Michigan, Washington Impose Strict Curbs As US COVID-19 Cases Cross 11 Mln

COVID-19 infections in the United States crossed 11 million on Sunday, after adding a million in just six days.

With 1,32,886 new cases recording in the last 24 hours, the country’s total number of COVID-19 infections increased to 11037777, as per latest data from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

617 new deaths in the same period took the total casualties to 246217.

As many states set new records for Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths, Michigan and Washington imposed strict measures to try and control the spread of the pandemic.

Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered a three-week closure of indoor social gatherings and other group activities in an effort to control rapidly rising COVID-19 infection rates.

Under a new emergency order the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued Sunday, casinos, movie theaters and group exercise classes will be closed. Colleges and high schools have been asked to close in-person classes and proceed with remote learning.

Whitmer said there are thousands of cases a day and hundreds of deaths a week in Michigan, and that the numbers are growing. “If we don’t act now, thousands more will die, and our hospitals will continue to be overwhelmed. We can get through this together by listening to health experts once again and taking action right now to slow the spread of this deadly virus,” she added.

“Indoor gatherings are the greatest source of spread, and sharply limiting them is our focus,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon.

MDHHS said in a press release that the order, which takes effect Wednesday, is not a blanket stay-home action like in the spring.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a four-week state-wide set of restrictions in response to the recent rapid spread of the virus.

Indoor social gatherings with people from outside the home are prohibited. Restaurants and bars will be limited to outdoors with capacity limits and to-go service. Religious services will also be limited to 25 percent of indoor capacity or 200 people, whichever is less. Indoor service at gyms, bowling alleys, museums and movie theaters will be prohibited.

The new restrictions come as daily case counts increasing consistently in Washington, with more than 2,000 cases a day over the weekend. Average cases in the state have been doubling over the past two weeks.

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