As of Thursday, more than 900 deaths had been reported in the greater Detroit area. The entire state of Michigan had 1,076 deaths, and the governor was adding new travel restrictions. An expanded “stay at home” order issued by Governor Gretchen Whitmer will ban travel between two residences, with limited exemptions. That means no visiting neighbors, but it also means not traveling to cottages or vacation homes in other parts of the state. Many people who live in the greater Detroit area own or rent homes on Lake Michigan or other parts of the state, and health officials in the more rural areas are worried they don’t have the healthcare capacity to handle an outbreak if people bring the spread of the coronavirus to areas around the state.
There are exceptions for those going to care for someone in need, or complying with court orders about custody, for example. The new restrictions will also only allow for 4 customers per 1,000 square feet in stores, the Detroit Free Press reported. Large stores also have to close of areas dedicated to carpets and flooring, furniture, garden centers, plant nurseries and paint.
The expanded Michigan restrictions go into effect Saturday.
In Kentucky, the state reports 79 known deaths caused by COVID-19. State officials say nursing homes have been the hardest hit. Thursday, the governor order two popular state parks (Cumberland Falls and Natural Bridge) to close because too many people were visiting. The governor also commuted the sentences of 186 inmates, and will review the cases of 743 more inmates for possible commutations in the next few months.
This week, the governor ordered that only one adult per household be allowed into stores, and banned uninvited in-person solicitation.
Indiana has reported 300 coronavirus deaths, with a third of those from the greater Indianapolis area. There have also been a high concentration of cases near Chicago, and a high number of cases per-capita reported in three southeast Indiana counties. This week, Indiana’s governor closed campgrounds statewide, with an exception only for those who live in RVs and cabins and have nowhere else to live. The governor also ordered that religious services allow no more than 10 people to attend.
Pennsylvania has closed schools for the remainder of the school year, in an order issued by the governor this week. The state had previously closed liquor stores and golf courses, which Ohio has not. Governor Tom Wolf also signed an order allowing the state to commandeer protective gear and other medical equipment from private companies around the state. 418 people are confirmed to have died from the coronavirus in Pennsylvania, as of Thursday. 120 deaths were reported in the 14 counties surrounding Pittsburgh, according to WPXI, which is tracking the numbers in the western part of the state. The state had approximately 20,000 confirmed cases, with the largest concentration being near the Philadelphia area.
In West Virginia, 5 people were confirmed to have died from coronavirus as of Thursday. The governor’s office reported one outbreak at a Charleston nursing home, and a cluster of positive tests in the eastern part of the state, which is closer to the metro area of Washington, D.C. The governor has issued a stay at home order, but has not canceled the statewide election scheduled for May 12th. While West Virginia’s stay at home order is less specific than some other states, the governor has granted additional powers to some county health boards to impose tighter restrictions.
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