It’s no secret that the east coast was ravaged by Covid-19 earlier this year. Often called the epicenter of the pandemic, states like New York and New Jersey were hit particularly hard. As the second wave of Covid threatens our country, the states on the east coast are taking the precautions necessary to slow the spread of the virus.
Increased Contact Tracing
Because many east coast states are heavily and closely populated, effective contact tracing has been very telling for these areas. Through rigorous efforts, officials have been able to determine who is spreading the virus and the likely location in which this spreading is taking place. This particular tactic is crucial for managing the Covid in cities.
Potential School Shutdown
The New York Public School System is the largest public school system in the U.S. As cases rise, the Governor has decided that if cases surpass 3%, he will be forced to shut down schools once again. This is not a decision that is taken lightly. However, cities in New York and New Jersey were hit so hard during the first wave, many states aren’t willing to risk things getting that bad again.
Stay Home/ Mandatory Curfew
New Jersey is one of the first to implement strict orders like mandatory curfews. An article written by Peter Szekely and Maria Caspani for yahoo.com states, “In New Jersey, one of the early U.S. hotspots, a spike in cases in Newark – the state’s largest city – prompted Mayor Ras Baraka to aggressive measures, including a mandatory curfew for certain areas. The positivity rate in Newark hovered at 19%, more than double the state’s 7.74% seven-day average, Baraka said in a statement on Tuesday. The World Health Organization has said anything over 5% is concerning.” The alarming rate in which this virus spreads is causing government officials to be overly cautious. Many communities can’t afford to be overwhelmed by Covid. Their small businesses, essential workers and healthcare systems can’t handle it. These measures are essential to avoid becoming another hotspot.
Early Bar/ Restaurant Closure
In addition to potentially closing the public school system, many eastern states are now requiring all bars and restaurants to close at 10:00 pm. The above mentioned article also states, “We’re seeing a national and global COVID surge, and New York is a ship on the COVID tide,” the governor told reporters, adding that contact tracing identified late-night gatherings at bars, restaurants and gyms as key virus spreaders in the state.” These early closures coupled with the 10 person limit on all parties will hopefully help slow the spread of the virus.
The needs of each region in the U.S are similar but also unique. The closely populated cities of the east coast are working hard to trace all outbreaks and get to the root of the problem. Ideally, these preventive measures will help them escape the level of devastation caused by the first wave of Covid.