Coronavirus – latest updates In America
Some states are hitting the brakes on reopening.
With new cases surging in many parts of the country, at least a dozen states and cities are pulling back on reopening plans, with measures that effectively declare: Not so fast.
In Florida, where daily case counts soared to new records over the weekend, the city of Jacksonville reversed itself on Monday and said that face masks would now be required in any indoor public place where social distancing is not possible. The city is scheduled to host the Republican National Convention in August.
Several other cities and counties across the state are also moving to reimpose restrictions and closings in response to the surge, which has followed the reopening of beaches, bars, restaurants and other social activities. South Florida counties have closed their beaches for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Gov. Bill Lee of Tennessee signed an executive order on Monday extending his state’s emergency order and some other pandemic measures until Aug. 29; they were due to expire this week. Tennessee recorded a record number of new cases on Monday.
Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia is expected to extend for another two weeks the state’s remaining pandemic restrictions, which are due to expire on Wednesday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
In Kansas, Gov. Laura Kelly said she would sign an executive order requiring most residents to wear masks in public beginning July 3.
“This is a simple, proactive step we can take to keep Kansans at work, get our kids back to school, and keep ourselves and our neighbors healthy,” she said in a statement. “Wearing a mask is not only safe — but it is necessary to avoid another shut down.
The governors of New York and New Jersey said on Monday that they were so alarmed by a surge in coronavirus cases in the South and West that they were reconsidering plans to begin allowing indoor dining in restaurants in their own states. Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey said the step, which had been scheduled for Thursday, would be put off “indefinitely.” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said officials would make a decision on Wednesday on whether to proceed.
Case counts have climbed sharply in many of the states that were first to reopen, including Florida and Texas, which recently forced bars to close again.
In Arizona, where case counts are also soaring, Gov. Doug Ducey “paused” operations of bars, gyms, movie theaters and water parks for 30 days and banned indoor and outdoor public events or gatherings of 50 or more people. He also moved the first day of public school back to Aug. 17.
The state also activated “crisis standards of care” protocols for hospitals as they begin to reach or exceed capacity.
“Our expectation is that our numbers will be worse” next week, Mr. Ducey said at a news conference in Phoenix. “We’re going to continue to adjust based on what the data or the information says.”
A top official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned on Monday that the surge of coronavirus cases in many states was “very discouraging” and would be hard to bring under control.
“I think there was a lot of wishful thinking around the country that, ‘Hey, summer, everything is going to be fine, we’re over this,” the official, Dr. Anne Schuchat, said in a livestreamed interview. “And we are not even beginning to be over this.”
The New York Times