WASHINGTON — More than 20 states in the U.S. have now issued "stay at home" orders to try and stop the spread of coronavirus. In addition, some cities and counties have issued "shelter in place" orders. And in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared "New York State on PAUSE" when he ordered all non-essential workers to work from home.
These orders are not total lockdowns, and federal law allows each state or city to decide its own rules when mandating residents stay home. Generally, each order includes some exceptions that permit residents to leave their homes. Residents typically can leave if they're performing "essential" activities such as grocery shopping, going to the doctor or exercising while practicing safe social distancing.
Certain businesses deemed essential — such as grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, and doctor's offices — are typically allowed to remain open. Employees of those businesses can leave their residences to go to work. Additionally, states with stay at home orders have allowed restaurants to keep delivery and takeout operations going.
While practicing social distancing is essential, certain outdoor activities, such as walking, hiking or running, are generally still allowed.
As of Thursday, March 26 these are where statewide orders have been issued so far and what that means for the residents.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a stay at home order for his state that went into effect Thursday, March 19 and will last "until further notice."
Essential businesses such as gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, food banks, convenience stores, banks, laundromats and important government functions, including law enforcement, are allowed to remain open.
Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues, gyms, hair and nail salons have been closed in the state. Restaurants that offer take-out or delivery options can remain open, without dine-in service. Public events and gatherings have been canceled.
Under the mandate, California residents are still allowed to leave their homes for activities including visiting a doctor or getting a prescription. However, non-essential health visits such as eye exams and teeth cleanings should be postponed and doctor visits should be done remotely whenever possible.
Residents can exercise outdoors as long as they maintain a safe distance and stay six feet away from other people.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said Wednesday, March 25 he is issuing a statewide stay at home order in an attempt to stem the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
Polis said he is taking this “extreme measure,” effective Thursday, March 26 until April 11, because the restrictions taken to date haven't been enough to reduce the spread of the virus.
“If we don’t take these actions that we are taking today, and frankly, if you don’t stay home, this will create a much worse economic disaster with greater disruption, greater loss of jobs for a longer period of time,” he said at a news conference.
People should only leave home when they absolutely must, he said, for grocery shopping, to seek medical care or to care for dependents, for example.
Polis said state officials have measured the effect of social distancing restrictions by tracking people’s cellphone location data, real-time traffic information and other such metadata sources.
“The bottom line is, I don’t have the comfort level that the existing extreme measures that we’ve taken to date are enough to buy us the time we need to save lives here in Colorado,” he said.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced a stay at home order effective 8 p.m. Monday, March 23. The mandate extends to April 22.
Nonessential businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state have been asked to prohibit in-person functions whenever possible. Essential businesses including health care, food services and law enforcement are exempt.
Nonessential public gatherings of all sizes should be canceled or postponed. Those who must leave their home should not do so in groups unless they are providing an essential service. Individuals must keep at least six feet away from each other when possible. Public transportation use should be limited, and outdoor recreational activities should be limited to only non-contact activities.
Delaware's stay at home order went into effect the morning of Tuesday, March 24 and will remain until May 15, or until "the public health threat is eliminated."
“This was not an easy decision, but it’s the right decision to protect the safety of Delawareans and Delaware families,” said Gov. John Carney.
Delawareans may leave their homes to get groceries, pick up a prescription, see a doctor, and engage in other activities essential to their health and the health and well-being of their family members, including pets. Delawareans may also engage in outdoor activity, but must adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Essential Delaware businesses must implement flexible and non-punitive sick leave policies for their employees, and employers must follow social distancing policies, protect high-risk workers, provide hand-washing or sanitizer stations, and follow all health guidelines for internal cleaning.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed a third supplementary proclamation Monday, ordering the entire state to stay at home and work from home starting at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, March 25 through April 30.
The proclamation said essential workers are except.
Health care services, grocery stores and pharmacies, food production and farms, schools, restaurants offering take-out services, hotels and motels, construction, and significant government functions are considered essential during the stay at home order.
Residents are allowed to leave their home for various needs like purchasing food, medicine and gasoline, taking care of elderly people, children and those with disabilities, returning to a place of residence outside of Hawaii, picking up educational materials for distance learning and outdoor exercise – including surfing, swimming and walking pets.
However, non-compliance would be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, or up to one year in jail, or both.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Wednesday, March 25 issued a stay-at-home order for the whole state, requiring everyone to self-isolate at home if possible. The order applies to all citizens, not just those who are sick.
Health care workers, public safety workers and other "essential" workers may still go to work, and people will be allowed to leave their homes to obtain or provide essential services.
Little also ordered the closure of all dine-in restaurants, although drive-through and delivery will still be allowed. "Non-essential" businesses like gyms, bars, salons and convention centers must close. Auto repair shops, grocery stores, and health care facilities can remain open.
Gatherings of more than ten people have been banned, and Illinois State Police will work with local law enforcement to enforce the mandate. Individuals aren't likely to be stopped by police for being outside, but law enforcement will receive reports of events such as crowds of people gathering, bars and restaurants that are still offering dine-in operation or employees being asked to work in-person for nonessential businesses.
Residents can continue to leave home to get groceries, exercise or take care of loved ones, as long as safe social distancing measures are taken.
Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced the state's stay at home order would go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 24 through April 6. Indiana State Police will work with local law enforcement to enforce the order, while the Indiana State Department of Health and the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission will enforce the restaurant and bar restrictions.
Residents should stay indoors except when leaving for essential "activities for health and safety, necessary supplies and services, outdoor activity, certain types of essential work, and to take care of others." The state has provided a list of activities deemed essential.
Louisiana is under a stay at home order Sunday, March 22 until at least April 13.
The order closes more businesses and enforces a stricter form of "social distancing," asking people to stay at home unless absolutely necessary.
New Orleans has already been under a similar order issued by Mayor LaToya Cantrell.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker ordered all nonessential businesses to close in the afternoon of Tuesday, March 24 and remain closed until at least April 7. The governor also said the state Department of Health has issued a stay-at-home advisory, but stressed that it wasn't a shelter-in-place order.
“Everyone is advised to stay home and limit all unnecessary activities,” he said at a news conference. “We’re asking everyone to use their common sense, think about the impact this virus is having on the sick and elderly, and to limit their interactions with other people."
He said it was OK to take a walk at the park while keeping appropriate social distancing, but advised against pickup basketball and touch football games, or other activities that bring people into close contact with others.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a statewide stay at home order that went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24 and will last through April 13.
The sweeping mandate is not a recommendation, Whitmer said at a Monday morning press conference, but an order.
There are exemptions for essential employees, however, and residents will still be allowed to make trips to the grocery store or hospitals or exercise outdoors.
"The goal here is simple: Stay home. Stay safe, save lives," Whitmer said. "I know this is hard. I know this is going to be disruptive. It's certainly going to be hard on our economy as well. But our actions save lives."
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced new "stay at home" measures by video on Wednesday, March 25 to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock on Thursday, March 26 announced that he's ordering the state’s 1 million residents to stay in their homes in a stepped-up effort to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
The stay-at-home order goes into effect Saturday and lasts until April 10. Under it, people will be allowed to leave home to shop for necessities such as food, to seek medical care and for outdoor activities — as long as they stay 6 feet apart from one another — among other exceptions. Essential activities, services and businesses will be allowed to continue uninterrupted.
New Hampshire's governor announced on Thursday, March 26 that the state would be issuing a stay-at-home order starting Friday.
Gov. Chris Sununu reiterated on Twitter that it is not a "shelter in place" order and stressed that residents can still leave their homes for essential reasons.
New Jersey's stay at home order went into effect on Saturday, March 21 and will remain in effect until further notice.
Gov. Phil Murphy expressed anger Sunday at reports of people in New Jersey ignoring his stay-at-home order and warned, “We're going to take action."
Saying he wanted “no gatherings of any kind," Murphy acknowledged the difficulty of enforcing such an order in every part of the state but said he wanted people to “stay home, period."
New Mexico's stay at home order went into effect on Tuesday, March 24 and will remain in effect until further notice.
The announcement marked a sharp change in tone by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who said too many people were engaging in unnecessary, risky social interactions that could lead to a spike in coronavirus infections that might overwhelm the health care system and make it impossible to attend to acute cases with respiratory problems.
“We want to not have the unmanageable spike in cases,” she said. "The only way that we do that is putting orders like this in place."
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the "New York State on PAUSE" executive order, which is in essence a stay-at-home order for the state.
Cuomo's order said all non-essential businesses had to be closed by 8 p.m. Sunday, March 22 and added new restrictions for residents.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued a stay-at-home order Sunday, March 22 for all Ohioans.
"We haven't faced any enemy like we are facing today in 102 years," DeWine said in Sunday's press briefing. The order took effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 23 and remains through April 6. Officials will reassess the situation at that time.
The stay-at-home order still allows for citizens to leave for the following reasons: health and safety, necessary supplies and outdoor activity.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued strict orders on Monday, March 23 to shut down non-essential businesses and constrain social and recreational gatherings.
The move, which lists violations as a Class C misdemeanor, forces closure of businesses like arcades, barbershops, hair salons, gyms and fitness studios, skating rinks, playgrounds, theaters, sports facilities and yoga studios.
Businesses that remain open must implement social distancing guidelines, keeping customers at least six feet apart. Employers must give their employees the opportunity to work from home. The order does not affect families in homes.
Read the complete executive order here.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf issued a "stay at home” order for seven counties in the state to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
The order to Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Monroe, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties takes place from 8:00 PM on Monday, March 23 through until April 6, 2020.
However, after the number of deaths in the state rose on Wednesday, March 25, Wolf added orders to residents of Lehigh and Northampton counties to stay home, with few exceptions. Wolf's office said the order will take effect at 8 p.m. on Wednesday for the two new counties, home to more than 670,000 people.
“I remain deeply concerned about this public health crisis and we must continue to take careful but critical steps now to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Wolf said. “We are issuing these orders because Pennsylvanians’ health and safety remains our highest priority.”
The order has several guidelines about what is allowed and not allowed for the specific counties. Click here to read more.
Gov. Phil Scott on Tuesday, March 24 ordered in-person operations of non-essential businesses to close and Vermonters to stay home to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus as the number of deaths in the state rose by two to seven and confirmed cases increased to 95.
“I want to be very clear about this: We need everyone to limit activities outside of the home and to practice social distancing at all times to slow the spread of this highly contagious and potentially deadly virus,” he said in a written statement.
All businesses and not-for-profit entities not exempted must suspend all in-person business operations by Wednesday at 5 p.m., the governor said. Online or phone operations, or sales through curbside pickup or delivery only, can continue, he said. Grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, and health care operations and news media are exempt.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued a two-week stay-at-home order to fight coronavirus spread on Monday, March 23.
Essential businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies will stay open.
People can still go outside for walks, but must maintain a social distance of six feet. Inslee said there's no reason people should rush the stores. Everyone is encouraged to buy what they need when they need it.
The order is for Washington residents to "Stay Home and Stay Healthy" in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus in the state.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Monday issued a statewide stay-home directive and ordered nonessential businesses to close as confirmed coronavirus cases reached at least 16 in his state.
The order, which allows people to go out for food, medicine and other important items, went into effect at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 24 Justice said in a news conference. He didn't set an end date.
“A stay-at-home order is not martial law,” the governor said. “It’s not we’re shutting down the state borders. It's not we’re closing down bridges and roads."
"Let me tell you what it is: You can leave your home to perform or receive essential services, or if you work at an essential service business. It means you can leave to obtain food. It means you can do outdoor activities.”
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued a "Safer at Home" order effective Wednesday, March 25 until 8 a.m. on Friday, April 24.
"Over the past few days, I’ve talked with public health experts and with business leaders and local elected officials around the state. Overwhelmingly the response I heard is that we need an all-hands-on-deck approach to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin," Evers tweeted.
While the official order had not yet been released, Evers tweeted that essential workers would continue to be allowed to travel to and from work and residents can still go out for essential reasons.
The Associated Press contributed.