NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — COVID-19 infections continue to rise nationwide as the busy holiday season approaches, leading to warnings from many state governors.
The most common: This Thanksgiving, just stay home.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday he expects the next round of restrictions to begin right after Thanksgiving, which will likely mean closing gyms, bars and indoor dining in the nation’s largest city. New York City public schools went all-remote on Thursday.
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New Jersey’s governor phrased it bluntly. Phil Murphy predicts the next 2 or 3 months will be “brutal.”
In the Garden State’s largest city, streets are being closed to enforce a curfew in a Newark neighborhood where the infection rate is almost double the state average.
Even so, the governor says, 60-percent of people won’t cooperate with efforts to collect contact tracing data.
Murphy chooses to celebrate what works.
“We have the testing program in place,” he told reporters, “and it is working overtime.”
They’ve scaled-up free pre-holiday COVID-19 testing in West Virginia as well, where 12-thousand people were tested in a single day this week, during a free drive-thru campaign nicknamed “Operation Drumstick.”
New Hampshire enacted a state-wide mask mandate, along with Iowa, Wisconsin and Kansas, amid a new spike in coronavirus infections. Gov. Chris Sununu spelled-out the danger of not falling in line.
“You risk all the folks that come in contact with that individual or yourself having to be quarantined. You risk kids having to be put out of school,” said Gov. Sununu.
Philadelphia restaurants moved back to 100-percent outdoor dining as of Friday night- the city’s health commissioner reminding locals “these restrictions are temporary -just 6 weeks— but death is permanent.”
Officials on the other side of the state, in Allegheny County near Pittsburgh, expressed great frustration with a group of parents who hosted a high school dance that led to a COVID-19 outbreak among attendees, then refused to provide a guest list to the school or the state for contact tracing.
“This level of disregard for public health in our community frankly makes me quite angry,” said Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bowen, calling it “disheartening and truly disappointing.”
Businesses in Illinois are doing their best to get by with shorter hours and fewer customers. It’s very difficult, one Chicago gym owner told NewsNation affiliate WGN-TV. “We’re surviving,” he said. “We’re doing our part. We understand that it’s necessary.”
Of course, not everyone shares that understanding. As more state governors issued warnings about the health perils of holiday travel in 2020, they acknowledged many people will choose to ignore them.
“I know someone’s going to say ‘Can I drive to Massachusetts to see my Grandfather? Can I just go to New Hampshire to see my uncle?’” said Gov. Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island. “NO.”