At least 17 states had reportedly paused or rolled back their phased reopening plans as of Monday to forestall the growing coronavirus outbreaks across the country.
The states that have hit the pause button on reopening include Texas (R), Florida (R), Washington (D), Arizona (R), Arkansas (R), Delaware (D), Idaho (R), Louisiana (D), Maine (D), Nevada (R), New Mexico (D), North Carolina (D), California (D), New York (D), Kansas (D), Utah (R), and New Jersey (D).
Most (ten) of the states slowing their reopening stages are led by Democrat governors.
Not all states that readjusted their reopening plans are experiencing a surge in cases. On Monday, New Jersey decided against allowing indoor dining despite a low case count.
Early this year, most of the United States shut down non-essential businesses to hinder the spread of COVID-19, the disease associated with the virus.
Governors in states experiencing a significant increase in coronavirus infections were reluctant to reimpose lockdown measures earlier this month, with some saying it is an option of last resort.
The situation has since worsened, with Johns Hopkins University reporting a rise in coronavirus infections in over 30 states compared to the previous week.
Cases are tracking steady in another 15 states, and only four states experienced a decline: Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.
On Friday, the U.S. hit the highest number of new cases in a single day — over 40,000, Johns Hopkins revealed.
The governors’ decision to alter their reopening plans came after Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told lawmakers last week that states facing a surge in coronavirus infections many not need to reimpose an “absolute shutdown.”
He said states facing growing coronavirus troubles might need to pause the rollback of their reopening plans without necessarily going back to a complete shutdown.
“I don’t think they necessarily need to go back to lockdown,” Fauci testified, referring to states experiencing a surge in infections.
Echoing Fauci, Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC director, told House lawmakers that protecting those vulnerable to the coronavirus, “no longer” means “we have to shut down schools, shut down, you know the economy.”
“It means we have to focus on how to prevent the consequences of this virus,” he added.
When asked where the United States stands in its fight against COVID-19, Dr. Fauci said it is a “mixed bag,” conceding that while some states are seeing a “disturbing surge” of infections, others are doing “very well.”
As of Monday, the Chinese coronavirus had infected over 2.5 million in the United States and killed nearly 126,000, the Johns Hopkins tracker showed.