The resurgence of coronavirus cases prompted the governor of North Dakota to issue a nationwide mask mandate after months of opposition to such measures, while Oregon and New Mexico ordered partial bans.
“New Mexico is at the breaking point,” said Michelle Lujan Grisham, governor of New Mexico.
The tightened restrictions come as the United States broke another record with 176,309 new coronavirus cases on Friday, making it the nationwide total 10,818,345, according to NBC News’ Tally. The country now has more than 100,000 new cases every day for 10 consecutive days.
At least 13 states – Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Wisconsin – have record numbers of new daily cases.
The number of deaths has now risen to an average of 1,000 per day. The virus killed 245,555 people across the country, according to NBC News’ Tally. The Texas coronavirus death toll could reach 20,000 on Sunday as the state reports over 100 deaths daily. As of Saturday, 19,864 have died of Covid-19 in Texas.
Among the developments:
- North Dakota made new statewide requirements, including a face mask mandate.
- Oregon ordered a two-week “freeze” from Wednesday, after which companies must cease personal operations.
- The new New Mexico Stay Home Order goes into effect Monday.
- Six governors from northeastern states are hosting an “emergency summit” this weekend to coordinate efforts to respond to the surge in cases across the region.
- At least 13 states have set new records in daily cases.
- Texas could hit 20,000 Covid-19 deaths on Sunday.
North Dakota’s Republicans Governor Doug Burgum announced late Friday evening “The State Health Commissioner, with my full support, has issued an order that face coverings must be worn in all indoor and public facilities, as well as in outdoor public facilities where physical distancing is not possible.”
The order remains effective until December 13th.
In addition, all bars and restaurants in North Dakota must close at 10 p.m. on Monday. and work with a capacity of 50 percent as long as it does not include more than 150 people. All banquet, ballroom, and event venues are limited to 25 percent of maximum occupancy, and winter school sports and extracurricular activities will be suspended.
“To be clear, these are national requirements, not just recommendations,” said Burgum.
The number of active positive cases in North Dakota has doubled since October 20 to almost 10,500This suggests that future hospital stays may increase at a time when the capacity of the public health system is already overloaded.
The surge “jeopardizes the ability of our hospitals to offer world-class treatments not only to Covid-19 patients” but also to others who want to care for other conditions, the governor said.
The coronavirus has killed at least 700 people In North Dakota, the state’s average 14-day testing rate doubled last month to 15.6 percent, Burgum said.
In Oregon, Democratic Governor Kate Brown ordered a two-week “freeze” from Wednesday, which would require many companies to close their offices to the public and let employees work from home “as much as possible.” She said offenders could face fines or arrest.
“For the past eight months, I’ve been asking Oregonians to follow the letter and spirit of the law and we haven’t made a decision to get law enforcement involved,” Brown said. “Unfortunately at this point we have no other option.”
While most of Oregon’s businesses will remain open, gyms, museums, pools, cinemas, and zoos will have to close, and restaurants and bars will only be available for takeout. Social gatherings are limited to six people.
Dr. Esther Choo, Emergency Medicine Physician at Oregon Health and Science University, gave an emotional plea Fridayand stressed that the new restrictions will help save their lives and those of their family members, neighbors and friends, and other important workers across the state.
“Many of you cheered and rang bells and put up signs calling us heroes, and we’re so grateful for that,” said Choo. “Right now we ask you to be our heroes and to listen to our call for help again.”
In Oregon, the number of cases has increased 93.4 percent in the past two weeks, with an average of nearly 900 new cases a day for the past nine days. Nearly 55,000 Oregonians have been infected since the pandemic began At least 753 have died.
In New Mexico, the Democratic governor Lujan Grisham a two week home order on the spot from Monday. New Mexicans can only go out on essential trips. Essential businesses can operate in limited capacity and non-essential businesses must all recruit “personal workforce and activities,” the governor said.
“We are in a life or death situation and if we do not act now we cannot save life, we cannot continue to save lives and we will absolutely destroy our current health system and infrastructure.” said Lujan Grisham.
In New Mexico, there has been a nearly 59 percent increase in cases and an increase in deaths in the past two weeks. The virus has killed nearly 1,200 people in the state infected 62,006.
New York state, once the epicenter of the pandemic, is now ordering gyms, restaurants and bars to close at 10 p.m. and limiting private gatherings to 10 people. In New York City, Mayor Bill De Blasio said parents should be prepared for a possible school closings as the coronavirus positivity rate is close to 3 percent.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and five other governors from northeastern states were due to hold an “emergency summit” this weekend to coordinate efforts to slow the spread of the virus in the region.
“We believe we need to take additional steps,” said the Democratic governor on Friday, adding that he does not expect any major changes over the weekend.
New York has reported more than 45,700 new coronavirus cases in the past 14 days, with an average of 4,163 new cases per day over the past week.
Cuomo said he expected infection rates in New York and across the country to continue to rise as the holiday season begins.