US Cities Placed on Lockdown to Fight Coronavirus
New York City's bars, restaurants, nightclubs, movie theaters, venues must all close
Major U.S. cities have now been placed on lockdown as America continues to battle the global coronavirus pandemic.
On Sunday night, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all bars and restaurants will be closing as the city continues to fight the spread of the deadly COVID-19.
The news comes just hours after de Blasio announced the closure of the country's largest public school district.
In a statement, Mayor de Blasio informed New Yorkers that the city is limiting its 27,000 restaurants, bars, and cafes to food takeout and delivery - banning all dine-in services - beginning Tuesday.
"Our lives are all changing in ways that were unimaginable just a week ago," de Blasio said as he ordered the lockdown on restaurants and bars, effective Tuesday morning at 9 am.
"We are taking a series of actions that we never would have taken otherwise in an effort to save the lives of loved ones and our neighbors."
"Now it is time to take yet another drastic step," the mayor said.
"This is not a decision I make lightly," he added.
"These places are part of the heart and soul of our city.
"They are part of what it means to be a New Yorker.
"But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality."
Today, we made the painful decision to suspend classes in all NYC public schools, beginning tomorrow March 16. We’re going to begin remote digital learning on Monday March 23, and we’ll do everything in our power to help our kids through this.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 15, 2020
This is not a decision I make lightly. These places are part of the heart and soul of our city. They are part of what it means to be a New Yorker. But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 16, 2020
Similarly in Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an executive order Sunday to close bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues, and gyms until at least 31 March, according to Sky News.
Mr. Garcetti said restaurants will be closed to the public but will be allowed to do takeout and delivery, while supermarkets will remain open.
Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Washington state are also among places that ordered bars to close and restaurants to stop dine-in service.
Health officials have advised people to distance themselves from each other socially, with some states banning gatherings with more than a certain number of people.
During a briefing, the president also hailed the "very good news" that the Federal Reserve had slashed its benchmark interest rate by a full percentage point to a target range of 0% to 0.25%.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Champaign, Illinois has signed an executive order giving herself emergency powers to ban the sale of guns and alcohol in a bid to "combat" the coronavirus outbreak, according to reports.
Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen assigned herself new powers by declaring a citywide emergency to address the spread of COVID-19.
Feinen signed the executive order Thursday declaring a state of emergency for the city.
After signing the executive order, Feinen gained the power to ban the sale of guns, ammunition, alcohol, and gasoline, among other extreme measures.
US officials have recorded nearly 3,000 COVID-19 cases and 62 deaths linked to the virus.
The virus has infected more than 169,000 people worldwide and killed over 6,500.
China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, and Spain are the countries with the most cases.