With the threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pervading communities throughout the U.S., President Trump extended the practice of social distancing to April 30, 2020. The federal guidelines were announced in mid-March to prevent the spread of the virus.
Governors in as many as 27 states are taking additional measures and issuing Stay-at-Home Orders, mandated protocols to limit residents from leaving their house unless it is for essential services.
How Serious is a Stay-at-Home Order?
Following Stay-at-Home Orders are necessary steps to protect the community and may prove to help already inundated hospitals.
Stay-at-Home is an official statewide order which means law enforcement can choose to fine residents who directly violate the measures.
What is Considered Essential Services?
Essential services remain open and hours may vary depending on location:
Gas Stations and Convenience Stores
Take-out/Delivery Restaurants (who choose to remain open)
Construction (including housing)
Law Enforcement and other government agencies
Childcare Facilities (in compliance with state requirements)
What is Closed?
All non-essential services are shutdown under Stay-at-Home Order:
Bars and Nightclubs
Non-essential Healthcare (dental, eye exams, and elective procedures)
Theaters and Other Entertainment Venues
Hair and Nail Salons
Other Large Places of Gathering
How Does Stay-at-Home Affect Me?
All residents are urged to stay home and practice social distancing unless going out for essential services.
You can still exercise outdoors, walk your dog, and get some air. If you must be in public places, and maintain a distance of 6 ft. from others.
Implementing good hygiene practices are advised for everyone. Wash your hands for 20 seconds regularly and avoid touching your face.
If you are the caretaker of an elderly family member or loved one, follow guidelines to ensure their health.
What Can’t I Do?
Typically, nursing homes are closed to visitors under age 18 according to some Stay-at-Home Orders.
In some states, any gatherings of 10 or more people are strictly prohibited.
Can I Travel?
If you are an essential critical infrastructure employee (those who work at the essential establishments listed above), you may travel to and from work.
You may be asked to provide paperwork to prove you are an essential critical infrastructure employee.
What States Are Under Stay-at-Home Orders?
At the time of this writing, 27 states issued a Stay-at-Home Order to combat the growing infection rate of Coronavirus.
The end date for the orders varies depending on the state of residence and updated guidelines from the CDC. Visit your state governor’s page for a detailed overview of Stay-at-Home guidelines:
States closing non-essential businesses only:
Cristina Van Orden is a literary writer and active military spouse. She holds an MFA from Antioch University and taught K-12 English before working in editorial. Cristina currently resides on base with her husband and children.
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