On Sunday, the governors of both Ohio and Illinois issued orders to close all restaurants and bars for dine-in customers. This comes in response to the growing coronavirus pandemic.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said the following in a series of tweets:
We will be issuing an order closing all bars and restaurants in #Ohio beginning at 9:00 tonight. Establishments can stay open for carry-out and delivery. What we can’t have is people congregating and seated.
I’m aware that this will impact many, many good workers. I can’t tell you how sorry I am, but we will work to mitigate the suffering. It is our goal for everyone to get through this.
Every day we delay, more people will die. If we do not act and get some distance between people, our healthcare system in #Ohio will not hold up. The loss won’t only be those impacted by #COVID19, but the danger is also to everyone else who needs hospital care for other issues.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 15, 2020
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said the following in a series of tweets:
There are no easy decisions to make as we address this unprecedented crisis – we must do what science and experts say will keep people safe. With that said, I am ordering all IL bars and restaurants to close to the public as of close of business Monday, Mar. 16 through Mar. 30.
We are working with restaurant owners and food delivery services across the state to ensure restaurants can safely keep their kitchens open to continue food delivery to people in their homes. Additionally, we are allowing drive-through and curbside pickup for restaurants to serve the public over this period.
We are working with restaurant owners and food delivery services across the state to ensure restaurants can safely keep their kitchens open to continue food delivery to people in their homes.
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) March 15, 2020
On Friday, President Trump declared a national emergency in response to the coronavirus. The order will free up $50 billion to help in the fight against the pandemic.
The president stated:
To unleash the full power of the federal government … I am officially declaring a national emergency. Two very big words. The action I am taking will open up access to up to $50 billion of very important and a large amount of money for states and territories or localities in our shared fight against this disease.
The coronavirus has also begun to impact the Democratic primary process, with Georgia and Louisiana postponing their primaries, which were originally scheduled for March 24 and April 4, respetively. As of publication, no plans have been announced to postpone the next batch of Democratic primaries in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio, which are set to take place this Tuesday.
The coronavirus, which originated in China’s Hubei province, has infected more than 158,000 people worldwide, leaving over 6,000 dead, reports NBC News, which cites its own reports, as well as the “World Health Organization, state government leaders, and health officials.”
There have been 3,510 confirmed cases in the United States, and 67 deaths.