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Infections decline in 19 states as the majority of the US lifts lockdown

Coronavirus infections have declined in 19 states in a week as the majority of the US lifts its lockdown measures despite more than four out of five states still not meeting COVID-19 testing levels. 

The average number of COVID-19 infections has decreased by more than 10 percent in 19 states with the largest decrease occurring in Nevada where cases were down 44% in a week, according to data compiled by Axios. 

The data compares the seven day averages of new infections for each state over two weeks. 

Florida and Georgia, who both reopened despite warnings of potential new surges, are among the states where infections have been decreasing.

Infections in Florida, which currently has more than 43,000 cases, decreased by 14% in a week. Georgia, which now has over 36,000 cases, saw its infections decline by 12 percent over a week. 

Hard-hit states like New York and New Jersey, which both still have strict lockdown measures in place, have also seen their infections decline in a week. 

New York state, which has more than 345,000 cases, saw its infections go down by 33 percent, while New Jersey, which has 142,000 cases, saw infections decline by 30 percent.    

The average number of COVID-19 infections has decreased by more than 10 percent in 19 states with the largest decrease occurring in Nevada where cases were down 44% in a week, according to data compiled by Axios. Cases remain steady in 20 states – with slight declines in 12 of them – where the average number of infections has increased by less than 10 percent in a week. Montana, Vermont, Hawaii and Alaska have all show huge declines in percentage of cases due to those states recording less than 10 new cases per week

Cases remain steady in 20 states – with slight declines in 12 of them – where the average number of infections has increased by less than 10 percent in a week. 

Montana, Vermont, Hawaii and Alaska have all show huge declines in percentage of cases due to those states recording less than 10 new cases per week. 

At the other end of the scale, 11 states are still seeing infections increase.

The biggest surge in new cases was in South Dakota with infections increasing 123 percent in a week. 

The surge in cases in South Dakota, which currently has more than 3,800 infections, could be a result of outbreaks at meat processing plants in the state.  

As more states reopened businesses on Friday, an Associated Press analysis found that more than four out of five states still fell short of the COVID-19 testing levels that public health experts say are necessary to safely ease lockdowns and avoid another deadly wave of outbreaks.

Rapid, widespread testing is considered essential to tracking and containing the coronavirus but 41 states fail to test widely enough to drive their infections below a key benchmark, according to the analysis of metrics developed by Harvard’s Global Health Institute. 

Among the states falling short are Texas and Georgia, which moved aggressively last month to reopen stores, malls, barbershops and other businesses. 

As health authorities expand testing to more people, the portion of positive results should shrink compared with the total number of people tested. The World Health Organization and other health researchers have said a percentage above 10 percent indicates inadequate testing.  

Most governors are moving ahead with unlocking their states, even in cases where they are not meeting broad guidelines recommended by the White House.

Researchers at Harvard University have calculated that the US needs to test a minimum of 900,000 people per day to safely reopen the economy, based on the 10 percent positivity rate and several other key metrics. 

That goal is nearly three times the country’s current daily testing tally of about 360,000, according to figures compiled by the COVID Tracking Project website. 

‘The fact that testing has become the Achilles’ heel that has made it hard for us to have a great national response to this pandemic is a tragedy,’ said Dr. Ashish Jha, director of Harvard’s Global Health Institute. 

‘I’d like us to have a massive amount of ubiquitous testing so that, of all the things we need to worry about, testing isn’t one of them.’  

President Donald Trump insisted again this week that his administration had ‘met the moment’ and ‘prevailed’ on testing, even as he continued to shift responsibility for the effort to the governors. 

Administration officials said they will provide states with enough testing supplies to conduct about 400,000 tests per day in May and June. But that’s still less than half the total recommended by the Harvard team.

Only nine states met the daily rate recommended by Jha and his colleagues, according to the AP analysis. Most of those states are large and rural, such as Montana, Alaska, North Dakota and Wyoming. 

Meanwhile, states with some of the biggest testing shortfalls, including New York and New Jersey, have signaled they will keep stay-at-home orders in place.

‘I really do feel there are dangers here opening up without enough tests, but I don´t feel it’s a uniform danger everywhere in the country,’ Jha said. 

Here is a breakdown of where each state is with current lockdown measures and total number of cases and deaths:  

Partially reopening

Alabama

Cases: 11,216 – Deaths: 476 

The state lifted a stay-home order and replaced it with a ‘safer-at-home order’ effective from April 30. People are encouraged, but are no longer required, to stay home.  

Alabama’s employers and retail stores are allowed to reopen from April 30 at a reduced 50 percent capacity. 

Beaches will reopen but residents have to adhere to social distancing. 

Gyms, athletic facilities, barber shops, hair salons, nail salons can reopen with social distancing measures.  

Bars and restaurants are allowed to open with 50% capacity. 

Alaska 

Cases: 383 – Deaths: 10      

Starting April 24, officials in Alaska allowed dine-in service at restaurants and reopening of retailers, personal care services and other businesses, with limitations. 

Under the new rules, restaurants will reopen but are limited to 25 percent capacity and there must be 10 feet between tables and only family members can be seated at the same table.  

Salons in Alaska may only accept customers by appointment.

The state in April decided there would be no in-person classes for K-12 students for the rest of the academic year.  

Arizona  

Cases 13,169 – Deaths 651   

Small retailers reopened May 4 with curbside, delivery or appointment-based services. They can welcome customers inside with social distancing starting May 8.  

Arizona allowed restaurants and coffee shops to reopen for dine-in services on May 11 if they limit occupancy and ensure social distancing for customers. 

Arkansas 

Cases: 4,366 – Deaths: 98  

The state is one of the few that did not issue a state-wide stay-at-home order but did place some restrictions on businesses to slow the spread.

As the state reopens, restaurants can open for limited dine-in services from May 1 but can only operate at a third of its normal capacity. 

Gyms and indoor recreational facilities can resume operations from April 30. Restrictions can lift on hair salons and barber shops on May 1. 

State parks can reopen from May 1. 

California 

Cases: 75,042 – Deaths: 3,054  

As the state reopens, there is still an indefinite stay-at-home order and gatherings in a single room or place are prohibited. 

Clothing stores, sporting goods, florists and other retailers to resume operations with curbside pickup from May 8.

Manufacturers can commence again with social distancing.  

Nonessential businesses are limited to minimum operations or remote work. Dining in at restaurants and office reopenings are still prohibited. 

Essential surgeries are now being allowed in California. 

Six counties in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, have extended its shelter-in-place order until mid-May but will allow construction to restart. Three Northern California counties have already reopened in defiance of state orders. 

Colorado 

Cases 20,830 – Deaths 1,091    

The state was among the first to lift restrictions with elective surgeries and retail curbside delivery beginning on April 27. Hair salons, dental offices and tattoo shops could also reopen that date with restrictions. 

Other retail was allowed to reopen from May 4 with social distancing restrictions. Large workplaces could reopen on May 4 at 50% capacity.   

Restaurants and bars are still limited to takeout only.

The state’s stay-at-home order expired April 26 but residents are still urged to stay home where possible.   

Florida 

Cases: 43,210 – Deaths: 1,875 

The state started reopen some businesses on May 4 except for in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. 

Restaurants can now offer outdoor seating six-feet between tables and indoor seating at 25% capacity.

Retail can operate at 25% capacity.

Bars, gyms, movie theaters and personal services – like hair salons – are to remain closed.

Some beaches and parks reopened from April 17 if it could be done safely.  

Georgia

Cases: 35,563 – Deaths: 1,551  

Georgia is continuing on its aggressive course to reopening after the statewide shelter-at-home order expired. 

Gyms, hair salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors started reopening from April 24 as long as owners followed strict social-distancing and hygiene requirements. 

Elective medical procedures can also resume. Movie theaters may resume selling tickets and restaurants limited to takeout orders can return to limited dine-in service from April 27.

At-risk people are urged to remain home until May 13.  

Bars, live performance venues and amusement parks will remain closed. Religious institutions are still urged to hold drive-thru or online services for now.  

Hawaii 

Cases: 638 – Deaths: 17

Hawaii lifted its stay-at-home order and put in place a safer-at-home plan from May 5.  

Shopping malls, car washes, pet grooming and in person retail could start from May with social distancing.

Beaches have reoped for exercising and recreational activities can take from on beaches from May 15.   

Visitors from out of state must self-quarantine for 14 days. 

Bars and restaurants limited to take-out only. 

Idaho 

Cases: 2,351 – Deaths: 72  

As the state starts reopening, some business are allowed to offer curbside pick up, drive in and drive thru services. 

Bars and restaurants limited to take-out only. 

Child-care centers were able to reopen May 1 under the first phase of the reopening plan. Churches can reopen, with distancing and sanitation rules. Bars, gyms, salons, movie theaters and sporting venues remain closed.  

Illinois

Cases: 87,937 – Deaths: 3,928  

The state’s stay-at-home order is currently in place until at least May 30, which includes school and nonessential business closures. 

From May 1, nonessential businesses could fill phone and online orders.

Some nonelective surgeries may resume, and many state parks are open for hiking and fishing. Face-coverings are mandatory for public places where social distance can´t be maintained. 

Iowa 

Cases: 14,049- Deaths: 336    

After loosening business restrictions across most counties, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said that virus trends will dictate how soon she does the same in remaining counties, which include urban areas. 

Iowa is among the states that had no stay-at-home order but some restrictions were imposed to stop the spread.  

From May 1, restaurants can open at 50 percent capacity but no more than six people at one table.

Malls, fitness centers, libraries and retail stores can open at 50 percent capacity.

Horse and dog racing tracks can reopen with no spectators.

All other businesses remain closed through May 15. 

Indiana   

Cases: 26,658 – Deaths: 1,690  

The stay-home order was lifted May 4 for most of the state, while Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb allowed more manufacturers and retailers to reopen. 

In-person restaurant dining and hair salons remain closed for another week. 

Gyms, movie theaters, bars and casinos remain closed until at least late May. 

Holcomb says he hopes to restart nearly all activities by July 4. 

Kentucky

Cases: 7,225 – Deaths: 328  

Kentucky has no stay-at-home order but anyone going out in public will have to wear a mask from May 11. 

Dentists, chiropractors, optometrists were allowed to start taking non-urgent patients from April 27. Prior to that, those services were only allowed to take urgent appointments.

Outpatient/ambulatory surgery and invasive procedures can begin May 7. Elective and non-urgent procedures can resume at 50 percent capacity from May 13. 

Manufacturing, construction, car dealerships and professional services can start May 11 at 50% capacity.

Retail and houses of worship can begin May 20. Barber shops and salons can reopen from May 25.

Restaurants and bars can likely reopen for dining in June. 

Louisiana 

Cases: 33,629 – Deaths: 2,417  

At the beginning of the outbreak, Louisiana was expected to becoming an emerging hotspot given its sudden increase in infections and deaths. 

As the state slowly lifts its strict lockdown measures, bars and restaurants are limited to take-out only but from May 1 they will be allowed to let customers eat in outdoor areas as long as there’s no table service.

Malls can also start operating curbside retail from May 1. 

The state’s stay-at-home order has been extended until May 15 and there’s a 10 person limit on gatherings.  

Maine 

Cases: 1,603 – Deaths: 69  

With a safer-at-home order lasting through May, restrictions were lifted May 1 on golf courses, many state parks and visits to dentists, barbers and hairdressers. 

Restrictions are set to lift for restaurants, lodging and camping June 1. 

Maryland  

Cases: 36,986 – Deaths: 1,911   

Maryland is lifting its stay-at-home order to a safer-at-home order from May 15.

Barbershops and hair salons can reopen by appointment only. Manufacutring can resume with social distancing in place. Nonessential stores can reopen at 50 percent capacity.

Some local counties, however, are choosing to remain closed.  

Michigan 

Cases: 49,582 – Deaths: 4,787  

Gov Gretchen Whitmer has extended the stay-at-home order until May 28.   

Garden stores, nurseries, lawn-care, pest-control and landscaping operations were allowed to resume business from April 24. 

The construction industry can return to work on May 7, while manufacturing industry can restart on May 11. 

Nonessential businesses are still limited to minimum operations or remote work. Retailers that do not sell necessary supplies can reopen for curbside pickup and delivery. 

Bars and restaurants limited to take-out only. 

Minnesota  

Cases: 14,170 – Deaths: 692  

In terms of reopening, only businesses that don’t interact with the public can reopen from April 27. 

It includes those in industrial, manufacturing and office settings. Retail stores must remain closed. 

The state’s stay-at-home order still runs through to at least May 3.

Entertainment and performance venues remain closed and bars and restaurants are limited to take-out only.   

Mississippi 

Cases: 10,815 – Deaths: 493  

In Mississippi, retail stores, including those in strip malls and shopping centers, are now allowed to reopen on April 27 if they reduce their customer capacity by 50 percent at any given time.

Businesses that can’t avoid person-to-person contact, including gyms, cinemas and salons, are to remain closed. 

Elective medical and dental procedures are now allowed.  

The state’s stay at home order has been extended until at least May 11. 

Missouri  

Cases: 10,668 – Deaths: 566   

From May 4, all businesses will be allowed to reopen and social events can resume as long as residents and business owners continue social distancing and limit capacity.

Local governments can impose stricter limitations if their officials believe it is necessary.

Kansas City’s stay-at-home order is scheduled to continue through May 15. 

Montana 

Cases: 466 – Deaths: 16  

In terms of reopening, churches resumed services on April 27. 

Starting May 4, restaurants and bars can start providing some dine-in services. 

Schools have the option to return to in-classroom instruction May 7.   

Visitors from out of state still must self-quarantine for 14 day.  

Nebraska  

Cases: 9,260 – Deaths: 103 

Nebraska doesn’t have a stay-at-home order.   

From May 4, people can dine-in at restaurants but they must remain six feet apart and everyone must wear masks. 

Bars are still limited to take-out only.  

Hair salons, tattoo parlors and strip clubs closed through May 31.

There’s a 10 person limit on gatherings. 

Nevada  

Cases: 6,709 – Deaths: 346  

Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak lifted the stay-at-home order from May 9. 

Restaurants reopened from May 9 for dine-in with social distancing.

Most retail establishments, including hair salons, could reopen at 50 percent capacity.

Bars, bowling alleys, movie theaters and tattoo parlors are to remain closed. 

New Hampshire 

Cases: 3,382 – Deaths: 151  

New Hampshire’s stay-at-home order is extended until May 31. 

Drive-in theaters, golf courses and hair salons will be allowed to start up again from May 11 with strict social distancing.

Restaurants that have outdoor seating can reopen from May 18 if tables can be spaced six feet apart. 

Campgrounds, manufacturing services and state parks can open immediately if they follow the guidelines.  

New Mexico   

Cases: 5,503 – Deaths: 242 

New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham extended the stay-home order until May 31 but has begun modest moves to reduce business restrictions, recently allowing curbside and delivery operations for nonessential businesses, opening golf courses and some state parks, and allowing firearm sales by appointment.  

Most businesses can reopen from May 16 at 25 percent capacity.

Salons, gyms, malls and dine-in restaurants are to remain closed.  

New York

Cases: 345,813 – Deaths: 22,304 

Construction and manufacturing facilities in five out of 10 New York state regions were given the green light to restart operations on May 15.

New York City, the country’s most populous city, remain under strict lockdown measures until at least June13.  

Beaches will be partially reopened for the Memorial Day holiday weekend on May 23-25.  

North Carolina  

Cases 17,277 – Deaths 661  

Stay-at-home order expired May 8.

Retail stores could open at 50% capacity from May 8 and child care facilities can repoen for working parents.

Gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed outdoors. 

North Dakota 

Cases: 1,761 – Deaths: 42

North Dakota has no stay-at-home order.

Bars and restaurants, recreational facilities, health clubs and athletic facilities, salons, and tattoo studios can reopen from May 1 with social distancing measures. 

Movie theaters must limit admittance to 20% capacity.  

Ohio  

Cases: 26,357 – Deaths: 1,534  

Non-essential surgeries that don’t require an overnight hospital stay will start May 1.

Manufacturing, distribution and construction sectors will reopen May 4, following by consumer retail and services on May 12.

Companies will need to require employees and customers to wear face masks and follow social distancing guidelines. 

Oklahoma 

Cases: 5,089- Deaths: 285 

Some businesses that were closed in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus were allowed to reopen from April 24 and others can reopen within 10 days. 

Barbershops, hair and nail salons, pet groomers and spas were allowed to reopen from April 24. The move is contingent on businesses practicing social distancing, and employees and customers must wear masks if they are within six feet of each other. 

Restaurants, movie theaters, gyms and places of worship can reopen May 1. Nurseries tied to places of worship will remain closed. 

Oregon  

Cases: 3,479 – Deaths: 137  

Nearly all counties can reopen from May 15.

Retail stores and childcare facilities can reopen from that date with social distancing measures.   

Restaurants and bars can offer sit-down service as long as six feet is maintained between tables. 

Barbers, salons and massage businesses can reopen with appointments only.  

Medical facilities in Oregon were allowed to resume providing nonurgent medical care starting May 1. 

Pennsylvania  

Cases: 63,880 – Deaths: 4,409  

Golf courses, marinas and private campgrounds can reopen. Construction work can resume.  

Low risk counties can reopen all businesses from May 8 as long as social distancing is adhered to.

Stay-at-home orders for at risk counties has been extended until June 4. 

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf says the shutdown can be loosened in a county or region once virus trends hit key benchmarks.  

South Carolina  

Cases: 8,189 – Deaths: 371 

Department stores, sporting goods stores and flea markets are among the businesses allowed to reopen in parts of the state from April 20

Other stores selling furniture, books, music, flowers, clothing and accessories can also reopen. The businesses are allowed to open at 20 percent capacity, or five people per 1,000 square feet.  

Beaches are also allowed to reopen April 21. 

South Dakota  

Cases: 3,887 – Deaths: 44  

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem didn’t order any severe restrictions, instead asking people to observe social distancing and avoid groups larger than 10. 

Still, Noem last week issued a ‘Back to Normal’ plan that advised businesses to open doors while taking precautions to keep people spread apart. 

Tennessee

Cases: 16,699 – Deaths: 287  

Businesses in most counties can reopen as early as April 27. 

Retail stores, which can reopen from April 29, and restaurants will operate with a 50 percent customer capacity. Many of Tennessee’s 56 parks will open on Friday. 

Businesses can expect temperature checks, enforced mask wearing and social distancing.  

Large cities including Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville can decide on their own when to reopen. 

Texas 

Cases 44,494  – Deaths 1,235  

Retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls can reopen at a 25 percent reduced capacity from May 1. 

State parks reopened on April 20 but people must wear face coverings and masks and adhere to social distancing. People also cannot visit in groups of five or more.

Hospitals could resumed surgeries on April 22 that had been postponed by coronavirus.  

Schools and universities will remain closed for the rest of the year. 

Utah 

Cases: 6,749 – Deaths: 75  

There is no stay-at-home order but some restrictions were enforced. Restaurants can allow customers dine in again with precautions from May 1.

Gyms and personal services including hair salons can reopen May 1. 

Vermont 

Cases: 933 – Deaths: 53  

A stay-at-home order for the state runs through May 15.

Construction, home appraisers, property management and municipal clerks can reopen from April 27 with a maximum of five workers.

Farmers markets can operate from May 1. 

Outdoor retail space can allow in-person shopping with a max of 10 people.  

Virginia   

Cases 27,813 – Deaths 956   

Phase one of the state’s reopening plan can start May 15, which allows barbershops and hair salons to reopen.

Limited outdoor seating at bars and restaurants is also permitted, as well as low capacity retail shopping.  

West Virginia 

Cases: 1,433 – Deaths: 62   

Elective surgeries can resume from April 30.

Small businesses with less than 10 employees can reopen next week, including hair and nail salons, barber shops and pet grooming. 

There is an indefinite stay-at-home order. 

Bars and restaurants limited to take-out only. 

Wisconsin

Cases: 11,275 – Deaths: 434  

The stay-at-home order has been extended to May 26. 

Nonessential businesses and public libraries can have curbside pickup and delivery.

Groomers, engine repair shops are allowed to do curbside drops offs.

Golf courses are open.

Some state parks will reopen from May 1.  

Not reopening

Connecticut  

Cases: 35,464 – Deaths: 3,219  

There’s a stay-at-home order in the state that runs through May 20. 

Five person limit on social gatherings, 50-person limit for religious services. 

Non-essential businesses must suspend all in-person operations and bars and restaurants are limited to take-out only.

Out-of-state visitors strongly urged to self-quarantine. 

If the state meets certain criteria by May 20, including 14 days of downward infections, increased testing availability and sufficient contact tracing methods, it will forge ahead with partial reopening.  

If that criteria is met, restaurants with outdoor seating, offices, hair and nail salons and outdoor museums and zoos will be allowed to reopen. 

Delaware 

Cases: 7,373  – Deaths: 271  

Stay-at-home order through May 15. 

10 person limit on gatherings.

Nonessential businesses limited to minimum operations or remote work.

Visitors from out of state who aren’t just passing through must self-quarantine for 14 days. 

Bars and restaurants limited to take-out only.  

Kansas 

Cases: 7,732 – Deaths: 192  

The state’s stay-at-home order ran until May 3. 

10 person limit on gatherings – exempting funerals and religious services with social distancing

Nonessential businesses limited to minimum operations or remote work

Residents who traveled to California, Florida, New York or Washington state after March 14, or visited Illinois or New Jersey after March 22, must self-quarantine for 14 days 

Bars and restaurants limited to take-out only. 

Massachusetts 

Cases: 82,182 – Deaths: 5,482  

Non-essential businesses closed through May 4 

10 person limit on gatherings 

Visitors from out of state advised to self-quarantine for 14 days 

Bars and restaurants limited to take-out only 

New Jersey   

Cases: 142,740 – Deaths: 9,946 

Hard hit New Jersey appears to have almost stopped the spread of the virus. Infections peaked in early April but have been declining since then.

The state has strict lockdown measures and an indefinite stay-at-home order

There’s a 10 person limit on gatherings, nonessential retail businesses must close bricks-and-mortar premises. Recreational and entertainment businesses are also closed.  

Bars and restaurants are limited to take-out only.     

Rhode Island   

Cases: 12,219- Deaths: 479  

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo has consistently said she hopes to lift the state´s stay-at-home order May 8 to begin a phased restart of the economy. 

The first phase includes opening some state parks or beaches, allowing hospitals to perform elective procedures and other easing of restrictions, all with social distancing.   

Washington  

Cases 18,414 – Deaths 985  

Gov. Jay Inslee has already eased some restrictions, including allowing day use of state parks. 

Outdoor recreation such as fishing and golfing will be allowed from this week. 

The Democratic governor also announced the state´s stay-at-home order will be extended through at least May 31. 

That will be followed with a four-stage process of lifting restrictions, starting with allowing retail curbside pickup, automobile sales and car washes by mid-May.

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