As state governments continue to unveil a patchwork of plans to gradually reopen the American economy, the question that looms in the coming weeks is whether increased resident mobility leads to a surge in new coronavirus cases.
And that question will likely be answered soon. The majority of states are moving forward with phased-in approaches that often vary by county and city.
Texas could be a telling case. The state became one of the first to take aggressive measures, allowing restaurants and retailers to reopen to limited customer capacity May 1. Last week, on May 14, Texas reported its highest single-day increase of new cases, with 1,448, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard.
By Saturday, that mark swelled to 1,801. Just in Amarillo, a city in North Texas whose population is a shade under 200,000, there were more than 700 new cases Saturday.
That prompted Gov. Greg Abbott to release a statement that said as Texas “continues ramping up its testing capabilities, there will be an increase in positive cases as the state targets the most high-risk areas.”
The administration of President Donald Trump has pivoted to a three-phase plan that leaves the decision to reopen the economy to states, creating an uneven strategy that some health experts warn could undermine the progress that has been made in stemming the spread of coronavirus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned May 12 in a Senate committee hearing that reopening the country amid the coronavirus may lead to “some suffering and death.”
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U.S. coronavirus map: Track how the outbreak has spread in your state
This week, almost half of the 50 states are lightening restrictions in some form. We will keep this file updated as measures are announced:
Gov. Kay Ivey loosened coronavirus restrictions effective May 11, allowing limited operations of restaurants, hair and nail salons, and gyms.
Restaurants, bars and breweries may open with limited table seating. Restaurants must limit tables to eight people and maintain six-foot distances between dining groups. The establishments are urged to offer curbside service.
Gyms, athletic facilities and hair and nail salon providers also opened “subject to social-distancing and sanitation rules and guidelines.” Gyms are forbidden from offering sports that require close contact with others or sharing sporting apparatus and equipment. They must also limit capacity to 50%.
The order also removed a 10-person restriction on nonwork gatherings. That will allow churches to resume regular services.
Previously, Ivey loosened some restrictions on retail operations, and said the state would monitor the situation to decide what further steps could be taken.
Starting May 8, bars, gyms, libraries, theaters and other entertainment venues were allowed to reopen with limited capacity as a part of the state’s phased reopening, state health commissioner Adam Crum said. With gyms, for example, a 10-foot distance will be required between people indoors. For pools, 50% of capacity will be allowed, he said.
On April 24, Alaska began allowing restaurants to resume dine-in service and for retail shops and other businesses to reopen, all with limitations, under an initial phase of the state’s reopening plan.
Personal care services, like barber shops and nail and hair salons, were allowed to reopen April 27, as were restaurants. However, all are operating under strict guidelines intended to guard against spreading the virus.
Gatherings have been limited to 20 people, or 25% maximum capacity, whichever number is smaller and can now include guests from other households. Social distancing, however, must be obeyed.
Religious services must also follow the gathering guidelines.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy and health officials have issued a number of health orders as a part of the phased Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan.
Gyms, spas and community swimming pools were allowed to open May 13, and professional sports leagues were allowed to begin practicing in Arizona after the state’s current stay-at-home order expired May 15, Gov. Doug Ducey said.
Movie theaters also opened May 16.
Those activities can resume as long as appropriate health precautions are in place, Ducey said.
Additionally, The Grand Canyon National Park opened its South Rim entrance on May 15, with some restrictions. It opened despite objections from Navajo officials and others that it could hurt efforts to control the coronavirus.
Barbershops and salons were able to resume hair, nail, waxing and other services by appointment May 8, if they limit occupancy, implement social distancing measures, up sanitation protocols and provide cloth masks to employees, the governor said.
On May 11, restaurants and coffee shops started offering dine-in service. To do so, they are required to limit occupancy and physically distance diners, in addition to checking employees for COVID-19 symptoms before their shifts.
On April 22, Ducey had announced that hospitals and outpatient centers would resume elective surgeries on May 1.
Pools and water parks can reopen in May with new capacity limits and other restrictions, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said May 8.
Arkansas restaurants were also able to reopen their dining rooms on May 11 with restrictions.
Dental services resumed May 11. State Health Secretary Dr. Nate Smith said the original plan was to resume dental services on May 18, but the dental lobby persuaded the state that protective gear supplies were sufficient and that protective protocols were planned by most dentists.
Large outdoor venues may reopen to the public with a limit on the size of crowds, Hutchinson said May 4. On May 18, Arkansas reopened large indoor venues such as movie theaters, museums, and bowling alleys.
Hutchinson also reiterated the state’s COVID-19 guidelines for places of worship and gave his blessing on churches resuming in-person services.
Arkansas’ barbershops and beauty salons, which have been closed since March 25, reopened May 6.
Gyms, fitness centers and indoor athletic facilities reopened on May 4 with restrictions including guidance on face masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing.
Facilities will not be allowed to admit anyone displaying possible COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. Those with compromised immune systems or chronic diseases will also be barred from entry. Pools, spas, showers and saunas at gyms and similar facilities will remain closed until further notice.
Hutchinson had announced April 22 that the state would begin lifting restrictions on elective medical procedures; that went into effect April 27.
On May 12, the California State University system that comprises 23 campuses such as Fresno State, San Diego State and San Jose State announced it would cancel in-person classes for the fall semester. Online instruction will still be offered, with a few exceptions for courses.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on May 12 said more businesses could reopen statewide and approved requests from counties to move ahead more quickly if they have been minimally harmed by the pandemic.
Business offices can reopen with appropriate precautions if their employees cannot easily telecommute, and malls can begin offering the same curbside pickup already allowed for other retailers, Newsom said.
The state also offered more guidance for resuming the operation of niche businesses including car washes and pet groomers.
Los Angeles County reopened its beaches May 13 for “active recreation,” and similar moves were announced for several beaches along Ventura County’s south coast.
Newsom on May 7 issued the broadest loosening of his stay-at-home order so far, allowing some retailers to reopen but not have customers in stores. Los Angeles County permitted the reopening of trails and golf courses but with social distancing restrictions.
Newsom’s announcement moves California into the second phase of a four-step reopening process. It covers only retail businesses and manufacturers’ warehouses considered low risk for the virus.
Stores allowed to open with curbside service, if they meet other safety requirements, include bookstores, clothing stores, florists and sporting goods stores. Higher-risk businesses such as hair salons and gyms, offices and dining in restaurants will come later.
Newsom has repeatedly said counties can impose restrictions that are more stringent than state orders. In mid-May, Tesla’s car plant reopened, defying orders from the Alameda County Public Health Department, which has deemed the factory a nonessential business that can’t fully open under virus restrictions.
Camping in state parks resume by reservation only on May 12, Gov. Jared Polis said. Counties can decide independently if they do not want to reopen camping in state parks within their boundaries.
Polis said officials expect to have more data about how the coronavirus is being transmitted on May 25, giving them “more data to make the call” on next steps for restaurants, summer camps and spring skiing.
Offices deemed nonessential were allowed to reopen May 4 with reduced staff. Current restrictions allow curbside retail and real estate showings. Getting a haircut and shopping in person at retail stores were allowed again in much of Colorado starting May 1 as the state eased restrictions.
Denver lifted its stay-home restrictions on the weekend of May 9, and Polis said state officials would be paying close attention to potential health impacts.
One week before the state’s stay-at-home order lifted April 27, Polis announced the next phase, called “safer at home”: The goal is for Coloradans to maintain 60% to 65% social distancing, and vulnerable residents should continue to shelter in place.
Schools will remain closed, and bars and restaurants will not immediately reopen.
Colorado hospitals, dental offices, optometrists and other health care providers could start seeing patients for elective procedures again by early May.
Gov. Ned Lamont is moving toward a planned May 20 partial reopening of certain Connecticut businesses, despite objections from a group of Democratic state senators.
Officials on May 8 released detailed protocols on how restaurants, retail stores, hair salons and other businesses that can reopen.
Beth Bye, the commissioner of the state Office of Early Childhood, said May 11 that summer camps could open on June 29 with strict public health guidelines in place. The governor’s office later clarified that would not include overnight camps.
On May 5, Lamont canceled in-person classes at all Connecticut K-12 public schools for the rest of this school year, requiring districts to continue distance learning.
Gov. John Carney announced arts facilities, retail stores, malls, barbershops and hair salons, exercise facilities, tanning salons, casinos and racetracks and food/drink establishments can reopen with strict requirements on June 1.
At restaurants, breweries and bars that offer table service, guests must be given single-use, paper disposable menus. All condiments also have to be in single-use disposable containers unless the reusable containers are thoroughly cleaned between each patron’s use.
Carney said there would be “interim steps” to reopen the economy between May 8 and June 1.
In mid-May, Rehoboth Beach joined a handful of coastal towns that are slowly loosening their grip on beach access.
Carney announced plans May 5 to allow some businesses to operate again under social distancing rules to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Many businesses could resume “limited operations” starting May 8, according to the announcement from the governor’s office.
Retail stores, such as clothing, book or music stores, will be able to do curbside pickup. Barbershops and salons can reopen for some customers but under strict rules.
Farmers markets were allowed to open starting May 15 if they follow safety guidelines issued by the Delaware Department of Agriculture on May 11.
Delaware residents are required to wear face coverings in public settings, according to Carney’s state of emergency declaration.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said May 15 that people who are healthier are less likely to die from the coronavirus, which is part of his rationale to include gyms as the state expands the first phase of its reopening.
Beginning May 18, the state also increased restrictions on restaurant and retail store capacity from 25% to 50%, as well as allowing the reopening of museums, libraries and gyms at 50% capacity. Bars and movie theaters will remain closed.
On May 14, DeSantis signed an executive order to move Miami-Dade County and Broward County – both of which are the hardest hit in the state – into Phase One of his reopening plan.
Beaches in the two counties will remain closed. Miami, Miami Beach and Hialeah – Miami-Dade’s bigger cities – will not allow retailers to open until May 20 and restaurants to open, likely, the following week.
The counties account for almost half of the state’s confirmed virus cases.
Both Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Broward County Mayor Dale Holness said that when beaches do open in their counties, they will be at the same time to avoid people flocking to one location. Beaches will not open until at least May 26, Holness said.
DeSantis allowed hair stylists, barbers and nail technicians to reopen, he announced May 8. In mid-May, DeSantis signaled the state’s openness to pro sports returning..
Gov. Brian Kemp on May 12 announced plans to relax some restaurant restrictions and allow some summer camps to open but extend bar and nightclub closures through May.
Kemp allowed businesses such as tattoo parlors, bowling alleys and hair and nail salons to reopen with restrictions in late April, a sweeping move that prompted national criticism. Restaurants and movie theaters have since been able to welcome customers back in on a limited basis, and a statewide shelter-at-home order has expired.
Some malls reopened May 4, though things were far from normal with many businesses inside still shuttered and parking lots sparsely filled.
Kemp allowed his statewide shelter-in-place order to expire at midnight April 30 but extended his emergency powers to June 12 and told the elderly and medically fragile to stay at home until then.
In-person religious services resumed over the April 25-26 weekend, and restaurants and theaters reopened on April 27 with “specific social distancing and sanitation mandates.”
Gov. David Ige has relaxed some restrictions, including allowing shopping malls to reopen. In Maui, they did so May 11; in Oahu they reopened May 15.
Beaches on Oahu opened on May 16.
Ige in early May issued an updated proclamation allowing certain establishments to reopen, including astronomical observatories. He previously allowed businesses such as golf courses, some real estate services and car dealerships to reopen.
In April, Ige announced that he would be extending the state’s stay-at-home directive and mandatory quarantine for travelers entering Hawaii through May 31.
Ige said beaches could be used to access oceans for outdoor water exercise like swimming and surfing and for “running, jogging, or walking on the beach, so long as social distancing requirements are maintained.”
Elective surgeries can resume “as each facility determines to be appropriate.”
Gov. Brad Little allowed his five-week stay-at-home order to expire April 30. Idaho residents have been successful at reducing infections and deaths, Little said.
On May 14, Little gave the go-ahead to begin stage two of reopening Idaho as scheduled on May 16. That meant that dine-in restaurants, nail and hair salons, and gyms began reopening on May 16.
On May 1, the state entered the first of his four-stage plan to recover from the economic damage caused by the virus. Little said the process will take time, and advancing through the stages to return the state to near normalcy by the end of June will be based on declining infections and strong testing. The readiness of the health care system is another factor.
Child-care centers were able to reopen May 1. Churches also reopened with distancing and sanitation rules. Bars, gyms, salons, movie theaters and sporting venues remain closed. Restaurants can offer curbside and delivery service.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a five-phase reopening plan May 5 called “Restore Illinois” and indicated at that time that the state was already in the plan’s second phase, with nonessential businesses open for curbside pickup and delivery.
Also part of the second phase, residents are directed to wear face coverings when outside and can resume outdoor recreational activities such as golf, boating and fishing as long as social distancing is practiced.
Pritzker first issued a stay-at-home order in March, which has been extended to the end of May with some restrictions eased, including the reopening of some state parks. The plan says reopening contingent on meeting certain metrics, with the last phase allowed only if there’s a vaccine or an effective treatment.
On May 8, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot released the city’s five-step path toward re-opening, which includes some stricter standards than the state plan.
The next phase of the state plan will see manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops and salons reopen with capacity limits and social distancing requirements. Gatherings of 10 or fewer will be allowed and face coverings and social distancing will also remain standard.
Restaurants and bars won’t resume service until Phase 4.
As of May 4, Gov. Eric Holcomb began lifting social distancing restrictions in Indiana. Gatherings of up to 25 people are allowed in all but the three hardest-hit counties; malls and other nonessential retailers can open at 50% capacity and churches can begin holding services with no limits on the number of attendees
The reopening plan calls for the removal of additional restrictions in phases through July 4. Beginning May 11, for example, restaurants opened at half capacity in all counties but Marion, Lake and Cass, which have been hotspots for the virus. Lake County restaurants opened at half capacity on May 18.
Some cities and counties have set their own restrictions. Indianapolis and Marion County residents will remain under Mayor Joe Hogsett’s stay-at-home order until at least May 18.
Holcomb on April 27 reopened routine care. That includes dental offices, abortion clinics, dermatology offices and veterinary clinics.
Gov. Kim Reynolds announced May 13 that she is lifting mandated closures of barbershops, salons and massage therapy businesses statewide starting May 15.
Restrictions on establishments such as restaurants’ dining areas, libraries, race tracks and fitness centers were previously lifted in 77 of Iowa’s counties; on May 15, they were lifted statewide, Reynolds said. Those establishments will continue to be subject to some capacity restrictions and extra health measures.
Reynolds said May 6 she will allow dental services to resume and campgrounds, drive-in theaters, tanning facilities and other businesses to reopen statewide beginning May 8 if they meet certain requirements.
Reynolds is allowing retail stores in malls to reopen, but the shopping centers must keep common spaces such as play areas and food courts closed. She’s also allowing fitness centers to reopen by appointment only, limiting to one person inside at a time.
Dentists may resume providing services if they comply with guidelines for safely reopening adopted by the Iowa Dental Board, have adequate personal protective equipment, demonstrate a plan to preserve such equipment and have a supply chain to obtain more equipment if needed.
Gov. Laura Kelly’s stay-at-home order expired May 3 as she moved the state into the first part of a multi-phase plan to reopen Kansas between now an at least June 15. Some businesses, including restaurants, opened their doors for the first time in weeks, with the addition of social distancing protocols.
The first stage allows dine-in service in restaurants and the reopening of stores, though social distancing must be observed.
The transition included a passing of the baton to county health officials, who have the option of imposing tighter restrictions based on local infections, hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus.
Kelly announced April 30 that she hopes to lift all coronavirus-inspired state limits on mass gatherings and other restrictions by June 15.
The state plans to recruit and train 400 new workers for a robust contact tracing program.
On May 14, Gov. Kelly signed an order that establishes a new phase to the state’s plan to reopen Kansas. The new “1.5” Phase, effective May 18, continues reopening efforts while preserving some data-driven restrictions.
Gov. Andy Beshear on May 7 announced Phase 2 of his plan for reopening Kentucky’s economy, which includes restaurants, would begin in late May.
Under the plan, restaurants can reopen their doors to in-person traffic on May 22 at 33% capacity indoors and unlimited seating outdoors, so long as they follow social distancing guidelines.
Also on May 22, the state’s travel ban will expire, according to Fox19.
Beshear announced that movie theaters, fitness centers, campgrounds, child care centers and certain youth sports will be able to reopen under public health guidelines in June.
On May 6, Beshear issued a new travel ban in response to a federal judge’s ruling that knocked down the previous prohibition.
Beshear laid out his first phase of a plan for re-opening several portions of Kentucky’s economy on April 29.
In order to re-open, various businesses must follow public health guidelines set forth by industries and the state in its “Healthy at Work” initiative.
Under phase one of the plan, manufacturing companies re-opened their doors on May 11, and horse racing could occur without fans. On May 20, places of worship can hold in-person services, and retail shops can welcome back customers. And on May 25, 10-person or less social gatherings can occur, and barbershops can re-open doors.
Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the state’s stay-at-home order will be lifted as the state moves into phase one of reopening on May 15.
New Orleans took its first steps May 16 to loosen restrictions that have been in place for two months.
The city is restricting buildings to 25% of capacity, like the rest of the state, but also requires restaurants, nail salons and other businesses to take customers by reservation. The city has capped the number of people allowed in houses of worship and movie theaters at fewer than 100.
Restaurants can resume dine-in service at 25% capacity as well. Edwards said additional reopening could occur June 5 under a second phase.
The governor said phase one will likely be in effect for 21 days, into June 5, if the state does not see increases in cases.
Maine will reopen the economy in rural part of the state sooner than its population centers, with many businesses reopening in May, the state’s governor said May 8.
The reopening plan applies to 12 counties in the state. It leaves out Cumberland, York, Penobscot and Androscoggin counties, which are home to the state’s biggest cities and more than half its population.
Gov. Janet Mills reopened retail stores in the more rural counties May 11, with increased health and safety precautions in place. Restaurants in rural counties also opened on May 18.
The state is in the midst of a gradual reopening of its economy. Lodging and restaurants will open for Maine residents on June 1 and for out-of-state visitors on July 1. Mills has required visitors from other states to quarantine for two weeks.
Gov. Larry Hogan said the state is ready to begin cautiously entering stage one of recovery. A stay-at-home order was lifted May 15 at 5 p.m. and was replaced with a safer-at-home public health advisory.
Formerly closed retailers can begin reopening at no more than 50% capacity, with strong safety precautions in place like masks and social distancing. These businesses are encouraged to use curbside pickup and delivery moving forward.
Manufacturing operations can also resume as long as they protect the health of their employees.
Some personal services like barber shops and hair salons can start reopening at 50% capacity by appointment only. Pet groomers, animal adoption shelters, car washes and art galleries are among the other businesses that will be able to open their doors again.
Religious service will be allowed to resume, but outdoor services are strongly encouraged. The governor said indoor services are permitted at 50% capacity or less.
Previously, Hogan reopened state beaches and announced that outdoor activities like golfing, camping, fishing and boating can start up again.
Hogan has said Maryland schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year.
Gov. Charlie Baker on May 18 outlined a phased-in approach to gradually restart the Massachusetts economy.
In the first phase on May 18, manufacturing and construction were allowed to reopen provided they follow guidance and standards meant to protect against the spread of the virus. Houses of worship were also allowed to resume services if they can also follow social distancing guidance. Outdoor services are encouraged.
On May 25, lab and office spaces can reopen as well as some personal services such as hair salons, pet grooming and car wash locations. Retail business will be allowed to do remote fulfillment and curbside pick-up. On June 1, some office space can reopen in Boston.
Also as part of the first phase of reopening, hospitals and community health centers will be allowed to provide high-priority preventative care, pediatric care and treatment for high risk patients and conditions.
Some recreation will also be allowed to reopen on May 25 as part of phase one as long as they adhere to social distancing guidance. That includes parks, drive-in theaters, some athletic fields and courts, most fishing, hunting, and boating, outdoor gardens, zoos, and reserves.
Starting May 6, everyone in the state was ordered to wear masks or facial coverings while in public under an executive order signed by Baker.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced May 18 that retail businesses in much of northern Michigan, including restaurants and bars, can reopen starting May 23.
The bars and restaurants will have to limit their capacity to 50%. Groups will be required to stay 6 feet apart and servers will have to wear face coverings.
Office work also will be able resume if work cannot be done remotely.
Michigan manufacturing resumed May 11, with the auto plants restarting one week later, on May 18, Gov. Whitmer said. Michigan’s stay-at-home order has been extended through May 28.
Whitmer said Michigan is in phase three – flattening – of six phases of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent restart. The phases are uncontrolled growth, persistent spread, flattening, improving, containing and post-pandemic, the governor said.
Though case numbers are improving, “we are still safer at home,” Whitmer said. “While we can re-engage in more things, we’ve got to be smart about it.”
Essential reasons to leave home include shopping for groceries or drugs, getting health care, getting exercise, or walking a pet.
Construction, real estate and more outdoor work resumed May 7.
Whitmer on April 30 ordered theaters, restaurants, bars, casinos, gyms and other places of accommodation to remain shuttered until May 28; they remain limited to carry-out and delivery orders only.
Gov. Tim Walz announced May 13 the easing of restrictions that became effective May 18 in the form of a “Stay Safe MN” executive order. It replaces the existing statewide stay-at-home directive that was set to expire.
Under the new order, gatherings with family and friends in groups of 10 or fewer will be allowed, provided social distancing is observed. Masks are encouraged. Retail stores and malls will be allowed to reopen but must do so at 50% capacity and must have plans to keep workers and customers safe. Religious gatherings can resume with a 10-person limit.
Restaurants, bars, gyms, barber shops and theaters will remain closed but, if guidelines are met, could open as early as June 1.
Doctors, dentists and veterinarians started providing elective surgeries again on May 11 but were required to create a plan to keep patients and health care workers safe.
Walz signed an order May 5 to allow hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers and clinics to resume many delayed procedures. Leaders of those facilities will have to develop criteria for determining which procedures should proceed and provide a safety plan.
An April 30 executive order from Walz had extended Minnesota’s stay-at-home order to May 17.
Many retail businesses had reopened May 4, but only for curbside and delivery services.
Another executive order previously closed schools in Minnesota through the end of the school year.
Gov. Tate Reeves allowed salons, barbershops and gyms to resume operations on May 11. He also extended his “Safer At Home” order, which allows for some restrictions to be lifted, for another two weeks.
Reeves ordered heightened restrictions for seven Mississippi counties that have been hit especially hard by the coronavirus, he announced May 12. The rules include health screenings for employees and face covering requirements.
Meanwhile, landlords will be able to evict tenants again starting June 1, Reeves announced May 13.
Reeves previously allowed restaurants and parks to reopen May 7. Among other changes: up to 20 people will be allowed gather for outdoor activities, but gatherings are still limited to 10 people or less for indoor activities.
Reeves on April 24 issued an executive order for Mississippians that he calls “Safer-at-Home,” which allowed most retail stores to open with certain guidelines, but kept other businesses closed.
It allowed clothing, gift and other retail locations to open, but owners and managers must take precautions such as sending home sick employees, wearing masks in common areas, using proper sanitation procedures, providing hand sanitizer for customers and limiting the number of customers at any given time.
Reeves said the businesses that won’t be allowed to open are ones that generally involve close, interpersonal contact, such as movie theaters, museums, casinos, entertainment venues and gyms.
Much of Missouri reopened May 4 under relatively lenient statewide orders, but local governments can impose stricter rules if they want.
The state’s stay-at-home order expired May 3.
Restaurants and most nonessential businesses began operating in St. Louis County and the city of St. Louis May 18, but residents were urged to keep following safety guidelines to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Kansas City began phasing in its reopening on May 6, but with very strict rules on social distancing and crowd sizes.
Statewide through May 31, people must stay 6 feet away from non-family members in public unless they’re doing a job that makes that impossible; schools remain closed; retail businesses must limit the number of customers and restaurants can reopen dine-in services if they employ social distancing measures.
On April 27, Gov. Mike Parson announced the first phase of the “Show Me Strong Recovery” plan.
Some Montana schools reopened May 7. Gov. Steve Bullock also announced gyms, theaters and some museums could reopen in the middle of May with reduced capacity, social distancing and sanitizing requirements.
The May 15 reopening date for health clubs, theaters and museums gave the businesses and public health officials time to prepare and ensure guidance is being followed.
Some retailers reopened on April 27 and bars and restaurants were permitted to open with decreased capacity on May 3.
Gov. Pete Ricketts loosened restrictions May 4 in most of the state, allowing salons, tattoo parlors and dine-in restaurants to reopen with limited capacity. Restaurant employees must wear masks. Day cares will be allowed up to 15 children per room. The loosened restrictions were expanded to 10 more counties May 11.
Nebraska is one of the handful of states without a formal stay-at-home order, although many of the restrictions Ricketts imposed are similar.
Gov. Steve Sisolak said May 7 that restaurants, retail stores, barbershops, hair salons and some brewpubs can resume limited operations on May 9, a full week ahead of the schedule laid out in Nevada’s coronavirus recovery plan.
Restaurants and retail outlets set to reopen this weekend can only use half of their available seating capacity, and will be barred from providing self-serve stations such as salad and beverage bars.
Barber shops and salons without privacy partitions will have to maintain a six-foot separation between customers. Pot shops will be subject to similar social distancing standards, as will open-air malls, car dealerships and drive-in movie theaters.
Employees at each of those operations will be required to wear face masks, which are also “strongly encouraged” for customers.
Casinos, bars, nightclubs, gyms and most high-capacity sports facilities will remain closed during phase one of the state’s reopening plan. Gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited.
Sisolak said each of the state’s counties can stick to stricter virus-prevention protocols if they so choose, but will not be allowed to reopen faster than the rest of the state.
Sisolak has said Nevada schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year.
Restaurants, which had been limited to takeout and delivery, were allowed to offer outdoor dining starting May 18. This is provided they have enough seating for social distancing.
On May 1, Gov. Chris Sununu extended the state’s stay-at-home order to May 31 while allowing the restricted reopening of restaurants, hair salons and other businesses throughout the month.
Hair salons, barbershops, retail stores and drive-in movie theaters reopened May 11 with different requirements for the various industries. Retail stores, for example, have been limited to 50 percent capacity, and hair salons will not be allowed to offer services beyond basic haircuts and root touch-ups.
Dentists resumed some routine work starting May 11 as well.
Hospitals, which had largely been restricted to treating COVID-19 patients and emergencies, started performing time-sensitive procedures such as CT scans and knee and hip replacements for chronic pain May 4.
New Jersey allowed retail stores to reopen for curbside pickup service only and nonessential construction to resume on May 18.
Gov. Phil Murphy said mall interiors will remain closed, but stores inside malls can open for items that can be delivered to customers waiting in cars outside.
Murphy’s new executive order requires businesses deemed nonessential to remain closed to customers. In-store operations must remain limited to employees responsible for curbside pickup operations, financial transactions should be handled in advance when feasible and customers should remain in their cars.
Murphy reopened all state parks in early May, said golf courses could reopen and gave counties and municipalities the option to open their parks. He has also slowly eased some restrictions on businesses, such as allowing pet groomers to reopen in late April.
Asked why retail stores are not being allowed to open fully, Murphy said New Jersey is “still in stay-at-home mode.”
Murphy on May 7 extended New Jersey’s public health emergency for another 30 days but did not say when stay-at-home order restrictions may change.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced April 30 that the state would begin to ease business restrictions, acknowledging that the coronavirus has brought about an “economic crisis.”
Many nonessential retailers, pet groomers, state parks and golf courses resumed operations May 1 in a limited way under a new, modified state public health order. The new order is in effect through May 15.
New Mexico’s “slight reopening” began May 16, but everyone is required to wear a face mask in public spaces and the stay-at-home order remains in effect, KVIA-TV said.
Grisham announced May 5 that employees of essential businesses operating in New Mexico will be required to wear face coverings.
Here’s what’s not opening: movie theaters, casinos, barbershops and hair salons, gyms, indoor malls, camping centers and state park visitor centers, and offices or workplaces.
Restaurants and bars can only operate as curbside or delivery. Gatherings of five people or more are still prohibited.
Parts of New York were allowed to reopen May 15, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
The Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley and North Country met the required seven metrics to enter Phase 1 of the state’s plan to reopen. The metrics include a 14-day decline of hospitalizations, a 14-day decline of hospitalized deaths, new hospitalizations to drop to under two per 100,000 residents and a share of total hospital beds available of at least 30%, among others.
Cuomo also announced that New York reopened statewide certain low-risk businesses and recreational activities on May 15, including landscaping and gardening, outdoor low-risk recreational activities like tennis and drive-in movie theaters.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said May 11 that closures of nonessential businesses are likely to extend in the city through May.
“June is when we’re potentially going to be able to make some real changes if we can continue our progress,” de Blasio said.
New York has extended some executive orders but still hasn’t decided on how long it would extend its stay-at-home order, Cuomo’s office said.
Certain orders, such as eviction protections, have been extended into June. The “New York State on Pause” order expired May 15.
The state’s 10 regions will need to meet seven benchmarks for the state to consider reopening in four phases.
If those criteria are met, the state would issue an executive order allowing that region to start the reopening process, state officials said.
New York’s schools and colleges will remain shut through the end of the academic year, Cuomo said.
The state updated its guidance for golf courses, opening the door for public and private courses to open. Golfers will have to walk the course and carry their own bags without a motorized cart, according to Dani Lever,Cuomo’s communications director.
Gov. Roy Cooper previously said Phase 1 is expected to last two to three weeks, or until at least May 22. If data trends look promising, the state would move into Phase 2, which includes the lifting of the stay-at-home order and a limited reopening of other businesses and churches with reduced capacity.
Under Phase 1, people will be allowed to leave their homes for commercial activity and to go to any business that is open — though the governor hasn’t elaborated about which businesses that includes when pressed by journalists in statewide briefings.
The order removes the distinction between essential and nonessential businesses. Retail businesses are allowed to open at 50% capacity and will be required to see that customers are at least 6 feet apart, the release says. Businesses also will be required to screen workers for COVID-19 symptoms, perform frequent cleanings and provide hand sanitizer when available.
But many businesses will remain closed. Restaurants may not open for seated customers and may operate only in the capacity of takeout, drive-thru and delivery. Bars, gyms and personal care businesses, such as barber shops and hair salons, also will remain closed. Likewise, entertainment venues will stay closed.
Gov. Doug Burgum unveiled guidelines April 28 for reopening certain businesses.
Most businesses reopened May 1. Burgum eased restrictions that included limiting bars and restaurants to half capacity, requiring barbers and cosmetologists to wear masks and prohibiting some high-intensity fitness classes. Burgum said movie theaters could also reopen if they do such things as limit seating and stagger start times.
While most businesses may reopen with precautions, other large-scale venues and K-12 schools are closed until further notice, Burgum said.
Gov. Mike DeWine announced that hair salons, barbershops and other personal care businesses will reopen on May 15. Restaurants and bars opened outdoor patios and spaces on May 15 and indoor seating will resume on May 21.
Massage parlors, tattoo parlors and piercing businesses reopened on May 15, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said May 12.
Here’s a look at various state restriction changes for May:
May 1: Hospital, medical, dental and veterinary services that don’t require an overnight hospital stay.
May 2: Retail businesses that have been closed can open for curbside pickup, delivery and appointment-only shopping limited to 10 customers at a time.
May 4: Construction, distribution, manufacturing, offices
May 12: Consumer, retail and service businesses
May 15: Hair salons, barbershops, day spas, nail salons, tanning salons, outside restaurants and patios can open.
May 21: Restaurant dine-in locations can open, as can campgrounds
May 22: Horseracing (without spectators)
May 26: Public and club sports; adult and youth sports leagues; gyms and fitness centers
Funeral homes, churches, nurseries, bars and nightclubs are among the businesses that are now open under phase two of Oklahoma’s Open Up and Recover Safely plan, KOCO News 5 said. Organized sports and weddings also are allowed to resume.
State health officials had given strict directives for social distancing and disinfection, allowing restaurants to open dining rooms May 15. Movie theaters, churches and concert halls, gyms, salons and other businesses have all reopened.
Thunderbird Casinos in Norman and Shawnee did a soft opening May 12 to allow patrons a chance to gamble on select slot machines.
Bars are still closed, as are city playgrounds. Social gatherings of 10 or more people are still forbidden.
Rural counties with few cases that meet a series of health and safety prerequisites can apply to enter phase one of a three-part plan to reopen Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown announced May 7.
In the first phase, under certain restrictions, restaurants can offer sit-down service, personal care businesses — such as gyms and salons — can open and gatherings of up to 25 people can occur.
The governor’s office began accepting applications from counties starting May 8 with many opening on May 15. On that day, 31 of the state’s 36 counties began to ease stay-home restrictions and enter into Phase 1 of the governor’s reopening plan, according to KGW-TV.
Oregon reopened a small number of outdoor destinations on May 6, beginning a gradual effort to relax limits imposed on recreation. Eight state parks and boat ramps reopened at that time, with more places to come the following week, officials said.
Ski resorts will also be able to resume activities under a forthcoming executive order from Brown.
Gov. Tom Wolf said May 8 that 13 more counties will move to the yellow phase of reopening the following week. Also on May 8: Two dozen previously announced counties located in rural northern Pennsylvania made that transition.
The 13 new counties are in the western part of the state, including much of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.
Stay-at-home orders will be lifted in “yellow” counties and retail shops can start to reopen, though other restrictions will remain in place as counties move from “red” to “yellow” in a three-phase reopening plan.
Wolf also allowed golfers to hit the course and boaters to hit the water starting May 1.
Golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately owned campgrounds will be able to open, but campgrounds in state parks remained closed through May 14. Social distancing and masking guidelines will be required just as for other essential businesses.
Wolf also announced that he reopened construction in the state beginning on May 1, moved up from May 8.
After state liquor stores were closed in March, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is now allowing select stores to offer curbside delivery.
Previously, Wolf signed a bill to allow online notary services so online auto sales can resume.
On May 11, Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced allowed construction and manufacturing to resume, provided that strict measures are followed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Among the sectors included are private construction and maintenance and repair work done to bolster the infrastructure in anticipation of hurricane season.
That follows comments made by Manuel Laboy, the secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, that other businesses like barber shops and hair salons would be able to open May 25 as long as confirmed new cases continue to decline.
A medical task force appointed by Vázquez Garced submitted recommendations on April 25, suggesting that Puerto Rico abide by strict social distancing and hygienic measures for 18 to 24 months, absent of a vaccine or proven treatment for the virus.
The task force recommends a gradual reopening in four stages, broken down by the infection rate per industry. In the first tier are construction, mining, computing, agriculture and manufacturing. Rather than provide specific target dates for the stages, it recommended enacting each by monitoring the rate of transmission on the island.
On May 1, Vázquez Garced extended a lockdown order through May 25. It allows residents to leave their homes only from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. for essential activities. After 7 p.m., a daily curfew goes into effect until the following morning. The latest extension allows residents to walk, jog, run, ride bicycles and exercise, while observing social distancing measures from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Gov. Gina Raimondo lifted a statewide stay-at-home order effective May 9.
Retail shops deemed nonessential and some parks can reopen. The state’s limit of five people or less for social gatherings remains in effect, however.
Raimondo announced May 12 that the state will allow restaurants to offer limited outdoor dining starting May 18 under regulations from the governor’s office.
Raimondo on April 22 announced plans to roll out a staged reopening of parks and beaches in the coming weeks, citing encouraging virus statistics.
“It is my hope that we will be able to enjoy our parks and beaches in some form or fashion in the month of May,” she said.
The next phase of reopening, however, will wait until June, the governor said Friday.
On May 11, Gov. Henry McMaster allowed dining inside South Carolina restaurants to resume.
And close-contact businesses including gyms, barber shops, hair salons and pools reopened on May 18.
Restaurants are limited to 50% capacity. State officials also issued a host of guidelines detailing how tables and equipment must be sanitized.
McMaster also removed all remaining coronavirus-related restrictions on South Carolina boaters, including a prohibition against anchoring in waterways except for fishing.
The announcement came four days after outdoor dining was allowed to resume at restaurants in the state. A mandatory stay-home order also was lifted Monday in South Carolina.
McMaster announced a plan April 21 called “Accelerate South Carolina” to “stomp on the gas” and reopen certain sectors of the economy.
Clothing, department, furniture, jewelry and sporting goods stores, as well as florists and flea markets can reopen but will be forced to operate at reduced capacity. The closure on beaches will be lifted, though it will be up to local officials to decide on the reopening of specific beaches.
The order still encourages social distancing directives to be followed. Barber shops, beauty salons, bingo halls, gyms and nightclubs must remain closed for now.
Gov. Kristi Noem unveiled in late April a “Back to Normal Plan” for businesses and residents for the next phase of the coronavirus response.
The plan lays out actions for residents, employers, schools and health care providers once four criteria categories are met, including a downward trajectory of documented coronavirus cases for 14 days in an area with sustained community spread.
Noem had not issued a stay-at-home order but had placed some statewide restrictions.
Guidance issued by Gov. Bill Lee’s office May 1 says house of worship should exercise caution, encouraging their community members to wear face coverings and remain six feet away from others. The guidance urges faith communities to “conduct as many activities as possible remotely.”
The state reopened salons and barbershops May 6, the latest in a string of restrictions to be loosened in the state.
Details of business restrictions in the order, which also continued the state of emergency, apply to all but six counties in the state. Those counties, which are home to the state’s larger urban areas, are following the guidance of their respective health departments which are operated locally.
Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis will reopen the week of May 18 after closing March 20. Tour capacity will be reduced to 25% and temperature checks will be given to guests.
Nashville city officials transitioned to the first phase of reopening the city on May 11, allowing restaurants and retail stores to open at half capacity, despite a recent increase in new coronavirus cases.
Previously, Lee allowed for restaurants to reopen on April 27, many retailers on April 29 and gyms on May 1, each of which came with rules on limited capacity and suggested guidelines.
Under Tennessee’s plan, businesses in six counties – Davidson, Shelby, Knox, Hamilton, Madison and Sullivan – will not open until local officials sign off on their own reopening proposals.
On April 28, Lee issued an executive order extending the closure of bars and close-contact businesses through the end of May.
Hair and nail salons reopened May 8 with restrictions on capacity and distances and gyms got back to business on May 18, Gov. Greg Abbott said.
Bars, meanwhile, will remain shuttered pending more information on the best ways to keep staff and customers safe amid the fast-spreading pandemic, Abbott said.
Every restaurant and retailer across the state was allowed to open doors to customers May 1, although more widely in some cities than others and still under social distancing requirements.
Outdoor sports such as golf and tennis can resume, as long as four people or fewer are participating in the event and social distancing is followed.
Abbott announced executive orders April 17 that mandated all schools, public and private, to remain closed for the rest of the school year.
Abbott, seeking to end a political firestorm, announced May 7 that officials will be prohibited from jailing Texans for violating any of his coronavirus-related executive orders.
Gov. Gary Herbert said most of the state moved to “yellow,” or low-risk, May 16.
A yellow designation means there can be social gatherings of up to 50 people, team sports are allowed and swimming pools are opened. Additionally, travel is opened up throughout the state — though Washington County has seen significant visitor numbers in recent weeks at the state parks.
Utah moved May 1 from the “red” to “orange” phase of Herbert’s proposal to gradually scale back restrictions.
Every household also has a chance to order face masks from the government. The program, which he dubbed “A Mask for every Utahn,” was unveiled as Herbert announced an official step back from the state’s most stringent stay-at-home orders.
Gov. Phil Scott made moves to relax numerous restrictions in early May.
Vermont’s retail stores began to reopen on May 18. The stores will have to abide by certain conditions to reopen, including requiring all employees to wear masks and limiting the number of people in the store at a time. Big box stores will also be allowed to begin selling non-essential items again.
Child care programs and summer camps will be allowed to open this summer — as long as they follow strict health guidelines, Scott said May 8. Regulated day care facilities that adopt those guidelines would be able to open June 1.
Gatherings of 10 people or fewer were allowed with precautions and golf courses and some other forms of outdoor recreation reopened May 7, Scott announced May 6.
Some elective health care procedures will be able to resume as the spread of the new coronavirus in the state continues to slow, Scott announced May 4.
Scott on May 1 also announced additional steps to ease restrictions under the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order.
Manufacturing, construction and distribution companies reopened May 4, with a maximum of 10 employees. The following week, on May 11, those same sectors re-opened at full operations with as few employees as necessary.
In order to return to work, Vermont employers and employees must undergo mandatory health and safety training developed by the Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Agency.
On May 12, Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order that allows much of the state to enter Phase One of his “Forward Virginia” plan and reopen on May 15.
The new order also allowed certain Northern Virginia localities to delay Phase One until midnight on May 28 in order to meet health metrics. Northern Virginia, whose counties are close to Washington, D.C., has suffered a higher infection rate than the rest of the state.
Northam detailed measures in Phase one:
Non-essential retail — In phase one, non-essential retail stores will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Northam said this is a slight increase from the current 10 person limit.
Restaurants and breweries — Restaurants, breweries and beverage services will still be limited to take out and delivery. If a restaurant or brewery already has a permit for outdoor seating they will be allowed to operate service in the outdoor area at 50% capacity.
Entertainment and amusement — These businesses will remain closed in phase one.
Fitness and exercise — Fitness and exercise establishments will remain closed but will be allowed to hold outdoor classes with some limitations.
Beaches — Beaches will still be restricted to fishing and exercise. Northam said the state is setting high bar to ease restrictions at beaches.
Northam expects Phase One to last a minimum of two weeks, but it could last longer.
Northam allowed elective surgeries and dental procedures to resume May 1. Veterinarians will also be allowed to see non-emergency pets, Northam said.
On May 11, Gov. Jay Inslee outlined metrics that counties must reach before they are allowed to enter Phase 2 of his “Safe Start” plan. Counties with fewer than 75,000 residents that have not had a new coronavirus case over a three-week span can apply for a variance to enter Phase 2 before other parts of the state.
Once approved, counties may enter Phase 2 effective immediately. It allows restaurants to resume operations at limited capacity. Restaurants will not be required to get customers’ contact information as initially planned, Inslee’s office said in a May 15 release.
The Democratic governor’s office in a news release Friday said that instead, businesses are asked to keep a list of those who voluntarily provide contact information.
Inslee said on May 8 curb-side retail sales in Washington could begin almost immediately for businesses with reopening plans approved by health officials. Multiple rural counties will also be able to relax some stay-at-home restrictions early as the state move through the reopening process.
Inslee announced May 1 that the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order would be extended through at least May 31 and said there will be a four-stage phase for lifting of restrictions, starting with allowing retail curbside pickup, automobile sales and car washes by mid-May.
There will be a minimum of three weeks between each phase, though he said some counties with lower numbers of cases and deaths may be able to open parts of their economy sooner if approved by the Department of Health.
Fishing, hunting and golfing resumed on May 5, at which time people could also return to state parks and other state lands for day trips.
On May 13, Mayor Muriel Bowser extended the District’s stay-at-home order through June 8.
Six stores, including four bookstores, were allowed to reopen May 18.
Bowser announced on April 23 the formation of a task force, the Reopen D.C. Advisory Group, that will issue recommendations in May on the timeline to ease restrictions. To accelerate the process, Bowser said the city would look to hire several hundred contact tracers.
Bowser said the District will be “deliberate and strategic” in its plans.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on May 13 widened the most aggressive phase of his coronavirus reopening strategy to allow tanning salons to open just before Memorial Day weekend.
On May 18, fitness centers, gymnasiums and recreation centers were able to resume operations in West Virginia, with limitations.
Justice announced that more businesses will be reopening, including restaurants with indoor seating on May 21.
Large specialty retail stores can open back up on that date. That doesn’t include indoor malls, but he said mall anchor stores with exterior entrances can resume operations.
Bar areas at restaurants must remain closed and those businesses are limited to 50% seating capacity. Patrons will not be allowed to congregate in waiting areas and there will be no buffet-style service or self-serve salad bars. Drinks are recommended to be served in cans or bottles, according to the guidelines.
On May 11 physical therapy centers and drive-in movie theaters were allowed to reopen.
Justice has so far let hospitals resume elective procedures and allowed the reopening of small businesses, outdoor dining restaurants and barber shops.
Wisconsin Supreme Court on May 13 struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ order shutting down daily life, marking the first time a statewide order of its kind has been knocked down by a court of last resort.
The ruling, for now, immediately throws out the administration’s tool to control the disease for which there is no vaccine and comes at a time when Evers has already begun lifting some restrictions as the spread of the virus slows down for now.
On May 11, Evers said all stand-alone or strip-mall based retail stores are able to offer in-person shopping, as long as customers are limited to five at a time and social distancing practices are maintained. The new order is “focused on small retailers,” Evers said.
Essential retail businesses like grocery and hardware stores were opened with reduced capacity.
And on May 1, 34 state parks and forests could open under special conditions. The openings come with attendance limits and reduced daily hours, while facilities like public restrooms, shelters and playgrounds will remain closed.
Outdoor recreational vehicle rentals like those that deal with boats, golf carts, kayaks and ATVs could also open April 29, as could automatic or self-service car washes.
Wyoming will again allow people to dine in at restaurants, meet in bars and gather in larger numbers, Gov. Mark Gordon said May 13.
Bar and restaurant tables will need to seat no more than 6 people at a time and be spaced at least 6 feet apart. Staff must wear face coverings and be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 under new state public health orders that took effect May 15.
As many as 25 people — up from 10 currently — will be allowed to gather, enabling movie theaters and other performance venues to reopen with limited numbers of customers.
On May 15, a strip club in Cheyenne, Wyoming, became one of the first in the country to reopen.
Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks also reopened on May 18.
Previously, Wyoming eased some of its coronavirus restrictions May 1, with barbershops, gyms, nail salons and child care centers among the businesses that were allowed limited re-openings, Gordon said.
Gordon also said residents were allowed to camp at state parks as of May 15.
Contributing: Savannah Behrmann, Grace Hauck, USA TODAY; Natalie Allison, Nashville Tennessean; Stacey Barchenger, Bergen Record; Teresa Boeckel, York Daily Record; Lisa Kaczke, Sioux Falls Argus Leader; Laura Peters, Staunton News Leader; Dustin Racioppi, Bergen Record; Sady Swanson, Fort Collins Coloradoan; The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus: What states are reopening, and when? Here’s the list