Half of U.S. states begin to lift coronavirus restrictions, White House lets guidelines expire

by Jordyn Pair · May 1st, 2020 12:42 pm

Half of all U.S. states are reopening or are set to reopen as the White House let its 2-week-old economic reopening guidelines expire on Thursday.

Eighteen states are reopening with restrictions, such as capacity limits or required masks. An additional seven have orders that are set to expire on May 1 or shortly after.

The reopenings come as states face mounting economic fallout. New data from the Labor Department show that around 30 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits since March 21, roughly 18.4% of the U.S. working-age population and a level not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The various state reopenings also follow the White House allowing its guidelines to safely reopen states to expire, despite health experts saying many of the thresholds for safe reopening have not yet been met.

"You can't just leap over things to a situation where you're really tempting [the virus] to rebound. That's the thing I get concerned about," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC's "Today" show.


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