The development came as a growing number of cities and states took significant actions to stop the coronavirus, shutting down schools, restaurants, bars, movie theaters and gyms. The announcements came one after another on Sunday night and Monday, curtailing nearly all aspects of American life in a matter of hours.
The number of cases in the United States crossed the 4,000 mark on Monday, and the number of deaths surged past 70, including the first deaths in Indiana, Nevada and South Carolina.
The restrictions stretched from the desolate sidewalks of New York City, where officials had made the wrenching decision to shut down public schools for the city’s 1.1 million students, to the fields and urban centers of Ohio, where parents were juggling dwindling restaurants and disappearing child care.
“I don’t know how to explain to my four-year-old why he no longer has school, why we can’t see Granny and Pa or Gam and Pa, and why everything is closed,” said Molly Hideg, a mother and social worker at a hospital in Cleveland.
By Monday afternoon, officials had ordered restaurants and bars to shut down in Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington State and Puerto Rico, with the exception of takeout or delivery in some places.
The effects stretched from hospitals, which were canceling nonelective surgeries, to the strip in Las Vegas, where casinos were shutting down.
The result is that many more Americans are hunkered down at home for the foreseeable future. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom called for people 65 and older to shelter in their homes. Some places, like Hoboken, N.J., have also resorted to a curfew at night.