- States including Oklahoma, Alaska, Georgia, and South Carolina began reopening their economies this week, and others are following suit and lifting stay-at-home orders by Thursday.
- Epidemiologists worry that reopening too soon could cause a second wave of cases, especially if states open before seeing a steady 14-day decline in COVID-19 cases.
- Here are photos of what reopening business looks like in Georgia, South Carolina, and Oklahoma.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Some states in the US have already begun easing coronavirus restrictions as reports of new cases start to plateau in pockets of the country. But the slow return to more traditional routines is fragmented — not to mention highly controversial — because some states are opening sooner than others.
Georgia, Oklahoma, Alaska, and South Carolina began reopening their economies, according to The Hill, with the return of tattoo parlors, hair salons, and some shopping malls. Other states also plan to lift stay-at-home orders later this week including, Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, and Maine.
In order to reopen safely, epidemiologists say it is necessary to see a steady 14-day decline in coronavirus cases, hospitals must be able to safely treat all patients at non-crisis levels, states must be able to test every person who has symptoms, and be capable of extensive contact tracing and isolation of active cases, according to a report by The New York Times.
But not all of the states reopening have met these criteria, including Georgia, which did not show a steady 14-decline in cases before reopening. Premature reopenings risk people’s lives with the chance of sparking a second wave of COVID-19 cases.
Yet despite the risks, some governors are choosing to reopen. Here’s what that looks like so far in states such as South Carolina, Georgia and Oklahoma.
Ben and Shae Owens, right, shop at Columbia Place Mall with their one-year old daughter, London Owens, on April 24, 2020 in Columbia, South Carolina. Beaches and some businesses deemed nonessential were allowed to reopen this week in South Carolina.
A worker at Shoe Dept. rings up a customer at Columbia Place Mall on April 24, 2020, in Columbia, South Carolina.
A shopper uses an escalator at Columbia Place Mall on April 24, 2020 in Columbia, South Carolina.
A young woman shops at Area 57 at Columbia Place Mall on April 24, 2020 in Columbia, South Carolina.
An Oklahoma man visits Lowe’s after the governor eased business restrictions in the state.
—Matthew Vermillion (@mvermi) April 25, 2020