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America is slowly but surely reopening for business.
The start of May saw more than a dozen states relaxing lockdown measures that were imposed as the coronavirus pandemic began spiraling out of control on U.S. soil. As of Friday morning, the U.S. had more than a million coronavirus cases and more than 63,000 deaths.
President Trump announced a plan on April 16 to reopen the country in three phases, based on the severity of the outbreak in each state or region.
And several states believe they meet the criteria to get the ball rolling after a month of shuttered shops, restaurants and people cooped up at home.
While states like Georgia, Oklahoma and Tennessee began relaxing rules earlier in the week, these states followed suit as of Friday to varying degrees.
Alabama’s “safer-at-home” order went into effect on Thursday at 5 p.m., replacing the “stay-at-home order.”
On Friday, all retail stores will be allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity. Beaches will reopen with gatherings of no more than 10 and elective medical procedures will be allowed. Churches will remain closed, restaurants and bars are still limited to takeout.
Arizona’s stay-at-home order expires Thursday, but Gov. Doug Ducey has yet to announce in what capacity he’ll reopen his state on May 1. He has said elective medical procedures will start again Friday.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s first stage of reopening, which includes places of worship, day cares, youth activities and camps, will be proceed Friday. All other nonessential businesses will remain closed until May 16.
People shop at Lurvey Garden Center & Landscape Suppy store in Des Plaines, Ill., April 30. Illinois garden centers and nurseries will reopen May 1 by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Lurvey Home and Garden opened its nursery yard and store on April 27.
Effective Friday, hospitals in the state will be allowed to resume non-life threatening surgeries, and outdoor recreation will resume.
Greenhouses and garden centers will be allowed to open as essential businesses, and nonessential retail will be allowed to open for pickup and delivery.
Indiana’s stay-at-home order expires on April 30, and Gov. Eric Holcomb said that businesses should prepare to reopen. Holcomb has yet to release details about which businesses will be allowed to reopen.
Most of Iowa’s counties will begin reopening Friday. Restaurants, retail, malls, fitness centers and race tracks will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity. Events can open with up to 10 people, and worship services can resume with social distancing.
Maine’s governor, Janet Mills, announced that a stay-at-home order would be replaced with a stay-safer-at-home order effective through May 31.
However, barber shops, hair salons, pet grooming, drive-in movie theaters, drive-in religious services, auto dealerships, and car washes could restart, on a limited basis. Some outdoor activities, such as golf courses, are also now allowed on a restricted basis.
Although Nevada’s stay-at-home order has been extended until mid-May, a new directive was signed by Gov. Steve Sisolak allowing expanded outdoor and recreational activities.
Retail businesses, including cannabis dispensaries, also will be allowed to operate curbside pick-up. Drive-in services for places of worship are available.
Non-essential businesses may operate curbside; state parks may open on modified basis; golf courses may open. Stay-at-home restrictions have been extended to May 15, however.
Gov. Doug Burgum announced Monday that closed businesses can begin to reopen Friday if they follow strict social distancing protocols.
The guidelines differ for eating establishments, gyms and cosmetology-related businesses, but putting space between people and wearing protective equipment are common threads.
A couple takes a walk at Eton Chagrin Boulevard, an indoor mall filled with retail shops and speciality stores, now closed due to the coronavirus epidemic, April 30, in Woodmere Village, Ohio.
On Friday, all medical procedures that can be done without an overnight stay will be allowed, including dentists and veterinarians. General office environments will be allowed to reopen May 4.
Hospitals, surgical centers, medical offices may open for non-urgent procedures.
Gov. Tom Wolf will allow some outdoor recreation, including golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately owned campgrounds, as well as more construction projects, will reopen beginning Friday. The rest of the state will begin to reopen by region beginning May 8.
Woman wearing face masks pas the Arneson Theater along the River Walk in San Antonio, April 30. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is allowing stay-at-home orders to expire Thursday, as he looks to open the state, but San Antonio has extended stay-at-home orders through May 19 and maintains the requirement of wearing a face mask or other face covering when near others.
In Texas, retail stores, restaurants and movie theaters will allowed to open up to customers at limited capacity beginning Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott said.
Museums and libraries also can reopen on Friday at a 25 percent capacity. Sole proprietors of businesses can open, and doctors and dentists can resume normal operations as well.
Barber shops, hair salons and bars will remain closed.
Abbott noted that by May 18, if there are no new spikes of contagion in Texas, he will move on to phase two of the plan, which allows most businesses to operate at 50 percent capacity.
Utah never issued a stay-at-home mandate, but did impose restrictions. As of Friday, dine-in restaurant services may be available “with extreme precaution”, while salons and gyms can reopen. State parks will also open up.
Vermont has a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order in place until May 15. But farmers markets were allowed to reopen as of Friday, albeit with strict social distancing guidelines.
Elective surgeries can resume as of Friday in Virginia. Other restrictions remain in place.
Gyms, barber shops, hair salons and other personal care services may reopen under tight restrictions.