We've reported on restaurants and nightclubs closing in other countries as governments try to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic. Now, this is happening in the United States. As of 11:59 p.m. on St. Patrick's Day, movie theaters, gyms and bars in Miami, Florida were told to close their doors. Restaurants there are still allowed to sell food but they've got to do that through take-out, delivery and drive-through.
What's happening in Miami is just one example of how American governments are reacting. These are some of the scenes from Colorado where restaurants and gyms are among the businesses that are closed for 30 days. In Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Wisconsin and some other states, groups of more than 50 people getting together in one place are banned. Concerts and parties, school events, business meetings, they've all been impacted. Ohio called off its presidential primary on Tuesday though three other states still went ahead with theirs.
And the Federal government says Americans should avoid getting together in groups numbering more than 10 people. The thinking behind all of this is that if people could keep their distance from one another, they'll be less chance that they'll spread coronavirus around.
COVID-19 is a new disease. Health officials say people don't have immunities to it. It appears to spread easily and it's still mysterious to doctors. They don't want a situation in which local hospitals get overwhelmed with patients without enough health workers to take care of them.
So they're increasingly encouraging Americans to stay home. And some are warning that if we don't, a scenario like the lockdown in Italy is possible when Americans are required to stay home. That's happening in San Francisco, California. People there are only allowed to leave to go grocery shopping, to the bank, to police, to the pharmacy or to get gasoline. Governments have the right to enforce this.
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