The governor of Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott, had called shutting down his state “the last option.” With rising COVID-19 cases and hospitals overflowing, he’s running out of options altogether. On Thursday, Abbott announced he was instituting a “temporary pause” to reopening which “will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business.” Here are 7 states that have paused or slowed their reopenings because their coronavirus outbreaks are so bad.
Idaho was rapidly moving through phases of reopening successfully but the recent numbers are cause for concern. “State Epidemiologist Dr. Christine Hahn said there is a rising trend in people going to the emergency room with ‘COVID-like’ symptoms, as well as an increase in infections among healthcare workers,” reports KTVB, so Idaho is delaying the move out of Stage 4. “We’re not slamming on the brakes, we’re tapping on the brakes,” said Gov. Brad Little, who “hopes delaying the move out of Stage 4 will push Idahoans to adhere to social distancing and face-covering guidelines, and allow the state to get the upward trend of infections under control,” adds the network. “We want businesses to reopen. We want our children back in school at the end of the summer,” said Gov. Little. “So please, do not let your guard down.”
Gov. John Bel Edwards “was considering moving Louisiana from Phase 2 to Phase 3 of reopening under the White House guidelines. But he decided against the move based on the latest surge in cases of the COVID-19 disease and hospitalizations over the last week,” reports WDSU. “Edwards announced Monday that he’ll keep in place the current limitations on restaurants, bars and retailers enacted on June 5, which were set to expire Friday. The decision comes as Louisiana exceeded the grim mark of 3,000 deaths from the outbreak.”
Maine is being more cautious as it reopens. “Gov. Janet Mills announced Monday that the state is postponing the reopening of indoor service at bars because of concerns about the higher risk of COVID-19 transmission in such settings,” reports the Press-Herald. “The administration’s reopening plan had tentatively scheduled bars to resume indoor service July 1, but those plans were shelved ‘until further notice’ Monday as health officials in other states reported a number of outbreaks linked to indoor bars.” “Indoor bar service typically features crowds, often in close contact with one another, often without tables or other ways of keeping people apart,” said Jeanne Lambrew, commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. “Smaller spaces in many bars makes physically distancing very difficult. Further, individuals may be less likely to wear cloth face coverings in bars.”
The Nevada governor ordered everyone to wear a face mask in public, even is special distancing measures could be enacted. “This is a state that prides itself on the spirit of individualism,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said. “It is part of what makes us great. So I’m asking all of us to take our independent spirit and turn that into our individual responsibility to keep the lights on for businesses throughout our state.” Additionally, any idea of moving into phase three has been “tabled,” Gov. Sisolak said.
“A concerned North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday the state will remain in Phase Two for another three weeks while making face coverings mandatory in public,” reports the News & Observer. “It has been extended until July 17. The mask requirement takes effect Friday at 5 p.m.” “We know next week we’ve got another important announcement about schools and how we’ll open those up,” Cooper said. “We are hopeful that July 17 we can move even further on restrictions and we can have our kids in school this fall.”
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Most counties are in phase 2 after a pause in reopening. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown had “put a temporary pause on all further reopening efforts in the state after it saw the most new cases of the coronavirus in a single day since the start of the pandemic,” reported NPR. “In order to ensure that the virus is not spreading too quickly, I am putting all county applications for further reopening on hold for seven days,” Brown said in a statement. “This is essentially a statewide ‘yellow light.'”
“Just 55 days after reopening Texas restaurants and other businesses, Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday hit the pause button, stopping additional phases of the state’s reopening as new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations soared and as the governor struggled to pull off the seemingly impossible task of keeping both the state open and the virus under control,” reports the NY Times. “The announcement by Mr. Abbott—which allows the many shopping malls, restaurants, bars, gyms and other businesses already open to continue operating—was an abrupt turnaround and came as a growing number of states paused reopenings amid rising case counts.” “The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Florida
You’ve heard Floria was a possible “epicenter” of the virus and may be wondering about its reopening plans. “Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday that he has no plans of moving to the third and final phase of reopening the Florida economy as the state continues to see a surge in new COVID-19 cases,” according to News4Jax. “The state moved into Phase 2 in the first week of June, before cases started to climb. Phase 2 allowed bars and pubs to reopen at 50% capacity inside and full capacity outside. Movie theaters were also allowed to open their doors.”
“We are where we are,” DeSantis said. “I didn’t say we’re going to go on to the next phase, you know, we’ve done a step-by-step approach and it was an approach that’s been reflective of the unique situation of each area.”
How to Stay Healthy During Reopenings
Follow the CDC’s advice: wear a face covering when out in public, practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently (or use hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available), monitor your health, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.
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