Some states were cautiously making plans to reopen parts of their economies Monday as the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surpassed 80,000, but its spread slowed in some areas.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo advised cities across the state to prepare for a phased reopening starting Friday. With deaths and hospitalizations falling to rates not seen since the early days of the pandemic, businesses and activities will resume in phases, with low-risk undertakings restarting first. Recreational spaces such as drive-in theaters, nurseries and tennis courts will reopen statewide Friday.
Under phase one of the governor’s plan, retail business will be permitted to operate with curbside service, and construction and manufacturing businesses will resume. Professional services and real-estate businesses will reopen in the second phase. In the third, restaurants and hotels will be permitted to open their doors. Artistic institutions, entertainment venues and schools will resume operations in the fourth and final phase of the state’s reopening, Mr. Cuomo said. He didn’t provide a timeline for the phases.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker meanwhile said the state’s gradual reopening process could begin as soon as next week. Mr. Baker said the state’s plan also includes four phases and timing would depend on the rate of infections and hospitalizations from the virus, among other benchmarks. “The process is complicated, it’s gradual, and it requires an incredible amount of patience from pretty much everybody, including me, but we believe we are trending in the right direction,” the Republican said.
In Louisiana, the state’s stay-at-home order will expire Friday, Gov. John Bel Edwards said, and some businesses will be able to reopen with capacity restrictions and other safety measures in place. The Democratic governor encouraged individuals who are more at risk of severe illness caused by the virus to continue to stay home. “We’re not declaring victory, this is not ‘mission accomplished,'” the Democrat said. “We still have eyes all over the state of Louisiana.”