Not Messing Around: Cities Shutting Bars, Restaurants

NYC and Los Angeles, multiple states try to halt spread of coronavirus with mass shutdowns
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2020 6:01 AM CDT
Nation's Biggest Cities Are Closing Bars, Restaurants
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, and Mayor Bill de Blasio discuss the state and city's preparedness for the spread of coronavirus at a news conference on March 2, 2020, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

With social distancing taking hold, schools closing, and the CDC warning against events of more than 50 people, cities and states across the nation are contending with decisions on what else to shut down, and for how long. The New York Times reports that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered city bars, restaurants, movie theaters, concert venues, and nightclubs shut down indefinitely on Sunday, save for pickup and delivery. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a similar mandate the same day, per the Los Angeles Times. Entire states have also adopted this philosophy: USA Today reports that the governors of Washington, Ohio, Illinois, and Massachusetts have ordered bars in their states to shut down, while in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has recommended the same guidelines for bars but allowed restaurants to stay open with reduced capacities, per the Hill.

Not everyone is yet on board with these closures. "I'm not about to put my life on hold because this is going around," a Colorado man who flew to Chicago to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with friends tells the Chicago Sun-Times, adding that everyone might be "overreacting." That attitude is even coming from some government officials, including Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, who posted in a now-deleted tweet a pic of himself and his kids Saturday at a crowded Oklahoma City eatery. "The governor will continue to take his family out to dinner and to the grocery store without living in fear, and encourages Oklahomans to do the same," a Stitt spokesman said in a statement, per Time. Meanwhile, one 86-year-old woman celebrating St. Paddy's Day in New Orleans over the weekend is simply placing her hopes in divine intervention. "The Lord will take care of us all," she told the Times-Picayune. (Rep. Devin Nunes says it's a great time to go out.)

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