The United States has hit an unwanted milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has reached more than three million cases of the Coronavirus, which is about one fourth of the total in the world. Because of this immense spread, more than half of the U.S. states have seen a rise in the number of cases and are pausing measures to reopen for the time being while waiting for additional testing. These policies have undoubtedly affected many of American citizens and their jobs. Each of the states that have paused reopening or taken other steps has their own unique policies as is detailed below in alphabetical order.
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Arizona had accelerated on reopening in May, but now has pulled back and closed bars, movie theaters, water parks, and gyms. This order took effect on June 29th, and the state has around 3,000 new cases and nearly 100 deaths with a total of more than 130,000 cases in the middle of July.
Arkansas had moved into two thirds capacity at stage two, but now the local government has stopped any additional reopening measures because of additional cases. Arkansas has seen nearly 30,000 cases confirmed with more than 6,500 of those still active. The state has the fourth highest in the nation since the start of the pandemic.
Governor Gavin Newsom recently ordered bars be shut down along with wineries, restaurants, theaters and indoor museums. This policy was limited to a few counties before but is now a statewide mandate. In addition, 30 counties need to close fitness centers, places of worship and non-essential shops. The state has a whopping 336,508 cases of the virus as of July 14th.
Bars and clubs have been ordered to close since the end of June through the end of July. This was after these venues were open for just two weeks. However, the bars can serve alcohol to go and can serve food if they have changed their operations since the mandate. This requires patrons socially distance and remain at least six feet away from each other with no more than six people at a table. Colorado has 37,686 cases as of the middle of July.
Delaware had been set to move into phase three of reopening near the end of June but that has not happened. Local government decided not too do this while also adding restrictions on parking at state beaches and including face covering necessities in public areas. Delaware has more than 13,000 cases and 500 plus deaths.
Florida has more than 300,000 cases of the virus making it the third state to hit that benchmark. This comes after the state’s order to no longer allow on site drinking at bars, though they can still serve to go containers. Restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages still remain open but the state has paused its reopening plans.
Out of state visitors are now unable to visit the state until September. This comes after it was announced that travelers were able to visit the state with no quarantine required with a negative test. Hawaii now has approximately 1,264 cases and nearly two dozen deaths.
Idaho is now set to remain in phase four of reopening. This is after a spike in the previous month. Idaho has approximately 12,000 cases in the middle of July.
Indiana has paused its stage 4.5 meaning that restaurants, venues, and bars will not be able to increase their capacities. The fifth stage was going to begin on July 4th. This comes after 53,370 people tested positive and nearly 2,600 died.
Kansas now mandates masks to be work in public areas across the state. Individual counties do have a right to not enforce this order. The state is still in phase three at this time with over 20,000 positive cases and 304 deaths.
More than 84,000 cases have been reported in the state of Louisiana. Due to this, the governor issued a four week long mandate to keep the state in phase two. This means many businesses will need to operate at 50% capacity for the time being. The surge has been said to have come from Memorial Day gatherings.
Bars are now closed indefinitely and individuals have to wear face coverings at restaurants and other businesses. Maine is now in the third phase of reopening with a tota of 3,578 cases and 114 deaths.
The Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently added a period to Michigan’s state of emergency declaration through the second week of August. This does nt put any restrictions on those who live in Michigan, but it does allow authorities to put forward future executive orders and restrictions to limit businesses across the state. Michigan has more than 70,000 cases as of the middle of July.
Nevada authorities have extended phase two of reopening until the end of the month of July. This will limit the capacities of bars, churches, and gyms among other businesses. Over 30,000 residents of Nevada have tested positive for the virus and 612 have perished.
New Mexico has paused its reopening and will also institute a $100 fine for those who do not wear face coverings in public. The state now has a total of 15,514 cases with about 43 percent of those recovered.
New Jersey will require anyone going outside to wear a face mask. This comes after indoor dining was paused. The state has been hit fairly hard with 172,742 cases and 13,308 deaths.
North Carolina has paused reopening of the state through July 17th keeping it in phase two for the time being. In addition, individuals need to wear a face mask in a majority of public areas. There are almost 90,000 total cases in North Carolina.
Restaurants, bars and moderate sized gatherings are now going to be restricted in Pennsylvania. These service industries need to serve food in some manner and operate at 25 percent capacity. Masks are necessary when leaving the home, too. The state has 97,000 cases with a death toll of almost 7,000 people.
South Carolina recently ordered that bars and other businesses could not serve alcohol after 11 pm, though beer, wine and liquor can still be purchased at select stores across the state. There are approximately 60,220 cases and 984 deaths thus far.
Tennessee has give individual counties the power to have their own policies when it comes to wearing face masks. This comes after a surge in cases and an emergency declaration. The state has 66,788 cases and 767 total deaths.
Texas had previously opened with aggressive measures, but now the bars are closed and the capacity at restaurants is limited, thus proving that the aggressive reopening was not in the best interest of the economy in the long run. There is also a statewide order to wear masks in public spaces in counties with more than 20 positive cases. Texas has seen more than 10,000 new cases reported in a single day.
Utah has paused its reopening and made it necessary to wear masks in a wider number of public spaces. The state now has more than 30,000 cases and 226 deaths because of the virus.
Virginia was in its third stage of reopening with businesses allowed to reach 75% capacity. Governor Ralph Northam has since expressed doubt with this, though there are still several social distancing policies in effect at both bars and restaurants. Whether or not schools open to their full capacity is also up in the air at this time. Virginia has 73,000 cases and 2,000 deaths.
Finally, Washington State has paused its reopening process in many counties to fight the declining health of its citizens. There are more than 41,000 cases in the state which is now in various stages of reopening.