Why Are States Imposing Virus Curfews?

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Cities, states and counties from Massachusetts to Colorado have imposed curfews on residents and businesses to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus, as caseloads reach new highs around the country.The curfews, enacted by Republican and Democratic leaders, now affect residents in two of the country’s biggest states. In California on Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered “a limited stay-at-home order” in dozens of counties, barring “nonessential work and gatherings” from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. And in New York this month, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo ordered bars, restaurants and gyms to close by 10 p.m.Some cities, like Newark, have taken a more targeted approach, setting a curfew for residents in ZIP codes with soaring case numbers, and leaders in Europe have made similar moves, like a 10 p.m. curfew for pubs and restaurants in England.But the patchwork response, with rules sometimes varying from town to town, also has some residents asking: What effect could a curfew have on a virus that seems to be everywhere, spreading day and night?What’s the point of a curfew?Nicholas Gradisar, the mayor of Pueblo, Colo., said his city’s curfew aimed to decrease mobility among those with …

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