Remember the summer? Although June and July feel like ages ago, it was only recently that certain states had relaxed lockdown restrictions, only to see their communities engulfed in COVID-19 cases and deaths. Now some of those states are coming back aboveground, opening up their cities and economies. Read on to hear about which ones, and to protect your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
“In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced Thursday that restaurants, retail stores and gyms in most parts of the state could resume operating at 75 percent occupancy, the limit that was in place in June before Abbott reversed course and imposed new restrictions,” reports The Washington Post. “Bars, however, will remain closed. The state is also resuming elective surgeries in most hospital districts, with exceptions for parts of the Rio Grande Valley that are still seeing high numbers of hospitalizations.”
“In Nevada, a state coronavirus task force authorized reopening bars in Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, for the first time since July. Shutdowns were also lifted for Elko County, which had been the only other county where bars remained closed because of a failure to meet key testing metrics,” reports the Post.
“Florida also plowed ahead with reopening this week, allowing bars statewide to welcome back patrons at 50 percent capacity,” according to the Post. “Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) initially closed bars when outbreaks began appearing in March, but allowed them to reopen in early June, a move that was followed by a steep uptick in cases. Later that month, state liquor regulators intervened and shut down bars for a second time.”
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Although many summer outbreaks were traced to bars, the Florida reopening of them has at least one official optimistic. “It’s vital that we start moving forward with this sector of our hospitality industry who have endured one of the toughest paths for sustaining a business during this pandemic,” says Halsey Beshears, the secretary of the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, in a statement. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, would disagree. “Bars are a really important place of spreading of infection. There’s no doubt about that,” he said on MSNBC. “And that becomes particularly important if you happen to be in an area where there’s a high degree of community spread.”
So, what do we do while scientists are still hard at work developing a vaccine, and states are reopening, hoping for the best? “It is really important to physically distance or socially distance, wear masks, and wash hands whenever possible,” says Dr. Appathurai Bala, deputy chief medical officer at Arkansas Department of Health. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.