Nearly 52,000 Americans have died from the virus so far – a number that is increasing daily as a result of new deaths and says they are reviewing previous deaths that were unrelated to the disease.
New efforts from some states to trace more cases will give officials a better idea of the scale of the pandemic in the country. This, in addition to the tests – which experts say are still not where they need to be.
The U.S. has done about 5.1 million tests, but Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top epidemiologist, said this week that the country needs to step up testing. Two new reports from public health experts and economists point out that to reopen states safely, the country must perform millions of tests per week.
And as health officials rush to get the virus under control, heads of state set the date by which they will begin to reopen their economies – decisions which President Donald Trump says are entirely up to governors.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp opened businesses on Friday, including hair and hair salons, tattoo parlors, gymnasiums and bowling alleys. The state has recorded more than 22,491 infections and at least 899 deaths, according to a count from Johns Hopkins University.
Answers to your questions about coronaviruses
Governor of Georgia opens businesses
Georgia was one of the last states to apply for residence orders and one of the first to start relaxing these restrictions.
Experts from the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation say the state should not reopen until at least June 22.
But on Friday, business owners and customers in Georgia donned masks and gloves across the state as they returned to closed stores about two weeks ago on the governor’s order to stay home. Theaters and restaurant-restaurants will be allowed to reopen on Monday.
Some business owners have told CNN that they feel they have no choice but to reopen. Others said they did it to pay their bills.
“I’m at the point where I have to do something … I’m about to lose my business if I don’t do it,” said Tim Timmons, owner of Salon Gloss at Woodstock.
Timmons said measures were in place to prevent the possible spread of the virus. The business was not fully staffed and the employees were standing 14 feet apart. Customers saw their temperature taken on arrival and were also asked if they had been in contact with someone infected with the virus. During shampoos, they covered their faces with towels.
But other business owners said the attempt to reopen was not in their plans.
“I said,” No, absolutely not. What is your hair styling for? “Said Sabrina Watkins about her hair salon in College Park, an Atlanta suburb. “There is a pandemic, people are dying. As much as I love the business, now is not the time, no matter who says it. “
More states partially reopen while others set date
Georgia is not alone.
Salons, hair salons, spas and pet groomers made an appointment Friday in Oklahoma. State parks and outdoor recreation areas have also reopened.
Alaska has allowed lounges and restaurants to open in many areas, although restaurants must keep the distance between tables and cannot exceed 25% of their normal capacity. The state has also strongly encouraged face covers.
Earlier this week, South Carolina retail stores reopened but can only operate at 20% capacity or five customers per 1,000 square feet.
Other governors are setting a date for when their reopening plans will take effect.
Elective surgeries and farmers’ markets will begin to reopen in Iowa on Monday, the same day that restaurants in Tennessee will be able to reopen at 50% capacity. Retail stores could reopen Wednesday under the same directive, said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.
“We are pursuing a cautious and measured approach to reopening our economy that does not depend on heavy mandates but rather provides practical tools for businesses of all sizes,” said Lee.
But other leaders have stopped setting a timetable.
In San Francisco, which issued the country’s first general stay-at-home order in mid-March, London Mayor London Breed said the order would “most likely” be extended by a few weeks on May 3. .
“The way we reopen will be important to ensure that we do it responsibly so we don’t go back,” said Breed, who stressed the importance of having enough PPE, tests and requirements of social distancing.
CDC and Lysol warn not to digest disinfectants after Trump’s remarks
As heads of state assess the best options for moving forward, many have turned to possible treatments. The World Health Organization recently said that the world is “a few weeks away” from knowing which drugs for the virus.
In a briefing this week, Trump suggested the possibility of ingesting disinfectants to protect people from the virus – and since then, companies and health officials have issued warnings urging Americans not to do so.
Reckitt Benckiser – the company behind Lysol and Dettol – released a statement on Friday after “recent speculation and social media activity”.
“In no case should our disinfectants be administered into the human body (by injection, ingestion or any other route),” said the company.
A similar warning came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States.
“Household cleaners and disinfectants can cause health problems when not used properly. Follow the directions on the product label to ensure safe and effective use, “tweeted the CDC.
Tina Burnside, Alexandra Meeks, Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt from CNN contributed to this report.