Story at a glance
- A number of states have started reopening after putting statewide stay-at-home orders in place.
- In the days since restrictions have been lifted, cases and deaths have spiked in some of these states.
- Public health experts warned about the possibility of spikes before governors made the decision to reopen.
Social distancing has been working, but it has also taken a toll on many state economies. Some states have decided to move forward with reopening, despite the continued rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Tennessee was one of the first states to lift restrictions on restaurants and retail stores and reported their highest one-day jump in coronavirus cases on April 26.
The statewide stay-at-home order in Texas expired on May 1. The day before, the state reported 50 new deaths, the most in a single day during this pandemic, and 1,033 new cases of COVID-19, exceeding 1,000 for the first time since April 10.
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In Florida, where less than 2 percent of the state’s residents have been tested for COVID-19, health officials also confirmed more than 1,000 new positive cases on Thursday, according to a local news report, the first such spike since April 19. The day before, there were 83 confirmed deaths in the state.
Public health experts warned about the possibility of spikes before states made the decision to reopen. But even as their predictions prove true in some states, others are still moving forward with plans to reopen. Proponents of relaxing social distancing restrictions also point out that spikes in positive cases are to be expected with expanded testing.
“If you test more, you’re gonna find more,’’ said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, according to the Miami Herald. “We know there’s a lot of asymptomatic people out there, so as Florida tests more and more, we will find more. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
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