Oregon and New Mexico are back to near-lockdown status as a surge of coronavirus cases spreads across the U.S. Both states are doing a two-week reset in attempt to slow the spread.
Starting Wednesday in Oregon, all businesses will be required to close their offices to the public and mandate work-from-home to the greatest extent possible.
"Whether we like it or not, we're about to face what might be the roughest days of the pandemic. If we want to give Oregonians a fighting chance, we must take further measures to flatten the curve, now."
And in New Mexico, the governor says she is enacting the most heightened level of public health restrictions since the state's first efforts to combat the pandemic in March.
"So we are in a life or death situation. And if we don't act right now we cannot preserve the lives, can't keep saving lives, and we will absolutely crush our current health care system and infrastructure."
Both states will be closing all nonessential businesses starting Monday in New Mexico and Wednesday in Oregon. And other businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations are being told to reduce operations and in-person staffing.
New Mexico marked its highest daily count of confirmed cases Thursday and one of its highest daily death counts since the pandemic began. Health officials say the spread is worsening, as the rate of hospitalizations has risen more than 200% over the last month.
Governors from many other states are cautious to go back to any sort of lockdowns. Some cite public fatigue and fear over further damaging already-crippled businesses. Some also complain of a lack of federal support for responding to the pandemic or its economic impacts.
But several governors have imposed new restrictions in recent days. Governors in New York, Maryland, Virginia and Minnesota have limited the size of gatherings and made businesses close early, while leaders in California and Washington have asked people traveling into the state to self-quarantine.