“Shelter in place” means to take immediate shelter where you are, in order to provide protection. There are certain situations—like a weather emergency, environmental hazard (chemical release, air pollution), or local emergency (nearby police activity)—require sheltering in place. In the case of COVID-19, “Shelter in place” is a directive given from local and federal leaders to stop the spread of a coronavirus.

Updates on COVID-19

LocationConfirmed casesRecoveredDeaths
Worldwide 1,979,477 485,674 126,539
China 82,295 77,816 3,342
Italy 162,488 37,130 21,067
United States 612,380 48,036 25,949
Spain 174,060 67,504 18,255
Germany 132,210 58,112 3,495
France 103,573 28,805 15,729
Iran 74,877 48,129 4,683
United Kingdom 93,873 12,107

About this data

Keeping it up to date

This data changes rapidly, so what’s shown may be out of date. Information about reported cases is also available at World Health Organization.

It doesn’t include all cases

Confirmed cases aren’t all cases. They only include people who tested positive. Testing rules and availability vary by country.

What does it mean to shelter in place?

People can generally still leave their homes for necessities — like to go to the grocery store, to go to the doctor and to get fresh air. You can also take trips to restaurants (for takeout only), though it’s preferred you order for delivery if that’s an option.

An additional guideline commonly seen across many states is an issue for social distancing.

What does social distancing mean?

Social distancing is a newer phrase that basically means to avoid large gatherings and groups, and avoid being within 6ft of another person (apart from those living in your home). Many grocery stores are placing markers on the ground to support the social distancing initiative to stem the spread of COVID-19, or the Coronavirus.

States with Shelter in Place issued

At least 200 million people in 42 statesover 100 counties are being urged to stay home.

Here’s the breakdown of states that have issues shelter in place orders

Alabama

Gov. Kay Ivey said she did not plan to issue a statewide order, saying that she wanted to balance the health of the state’s residents with the health of the economy. “Y’all, we are not California, we’re not New York, we aren’t even Louisiana,” she said on a conference call with reporters, according to AL.com. Birmingham, the largest city in the state, has issued a shelter-in-place order for its residents.

Birmingham About 210,000 people

Shelter in place, effective March 24 at 12 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage


Alaska

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz issued an order asking all residents to “hunker down,” in order to stop the virus from overwhelming the health care system. “We cannot let what is happening in other parts of the world happen here,” he said.

Anchorage About 292,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 22

See announcement | Read local coverage


California 

California, America’s most populous state, was the first to order all residents to stay home. Others quickly followed suit. “This is not a permanent state, this is a moment in time,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said. “We will look back at these decisions as pivotal.”

Stay at home, effective March 19

See announcement | Read local coverage

Colorado 

A number of counties and cities in the state, including Denver and Boulder, had issued their own stay-at-home orders, but Gov. Jared Polis also issued a statewide order, reiterating the need for everyone to stay at home. “We owe it to ourselves and our fellow Americans in order to save lives,” he said.

Stay at home, effective March 26 at 6 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Connecticut 

“At this critical time it is essential that everyone just stay home,” Gov. Ned Lamont said.

Stay at home, effective March 23 at 8 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Delaware 

“I don’t want Delaware to be the example of what not to do in response to this crisis,” Gov. John Carney said.

Shelter in place, effective March 24 at 8 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis said he did not plan to order all Floridians to stay at home, in part because of the unknown risks of extended confinement. At the same time, places like Leon County, which includes Tallahassee, have issued their own orders and the mayor of Miami-Dade County clarified that other orders he issued amounted to an order for residents to stay home unless necessary. “The rules are already applying to you,” he said.

Alachua County About 270,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 12:01 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Leon County About 293,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 25 at 11 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Miami-Dade County About 2.8 million people

Stay at home, effective March 25

See announcement | Read local coverage

Orange County About 1.4 million people

Stay at home, effective March 26 at 11 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Pinellas County About 975,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 26 at 12 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Georgia

The mayor of Atlanta issued an order for residents to stay at home, going further than the governor’s directive for all of Georgia. “Given our population density, high rate of asthma, and various underlying health conditions found within our city’s populations, I am issuing a Stay at Home Order for Atlantans,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Atlanta About 498,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 12 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Blakely About 5,000 people

Shelter in place, effective March 24 at 12 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Carrollton About 26,000 people

Shelter in place, effective March 25

See announcement | Read local coverage

Savannah About 146,000 people

Shelter in place, effective March 24 at 11:59 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Athens-Clarke County About 126,000 people

Shelter in place, effective March 20 at 12:01 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Hawaii 

As in other states, there are exceptions to the stay-at-home order in Hawaii, including leaving the house to go surfing and swimming. But the governor’s office said violations could be punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, or as much as one year in jail. “The threat of COVID-19 is unprecedented and requires aggressive action,” Gov. David Ige said.

Stay at home, effective March 25 at 12:01 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Idaho 

“Our health care and public safety workers are putting themselves in harm’s way to respond to the coronavirus emergency, and we owe it to them to do our part by following this statewide stay-home order,” Gov. Brad Little said.

Stay at home, effective March 25

See announcement | Read local coverage

Illinois 

“I don’t come to this decision easily,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. “I fully recognize that, in some cases, I am choosing between people’s lives and saving people’s livelihood. But ultimately, you can’t have a livelihood if you don’t have your life.”

Stay at home, effective March 21 at 5 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Indiana 

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb asked “Hoosiers to hunker down.” He added: “You must be part of the solution, not the problem.”

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 11:59 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Kansas

Several municipalities in Kansas issued stay-at-home instructions in quick succession, including counties that are in the greater Kansas City region.

Doniphan County About 8,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 26 at 12:01 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Douglas County About 121,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 12:01 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Johnson County About 598,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 12:01 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Leavenworth County About 81,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 24

See announcement | Read local coverage

Miami County About 34,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 25 at 12:01 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Sedgwick County About 514,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 25 at 12:01 a.m.

See announcement

Wyandotte County About 165,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 12:01 a.m.

Read local coverage

Louisiana 

“If we want to flatten the curve, we have to take action today,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. New Orleans had previously issued its own order.

Stay at home, effective March 23 at 5 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Maine

“We all need to function as if we have the virus,” Portland’s city manager, Jon Jennings, said.

Portland About 66,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 25 at 5 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Massachusetts 

Gov. Charlie Baker stopped short of declaring a formal order, but announced an advisory for residents to stay home. “I do not believe I can or should order U.S. citizens to be confined to their home for days on end,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense from a public health point of view, and it’s not realistic.”

Stay at home advisory, effective March 24 at 12 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Michigan 

“Without a comprehensive national strategy, we, the states, must take action,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said, urging residents to stay home.

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 12:01 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Minnesota 

Gov. Tim Walz emphasized the need to slow the spread of the virus over time and not overwhelm hospitals in Minnesota. “We are asking you — because it is going to take cooperation and collaboration — stay home,” he said.

Stay at home, effective March 27 at 11:59 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Mississippi

The mayor of Oxford, Robyn Tannehill, asked “every single citizen of Oxford to do their part.”

Oxford About 25,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 22

See announcement | Read local coverage

Missouri

Residents in the Kansas City, St. Louis and St. Louis County areas are among those under instructions to stay at home. “I wish we did not have to do this,” Mayor Lyda Krewson of St. Louis said Saturday. “This situation will only get worse — much worse — if we don’t act right now.”

Kansas City About 492,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 12:01 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

St. Louis About 303,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 23 at 6 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Boone County About 180,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 25 at 8 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Clay County About 246,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 12:01 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Jackson County About 700,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 12:01 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

St. Louis County About 1 million people

Stay at home, effective March 23 at 12:01 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

New Jersey

“We know the virus spreads through person-to-person contact, and the best way to prevent further exposure is to limit our public interactions,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.

Stay at home, effective March 21 at 9 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

New Mexico 

Addressing questions about whether she was issuing a shelter-in-place order, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said that “the tantamount effect of what we’re doing is basically the same.” She added: “This is quite frankly an instruction to stay home.”

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 8 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

New York 

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has shied away from the language of a shelter-in-place order, which he said evoked images of shooter situations or nuclear war. “Words matter,” the governor said, instead describing it as putting all of New York on pause. “This is the most drastic action we can take,” he said.

Stay at home, effective March 22 at 8 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

North Carolina

Mecklenburg County, which includes Charlotte, and the city of Durham are among the areas ordering residents to stay at home. “If we are going to stop the spread of the virus, this is our window,” Mayor Steve Schewel of Durham said, speaking in a nearly empty chamber at City Hall, The News & Observer reported.

Durham About 274,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 26 at 6 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Madison County About 22,000 people

Shelter in place, effective March 23

See announcement | Read local coverage

Mecklenburg County About 1.1 million people

Stay at home, effective March 26 at 8 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Pitt County About 180,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 25 at 5 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Ohio

Gov. Mike DeWine has been notably aggressive in his response to the coronavirus, and Ohio was among the first wave of states to adopt this measure. “We haven’t faced an enemy like we are facing today in 102 years,” he said. “We are at war.”

Stay at home, effective March 23 at 11:59 pm.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Oklahoma

Gov. Kevin Stitt has told vulnerable Oklahomans to stay home. The city of Norman, home to the University of Oklahoma, ordered all of its residents to do so. “We in Oklahoma are no strangers to natural disasters,” Mayor Breea Clark said in a video announcment. “Covid-19 is here.”

Norman About 123,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 25 at 11:59 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Oregon 

Gov. Kate Brown took the action after seeing the state’s scenic trails and beaches packed with people over the weekend. “If you’re still not sure about an activity, skip it,” she said. “Staying home will save lives.”

Stay at home, effective March 23

See announcement | Read local coverage

Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf issued an order for seven of the hardest-hit counties in the state, including the regions around Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. “Residents must stay home unless someone’s life depends on leaving,” he said.

Allegheny County About 1.2 million people

Stay at home, effective March 23 at 8 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Bucks County About 628,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 23 at 8 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Chester County About 522,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 23 at 8 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Delaware County About 565,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 23 at 8 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Erie County About 272,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 8 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Lehigh County About 368,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 25 at 8 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Monroe County About 170,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 23 at 8 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Montgomery County About 829,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 23 at 8 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Northampton County About 305,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 25 at 8 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Philadelphia County About 1.6 million people

Stay at home, effective March 23 at 8 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

South Carolina

The virus has begun to accelerate in South Carolina, Mayor John J. Tecklenburg of Charleston said at a news conference. “We must now take more dramatic action,” he said, “while there is still time to save thousands of lives.”

Charleston About 136,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 26 at 12:01 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Tennessee

Residents in the Nashville and Memphis areas are under instructions to stay at home as much as possible. In Nashville, known for its live music, local artists and venues are offering concerts streamed online. “Thank you for helping us keep our neighbors and loved ones safe,” the mayor of Nashville, John Cooper, said.

Franklin About 81,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 25 at 12:01 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Davidson County About 693,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 23

See announcement | Read local coverage

Knox County About 465,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 12:01 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Shelby County About 936,000 people

Shelter in place, effective March 24

See announcement | Read local coverage

Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott has left it to local officials to impose the most restrictive orders, but millions of people in the most populous areas have been told to stay home, including Harris County, which includes Houston, Dallas and Tarrant counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, and Bexar County, which includes San Antonio. “Another person has died within the last 24 hours,” said Clay Jenkins, the Dallas County judge. “We’re headed to a point of no return, if we continue to dawdle.”

Bell County About 356,000 people

Shelter in place, effective March 23 at 11:59 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Bexar County About 2 million people

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 11:59 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Collin County About 1 million people

Stay at home, effective March 24

See announcement | Read local coverage

Dallas County About 2.6 million people

Shelter in place, effective March 23 at 11:59 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Denton County About 859,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 25 at 11:59 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

El Paso County About 841,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 11:59 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Harris County About 4.7 million people

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 11:59 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Hunt County About 96,000 people

Shelter in place, effective March 24 at 11:59 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

McLennan County About 255,000 people

Shelter in place, effective March 23 at 11:59 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Robertson County About 17,000 people

Shelter in place, effective March 25 at 9 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Tarrant County About 2.1 million people

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 11:59 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Travis County About 1.2 million people

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 11:59 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Williamson County About 567,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 11:59 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Utah

Summit County, an area popular for skiing and tourism, became the first in Utah to issue such a restriction, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. “This decision was not made lightly but is in the best interest of public health,” said Dr. Rich Bullough, the county health director. “Our cases per capita rival those of the worst areas of New York City and many parts of Italy.”

Summit County About 42,000 people

Stay at home, effective March 27 at 12:01 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Vermont 

“I need all Vermonters to understand that the more quickly and closely we follow these stay-at-home measures, the faster and safer we can get through this and get our daily lives, and our economy, moving again,” Gov. Phil Scott said.

Stay at home, effective March 25 at 5 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Washington 

Gov. Jay Inslee tried begging people to stay at home in Washington State, which has among the worst outbreaks of the virus in the country. Then he made it mandatory. “The fastest way to get back to normal is to hit this hard,” he said.

Stay at home, effective March 23

See announcement | Read local coverage

West Virginia 

West Virginia was the last state to have a confirmed case of the virus, but Gov. Jim Justice quickly joined a chorus of other governors calling on residents to stay inside. “A stay-at-home order is not martial law,” he said, reminding residents that they could still leave their homes for food and outdoor activity. But he warned: “The magnitude of this is unbelievable.”

Stay at home, effective March 24 at 8 p.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Wisconsin 

Gov. Tony Evers initially thought he would not have to issue such an order, but later changed his mind. “You can still get out and walk the dogs — it’s good exercise and it’s good for everyone’s mental health — but please don’t take any other unnecessary trips,” he said. “Limit your travel to essential needs like going to the doctor, grabbing groceries or getting medication.”

Stay at home, effective March 25 at 8 a.m.

See announcement | Read local coverage

Frequently Asked Quesions

Are shelter in place orders legal?

The order is a legal order issued under state laws. Violating it is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine, imprisonment or both, depending on the situation.

What businesses stay open during shelter in place?

Businesses deemed “essential” to the function of a community can still remain open. Examples include: gas stations, health care facilities, pharmacies, banks, laundromats, and stores that sell food like grocery stores, farmers’ markets, food banks, and convenience stores.

What do I need to do to shelter in place?

Common guidelines include staying inside, closing doors, windows, and keeping emergency supply and first aid kits handy. With COVID-19, that also commonly includes social distancing, or staying away from public areas, and at least 6ft away from any one person (not including those you live with). Learn more at ready.gov