Over a month ago, California became the first state to implement a statewide stay-at-home order. The order banned residents from leaving their home for nonessential reasons in an effort to halt the spread of COVID-19. Since then, 41 other states have followed suit, imposing their own orders and restrictions, ultimately putting more than 300 million Americans under stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders.
Now, as medical experts believe the numbers of new daily cases of the virus are peaking across much of the country, states are beginning to lift these orders and ease restrictions and slowly restart their economies. As of April 29, nine states have begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions, and more than a dozen other states will soon join their ranks.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed state government websites and statements from elected officials to determine when each state plans on lifting stay-at-home orders. Supplemental information on school closings and traveler quarantine rules came from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit public health policy think tank.
While medical and public health experts have been studying the coronavirus for months, much remains unknown about the virus and the disease it causes. Many fear that lifting restrictions and opening businesses too rapidly will lead to a second wave of infections that could eclipse the first.
As a result, while many state governors have chosen a specific date on which to lift stay-at-home orders, they are also acknowledging that these dates could change and that reopening remains contingent on several factors, including testing capacity and long-term declines in hospitalizations. Here is a look at the states where the virus is growing the fastest right now.
Governors and policy makers are eager to lift restrictions because the economic harm resulting from the stay-at-home orders is proving to be catastrophic. Unemployment claims since mid-March have nearly reached 28 million, undoing all the job gains of the last decade and suggesting that the unemployment rate could reach levels not seen since the Great Depression. Here is a look at every state’s unemployment claims since COVID-19 shut down the economy.