Its state and local leaders gloated over the low number of coronavirus cases and announced aggressive plans to reopen. Supporters demanded that the media apologize to them for saying that reopening the orders would put residents at risk for COVID-19.
But now, a handful of blockade states that have experienced explosive growth in coronavirus cases have begun ordering companies to close again, closing beaches and bars, ordering masks, and implementing stay-at-home policies.
In recent days, several Sunbelt states, including Florida, Texas, Arizona, and South Carolina, have seen an exponential increase in coronavirus cases.
At least two governors who signed the reopening orders just a few months ago have begun to reinstate some mandatory trade closings.
Still, some states that have seen an increase in coronavirus cases have hesitated to order the closure of business again.
Despite an increase in cases, neither California nor Arizona have implemented closures statewide, but in recent days, their governors have backed measures that encourage residents to wear masks.
Ten states that have seen an increase in case numbers – Washington, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina and Oregon – have come to a pause in their reopening plans.
“We all want to go back to doing everything we love in Washington over the summer and fully open our economy, but we are not there yet,” Governor Jay Inslee said Saturday when he announced that eight counties eligible to reopen are no longer doing so because of ” significant rebounds in the activity of COVID-19 “.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak joined dozens of mayors across the country in implementing mandatory mask orders in recent days, while San Francisco Mayor London Breed said plans to reopen beauty salons on Monday. , museums, tattoo parlors, and outdoor bars would be eliminated amid a surge in cases.
But in Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert said he has no intention of another closure even though the state epidemiologist warned that a “complete closure” would be imminent if the increase in coronavirus cases continued.
Here are the states and counties forced to start closing again.
As the state prepares to host a series of high-profile political and sports events, Florida has reported an increase in cases. While the state reported fewer than 3,000 new cases on Monday, as of Saturday, there were 9,585 new cases of alarming coronaviruses the previous day, a new one-day record.
In April, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had gloated: “When you look at some of the more draconian orders that have been issued in some of these states and you compare Florida … Florida has done better.”
Just two weeks ago, he dismissed concerns about the increase in cases, saying he was mostly relegated to “low-risk groups,” and was in part the result of increased testing.
But the state finally took some steps to limit the spread, and announced Friday that it was “suspending local alcohol consumption in bars across the state.”
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez signed an order Saturday closing the newly reopened county beaches for the July 4 weekend and banning major Independence Day celebrations and parades.
“I’ve been seeing too many companies and people ignoring these life-saving rules [on face coverings and social distancing]”Giménez said in a statement.” If people are not going to be responsible and protect themselves and others from this pandemic, then the government is forced to step in and restore common sense to save lives. ”
DeSantis still defended the reopening of the state, noting the fewest cases last month.
Remember: We opened in early May, we had very stable and manageable cases. Obviously we have seen that turn lately, ”he said at a press conference this week. “But we have a very quiet month of May, I think everyone should recognize that.”
Texas had one of the shortest stay-at-home orders in the country, and opposed the implementation of mask rules statewide.
But on Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott paused in the state’s reopening plans. A day later, he ordered the state bars to be closed, the restaurants limited capacity to 50 percent and banned river rafting.
“Every day, we make a plan. And every day, it changes, “said Kim Finch, the owner of the Dallas bar, Double Wide. Dallas Morning News. “It is just incredible.”
Abbott said in a statement that it was clear that the increase was driven by certain activities “including Texans congregating in bars” and that the new executive order was essential to “our mission to quickly contain this virus and protect public health.”
In an interview, the governor admitted that the reopening plan had been too aggressive and could have explained an increase in cases.
“If I could go back and redo something, it probably would have been slowing down the opening of the bars, now looking at how fast the coronavirus spread in the bar setup,” he said in an interview this week.
IMPERIAL COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
On Friday, California Governor Gavin Newsom urged the southern border county to reinstate its stay-at-home order as the positive test result rate reached a staggering 23 percent. If the county did not come up with its own plan to close, Newsom said it would “intervene.”
Imperial County had just nine coronavirus cases as of the end of March, but by mid-June, it had skyrocketed to 4,389 cases among 180,000 residents, the highest per capita rate of any California county, and was overwhelming the local morgue and the hospital system.
Local health officials attributed the increase to large gatherings held during Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, as well as the county’s proximity to Mexicali, a city of 1 million people, many of whom cross the Mexican border to Imperial County daily for work, health care, and family. reasons.
Imperial County is one of 15 counties on a watch list, compiled by the California Department of Health, with more than 10 percent of those who tested positive.
“We are in the midst of the first wave of this pandemic,” Newsom said. “We are not out of the first wave. This disease does not take summer vacations. “