10 states easing lockdowns today as tide turns in coronavirus fight
America is slowly but surely reopening for business.
The start of May sees more than half a dozen states relax lockdown measures that were imposed as the coronavirus pandemic began spiralling out of control on U.S. soil. As of Friday morning, the U.S. has seen more than a million coronavirus cases and more than 63,000 deaths.
President Trump announced a plan on April 16 to reopen the country in three phases, based on the severity of the outbreak in each state or region.
And several states believe they meet the criteria to finally get the ball rolling after a month of shuttered shops, restaurants and people cooped up at home.
While the likes of Georgia and Tennessee began relaxing rules earlier this week, these states are following suit as of today.
Alabama's "safer at home" order went into effect on Thursday at 5 p.m., replacing the "stay-at-home order"
On Friday, all retail stores will be allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity. Beaches will reopen with gatherings of no more than 10 and elective medical procedures are now allowed. Churches will remain closed, restaurants and bars are still limited to takeout.
In Texas, retail stores, restaurants and movie theaters will allowed to open up to customers at limited capacity beginning Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott said.
Museums and libraries can also reopen on Friday at a 25 percent capacity. Sole proprietors of businesses can also open, and doctors and dentists can resume normal operations as well.
Barber shops, hair salons and bars will remain closed.
Abbott noted that by May 18, if there are no new spikes of contagion in Texas, he will move on to phase two of the plan, which allows most businesses to operate at 50 percent capacity.
Gov. Tom Wolf will allow some outdoor recreation, including golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately owned campgrounds, as well as more construction projects, to reopen beginning Friday. The rest of the state will begin to reopen by region beginning May 8.
Most of Iowa’s counties will begin reopening Friday. Restaurants, retail, malls, fitness centers and race tracks will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity. Events can open with up to 10 people, and worship services can resume with social distancing.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s first stage of reopening, which includes places of worship, daycares, youth activities and camps, will be allowed to reopen Friday. All other nonessential businesses will remain closed until May 16.
Effective Friday, hospitals in the state will be allowed to resume non-life threatening surgeries, and outdoor recreation will resume.
Greenhouses and garden centers will be allowed to open as essential businesses, and nonessential retail will be allowed to open for pickup and delivery.
Indiana's stay-at-home order expires on April 30, and Gov. Eric Holcomb said that businesses should prepare to reopen. Holcomb has yet to release details about which businesses will be allowed to reopen.
On Friday, all medical procedures that can be done without an overnight stay will be allowed to open up, including dentists and veterinarians. General office environments will be allowed to reopen May 4.
Gov. Doug Burgum announced Monday that closed businesses can begin to reopen Friday if they follow strict social distancing protocols.
The guidelines differ for eating establishments, gyms and cosmetology-related businesses, but putting space between people and wearing protective equipment are common threads.
Arizona’s stay-at-home order expires Thursday, but Gov. Doug Ducey has yet to announce in what capacity he’ll reopen his state on May 1. He has said elective medical procedures will start again Friday.