Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the U.S., said he would consider supporting a national lockdown on bars and restaurants to force containment of the rapidly spreading virus. “Whatever it takes to do that, that’s what I’d like to see,” Fauci said on CNN on Sunday. “We need to be very serious about — for a while, life is not going to be the way it used to be in the United States.”
Nearly 160,000 people globally have been infected by the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, and almost 6,000 are dead as a result.
Since testing began to ramp up in the U.S., the number of confirmed cases has also skyrocketed, tripling from 1,000 cases on March 10 to 3,000 by Sunday.
Officials in New Jersey and New York mulled drastic measures as the number of cases in those states continued to grow. The mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, will implement a curfew starting Monday requiring all residents to stay in their homes between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless they are required to work during those hours. All bars and restaurants are also no longer allowed to serve food.
During a call in to a New York City radio station, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy didn’t rule out the possibility of a statewide lockdown, or a statewide curfew. “These are the things we have to consider,” Murphy said. “We have no choice.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a tweet Saturday that two state lawmakers had tested positive for COVID-19. He also wrote an op-ed for the New York Times calling on President Trump to mobilize the U.S. Army to help build and equip temporary hospitals to prepare for the expected wave of sick people requiring hospitalization.
“States cannot build more hospitals, acquire ventilators, or modify facilities quickly enough,” Cuomo wrote. “At this point, our best hope is to utilize the Army Corps of Engineers to leverage its expertise, equipment and people power to retrofit and equip existing facilities, like military bases or college dormitories — to serve as temporary medical centers.”
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Georgia became the second state to postpone its upcoming Democratic primary due to the coronavirus, following Louisiana.
And, yet another TSA agent has tested positive for the virus, this time in Orlando, Florida. They are the sixth officer to test positive, after four in San Jose and one in Fort Lauderdale.
Expanded coronavirus screening procedures at 30 major U.S. airports led to chaotic scenes of crowds and hours-long lines over the weekend. The Trump administration announced additional screening procedures for Americans flying back from Europe last week, in addition to banning Europeans from traveling to the U.S. for 30 days. Restrictions on travel from the U.K. go into effect Monday night.