Colorado, Mississippi, Minnesota, Montana, and Tennessee on Monday became the latest among a wave of states to declare that they would begin to ease CCP virus lockdown restrictions, in a bid to reopen their pandemic-ravaged economies.
Under the governor’s "Tennessee Pledge,” retailers will follow the same guidelines on Wednesday, with workers in both industries adhering to recommendations to wear cloth face coverings. Business owners must follow federal guidelines for hygiene and workplace sanitation standards related to the pandemic.
A record 26.5 million Americans have filed for jobless benefits since mid-March, and retail sales, home building, and consumer confidence have cratered. Before the pandemic, the U.S. jobless rate had been hovering at a 50-year low of 3.5 percent.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted on Friday that the economy would contract at an annual rate of nearly 40 percent in the second quarter.
“We are starting to reopen our economy,” Reeves said. “It’s not a light switch that only goes on and off. It’s a dimmer. We can take measured steps to make life better.”
Elsewhere, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) allowed curb-side retail pickup to begin on Monday, with the reopening of hair salons and tattoo parlors from Friday.
In Montana, restaurants and schools will be allowed to resume on May 7, while churches can reopen starting Saturday, with social distancing measures put in place.
Georgia, Oklahoma, Alaska, and South Carolina have already forged ahead to restart their economies following weeks of mandatory lockdowns. Other states have issued plans for more relaxed rules in the coming weeks.
Public health authorities say increasing human interactions and economic activity now—without the means to do so safely—will only backfire, sparking a new surge of infections just as social-distancing measures appear to be bringing coronavirus outbreaks under control.
Medical experts say strict adherence to business closures and stay-at-home orders imposed over the past several weeks by governors in 42 of 50 states have worked to level off rates of hospitalizations and admissions to intensive care units.