• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

13 states have declared states of emergency to fight coronavirus — here's what it means for them

·9 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Thirteen US states so far have declared states of emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The country has reported more than 970 COVID-19 cases across 36 states, but due to a nationwide testing shortage the true figure is likely higher.

Of those known cases, authorities confirmed 30 coronavirus deaths: 24 in Washington state, two in Florida, two in California, one in New Jersey, and one in South Dakota.

The first week of March saw leaders in states across the country begin to ramp up their responses to the virus, which has killed more than 4,200 people and infected more than 118,000 globally. The coronavirus causes a respiratory disease known as COVID-19.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed also declared a state of emergency in the city last month, while several other US cities and counties have also declared public health emergencies over the new coronavirus. 

Despite the possibly alarming news, declaring an emergency is a strategic announcement that can help states activate emergency response plans and state emergency operation centers. It also can help governments get reimbursed for money they spend on preparedness from the state and federal government, and it authorizes leaders to use funds to deploy additional personnel, buy equipment, and prepare stockpiles.

For the coronavirus, it's given government leaders the opportunity to implement restrictive measures to stop the spread of the virus— Washington Governor Jay Inslee is reportedly banning gatherings and events of more than 250 people in the Seattle metro area. 

The response from state leadership is in stark contrast to President Donald Trump's repeated downplaying of the outbreak and rocky public appearances in addressing officials' response to the virus. 

Here are the states that have declared emergencies. 

Washington

jay inslee
jay inslee

 


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, right, talks to the media about the latest actions the state is taking to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, as Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi LeVine looks on, Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in Olympia, Wash.

Rachel La Corte/AP

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in the state on February 29 after the first coronavirus death was confirmed.

On Wednesday, the Inslee is expected to announce further measures being taken by the state to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. One extreme measure Inslee will reportedly announce is a ban on gatherings and events of more than 250 people in the entire Seattle metro area, the Associated Press reported.

By March 10, the state had confirmed 25 deaths from the virus and more than 260 cases.


California

gavin newsom
gavin newsom

 


California Gov. Gavin Newsom displays a bottle of hand sanitizer while saying the state would take action against price gouging because of the coronavirus, at a Capitol news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, March 4, 2020.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

California declared a state of emergency on March 4 after reporting the first death from coronavirus in the state. Gov. Gavin Newsom made the declaration to receive emergency federal funding to battle the outbreak.

The proclamation also includes provisions to protect consumers from price gouging and allows for out-of-state healthcare workers to assist facilities at the frontlines of the coronavirus battle.

"The State of California is deploying every level of government to help identify cases and slow the spread of this coronavirus," Newsom said. "This emergency proclamation will help the state further prepare our communities and our health care system in the event it spreads more broadly."

The California Department of Public Health said it was working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to respond to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the state, including screening incoming passengers at both Los Angeles International (LAX) and San Francisco International (SFO) airports.


Maryland

larry hogan
larry hogan

 


Maryland Governor Larry Hogan speaks during the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding between Maryland and Kanagawa, at Maryland's State Capitol, in Annapolis, Md., Monday, July 15, 2019.

Jose Luis Magana/AP

On March 5, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency after announcing the state's first three positive cases of coronavirus. The patients contracted the virus while traveling overseas and are quarantined in their homes.

"In order to further mobilize all available state resources in response to this threat to public health, I have issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in Maryland," Hogan said.


Kentucky

Andy Beshear
Andy Beshear

 

Bryan Woolston/AP

On March 6, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the state's first confirmed case of the virus and a state of emergency. 

"While the overall threat to Kentuckians is still low, we as a state are going to take every necessary action to protect our people," Beshear said during a press conference

As of March 10, the state had eight confirmed cases. 

 


Utah

gary herbert
gary herbert

 


Utah Gov. Gary Herbert delivers his 11th and final State of the State address in the Utah House Chambers, at the Utah Sate Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020.

Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune, via AP, Pool

Gov. Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency as an anticipatory measure hours before the state's Department of Health announced Utah's first case of COVID-19 on March 6. 

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the state's first case was a person over age 60 whom officials believe was exposed on a previous voyage they took on the Grand Princess cruise ship, which has been docked and quarantined in recent days. Despite the individual's positive diagnosis, officials stressed that they didn't believe there was a larger threat of infection. 

 


New York

cuomo de blasio
cuomo de blasio

 


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, and Mayor Bill de Blasio discuss the state and city's preparedness for the spread of the coronavirus, Monday, March 2, 2020, in New York.

Mark Lennihan/AP

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency on March 7 as the total number of confirmed cases in the state reached 76.

Amtrak canceled its non-stop service between Manhattan and Washington, DC. 


Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference as Deputy Secretary for Health Dr. Shamarial Roberson, left, Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees, second from left, and Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, right, listen, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Tallahassee, Fla. DeSantis attempted to reassure his state Thursday that health officials were prepared for any cases of a new virus that has killed thousands worldwide, saying there were no confirmed cases — yet — of infections from COVID-19. (AP Photo/Bobby Caina Calvan)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference as Deputy Secretary for Health Dr. Shamarial Roberson, left, Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees, second from left, and Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, right, listen, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Tallahassee, Fla. DeSantis attempted to reassure his state Thursday that health officials were prepared for any cases of a new virus that has killed thousands worldwide, saying there were no confirmed cases — yet — of infections from COVID-19. (AP Photo/Bobby Caina Calvan)

 

Associated Press

On March 7, Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a level 2 state of emergency, an escalation from the public health emergency he declared on March 1.

When the public health warning was announced, the state had two confirmed cases of the virus, which reached 14 by March 10. Two people had also died from the virus. 


Oregon

Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon
Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon

 


Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon

Andrew Selsky/AP

Gov. Kate Brown announced the declaration on March 8, which will remain in effect for 60 days but could be extended. 

The announcement came as seven new cases were announced, some of which stemmed from contact with people in northwestern Washington, according to The Associated Press


New Jersey

coronavirus
coronavirus

 


In this Tuesday, March 3, 2020 file photo, shelves that held hand sanitizer and hand soap are mostly empty at a store in Jersey City, N.J.

Seth Wenig/AP

Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency on March 9, after 11 people in the state had tested positive for the virus. 

NJ.com reported that officials had closed some schools and said that 24 other possible cases were under investigation in the state by the NJ Department of Health.


Colorado

Jared Polis
Jared Polis

 


Colorado Gov. Jared Polis

Jim Anderson/AP

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis made the declaration on March 10 after the state confirmed its 15th case, all of which had surfaced over the course of a few days.

Business Insider's Julie Bort reported that the state was dealing with especially concerning diagnoses that came from all over the state, including high-traffic tourist and urban areas. 

Polis said that the state's Department of Labor and Employment would institute "emergency rulemaking" to accommodate workers across the state in food handling, hospitality, child care, health care, and education. 

Under the emergency, new rules would allow those workers to get tested and take sick leave while waiting for results if they exhibit flu-like symptoms, and unemployment insurance for those who don't have leave. Additionally, the department is creating a drive-through testing facility to fulfill doctors' orders and DMV will temporarily allow residents older than 65 to renew their driver's licenses online and avoid public spaces.


Massachusetts

charlie baker
charlie baker

 

Charles Krupa/AP

Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency on March 10 amid a "significant uptick" of cases, bringing the number of identified ill in the state to 92

"This declaration will give our administration more flexibility to respond to this evolving outbreak," Baker said after state officials announced they were examining 51 additional "presumptive positive" cases. 

 


North Carolina

N. Carolina Roy Cooper coronavirus
N. Carolina Roy Cooper coronavirus

 

AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on March 10 to stop the spread of the virus. 

North Carolina currently has seven confirmed cases of COVID-19. 


Michigan

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

 

AP Photo/David Eggert

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency of March 10, after Michigan had its first two cases of COVID-19. 

"I have declared a state of emergency to harness all of our resources across state government to slow the spread of the virus and protect families," Whitmer said in a tweet. 

 

Read more:

The coronavirus has pandemic 'potential' as it spreads in South Korea, Italy, and Iran, according to WHO

One key indicator will tell us when the coronavirus outbreak is winding down — but we're not seeing it yet

A day-by-day breakdown of coronavirus symptoms shows how the disease, COVID-19, goes from bad to worse

Read the original article on Business Insider

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting