The United States has confirmed almost 1.9 million cases of COVID-19, and more than 107,000 people have died from the coronavirus disease as of June 4.
As nationwide cases have been declining, states have also begun to loosen restrictions and open their economies — even as health experts urge caution. They are also concerned that demonstrations arising from the death of George Floyd, an African American man, while in police custody might lead to another surge in virus cases. The civil unrest erupted across the nation just as states had begun to relax stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus and as businesses had started reopening.
To determine each state’s social distancing measures and restrictions on movement, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed executive orders from state governors since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the United States at the end of January.
As we moved into June, many states had shifted into their next phases of reopening, many of which involve opening up restaurants for outdoor dining; allowing retailers to have limited customer visits; permitting sports activities; and allowing what had been deemed nonessential businesses to reopen.
Even though the number of new COVID-19 cases has plunged in New York City and New Jersey — the nation’s most densely-populated major city and the most densely-populated state — those two states have been slower to reopen their economies. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, whose state was also hit hard by COVID-19, extended the state’s stay-at-home order until at least June 12.
Other states began pulling back on their restriction orders as early as late April, and seven never enacted them at all. COVID-19 daily infection rates have been increasing in two of those states, Arkansas and Utah. These are the states where the virus is growing fastest right now.
It is important to note that while confirmed new infections appear to be trending downward nationally, there are likely many thousands of people who became infected and are asymptomatic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were likely thousands of undiagnosed deaths that occurred during the pandemic. This is how COVID-19 is being underreported in most states.
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