Drone Videos Show American Cities Turned To Ghost Towns Under Lockdown


Beaches across Los Angeles County are largely devoid of people. The city has announced new measures to close beach parking lots and trailheads. TierneyMJ/Shutterstock

Major cities around the United States have been turned into ghost towns as state and local authorities issue shelter-in-place orders, hoping to mitigate the spread of the deadly coronavirus. From Boston to Los Angeles, drone-users are taking to the skies to highlight just how empty America’s cities have become.

It comes as the number of global cases has reached nearly 400,000 cases and 17,400 deaths, at time of writing. Of note, it took more than three months to reach the first 100,000 confirmed cases, and just 12 days to reach the next 100,000, according to a March 19 World Health Organisation (WHO) report.


As many as 80 million Americans are forced to stay home and practice physical distancing in an attempt to “flatten the curve,” slowing down rates of transmission so as not to overwhelm hospitals around the country. Even so, most recent data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the American territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands have reported more than 44,000 cases with around 544 deaths since January 21.

(H/T: Gizmodo for first curating the roundup.)

Los Angeles, California

Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsome issued a statewide stay-at-home order.


According to the County of Los Angeles Public Health, 536 cases have resulted in the deaths of at least seven individuals as of March 23. The county issued a “Safer at Home” order on March 21 requiring Los Angeles residents to stay home except to “maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors,” prohibiting all indoor and outdoor public and private gatherings and events and requiring all business to close to the public and cease in-person operations unless they are determined “essential”.

Failing to follow the order is a crime punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

 [H/T: Washington Post]

Boston, Massachusetts


Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has not yet issued a lockdown or shelter-in-place but warns that it could be coming, according to Boston Public Radio. Massachusetts has ordered a state of emergency, requiring non-essential businesses to cease in-person operations and requiring that people stay in their homes.

As of March 22, the state confirmed 646 positive cases and more than 2,000 individuals currently in quarantine

[H/T: The Boston Globe]

New York City, New York


Perhaps the hardest hit by the pandemic are the residents of New York City, which contains about 5 percent of all coronavirus cases around the world, reports the New York Times. The state has put itself on “PAUSE,” forcing 100 percent of its workforce to stay home with the exception of essential services.

New York has received its initial delivery of supplies to assist the Federal Emergency Management Agency in building a 1,000-bed temporary hospital, according to the state Department of Health.

Aerial images show the once-bustling New York City, which is one of the world’s most populated, nearly devoid of people.

 [H/T: La Repubblica]


San Francisco, California

Almost every single one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s 7 million residents are currently under a shelter-in-place order. Across the state, almost 2,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported, nearly half of which (841) have occurred in the Bay Area. As of March 23, one confirmed death has been reported in a neighboring county, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

[H/T: ABC7 News Bay Area]

Las Vegas, Nevada


The Department of Health and Human Services, Nevada Division says that it is closely monitoring the outbreak, and has shut down all non-essential businesses in the region until mid-April – including casinos, one of the state’s largest economic sectors, reports local news station KTNV. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak expects the coronavirus to get much worse if the state doesn’t act to spread the curb of the virus.

[H/T: 8 News NOW Las Vegas]

Treasure Beach, Florida

After thousands of twenty-somethings flocked to Florida’s beaches for Spring Break, officials opted to close public spaces after physical distancing guidelines failed. Drone imagery captured the first day that Treasure Beach was closed shows empty beaches and the nearby city with less than a dozen cars driving along the highway.


Several students who ignored advisories traveling together during Spring Break have tested positive for COVID-19.

[H/T: Jason Jenson


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