After multiple cases across the nation, and celebrities like Idris Elba and NBA player Rudy Gobert confirming that they have tested positive for COVID-19, states and cities are cracking down to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. In an effort to decrease the number of people who are infected, some cities are effectively shutting down spaces that they consider to be breeding grounds for the illness.

As of March 16th, 4:16 p.m. EST, President Trump has shared guidelines and precautionary measures for the country to follow while we attempt to lessen the spread of COVID-19. Among these tips are: “If you feel sick, stay home,” and “If someone in your household has tested positive for the coronavirus, keep the entire household at home.”

While many are critical of how long the president waited to release a statement such as this, we can find solace in the fact that we are able to take more clear direction from state and local officials.

To keep the masses aware of how to navigate the country as the pandemic continues to spread, ESSENCE is sharing a list of major cities and states that have announced concrete ordinances that will limit activity among citizens. It’s important to note that New Jersey and Nevada have effectively shut down casinos as well.

Check out the list below, which will be updated as situations evolve.

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Number of COVID-19 cases: 132

Deaths: 2

What authorities are saying: Casinos across the state will be shut down. Schools will be closed to students until April 13, 2020, and it is unclear as to whether or not staff will continue to report to school.

Gatherings of larger than 50 people are not permitted.

Bars and restaurants will only be able to offer food for takeout and delivery.

Childcare centers are still currently open.

Los Angeles

Number of COVID-19 cases: 54

Deaths: 1

What authorities are saying: The following establishments are closed: bars/clubs that do not offer food, theaters, sports centers, bowling alleys, arcades, social clubs, gyms, and public schools.

Restaurants will not serve dine-in customers.


Number of COVID-19 cases: 30 within the area

Deaths: 0

What authorities are saying: Restaurants can only accommodate drive-thru customers, take out, and delivery. All bars and nightclubs will close as of March 17 at 8 a.m. They will remain closed for 15 days.

Events put on or financed by the City of Houston will be canceled through the end of April.


Number of COVID-19 cases: 105

Deaths: 0

What authorities are saying: Gatherings can not exceed 50 people. Restaurant dining rooms and bars will close at 9 p.m. tonight.

Gyms and fitness centers, private clubs, theaters, and bowling alleys will be closed to the public. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has shared that the CDC advises that all public events close at 10 p.m.


Number of COVID-19 cases: 15

Deaths: 0

What authorities are saying: All Dallas schools are closed “indefinitely.” Bars, gyms, restaurants, and theaters will be closed as of March 17th.

Public and private groups of more than 50 people are banned.

Businesses will technically be closed until March 20th, but Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins wants to have that date pushed back.

New York City

Number of COVID-19 cases: 329

Deaths: 7

What authorities are saying: All schools are closed until April 20, and there’s a chance that they will not reopen this school year. Free meals (breakfast and lunch) will be available to students for the next week.

All entertainment venues, clubs, movie theaters, and small theatre houses have been closed.

Occupancy of restaurants (which are restricted to takeout and delivery only) must remain at 50% or less, or owners will be fined.


Number of COVID-19 cases: 769

Deaths: 42 (currently the most reported in the nation)

What authorities are saying: Governor Jay Inslee has said that he will be signing an emergency ordinance that will shut down restaurants/bars and entertainment spaces.

Restaurants will be allowed to continue to offer take out and delivery services.

Public gatherings will be limited to 50 people.


Number of COVID-19 cases: 197

Deaths: 0

What authorities are saying: All schools are closed.

Restaurants are restricted to takeout and delivery. Gatherings of larger than 25 are banned.

This is effective immediately and will go on until April 7.

All assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and rest homes are disallowed from having visitors.

Access to telehealth will expand, meaning that more people will use technology to connect with healthcare officials. Citizens who were previously attending visits in person will pay the same rate for these new services, and it will be covered by their health insurance if they have it.

Hospital visitors are also now being screened, and individual hospitals have the right to cap the number of visitors.

Beginning on Wednesday, March 18, all hospitals and surgical centers are ordered to cancel non-essential procedures. Refer to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for more info on this.

Selected pharmacists may now also begin making hand sanitizer.


COVID-19 cases: 54

Deaths: 0

What authorities are saying: Dine-in aspects of restaurants/bars, movie theaters, and fitness facilities are all closed.

Drive-thru services, pickup, and delivery services are permitted.

Gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited.

Unemployment benefits will be accessible for 26 weeks, which is a month and a half longer than the original 20 weeks.


COVID-19 cases: 50

Deaths: 0

What authorities are saying: Ohio’s 2020 presidential primary election has been called off. It is unclear what the plans for the future are.

Schools are closed for the next three weeks.

Restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters, and recreational centers are closed as well.


ESSENCE is committed to bringing our audience the latest facts about COVID-19 (coronavirus). Our content team is closely monitoring the developing details surrounding the virus via official sources and health care experts, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Please continue to refresh ESSENCE’s informational hub for updates on COVID-19, as well as tips for taking care of yourselves, your families, and your communities.


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