Nine American states have yet to declare mandatory stay-at-home orders after the governors of Alabama and Missouri on Friday told residents to avoid going outside except for “essential activities.”
Alabama governor Kay Ivey on April 3 issued a statewide shelter in place order, effective Saturday, April 4, and set to expire on April 30, according to a release.
“My fellow Alabamians, I plead with you to do your part to #StopTheSpread of #COVID19. We’ve got to take this order dead serious; otherwise, the fact is more people will end up dying,” Ivey said in a tweet.
As of Friday afternoon, Alabama had 1,432 reported COVID-19 infections and 34 deaths, according to AL.com.
“Folks, April stands to be very tough, and potentially very deadly,” Ivey said at a press conference, the outlet reported. “You need to understand we are past urging people to stay at home. It is now the law,” she added.
The restrictions in Alabama include “essential retailers” allowing no more than 50 percent occupancy and preventing customers from standing closer than 6 feet apart.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on April 3 issued a similar stay-at-home order, effective April 6 to April 24, according to a release.
“There comes a time when we have to make major sacrifices in our lives. Many of us make sacrifices each and every day, but now more than ever, we must all make sacrifices,” Parson said. “This is not about any one individual person. This is about our families, friends, neighbors, and the entire state of Missouri. For the sake of all Missourians, be smart, be responsible, and stay home, Missourians.”
As of Friday, Missouri had 2,113 positive CCP virus cases out of 24,727 tested in a total population of 6 million Missourians, officials said. According to these figures, around 8.5 percent of people tested in the state were infected with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
The Missouri order explicitly states that people residing in the state of Missouri must avoid leaving their homes or places of residence unless necessary.
Among other guidelines, the Missouri order forbids social gatherings of 10 or more people and essential businesses are restricted to 25 percent occupancy.
“The order does not prohibit Missourians from accessing essential services, such as grocery stores, gas stations, and banks, or engaging in outdoor recreation, provided that necessary precautions are taken and maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19,” the press release said.
White House task force projections predict that between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans could lose their lives due to the virus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and a member of the virus task force, has urged states to adopt stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of the disease.
Most states have, with the nine holdouts being Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
Meanwhile, the United States recorded the highest-ever daily death toll from the CCP virus outside China, at 1,321 fatalities between April 2 and April 3, according to statistics site Worldometers.
The figure excludes China due to persistent doubts about the reliability of state-reported figures.
According to the tracker, 6,071 people in America lost their lives due to the disease as of Thursday, while on Friday that count increased to 7,392.
Looking ahead, experts see aggressive testing and contact tracing as key to handling subsequent waves of the virus.
Kenneth Castro, a professor of global health, epidemiology, and infectious diseases at Emory University, said local, state, and federal governments should start recruiting an “army” of people to handle contact investigations.
“Identify and contain is better than having society shutdown. It’s a balancing act,” said Castro, who oversaw the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s tuberculosis effort for two decades through 2013. “We won’t be able to maintain physical distancing forever.”
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Author: Tom Ozimek