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As the United States continues its gradual reopening, on Monday more than a dozen states began easing restrictions that had shuttered nonessential businesses and brought daily lives to a screeching halt for the better part of two months as a critical tradeoff to reduce the impact of the coronavirus.
Fox News has identified a total of 48 states that have now begun a partial reopening process. These states have said data shows they have “flattened the curve” of infections enough to phase in their economies under new health guidelines and restrictions to protect citizens from the virus that causes COVID-19.
The U.S. has recorded at least 1,491,547 confirmed coronavirus cases and at least 89,666 deaths, according to statistics gathered by Johns Hopkins University.
Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell warned Sunday that unemployment in the U.S. could peak between 25 and 30 percent before the end of the June as the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic worsens.
In April, the unemployment rate stood at 14.7 percent. In an interview with CBS’ “60 minutes" Sunday, Powell said he does not predict a “second Great Depression” because the American economy has been impacted by an external factor – the coronavirus – instead of failure within its own financial system.
Starting Monday, Arkansas casinos can resume limited operations.
In Florida, gyms and fitness centers can reopen at 50 percent capacity, while restaurants, retail, museums and libraries, which had already been cleared to reopen, can increase capacity to 50 percent.
Most Indiana Department of Natural Resources Fish & Wildlife archery and shooting ranges can begin to reopen on Monday. In Kansas, barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, tattoo parlors, tanning salons, gyms and fitness centers are allowed to reopen with restrictions.
Louisiana casinos and video poker establishments may open at 25 percent occupancy and with 50 percent of their gaming positions on Monday. But they must remain closed in New Orleans.
In neighboring Mississippi, the state gaming commission said last week that casinos can start reopening on May 21 — just before the Memorial Day weekend, which normally marks the beginning of the summer tourist season.
The Mississippi Gaming Commission will issue an order before then with safety guidelines expected to include requirements for social distancing between customers and frequent cleaning of slot machines and other equipment. The commission closed Mississippi's state-regulated casinos March 16, according to The Associated Press.
In Maine, restaurants and remote campsites in 12 counties can reopen. And in Minnesota, noncritical businesses like retail stores and main street businesses can reopen if they have a safety plan and operate at no more than 50 percent occupancy.
New Hampshire restaurants can reopen with outdoor dining. In New Jersey, nonessential construction can resume and non-essential retailers can reopen for curbside pickup only.
Outdoor dining can resume in Rhode Island. South Carolina service providers, such as barbershops, and salons, as well as fitness and exercise centers, commercial gyms, and public or commercial pools, have been cleared to open in a limited capacity Sunday.
In Texas, gyms are allowed to reopen and office buildings can open with 25 percent of the workforce. Vermont retail stores can open at a 25 percent capacity limit.
West Virginia fitness centers, gyms and recreation centers can reopen Sunday. Recreational activities include gymnastics, dance, cheerleading and martial arts.
South Dakota was included among the 48 states that have begun a reopening process, even though the governor never imposed a statewide stay-at-home order. Reopening varies by city; Sioux Falls, for example, has allowed restaurants, bars and gyms to reopen subject to social distancing restrictions.
Two states – Connecticut and Massachusetts – have only begun a limited reopening that is not entirely business or retail-related.
In Connecticut, only marinas and boatyards have reopened. Restrictions are expected to lift further on May 20. In Massachusetts, only private golf courses and gun shops have reopened.
The District of Columbia (D.C.) remains mostly shutdown.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.