These Are the Reopened States That Could Return to Lockdown
Stay-at-home orders have been lifted, but these reopened states have experts concerned.
As the country enters Memorial Day weekend with most of the United States having eased stay-at-home orders—albeit in vastly varying degrees and levels of caution—experts remain both concerned and uncertain about what's to come for reopened states.
"We really are playing with fire here in a very broad sense," Charles Courtemanche, an economist at the University of Kentucky recently told The New York Times. "Just because it hasn't been a catastrophe yet in your state, doesn't mean it doesn't have the potential to be."
Courtemanche's caution in claiming that any state's reopening plan is or will be more effective than another isn't on accident. The truth is, most experts agree, that it's still too early to tell what the results, good or bad, of reopening will be when it comes to everything from economic impact to whether or not we see a resurgence in coronavirus cases. There are certain states, however, that have shown more concerning signs than others. So, while it's too soon to tell, here are five reopened states that could return to lockdown. And for how to stay safe this summer, check out 5 Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make at the Beach.
According to the same piece from The New York Times, it might not be a coincidence that Texas has seen an upswing in COVID-19 cases after reopening. The second largest state in the union was among the earliest to ease stay-at-home orders, reopening a variety of business on May 1, but it seems to maybe have jumped the gun, according to statistics. In fact, only a couple of weeks later, Texas officials announced the state's highest one-day total of new cases, leaving business owners, citizens, and experts worried about what may be yet to come. And for the coronavirus guidelines where you live, check out 10 States Where You Will Be Fined for Not Social Distancing.
Mississippi is another state that saw a recent spike in cases, The New York Times reports. The state, which, according to CNBC, has allowed retailers and certain barbershops and hair salons to open, saw its largest single-day increase in both reported cases and deaths after lockdown orders were lifted starting at the beginning of May. And on May 19, the state saw its highest number of deaths in one day since May 6. Though it has already entered into phase two of its reopening plan, the fact that COVID-19 cases and deaths are continuing to rise may put Mississippi in a position where lockdown orders need to be reinstated.
Georgia has garnered national attention for easing lockdown restrictions earlier than most any state in the country. The state began reopening certain businesses as early as April 24, CNBC reports, and drew some backlash when officials moved forward with allowing controversial businesses like gyms, hair salons, tattoo parlors, and bowling alleys to reopen as long as proper social distancing guidelines are observed. And though The New York Times reports that in the month since reopening began, the number of new cases reported in Georgia has remained more or less the same, experts are still not entirely convinced that means a resurgence of the virus is completely out of the question.
Despite initial signs that new cases were on the decline, Minnesota may be in danger of returning to lockdown, The New York Times reports. After allowing an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 of its citizens to return to work in certain manufacturing, industrial, and office settings beginning at the end of April, the last two weeks have seen a surge in new cases in metropolitan areas like Minneapolis and St. Cloud. And for more on the potential threat of a resurgence of the virus, Here's How the Second Wave of Coronavirus Could Be Even Worse.
Another recent piece from the The New York Times cited Arizona an example of what can happen if states reopen too soon. Although it had yet to see a sustained drop in new cases of the coronavirus, per CNBC, the Southwest state allowed partial reopening of businesses as early as May 8, allowed restaurants to resume dine-in service on May 11, and gave public pools and gyms permission to resume business on May 13. Along the way, the number of cases in the state has continued to rise, with more than 13,100 cases reported as of May 16.