As of Thursday, March 18, indoor areas of retail shopping malls, amusement parks and bowling alleys must be closed by 8 p.m. in New York, Pennyslviana, New Jersey and Connecticut.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf are taking a regional approach to social distancing in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Earlier this week, Cuomo, Murphy and Lamont limited gatherings to 50 or less people, shut down dine-in restaurants and bars except for takeout and delivery, and temporarily closed movie theaters, gyms and casinos.
Gov. Wolf joined these states on Wednesday and ordered the same restrictions to help reduce “state shopping” where people may travel across state lines for shopping and recreation, and potentially spread the coronavirus.
The aggressive measures were taken because the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning regarding events with 50 or more people. As of March 16, the CDC stated that for the next two weeks, all national events of 10 or more people should be virtual or cancelled.
“Pennsylvania is working aggressively to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. A regional approach to this threat is smart, and I am grateful for all of the work by my colleagues in neighboring states. Joining these leaders will help Pennsylvania mitigate the spread of COVID-19 with a coordinated approach,” Wolf said.
Social distancing is an approach to slowing the spread of COVID-19. Nations that allowed free travel, large gatherings and dining out have had the hardest time controlling the spread of the coronavirus.
“We are doing everything we can as states to reduce density and contain the spread of the virus,” Cuomo said. “It is critical that we remain on the same page as our neighboring states, and so far we are the only region in the country partnering to create uniform, regional density reduction policies that prevent ‘state shopping.’ We will continue working together to update our regulations and guidance as the situation evolves while keeping a consistent standard across the region.”