Photo Credit: courtesy, CDC
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued a statewide lockdown order on Wednesday after President Donald Trump extended the national social distancing guidelines until April 30.

“I’m going to be doing an executive order today directing all Floridians to limit movements and all personal interactions outside the home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities,” DeSantis said at a news conference.

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As of Wednesday, there were nearly 7,000 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Florida. The epicenter of the outbreak in the state was in South Florida.

At least 30 other states have done the same, including the states of New York and New Jersey.

The order takes effect on Thursday, and remains active for 30 days.

Nearly 2,000 Dead in New York
In New York, the numbers have been skyrocketing, with a total of 83,000 state residents who are sick, and 1,981 deaths reported Wednesday from the virus.

In New York City, the death toll has reached 1,139 people who have lost their lives to the virus, with a total of 44,915 people who are sick.

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has also ordered all New York City playgrounds to be closed; this came after he pointed out that many young people have been continuing to flout rules that were designed to prevent the spread of the virus.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio had been resistant to closing the playgrounds despite clear evidence that the sites were a magnet for those who found it difficult to follow the social distancing rules and other restrictions that were set.

Parks will stay open for now.

In New Jersey, 22,000 Cases of COVID-19
In New Jersey, there are now 22,000 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Health officials in the state reported Wednesday that 355 people have lost their lives to the virus, more than double the number of those who died a week ago.

According to ABC News-6, Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order to cut red tape for health care workers with out-of-state licenses or credentials from other countries, so they can work in New Jersey hospitals.

As with the New York and national income tax, New Jersey has also moved its income tax deadline from April 15 to July 15, and its state budget deadline from June 30 to September 30 in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Nationwide, More Than 200,000 with COVID-19
At present, a total of 211,408 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 across the United States.

The death toll nationwide has reached 4,718 people.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.