Biden’s adviser calls West Coast states against travel
President-elect Joe Biden’s top coronavirus adviser said on Friday there were no plans for a wholesale nationwide lockdown to curb the surging coronavirus pandemic, while three US West Coast states jointly called for a halt in non-essential travel.
"STOP YOUR SOCIAL GATHERINGS"
The warning against unnecessary transit came as the daily increase in coronavirus cases in the United States rose to a record of over 177,000 on Friday, the fourth straight day a new all-time high has been set.
California, Oregon and Washington urged residents to avoid venturing out of state, citing concerns raised by health experts that the coming holiday travel season would accelerate already alarming spikes in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown took the additional step of ordering social gatherings limited to no more than six people, effective immediately, a restriction she said she was prepared to enforce. “I am not asking you, I am telling you, to stop your social gatherings ... and your house parties and to limit your social interactions to six and under, not more than one household,” Brown said.
Similarly, New Mexico’s acting health secretary, Billy Jiminez, extended through the end of November a three-week-old ban on gatherings of more than five people who do not live in the same household, along with a directive advising state residents to stay “in their homes for all but the most essential activities and services.”
That order also requires face coverings be worn in public and mandates the closure of workplaces not defined as “essential businesses,” such as grocery stores, farms, childcare centers, banks, “big-box” retailers, factories and healthcare facilities.