School closures, lockdowns: Breaking down governors’ mixed responses to coronavirus

In this Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 file photo, Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and former Vice President Joe Biden, talk before a Democratic presidential primary debate in Charleston, S.C. (Source: AP Photo/Matt Rourke/AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Governors of two states scheduled to hold presidential primaries on Tuesday say voting will happen despite the coronavirus outbreak.

The Democratic governor of Illinois and Republican governor of Ohio on Sunday both said that their elections would go forward.

Four states are voting on Tuesday — Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio.

Two other states that were scheduled to vote afterwards — Georgia and Louisiana — have postponed their primaries due to coronavirus.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has ordered all bars and restaurants in the state to close to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
The Democratic governor said Sunday the closure will take effect Monday night and run through March 30.

Officials in other parts of the country said they are considering similar restrictions after revelers ignored warnings against attending large gatherings.

In New Orleans and Chicago, people clad in green for St. Patrick’s Day packed bars and spilled onto crowded sidewalks Saturday even after the cities canceled their parades.

Some revelers said health officials were overreacting, but they faced a backlash.

Meanwhile, New York City is closing the nation’s largest public school system, sending over 1.1 million children home in hopes of curbing the spread of coronavirus.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that schools will close Monday through at least April 20 and possibly for the school year.

The decision follows a growing number of school closures
in communities and entire states around the country and mounting pressure in New York from residents, City Council members and others.

The shutdown affects the city’s nearly 1,900 public schools. Many private schools already have closed.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday called for all bars, wineries, nightclubs and brewpubs to close in the nation's most populous state in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The state also will reduce current occupancy in restaurants by half to keep people farther away from each other, Newsom said at a news conference.

It comes as the Illinois governor shut down all bars and restaurants and officials elsewhere said they were considering similar restrictions.

Newsom issued guidance last week to cancel or postpone gatherings, large and small, that have roiled California's economy, which is the fifth-largest in the world.

Schools have closed, sports games have been called off and theme parks like Disneyland have shut down.

The governor also urged seniors and people with chronic conditions to isolate themselves at home.

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