By Alex Hemmer
BU News Service
BOSTON — On March 26, the United States became the first country in the world to report more than 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, simultaneously becoming the country with the most number of cases in the world. Since then, states across the nation have issued various stay-at-home orders, urging Americans to practice social distancing to a greater degree by avoiding non-essential outings.
As of Thursday, 44 states, including the District of Columbia, have reportedly issued some form of statewide order to keep residents at home. 38 states have issued stay-at-home orders, encouraging residents not to leave their homes except for essential reasons such as grocery shopping or medical purposes.
Delaware, Georgia and Mississippi are the three states subject to shelter-in-place orders, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines as an emergency-driven need to “get inside and stay inside” until further notice from state officials.
Although Massachusetts is also subject to a state-wide precaution, Gov. Charlie Baker announced on March 23 that the state would abide by a stay-at-home advisory rather than an order, adding that he does not believe he, “can or should order US citizens to be confined to their home for days on end.”
Other state-wide plans include Kentucky’s healthy-at-home order, which mirrors the stay-at-home order in limiting outings to essential activities. Oklahoma has implemented a safer-at-home order, which urges the state’s “vulnerable populations” to stay home.
States that have not issued state-wide precautions include Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
As state decisions continue to vary, the CDC stands firm in its recommendation for the safety of Americans: practice social distancing “at all levels of society.”