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Ohio, Louisiana, Delaware, and Philadelphia — home to roughly 18.8 million people — were the latest states and cities to order residents to stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
On Sunday, the three states' governors and the city's mayor announced stricter restrictions, described as "stay at home" and "stay home" orders, as they attempt to control a rapid spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
"By doing the #StayHome health order, we can convey the seriousness of this," tweeted Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
The Ohio order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday and will last for at least two weeks, and Philadelphia's begins 8 a.m. Monday. Louisiana's order begins 5 p.m. Monday and will last until at least April 12, while Delaware's will begin 8 a.m. Tuesday.
The parameters for the new orders are in line with standards already imposed in other states, including Illinois and California. They also carry the force of law and violations could be charged as crimes.
The orders ban people from gathering in groups and also require businesses to close unless they're deemed essential, such as grocery stores, hospitals, and pharmacies. Restaurants may stay open only to fulfill takeout and delivery orders.
Pennsylvania previously ordered the closure of all businesses except those considered "life-sustaining," and Philadelphia's new order on Sunday clarified some of those categories while also ordering people to stay home except to get groceries, care for family members, obtain medical attention, or other essential personal activities.
Outdoor activities, like walking or running, are still allowed, as long as people don't congregate in crowds.
Governors and local leaders across the US have been pleading with people to comply as cases in almost every state continue to see dramatic upticks in COVID-19 diagnoses. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards retweeted a report that said that his state now has the third-highest number of cases across the US.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney simplified and amplified the message in a single tweet:
And in Delaware, Gov. John Carney said he "issued a stay-at-home order for Delawareans, and ordered non-essential businesses to close at 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 24."
Carney published a list of which businesses were considered essential and which were not.