All 50 states are starting to reopen after more than two months in lockdown – but rules vary widely – The Sun

ALL 50 states have started to reopen as of Wednesday, two months after the coronavirus pandemic hit the US.

President Donald Trump initially pushed for “reopening the economy” on Easter Sunday, despite warnings from health officials that it was too soon as the number of virus cases and death toll grew.

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On April 16, the White House released a three-part “phased and deliberate approach” road map to governors to use as guidelines to reopening their states.

The new guidelines were aimed at easing restrictions in areas with lower coronavirus numbers, while holding off on reopenings in harder-hit areas.

“We’re starting our life again,” Trump said at the time. “We’re starting rejuvenation of our economy again. This is a gradual process.”

He told governors: “You’re going to call your own shots. We’re going to be standing alongside of you.”

Some states, like New York, which is the epicenter of the country’s outbreak, were able to flatten the curve as residents stayed home and socially distanced themselves.

Other states with a lesser number of cases that have reopened have seen a rise in COVID-19 cases as they began to welcome back local businesses.

Here’s a breakdown of each state’s reopening:

Alabama

As of Wednesday, more than 12,700 cases of coronavirus were reported in Alabama, with more than 500 deaths.

Alabama has added as many as 350 new cases per day in the past two weeks, and the state’s average number of new cases has continued to climb.

However, Alabama State Health Officer Scott Harris said the state meets the White House’s criteria for reopening by the percentage of positive tests going down for two weeks.

Alabama Gov Kay Ivey, a Republican, lifted a stay-at-home order on April 30 and allowed restaurants, salons, and gyms to open again on May 11, while the current health order will expire on May 22.

Alaska

The Last Frontier state has reported nearly 400 cases and 10 deaths from coronavirus.

Republican Gov Mike Dunleavy announced restrictions on certain businesses would be eased starting on April 24, and as of May 22, most restrictions will be lifted.

“It’s time to get Alaska back on its feet,” Dunleavy said on Tuesday. “Friday, we’re open for business across the state of Alaska.”

All businesses, including bars, gyms, churches, libraries, and museums, will be allowed to reopen without restrictions, and sports activities will be allowed to start again.

“It will all be open just like it was prior to the virus,” he said.

Arizona

Arizona has reported more than 14,500 cases of coronavirus and over 700 deaths.

Republican Gov Doug Ducey’s stay-at-home order expired on May 15, and businesses like gyms, spas, community swimming pools, and professional sports teams were able to start again.

"This is a green light to continue going forward on the way out of this pandemic,” Ducey said last week. “Now, this is not a green light to speed. This is a green light to proceed with caution.”

Arkansas

As of Wednesday, Arkansas reported nearly 5,000 cases of the virus, with 102 deaths.

Republican Gov Asa Hutchinson announced that openings could begin on May 4, with the reopening of gyms, and on May 6 with the reopening of salons.

Other businesses, like restaurants, were able to open on May 11 with “limited dine-in service,” bars inside of restaurants could reopen on May 19, and regular stand-alone bars could reopen on May 26.

California

The Golden State, which was the first state in the US to enforce stay-at-home orders, has reported nearly 84,000 cases and over 3,400 deaths from coronavirus.

Starting on May 12, California allowed restaurants and shopping centers to reopen in counties that meet certain criteria.

Democrat Gov Gavin Newsom on Monday announced a dramatic relaxation of health standards that would allow the state to reopen, reversing last week’s plan that would have prevented most large counties.

“Bottom line is: People can go at their own pace, and we are empowering our local health directors and county officials that understand their local communities and conditions,” Newsom said.

“We’re going to start seeing a lot more activity, let’s just make sure we do it thoughtfully and very, very strategically.”

Colorado

The state of Colorado has reported more than 22,400 coronavirus cases and over 1,200 deaths as of Wednesday.

Democratic Gov Jared Polis has asked for a transition to a “safer at home” approach, and allowed some businesses to reopen on May 1.

On Tuesday, the state released draft guidelines for restaurants, bars, and cafes to reopen on May 26, which restaurant owners and managers have to give feedback on by Friday.

By Monday, Polis will decide if the state can allow restaurants and bars to reopen.

Connecticut

Connecticut has reported nearly 40,000 positive cases of coronavirus and more than 3,400 deaths.

Gov Ned Lamont, a Democrat, has allowed the reopening of some state businesses, like restaurants and retails shops, as of Wednesday.

The reopening of barbershops and nail salons was pushed back from May 20 to June 1.

On May 5, Lamon canceled in-person schooling for the remainder of the school year, and officials have said summer day camps can reopen on June 29.

Delaware

Delaware has reported more than 8,000 coronavirus cases and more than 300 deaths.

Democratic Gov John Carney has announced a plan to reopen by June 1, as the state’s stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 31.

Retail stores, hair salons, tanning salons, casinos, and restaurants and bars, will be allowed to reopen with strict restrictions.

Restaurants, breweries, and bars will be required to give guests one-time use paper menus that must be thrown away, and condiments must also be provided in a single-use container.

Florida

The Sunshine State has reported more than 46,000 cases and over 2,000 deaths after Gov Ron DeSantis said he suspects coronavirus was spread around at Super Bowl LIV, which was held in Miami Gardens on February 2.

The Republican governor allowed the state’s stay-at-home order to expire on May 4, and on Monday, restaurants and stores were allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity.


DeSantis has said the state is ready for professional sports events to begin again for people to watch on television, and has been encouraging theme parks to submit their reopening plans.

“I’m not saying this is going to happen tomorrow,” he said. “I think you’ve already seen some theme parks in other parts of the world open, and I know we are going to get that done here.”

A Florida data scientist has claimed she was fired on May 5 for refusing to manipulate coronavirus case data.

Georgia

Georgia, known as the Peach State, has reported more than 38,800 cases and 1,675 deaths as of Wednesday from coronavirus.

Republican Gov Brian Kemp was called out by Trump for moving forward with some reopenings on April 24, as the state’s shelter in place order expired on April 30.

“I told the governor of Georgia Brian Kemp that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities,” Trump said in April. “I wasn’t happy with Brian Kemp, I wasn’t at all happy.”

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, state health officials allegedly shared erroneous data that suggested the number of cases was going down to justify the reopening — despite no downward trend in cases during that time period.

Hawaii

Hawaii has reported just over 640 cases of coronavirus and 17 deaths as of Wednesday, and on Monday Gov David Ige laid out guidelines for reopening more businesses.

Ige, a Democrat, said the state can now move from a “safer and home” stage to an “act with care” phase.

Businesses like malls and pet groomers have been allowed to reopen, but there aren’t specific dates on when certain businesses can reopen, as counties will be allowed to set their own timelines.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, for example, has said dine-in restaurant service is approved to begin on June 5 with restrictions.

Health officials haven’t determined when large venues, bars, and clubs will be allowed to reopen.

Idaho

The Gem State has reported more than 2,470 coronavirus cases and nearly 80 deaths as of Wednesday, as the state’s stay-at-home order expired on April 30.

Republican Gov Brad Little allowed certain businesses like daycares and places of worship to reopen on May 1 as part of phase one of a four-part plan, while other businesses like restaurants, gyms, and salons reopened during phase two.

Places like nightclubs or movie theaters are expected to be closed until the summer season.

“It’s going to be a very metered ramp-up predicated on continued good behavior of the state of Idaho to where we know we’re not going to have a big second wave (of infections),” Little said last month.

“We are not going to be back to normal until we have a vaccine,” Little said. “I just have to be straight with the people of Idaho.”

Illinois

Illinois has reported nearly 100,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 4,00 deaths.

Democratic Gov JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 31, but he loosed restrictions on some outdoor activities starting on May 1.

The governor has required residents to wear face masks in public and has released a five-phase plan, but said reopening depends on if the number of coronavirus cases grows.

“We all have a passionate desire to return to the sense of normalcy that we felt before the world knew of COVID-19,” Pritzker said earlier this month.

“Here’s the truth and I don’t like it any more than you do: Until we have a vaccine, or an effective treatment, or enough widespread immunity that new cases fail to materialize, the option of returning to normalcy doesn’t exist.”

Indiana

More than 28,700 cases of the coronavirus and over 1,800 deaths have been reported in Indiana, where the state’s stay-at-home order expired on May 4.

Republican Gov Eric Holcomb eased restrictions, and last week, officials said most businesses were abiding by reopening rules.

The state, however, reported on Sunday more than 500 new cases and 11 deaths after some businesses saw a surge in customers during their first weekend since reopening.

Holcomb said earlier this month about the state’s phased opening: “What we don’t want to do is opening it up all at once and then be rushed and then find ourselves playing catch up and dialing it back.”

Iowa

Iowa, which never enacted a statewide stay-at-home order, has reported more than 15,500 cases and 380 deaths from coronavirus.

Starting May 1, Republican Gov Kim Reynolds eased restrictions on hair salons, restaurants, and gyms in all counties as of May 15, but bars, movie theaters, and casinos are closed.

“We’re continuing to re-evaluate on a daily basis,” Reynolds said on Tuesday.

“We know that it is important that we continue in a very responsible, safe, measured, phased-in manner to continue to open up and what we’re seeing from businesses and from Iowans — they also are being very responsible and thoughtful in how they are bringing their businesses back on line,” she said.

Kansas

Kansas has reported more than 8,300 cases of coronavirus and 199 deaths as of Wednesday.

The state’s stay-at-home order expired on May 3, and Democratic Gov Laura Kelly allowed a phased reopening to begin on May 4.

Last week, Kelly ordered bars and bowling alleys to remain closed at least through the end of May, and said some coronavirus restrictions will be in place until near the end of June.

Amid criticism, Kelly said: “I said from the beginning that public safety must remain the top priority, which means that our reopening efforts must be driven by data, not dates.”

Kentucky

Kentucky has reported more than 8,000 coronavirus cases and at least 366 deaths from COVID-19.

Democratic Gov Andy Beshear implemented a “healthy at home” order effective March 26, but has since eased restrictions.

Starting on May 22, restaurants can reopen dine-in service with 33 percent capacity, and beginning on June 1, some state resort parks, recreational parks, lodges, and cabins will reopen in an effort to revive tourism revenue.

Beshear said a new phase of reopening, hopefully for June, can include reopening movie theaters, fitness centers, and campgrounds, and hopes to have a plan to reopen child-care centers and resume some youth sports.

Lousiana

The state of Louisiana has reported more than 35,000 cases of coronavirus and over 2,580 deaths as of Wednesday.

Democrat Gov John Bel Edward’s statewide stay-at-home order expired on May 15, and said he was allowing many businesses to operate at 25 percent capacity.

Edwards said this week he’s optimistic the state could enter the White House’s phase two on June 5, which would allow schools and kids’ activities to resume, and bars and large venues to reopen.

"If the people of Louisiana will continue to social distance, wear their masks, engage in good hygiene, then there’s no reason why we can’t continue to see improvements in our cases, even as we open up more businesses and houses of worship to more people, and so forth,” the governor said.

Maine

Maine has reported more than 1,700 coronavirus cases and more than 70 deaths as the state’s stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 31.

Democratic Gov Janet Mills is allowing businesses to reopen by region, and on Monday restaurants in 12 our of the state’s 16 counties were allowed to dine in.
Retail stores and restaurants in rural areas were allowed to reopen earlier this month, but some areas that are more populated won’t be reopening until at least June.

Maryland

Maryland has reported at least 41,500 coronavirus cases and 2,080 deaths as of Wednesday, as the state recently transitioned to a “safer at home health advisory.”

Republican Gov Larry Hogan stay-at-home order expired on May 15, and allowed stores, salons, and places of worship to reopen with restrictions.

Baltimore, the state’s largest city, kept the stay-at-home order in place, as did Montgomery and Prince George counties.

Massachusetts

Nearly 90,000 cases and close to 6,000 deaths have been reported from coronavirus in Massachusetts, where a stay-at-home advisory expired on May 18.

Republican Gov Charlie Baker on Monday outlined a phased plan to restart the economy, which allows manufacturing and construction businesses to start up again if they follow guidelines.

Places of worship are allowed to resume services if they socially distance themselves, and outdoors activities are encouraged to start again.

On May 25, lab and office spaces, hair salons, pet grooming, and car wash locations can reopen, while retail businesses can do curbside pick-up.

Michigan

The state of Michigan has reported more than 52,000 coronavirus cases and 5,000 deaths.

Democratic Gov Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 28, but some places, like restaurants, bars, and retail stores are allowed to open in some counties starting on May 22.

Restaurants and bars will have to operate at 50 percent capacity, dining groups must stay six feet apart, and servers will have to wear face coverings.

Businesses can resume working in offices if their work can't be done remotely.

Minnesota

Minnesota has reported more than 17,000 cases of coronavirus and nearly 800 deaths as of Wednesday.

Democratic Gov Tim Walz's stay-at-home order expired on May 17, but he allowed businesses in certain areas — like agricultural, industrial, and office settings — to go back to work on April 27.

Retail businesses have reopened at 50 percent capacity, while bars, restaurants, and salons will stay closed until at least June.

Mississippi

The state of Mississippi has reported 11,800 cases and more than 550 deaths from COVID-19.

Republican Gov Tate Reeves' shelter in place order expired on April 27, which allowed retail stores to reopen with restrictions, and as of May 7, restaurants have been allowed to have some customers dine in.

Casinos in the state will be allowed to reopen on May 21.

Missouri

More than 11,300 cases of coronavirus and 625 virus-linked deaths have been reported in Missouri, where the state's stay-at-home order expired on May 3.

Republican Gov Mike Parson has allowed all businesses, including movie theaters and other large venues, to operate as long as seats are spaced out from one another and other social distancing guidelines are followed.

Montana

Montana has reported more than 470 coronavirus cases and 16 deaths as of Wednesday.

Democratic Gov Steve Bullock's stay-at-home order expired on April 26, and places of worships, retail stores, restaurants, and bars, have since opened.

A few schools in the state reopened on May 7, while businesses like health clubs, theaters, and museums were allowed to reopen on May 15.

Nebraska

Nebraska has reported nearly 11,000 coronavirus cases and 132 deaths, and Republican Gov Pete Rickettes never issued a statewide stay-at-home order.

Some businesses, like restaurants and salons, in certain areas to reopen on May 4 — even as the number of coronavirus cases surges, raising concerns among medical experts.

Nevada

More than 7,000 cases and 370 coronavirus deaths have been reported in Nevada.

The stay-at-home order issued by Gov Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, expired on May 9, although residents have been encouraged to stay home.

Restaurants, hair salons, and some other businesses that had to close because of the pandemic have been allowed to reopen with limited capacity.

The governor has kept casinos, nightclubs, spas, gyms, movie theaters, bowling alleys, community centers, tattoo parlors, strip clubs, and brothels closed.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire has reported more than 3,700 coronaviruses cases and 182 deaths.

Republican Gov Chris Sununu's stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 31, but has allowed some businesses, including retail stores and salons, to reopen as of May 11.

Other businesses, like restaurants, were allowed to start seating customers outdoors as of May 18.

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