As coronavirus cases and hospitalization in the U.S. are skyrocketing again, four governors have reinstated COVID 19 regulations.
On Monday, the US became the first country in the world to cross the 10 million coronavirus cases mark. For the sixth consecutive day, daily new infections exceeded 100,000, as the country had the highest number of inpatients with more than 59,000 COVID-19 inpatients.
Both Republican and Democratic officials in Minnesota, Iowa, New Jersey, and Nebraska quickly imposed restrictions in hopes of containing the spread of the virus.
On Tuesday afternoon, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced that starting Friday, his most recent executive order will require bars and restaurants to be closed from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. The capacity restrictions for indoor restaurants have been reduced from 150 to 250 people.
There are more serious restrictions for celebrations such as weddings. From 27 November, receptions and large gatherings will be limited to 50 people and on 11 December to 25 people.
Walz said that this increase in state cases was not unexpected. During a statewide speech explaining the increase in cases in Minnesota, the governor said the increase this week would “absolutely disappear from the screen.
On Tuesday, Minnesota health officials reported nearly 5,000 newly confirmed cases and a new one-day record of 262 hospitalizations.
Iowa also saw a record 1,135 hospital admissions on Tuesday.
Governor Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation on the same day that provides for additional public health measures. Starting at midnight, Iowans will no longer be allowed to attend meetings with more than 25 people indoors or 100 people outdoors unless everyone wears a mask.
In its proclamation, it also stipulates that all customers and personal service employees must wear masks. This is the closest thing to a nationwide mask mandate coming from Reynolds in the state.
“The general increase in the number of patients is putting a strain on our healthcare system and endangering capacity,” Reynolds said during a press conference. “Surgery plans are already in place, and as long as beds remain available, staffing will become increasingly difficult.
“We must all do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus and keep it at a manageable level that we can live with. If we don’t do that, we will lose exactly what we have worked so hard for,” she added.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy unveiled a new set of indoor COVID 19 restrictions when the state reported on Tuesday the highest daily total in seven months. The 3,877 new positive coronavirus cases are the highest since New Jersey reported more than 4,000 cases daily on April 24.
Beginning Thursday, the state will completely ban seating in bars, and restaurants and bars will be banned from providing indoor service between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Indoor youth sports games are also prohibited, but the ban does not apply to college sports.
“This is not forever and ever. We basically have a six-month time window to fight back the fatigue and knock the virus into the ground,” Murphy said during a press conference. “This virus has not disappeared, and it poses the greatest threat to us in months.
“The good news is that a vaccine is on the horizon – we expect a broad distribution by spring this year,” he added. “We have a plan in place should that timeframe hold. Let’s get through the rest of this fall and winter together”.
On Monday, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced early results from its vaccine study showing that its candidate is 90 percent effective.
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts announced new restrictions on COVID on Monday after Omaha medical workers launched a social media campaign in Omaha calling on the governor to impose tougher regulations over the weekend.
The state has seen a dramatic increase in hospital stays. On Monday, state health officials reported 794 hospital admissions – more than four times as many as in late September in Nebraska.
Starting Wednesday, masks will be required in facilities where people are in close contact for at least 15 minutes. Occupancy at meetings in closed rooms will be reduced from 50 percent to 25 percent. The governor also switched on the social distancing in Nebraska