New York, California, and Pennsylvania Order New COVID-19 Measures

Several states are escalating their COVID-19 response measures.

Several states are escalating their coronavirus (COVID-19) response measures as the federal government moves the deadline for tax filings from April 15 to July 15.

On Friday, March 20, New York Governor Cuomo issued an order that workers in all non-essential businesses will be required to stay home. New York state is on pause, the governor said.

“These are legal provisions. They will be enforced. There will be a civil fine and mandatory closure for any business that is not in compliance. Again, your actions can affect my health. That's where we are,” Cuomo clarified.

On Thursday, March 19, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state would be ordering all 40 million residents to stay home.

A time frame was not set for when the order would end. California state officials predict 25.5 million residents could be dealing with COVID-19 infections within 8 weeks.

Residents may continue to leave their homes for travel to grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, convenience stores, farmers markets, laundromats, and banks.

Exemptions apply to workers in infrastructure sectors such as agriculture, transportation, and emergency response.

In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf also ordered all “non-life-sustaining” businesses to shut down Thursday.

While a similar instruction earlier in the week was based on voluntary action, penalties may now be applied to businesses which defy the order. Exceptions include gas stations, farms, grocery stores, and transportation.

More than 14,250 cases have been reported in the United States.

In order to meet testing demands, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued Emergency Use Authorizations for several tests.

On Thursday, an Emergency Use Authorization was granted for the ePlex SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic. The FDA previously granted Emergency Use Authorization to other diagnostics, starting in early February with the CDC’s RT-PCR panel.

FDA also issued Emergency Use Authorization for the Cobas SARS-CoV-2 test, made by Roche, as well as Abbott’s RealTime molecular test.

The FDA has also updated the public on COVID-19 countermeasures that are in development. President Trump, in a Thursday press conference, mentioned chloroquine as one of the countermeasures under study.

For the most recent case counts in the COVID-19 outbreak, check out the Contagion® Outbreak Monitor.

On March 25, 2020, at 6PM ET, Contagion® is hosting a live CME webinar on what clinicians need to know amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Register here.