As the number of COVID-19 infections rises across Europe and the United States, several governments have set curfews. The most recent include France, Germany, Ireland and parts of Italy. The infection rate has gotten high enough that American cities have begun to follow this example.
The three largest American cities most recently under orders from their governments to close are El Paso, Newark and Chicago.
El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego ordered a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew that covers both the city and the county. It is expected to last at least two weeks. People traveling to and from work will be exempt. So will essential businesses.
Texas ranks first among all states with confirmed COVID-19 cases of 923,828, a gain of 7,266 since yesterday. The death count is 18,155. El Paso County has 42,332 confirmed cases, up by 1,445, as well as 596 deaths from the disease.
In Newark, retail outlets other than supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations will close at 8 p.m. These businesses will be able to deliver and are permitted to offer pick-up. Restaurants and bars must close indoor service at 8 p.m. Outdoor service can stay open until 11 p.m. Barbershops, beauty parlors and nail salons must operate with appointments, and customers cannot wait outside. All gyms have to clean and sanitize for the first 30 minutes of each hour.
The number of New Jersey confirmed cases stands at 233,120, a one-day increase of 1,647. Fatal cases total 16,306. Newark and other parts of New Jersey near to hard-hit New York City have suffered high coronavirus caseloads and fatalities.
Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced new restrictions for Chicago. For bars, the rules include no indoor service and outside bar service must close at 11:00 p.m. Tables have to be six feet apart. For restaurants, there can be no indoor dining or bar service, all outdoor dining must be closed at 11 p.m., and outdoor dining tables are required to be six feet apart. For meetings and social events, a limit applies based on the lesser of 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity.
The area in and around Chicago has been one of the hardest hit in the country. Cook County has 178,832 confirmed cases, after adding 1,367 in a day. Fatal cases there stand at 5,439.