31 States Now Have Stay at Home Orders Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak

The coronavirus pandemic is seriously impacting the U.S., with more than 164,000 confirmed cases nationwide. According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 67,000 of those cases in New York, making it the worst-affected state, followed by New Jersey with more than 16,000 confirmed cases and California with in excess of 7,300.

However, more than half of U.S. states have issued some sort of social distancing orders to delay the spread of the coronavirus and to try and flatten the curve. So far, 30 states and Washington D.C. have implemented stay at home orders, with varying rules and restrictions.

What does 'Stay at Home Order' Mean?

The stay at home order rules vary by state, but generally require residents to stay at home and to only go out for essential reasons, such as groceries or medical supplies. When individuals leave their homes to access essential services, they should keep a distance of two meters (roughly 6.5 feet) away from other people.

Essential services such as gas stations, pharmacies, banks, laundry services, and government functions will typically remain operational, but non-essential services like dine-in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues and gyms are closed.

New York City Times Square
Times Square, New York, looking empty on March 22, 2020, as more states implement stay at home orders amid the coronavirus outbreak. Noam Galai/Getty

The length of the stay at home orders also varies by state, as Illinois's order is in place until April 7, while Delaware's order is in place until May 15. President Donald Trump initially wanted to relax the social distancing guidelines by April 12 but has extended the measures until April 30. However, these dates could change based on how the coronavirus outbreak evolves.

Stay at home orders are not as strict as the lockdown orders that Italy and Spain have implemented, where people have been fined or arrested for leaving their house without a valid reason.

Residents of the 31 U.S. states that have implemented stay at home orders should closely follow their state's social distancing guidelines and health and safety advice.

States with Stay at Home Orders

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • DC
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
This infographic shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases by state.
This infographic shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases by state.

Other states have restrictions in some cities or counties that do not extend to the whole state, such as Alabama, which has only issued a stay at home order in Birmingham, or Georgia, which has issued a stay at home order in a few cities, including Atlanta.

Southeast Florida has a stay at home order in place, while residents of Oklahoma's major cities, like Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Norman, have been ordered to stay at home.

While Pennsylvania has not been issued a statewide order, residents of the areas surrounding Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are required to stay at home.

Therefore, if a state has not issued a statewide stay at home order, certain cities or districts within the state may have their own restrictions in place.

States without Statewide Stay at Home Orders

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wyoming

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.