The coronavirus and its maddeningly persistent outbreaks have put reopening plans across the country in doubt, and the reality of having to put those plans on hold—or even walk them back—looks increasingly likely for some of the hardest-hit states. In some cases, the rollbacks have already started.
According to a running tally by The New York Times, 30 states are seeing an increase in average daily COVID-19 infections, and hotspots such as Florida, Texas, and California have seen daily counts of more than 5,000 cases for much of this week. Some local governments that had wanted to reopen their economies are now plotting their retreat, if not admitting defeat. Among the examples:
- Arizona: The state’s reopening is “on pause,” according to Governor Doug Ducey, who made the announcement in a press conference yesterday. He stopped short of rolling back the guidelines that are already in place, however. Arizona cases began to rise at the end of May and have spiked significantly in the last two weeks, with the Phoenix area emerging as a particular hotspot. More info here.
- California: As of Friday, the Golden State had not paused its reopening plans, but the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, warned that a pause is definitely on the table. Over the last two weeks, California has seen a significant rise not only in daily infections but in hospitalizations, which is especially alarming. More info here.
- Florida: Consider the Sunshine State on pause. Bars are now prohibited from letting people drink there, AP reports, after the state smashed its rapidly climbing record for daily new cases. Almost 9,000 new cases were reported on Friday. More info here.
- Texas: The state is effectively rolling back its reopening plans, with Governor Greg Abbott making the announcement today. Many bars will now have to close, and large outdoor gatherings have to be pre-approved. This after the weekly average case count for Texas rose by 79%. More info here.