan. 14, residents are urged to avoid all gatherings indoors with anyone outside of their home.
New pandemic measures took hold in Pennsylvania on Saturday, Dec. 12. Indoor dining was suspended in the state until at least Jan. 4. Other restrictions include new limits on social gatherings and lower retail occupancy limits. Entertainment venues, indoor gyms and school sports also were shut down.
In Baltimore, restaurants and bars were ordered to close for indoor dining beginning Friday, Dec. 11, two days after Maryland reintroduced a 50% capacity cap on restaurants and bars across the state.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on Tuesday announced a rollback of the state’s reopening process beginning Sunday, Dec. 13. Restaurants may remain open for on-premises dining but with new restrictions, including a six-person party limit. Customers also are required to wear face masks at all times when not actively eating or drinking and are subject to a 90-minute time limit when dining indoors. Customers previously were allowed to take off face masks while seated. The guidelines also prohibit live music performances at restaurants and require food courts in malls to close. Other restrictions on businesses include a 40% capacity cap for retail stores, entertainment venues and other indoor spaces and a 50-person limit on outdoor gatherings.
North Carolina announced a statewide stay-at-home advisory beginning Friday, Dec. 11 through at least Jan. 8. The order restricts the hours of operations for certain businesses, including restaurants and bars, which must close between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Residents are required to stay home and only travel for work or to obtain essential goods and services during those hours. Restaurants may remain open for indoor dining with new restrictions, including a 10-person party limit and 50% capacity cap. Restaurants also were ordered to suspend alcohol sales by 9 p.m.
Nearly 85% of California residents over the weekend were ordered to stay-at-home through at least Dec. 27. The state issued a stay-at-home order for regions with less than 15% intensive care unit (ICU) availability. Regions that met the threshold include Southern California, the greater Sacramento area, Northern California and the San Joaquin Valley. The order went into effect Sunday evening for around 27 million people in the regions, which include San Diego and Los Angeles.
Restaurants in those regions are limited to takeout and delivery only. Retail business may remain open at 20% capacity, while bars, personal services, entertainment venues and other businesses must close. The order will remain in effect for at least three weeks and will be lifted when a region’s projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15%.
Six San Francisco Bay jurisdictions that were predicted to meet the ICU threshold in mid-December issued a proactive stay-at-home order beginning Sunday and lasting until early January. The local order mirrors the statewide order and impacts nearly 6 million residents.
North Carolina tightened its mask mandate, ordering residents to wear a face mask while at a restaurant table unless they are actively eating or drinking. The state’s previous order allowed diners to remove face masks while seated. Other new measures include stricter limits on indoor and outdoor social gatherings and a 50% capacity limit for restaurants.
Restaurants in Louisiana were ordered to reduce capacity to 50% beginning Wednesday, Nov. 25. In Washington, DC, restaurant capacity was reduced to 25% from 50%. Restaurants also were ordered to end alcohol sales by 10 p.m. and close for indoor dining at midnight.
Nevada reduced the capacity at restaurants and bars from 50% to 25% beginning Tuesday, Nov. 24. Other restrictions include a four-person party limit and rules that customers must reserve tables ahead to eat indoors. The state also introduced its most expansive mask mandate, requiring all residents to wear a face mask in public and private when around someone who is not from their household.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced the state is ramping up enforcement of its pandemic restrictions, which include a 10 p.m. curfew for restaurants and bars, ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. State Troopers will be assigned to popular areas and businesses that host gatherings, including bars, restaurants and banquet halls, to enforce the restrictions, which also include capacity limits, social distancing requirements and rules that customers must be seated to be served.
Restaurants in Delaware were ordered to reduce indoor dining capacity to 30% beginning Monday, Nov. 23.
Restaurants in Los Angeles County, Calif., were ordered to close for outdoor dining beginning Wednesday, Nov. 25. Restaurants in most of the state’s counties closed for indoor dining on Wednesday, Nov. 16.
In Kentucky, restaurants and bars were ordered to close indoor dining beginning Friday, Nov. 20, through at least Dec. 13.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced restaurants and bars in the state will close for on-premises dining and be limited to take-out and delivery only beginning Friday, Nov. 20, through at least Dec. 18. Gyms, entertainment venues and sporting events also will close, and in-person social gathering outside of the household will be prohibited. Restaurants and bars in the state previously were ordered to close by 10 p.m. and limit capacity to 50% on Nov. 20.
In Montana, restaurants will be limited to 50% capacity and required to close by 10 p.m. beginning Friday, Nov. 20.
Restaurants in Oklahoma were ordered to close for indoor dining by 11 p.m. beginning Thursday, Nov. 19.
Ohio and New Jersey introduced new limits on social gatherings and prohibited people from socializing in open, congregated areas. Ohio announced a statewide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. beginning Thursday, Nov. 19, until at least Dec. 10.
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Monday the state is “pulling the emergency brake” on reopening and reinstating broad restrictions. Most counties in the state were moved back into the most restrictive reopening tier, meaning restaurants must close for indoor dining.
Iowa ordered restaurants and bars to close at 10 p.m. beginning Tuesday, Nov. 17. The state also introduced new limits on social gatherings and issued a statewide mask order, bringing the number of states with mask mandates to 36.
Restaurants in Philadelphia were ordered to close for indoor dining beginning Friday, Nov. 20, through the rest of the year. The city’s new “Safer at Home” restrictions also closed all school and colleges and banned all indoor gatherings and events involving people from more than one household.
Chicago on Monday entered a stay-at-home advisory, asking residents to avoid social gatherings, limit nonessential travel and use remote modes of communication for at least 30 days. The city on Oct. 30 ordered restaurants to reclose for indoor dining.
Three more states and two cities in California have suspended indoor dining as the daily rate of new coronavirus (COVID-19) infections continues accelerating across the country. Several others have moved to limit capacity and restrict hours of operation.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced Sunday evening that indoor dining will be banned in the state beginning Monday, Nov. 16, through at least Dec. 14. Restaurants, which previously were allowed to offer in-store dining at 50% capacity with a five-person party limit, may continue offering takeout, delivery and restricted outdoor dining services.
Restaurants in Oregon and New Mexico were ordered to suspend all on-premises services, including outdoor and indoor dining, for at least two weeks beginning Wednesday, Nov. 18. Both states previously had allowed restaurants to offer table service at 50% capacity.
In California, San Diego and Sacramento joined San Francisco in banning indoor dining over the weekend.
Maryland and Connecticut have rolled back their reopening plans, limiting restaurant capacity to 50%. Restaurants in Connecticut also are required to close for indoor dining by 9:30 p.m.
Governors in Indiana, Nevada, Ohio and Rhode Island have suggested they may re-introduce dining restrictions and other lockdown measures if spikes in new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases do not flatten. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he will lower indoor dining capacity limits if the rate of new cases continues accelerating in the state. Restaurants and bars in New York were ordered to close at 10 p.m. beginning Friday, Nov. 13.
Restaurants in Minnesota, Vermont and Virginia also are facing curfews. Restaurants and bars in Minnesota are required to close by 10 p.m. and limit capacity to 50%. Vermont ordered restaurants and bars to close by 10 p.m. and maintain a daily log of visitors. In Virginia, restaurants and bars must stop serving alcohol by 10 p.m. and close by midnight.
A growing number of states also are introducing new face mask requirements and limits on social gatherings.
Utah and North Dakota became the latest states to require people to wear face coverings in public, bringing the number of states with mask mandates to 35. Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio, Maine, Mississippi, Virginia and West Virginia extended or strengthened statewide face mask orders in recent weeks, and new limits on social gathering have been announced in Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Virginia. Washington prohibited residents from holding social gatherings with people outside of their household unless they quarantine for 14 days ahead of time.
Governors in California, Oregon and Washington issued a joint message on Friday, Nov. 13, that travelers arriving in the region should quarantine for two weeks, and all visitors going in or out of Vermont for nonessential reasons are now required to quarantine for two weeks.
Massachusetts on Nov. 2 ordered restaurants to close for in-person dining by 9:30 p.m. and residents to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., beginning Friday, Nov. 6. Other measures include a stricter statewide mask mandate and new social gathering guidelines.
Illinois imposed new restrictions on restaurants and bars outside of Chicago, banning in-store dining in several areas beginning Oct. 31.
Michigan on Oct. 29 reduced restaurant capacity to 50% and instituted a six-person party limit for restaurants offering dine-in services. Customers also are required to provide their name and phone number to help with contact tracing.
New Mexico on Oct. 20 ordered all restaurants in the state to complete a safety certification program to offer indoor dining at 25% capacity. Restaurants also are required to maintain a record of all dine-in customers.
Restaurants in several cities also are facing new restrictions. Indoor dining was again banned in Chicago beginning Friday, Oct. 30., the same day San Francisco indefinitely paused its restaurant reopening plan, which would have allowed restaurants to increase capacity from 25% to 30%.
Denver on Oct. 28 reduced restaurant capacity from 50% to 25% and ordered restaurants to stop serving alcoholic drinks at 10 p.m. Officials in El Paso, Texas, on Oct. 26 issued a mandatory curfew after cases rose 160% in October.