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Casinos, gyms, movie theaters to close as New York, New Jersey & Connecticut ban 50+ people gatherings due to coronavirus fears

Casinos, gyms, movie theaters to close as New York, New Jersey & Connecticut ban 50+ people gatherings due to coronavirus fears
The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have rolled a set of rules, which include closing casinos, gyms and movie theaters, as well as limiting restaurants to only takeout and delivery services.

New restrictions in the three neighboring states will go into effect at 8 PM eastern time on Monday. On top of the closures and banning of crowds of 50 or more, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he is also discouraging any non-emergency travel in his state "between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. daily. This will remain in effect for the foreseeable future."

The closures in New York from Governor Andrew Cuomo do not come as a surprise as New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced only a day before he will be signing an executive order temporarily ordering the closing of nightclubs, movie theaters and concert venues. Restaurants, bars and cafes will also be turned into take-out and delivery services only, similar to an order Illinois put into effect on Sunday.

The governors said in a joint press call on Monday that they partnered on the restrictions to public life in order to prevent citizens traveling from state to state to get certain amenities.

“Coming up with the same rules is imperative,” Cuomo said. Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and other select businesses will be allowed to remain open under the new rules. Public transit between the states will also remain open.

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State-imposed rules are becoming more and more common as governors either pass orders for businesses to close or simply urge them to do so, as California Governor Gavin Newsom did on Sunday. Many of the governors passing these restrictions are critical of the federal government's response to the spread of the coronavirus, something Cuomo was open about on Monday. "It's inexcusable," he said of the response, adding, “We’re doing the best we can.”

Cuomo also revealed drive through testing for the coronavirus will be implemented in Long Island, Staten Island and Rockland County. He says he is also working on building "back up" medical facilities for patients.

There have been at least 67 deaths in the US from the coronavirus, and there are over 3,600 confirmed cases, as of Monday morning. 

Cuomo announced 950 confirmed cases in New York state on Monday, a dramatic rise from earlier numbers, which the governor chalked up to increased testing. Deaths in the state from the virus stand at seven.

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