Some states are starting to reopen as the U.S. closes a million coronavirus cases


Some states are carrying out a delicate experiment this weekend: trying to reopen certain companies and certain services in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, even against the advice of certain health experts who affirm that this could dangerously increase the number of cases .

Bing COVID-19 tracker: latest figures by country and state

In Georgia, Tammy Noboa took advantage of her state’s blessing to open her hair salon after weeks of closure – and said it was not difficult to do so.

” I have to work. I have bills to pay, “said Noboa, who agreed to seven meetings on Saturday at his recently reopened Dominican hair salon in Douglasville.

Georgia is one of the states that allowed some companies to reopen Friday, weeks after they closed, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 53,600 deaths from Covid-19 have been reported in the United States to date, and more than 200,000 deaths have been reported worldwide. The United States has reported more than 938,600 cases of the disease.

Georgian businesses allowed to reopen include places where customers and workers meet: hair and hair salons, tattoo parlors, gymnasiums and bowling alleys – with guidelines for social estrangement and sanitation.

In Oklahoma, salons, hair salons, spas and pet groomers made an appointment on Friday, and some state parks and outdoor recreation areas also reopened.

The actions taken by the states go against the advice of experts who have led a model at the University of Washington, suggesting that no state should reopen their economies before May 1 and that many should wait longer.

Georgia is not expected to reopen until June 22 at least, according to those behind the model at the university’s Institute for Metrology and Health Assessment.

In the city of Brookhaven, in the Atlanta area, Mayor John Ernst prefers that non-essential businesses remain closed until his state proves that it is meeting federal guidelines, calling for milestones as a trend towards 14-day drop in coronavirus cases.

“Even the (business owners) who open up say,” I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing, “said Ernst on Saturday. “(Reopening) must be an orderly process. “

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Friday evening bluntly told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that people should ignore the governor’s plan, saying, “Stay at home, nothing has changed.”

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Georgia and Oklahoma are not alone

Besides Georgia and Oklahoma, these states are also easing restrictions:

• Alaska allowed lounges and restaurants to open in many areas on Friday, although restaurants must keep the distance between tables and cannot exceed 25% of their normal capacity.

• Texas authorized retail stores to make curbside sales on Friday.

• Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer allowed some businesses – landscapers, lawn service companies, nurseries and bike repair shops – to reopen Friday, subject to social distancing rules.

• Earlier this week, South Carolina retail stores reopened, but can only operate at 20% capacity or five customers per 1,000 square feet.

• In Iowa, elective surgeries and farmers’ markets may reopen on Monday.

• In Tennessee, restaurants can reopen on Monday at 50% of their capacity. Retail stores could reopen on Wednesday according to the same directive, state governor Bill Lee said.

Colorado, Minnesota and Montana will also ease restrictions to varying degrees over the next week. And other governors are setting dates when their reopening plans will take effect.

However, other leaders have not 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.

Even some states without reopening plans have decisions to make: more than 10 have house orders expiring by the end of next week, although they can be extended.

a man and a woman standing in front of a window: employees and customers go to the Three-13, Spa & Boutique salon on Friday, April 24, 2020 in Marietta, Georgia. The salon had been closed for over a month due to the new coronavirus. Hairdressers, nail salons, gyms and a few other businesses reopened in Georgia on Friday as the Republican governor facilitated a month-long shutdown despite warnings from health experts of a potential new outbreak of coronavirus infections

© Ron Harris / AP
Employees and customers head to Three-13, Spa & Boutique on Friday, April 24, 2020 in Marietta, Georgia. The salon had been closed for over a month due to the new coronavirus. Hairdressers, nail salons, gyms and a few other businesses reopened in Georgia on Friday as the Republican governor facilitated a month-long shutdown despite warnings from health experts of a potential new outbreak of coronavirus infections

Business owners struggle to reopen decisions

Some Georgia business owners told CNN they were reluctant to reopen, but did so 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,” Tim Timmons, owner of the Gloss Salon in Woodstock, said on Friday.

On Friday, hairdressers and barbers in Georgia wore masks and gloves.

Timmons said he has put in place measures to protect against the spread of the virus. The salon was not fully staffed and the employees were standing 14 feet apart. Customers took their temperature upon arrival and were asked if they had been in contact with someone infected with the virus.

But other owners said the time was not right to reopen.

“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. “

“There is no question of reopening,” said Zeb Stevenson, chef at the Atlanta Redbird restaurant. “I don’t think it’s safe. If we reopen and then close again, it would be a serious situation for the company. Better wait and use science and common sense as a guide. “

Lequawn James, a nurse practitioner and bodybuilder from Atlanta, said on Saturday that he would not visit reopened gyms yet.

He survived the coronavirus after spending 10 days in intensive care. And he exercises, but alone, with equipment that he has placed in a rented storage unit.

He said he understood the struggles of the workers. But he thinks it is too early to work or exercise in places like the gym.

“I know money is what people need to survive, but you might not be there to spend it if you get this virus,” he said.

In a bowling alley in Douglasville, a suburb east of Atlanta, Leon Perpignan was on the line 10 minutes before its opening on Friday at noon. Typically, he plays four times a week, he says. A dozen bowlers were there shortly after they opened.

“I know a lot of people disagree and say they should have waited,” he said, “but I was 100% ready (for that). “

“Besides,” he added, “all my lists of” darlings “are finished. “

Southern California beaches are busy

In Southern California, the challenge of social isolation was about leisure, not business.

Crowds descended on Newport Beach when a heat wave struck the area, but most bathers seem to keep their distance from each other, police and rescuers said.

Surfer John Ton observed the crowd and said, “I think people should stay home unless they surf or exercise or something, and I think they are strange people coming of the arriving state or county. “

The county beaches of Los Angeles and San Diego were closed this weekend, but other beaches were open.

Hawaii has relaxed beach restrictions, Governor David Ige said at a press conference on Saturday.

The beaches are now open for exercise such as jogging, running or walking, but people cannot hang out on the beach and must maintain a social distance, said Ige. Groups of two or more people are now allowed to fish for subsistence or commercial purposes, said Ige. A previous restriction was two or less.

Ige said Hawaii has seen a 98% decrease in the number of travelers arriving at airports since the 14-day quarantine rule was put in place.

WHO warns of immunity from second infection

The World Health Organization warns that it is too early to say whether people who have had Covid-19 are necessarily immune to a second infection. He urges governments not to issue a “certificate of immunity” to people with the disease yet.

“There is no evidence yet that people who have had Covid-19 will not get a second infection,” WHO said in a scientific file on Friday.

WHO has released the brief as a guide on how to adjust public health and social measures for the next phases of the Covid-19 response. The health agency said it is examining the evidence for antibody responses to the new coronavirus. The brief indicates that “most” studies show that people who “have recovered from an infection have antibodies to the virus.”

But since Friday, no study has “evaluated whether the presence of antibodies directed against (the virus) confers immunity to a subsequent infection by this virus in humans,” says the WHO brief.

The US Food and Drug Administration has now authorized three new antibody tests for coronaviruses, bringing the total number of tests approved by the FDA to seven.

The tests have been approved under Emergency Use Clearances, a lower regulatory standard used when the FDA believes the benefits of a test may outweigh the risks.

CEO of a group helping to lead the vaccine effort said on Saturday that it may be necessary to start making vaccines against coronaviruses even before they have been fully tested to see if they can protect people. against infection.

Manufacturing could begin even though some of the Covid-19 vaccines are in the first phase of human clinical testing, which is designed to demonstrate safety only, said Dr. Richard Hatchett of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

The plan could cut time without cutting corners or sacrificing efficiency or security, he said in a webcast of the National Academy of Sciences’ Covid-19 update.


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