New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont on Monday announced an unprecedented regional effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). In a joint statement, they said that restaurants, bars, theaters, gyms and casinos must close in the three states, effective 8 PM Monday. Restaurants and bars can switch to a take-out and delivery service only. Social gatherings of 50 people or more are also banned.
The governors decided to take a regional approach “amid lack of federal direction.” The new rules follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guideline that social distancing is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The move also comes a day after Cuomo called on US President Donald Trump to “take comprehensive federal action” to slow the cases of COVID-19.
Cuomo said, “this is not a war that can be won alone, which is why New York is partnering with our neighboring states to implement a uniform standard that not only keeps our people safe but also prevents ‘state shopping’ where residents of one state travel to another and vice versa. I have called on the federal government to implement nationwide protocols but in their absence we are taking this on ourselves.”
Murphy and Lamont echoed similar sentiments, saying the states must work together.