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Bridging The Gap
At least 21 states pause reopening or take new steps to limit the spread of COVID-19
  Sunday 05 July, 2020
At least 21 states pause reopening or take new steps to limit the spread of COVID-19

Days after the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expressed concern about significant increases in coronavirus cases, the United States surpassed 50,000 daily cases twice this week.

That milestone was reached as governors and other state leaders grapple with plans to reopen their economies, especially with the Fourth of July weekend lingering. Some are postponing further reopening while others are tightening rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Among the measures: shutting down high-capacity businesses such as bars and gyms, halting elective surgeries and requiring people to wear masks.

Map: Take a look at coronavirus trends, reopening status and mobility

Here is a look at which states have paused their reopening or taken other steps. This list is continually updated.

Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order requiring bars, gyms, theaters and water parks to shut down June 29. The order follows mounting pressure to respond to ballooning COVID-19 numbers that followed his accelerated reopening plan, which he announced in May.

"Arizonans have been, by and large, terrific, fantastic and responsible," the governor said. "But, we have found some situations in categories where we need to take more aggressive actions, and that's what we're going to do today."

Arizona reported nearly 2,700 new COVID-19 cases and 17 additional deaths July 4.

The state has reported a total of 94,553 cases.

Maria Polletta and Rachel Leingang, Arizona Republic

Nearly two weeks after moving into phase two, which allowed for two-thirds capacity in restaurants and other businesses, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he's not ready to ease restrictions further as the state experiences a spike in coronavirus cases.

The state has recorded over 22,000 confirmed cases, more than a quarter of which are currently active. The number of new cases on July 3, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, set a new one-day record at 878.

As California faces an explosion of new COVID-19 cases, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered 19 counties including Los Angeles, Orange and Santa Clara to shut down businesses with indoor operations for three weeks. That includes theaters, wineries, museums and restaurants.

Parking lots at state beaches are also closed statewide ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, according to KFMB-TV in San Diego.

As of July 4, California has reported 248,235 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
A lifeguard keeps watch over a packed beach Saturday in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Delaware did not move into phase three of its economic reopening as scheduled at the beginning of this week. The announcement, issued last Thursday by Gov. John Carney, postponed official action until this week so officials "can get a better handle on whats going on in Delaware and around the country."

Too many Delawareans and visitors are not following basic public health precautions," Carney said.

Carney also announced plans at the end of June to shut down bars in Delaware beach towns ahead of the Fourth of July weekend.

The state reported 11,923 total cases as of July 3, with 512 deaths.

Jeff Neiburg and Meredith Newman, Delaware News Journal

The number of COVID-19 cases in Florida increased by over 11,000 on July 4, bringing the total to just over 190,000. The 11,458 new cases reported July 4 mark thehighest one-day total the state has seen since the start of the pandemic. That's according to a report from WSVN-TV.

It is the eleventh straight day that the state counted at least 5,000 new cases, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.

On June 26, the state's Department of Business and Professional Regulation announced it would suspend on-premise consumption of alcohol at bars statewide. Bars will still be able to serve drinks in to-go containers.

Halsey Beshears, the department's secretary, said the action was taken because of an increase in COVID-19 cases and noncompliance by some businesses. Restaurants that serve alcohol will be allowed to stay open.

However, Gov. Ron DeSantis has not rolled back any other reopening plans.

Jane Musgrave and Olivia Hitchcock, Palm Beach Post; Rachael Thomas, Treasure Coast Newsapers; Dave Osborn, Naples Daily News

Travel advisory:NY, NJ, CT add states to quarantine order, bringing total to 16

Gov. Brad Little announced that the state will remain in phase four of its reopening process through at least July 10 after a nearly monthlong spike in COVID-19 cases. Phase four allows visits to senior living facilities and corrections facilities, and it lets nightclubs and sporting venues open with limited capacity. It is the last stage before full reopening.

The state has reached a total of nearly 7,000 confirmed and probable cases as of July 3, and nearly 100 deaths.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced a new stage of reopening will begin July 4.

Stage 4.5 will temporarily pause increases in capacity at restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, among others.

"This virus is on the prowl," Holcomb said. "In some places it's gaining momentum. It's not slowing down."

The new stage is set to last through July 17. Under the governor's initial five-phase plan to reopen the state, Stage Five was set to begin in most of the state on July 4.

Ethan May, Indianapolis Star

Gov. Laura Kelly signed an executive order in time for the Fourth of July weekend that mandates masks in public spaces statewide in order to deal with an upward trend in new coronavirus cases.

Although Kellys mask mandate will require anyone in a public space where social distancing is not possible to wear a mask, counties have the ability to fight the order and not enforce it.

The mandate follows a recommendation June 22 that communities remain in phase three of reopening, which allows bars, nightclubs and personal care facilities such as nail salons and barber shops to remain open with reduced capacity. However, the governor cannot enforce this statewide.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has reported 15,919 positive COVID-19 cases as of July 3. The agency has reported 277 deaths.

India Yarborough and Brianna Childers, The Topeka Capital-Journal

Louisiana topped 60,000 total coronavirus cases July 1 as the state's hospitalizations and ventilator use continued to rise. That's a reversal from less than a month ago when both were on the decline.

Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a 28-day order June 23 to keep the state in phase two of reopening. That allows restaurants, malls, gyms, theaters, museums, bars and other businesses to operate at 50% capacity.

"The fact of the matter is we're not getting better; we're getting worse," Edwards said. "Before it gets out of control we have to get better compliance."

He also asked Louisianans to avoid large groups and remain home on the Fourth of July Holiday. He traces the origin of Louisiana's summer surge in cases and hospitalizations to Memorial Day.

The state reported 1,728 new cases July 3, among the largest single-day totals since April, for a total of 63,289.

Greg Hilburn, Monroe News-Star

A week after Gov. Janet Mills indefinitely postponed the resumption of indoor bar service, she issued a mandate requiring restaurants, stores and other businesses in the city's southern and coastal regions to enforce mask-wearing.

According to the Portland Press Herald, Mills said that was necessary to deal with an uptick in cases in those areas after "they lifted restrictions dramatically."

More venues in the state, including movie theaters and museums, reopened July 1 as part of its third phase of reopening, with a 50-person cap and a checklist of requirements.

As of July 3, the state has registered a total of 3,373 cases and 105 deaths. No new deaths were reported.
Revelers congregate around Gull Island, Mich., during the annual Jobbie Nooner in Lake St. Clair on Friday.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday closed indoor bar service in south and central Michigan, saying it's needed to control an increase in the spread of the coronavirus.

The change took effect at 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Only in the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula can indoor bar service remain open.

The governor also signed a package of bills allowing cocktails-to-go at bars and restaurants, which she said would help these businesses serve more Michiganders.

Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed an emergency directive Monday extending phase two of the states COVID-19 recovery plan through the end of July. Churches, salons, bars and gyms, all at limited capacity, were part of the state's second phase.

The move fulfills a promise Sisolak made last week, when he announced a statewide mask-wearing mandate and said any discussion of entering phase three will be tabled until further notice.

The number of Nevadans who have tested positive for COVID-19 reached 20,718 on July 3, with 528 deaths.

Brett McGinness, Jenny Kane and Marcella Corona, Reno Gazette Journal
New Mexico

Following trends in other states especially neighboring Arizona and Texas New Mexico health officials announced Wednesday that COVID-19 transmission is rising in every region of the state.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the state will pause the next phase in reopening businesses that have been closed or are operating under restrictions. The state would begin to enforce mask-wearing in public. Violators could be fined $100.

The announcements came as the state registered 500 deaths from COVID-19. Another 256 cases were announced July 2, bringing the total to 12,776.

Algernon D'Ammassa, Las Cruces Sun-News
New Jersey

Indoor dining in New Jersey will not resume July 2 after all, a major blow to an industry that has struggled since the coronavirus outbreak began.

Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday that after seeing a spike in coronavirus cases in states that have reopened indoor dining, he is postponing it indefinitely. Murphy said he does not anticipate allowing restaurants to resume indoor dining for weeks.

"It brings me no joy to do this, but we have no choice," he said.

As of July 2, the state has registered 172,742 confirmed cases and 13,308 confirmed deaths.

Terrence T. McDonald, NorthJersey.com
North Carolina

Gov. Roy Cooper moved to extend the state's current reopening phase for another three weeks, through July 17, rather than reopen further. The state is adding a new requirement that people wear face coverings in most public spaces.

Cooper announced he would not address reopening plans for the 2020-21 school year, which had been planned Wednesday.

North Carolina COVID-19 hospitalizations on July 3 were the highest since the coronavirus pandemic started, with 951 patients. The state also added a new daily record-high of 2,099 cases, registering 70,241 cases in total.

Todd Runkle and Mackenzie Wicker, Asheville Citizen Times; Brian Wicker, USA TODAY Network
The driver of a New Orleans RTA bus wears protective clothing to protect against the coronavirus.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced July 1 that masks are now mandatory "whenever anyone leaves home."

"Limited exceptions" will be permitted, and anyone found violating the order will "be tasked with education" by officials or law enforcement.

A day after, Pennsylvania announced its highest single-day number of cases, with over 830 confirmed cases, per WCAU-TV in Pennsylvania. The state has registered over 89,000 cases and 6,746 deaths as of July 3.

It is essential that Pennsylvanians wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in a release.

While cases increase in some areas, we cannot become complacent," she said. "My mask protects you, and your mask protects me. Wearing a mask shows that you care about others, and that you are committed to protecting the lives of those around you.

Gov. Bill Lee granted authority July 3 to mayors in 89 counties in Tennessee to issue their own face mask mandates as COVID-19 cases rise statewide. The move follows a record day-over-day increase after the state health department reported 1,822 new cases.

That comes days after Lee extended his state of emergency declaration on June 29, along with a host of other provisions that were set to expire this week.

Tennessee will remain in a state of emergency until at least Aug. 29, according to Lee's latest order. The order expanded access to telehealth services, allowed restaurants to offer take-out and delivery alcohol, and eased access to unemployment benefits.

As of July 3, Tennessee has had at least 48,700 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, 633 deaths and more than 2,800 hospitalizations since the outbreak began. The tally of 1,822 new cases, recorded on July 3, was the state's largest single-day increase.

Joel Ebert, Natalie Neysa Alund and Brinley Hineman, Nashville Tennessean
Tubers float on the Comal River in New Braunfels, Texas, despite a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the state. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has again halted elective surgeries in the states biggest counties in a bid to free up hospital beds as the number of patients admitted with COVID-19 has more than doubled in two weeks.

Rolling back an aggressive reopening process, Gov. Greg Abbott closed Texas bars and limited restaurant occupancy, leading to a lawsuit from a state group, and prohibited elective surgeries. He also issued a statewide mask order July 2, requiring Texans in counties with more than 20 positive COVID-19 cases to wear masks in public spaces.

His restrictions were in sharp contrast to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who told Fox News he will no longer listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

State health officials reported more than 8,000 new COVID-19 cases July 1, a record for the state and about 1,000 more than the previous record the day before. The state's total is at 183,582 as of July 3.

Hospitalizations have been climbing over the last month. More than 7,300 people were hospitalized throughout the state on July 2, a new high.

Nicole Cobler, Austin American-Statesman

A week after mandating masks at all state facilities, troubling numbers prompted Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to require masks in regions of Utah that are home to several of the states famous national parks July 2. He announced a pause in reopening in June.

The state has counted 23,866 total cases as of July 3.

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Though Gov. Ralph Northam announced July 1 the state would begin its third phase of reopening, he has decided to prohibit bar seating as of Wednesday.

Restaurants and bars may still be able to house guests as long as they're eating at tables 6 feet apart, according to a statement from the governor's office. I am watching what is happening in other states we are taking a cautious approach as we enter Phase Three and maintaining the current restrictions on bar areas, Northam said in the release.

Phase three allows businesses to increase capacity to 75% and entertainment businesses to increase to 50%. As of July 3, Virginia has had more than 65,000 cases of COVID-19, with just over 6,400 total hospitalizations and more than 1,800 deaths.

Days after Gov. Jay Inslee delayed phase four of reopening amid a surge in coronavirus cases, he announced a short-term extension to the state's "Safe Start" emergency guidelines through at least July 8.

According to the Seattle Times, his announcement came "in anticipation of additional modifications" early next week.

As of July 1, 17 of Washington states 39 counties had moved into phase three of Inslees four-part coronavirus recovery plan, allowing for gatherings of no more than 50 people, resuming non-essential travel and reopening theaters, libraries and museums, among other businesses.

Washington has had more than 34,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of July 2, according to a tally by the state's Department of Health.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/06/30/covid-cases-states-pausing-reopening-plans-list/3284513001/

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