Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.
America's slow road to reopening continued this week as more than a dozen states eased strict lockdown measures on businesses and social activities, put in place to curb the spread of the virulent coronavirus.
Several states believe they have “flattened the curve” of infections enough to phase in their economies after more than a month of shuttered stores, restaurants and citizens hunkered down at home.
The moves come as the daily death toll across the U.S. dropped five days in a row for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted earlier this year. The 1,240 new deaths Monday marked just the third time the daily death toll was under 1,300 over the past month.
As of Tuesday morning, there were more than 1.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 68,000 deaths in the U.S.
States like Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee began to lift restrictions to varying degrees last month, while Texas and Illinois followed suit last week.
The following states are either lifting measures for the first time or continuing their slow rollout to reopening.
Elective and non-urgent procedures, such as biopsies and angiograms, resumed Monday with defined safety protocols for patients and medical staff.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy already had opened the way for restaurants to resume dine-in service and retail shops and other businesses to open their doors last month.
Gov. Doug Ducey last week extended the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” executive order until May 15, adjusting it to allow retail businesses to begin reopening Monday.
These businesses, after showing they can follow health guidelines and social distancing measures, will be allowed to sell goods through delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, drive-up service, or curbside delivery.
Barbershops and cosmetologists will be allowed to resume appointments Friday under new health guidelines that require staff and customers to wear masks, Ducey announced Monday. Restaurants and coffee shops can reopen May 11 with social distancing measures.
Gyms and fitness centers resumed operations Monday, but they must screen all staff and members upon entry. A physical distance of 12 feet is required between people, who must also wear masks. Staff must wipe and sanitize all equipment after each use.
Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson also announced that churches and large outdoor venues can reopen effective immediately, under social distancing guidelines. Face coverings are required for all those older than 10. Large indoor venues were expected to reopen May 18.
While no statewide stay-at-home order was imposed, Hutchinson had issued restrictions that limited businesses and outdoor activities.
The southern California city of San Clemente opened its pier Tuesday, a day after reopening beaches.
About 14 miles up the coast, Laguna Beach was allowed to reopen city beaches Tuesday. The beaches will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. for active recreation, such as walking, jogging, swimming and surfing. City beaches will remain closed on weekends.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the next stage of reopening the state could begin as early as Friday for retail businesses that are able to implement safety measures like curb-side pickup.
Non-critical commercial businesses may allow up to 50 percent of their employees to conduct in-person work that takes place outside a private residence and follows social distancing measures as of Monday.
Gov. Jared Polis replaced the state’s stay-at-home order on April 27 with a “safer at home” order lasting 30 days, in which residents are urged to stay at home as much as possible. However, retail businesses with curbside delivery were allowed to reopen and elective medical procedures could resume.
As part of Phase 1 of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step” plan, all counties except Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach were allowed to reopen Monday.
Retail shops, museums, and libraries will reopen at 25 percent capacity. Restaurants could reopen outdoor seating with tables six feet apart, while indoor capacity was reduced to 25 percent. Elective surgeries could also resume at facilities with adequate space and personal protection equipment.
Phase 1 of Gov. Laura Kelly’s plan to reopen the state began Monday.
All businesses not prohibited may open if they can maintain six feet of distance between consumers, and fundamental cleaning and health practices are followed.
Businesses that cannot avoid close contact, like hair salons and tattoo parlors, will remain closed, along with theaters, museums, and fitness centers. Bars and nightclubs may continue operating curbside and carryout services.
Outpatient, ambulatory surgery and invasive procedures will resume Wednesday.
Gov. Andy Beshear announced that business sectors like manufacturing and construction will begin opening May 11, while other shops such as barbers, salons and retailers would open later this month.
Gov. Tim Walz on Monday allowed retail businesses and other non-critical businesses to begin offering curbside pick-up with restrictions. Employees and customers should continue wearing protective equipment and follow social distancing guidelines.
The first phase of Gov. Mike Parson’s “Show Me Strong Recovery” plan began Monday.
Retail shops can reopen at a reduced customer capacity. Restaurants will resume dine-in service with limits, including sitting no more than 10 at a table.
The order encourages barbers, hairstylists, and tattoo artists to take “enhanced precautionary measures to mitigate risks.”
As part of the state’s roadmap to reopening, restaurants, bars, breweries, and distilleries began providing some in-establishment services Monday.
Montana’s Democrat Gov. Steve Bullock last week gave retailers the green light to reopen and allowed churchgoers to attend services after a month-long hiatus.
On Monday, some restaurants, beauty and nail salons, barbershops, and tattoo parlors reopened with a 10-person limit. Elective surgeries also resumed if certain PPE requirements were met.
Restaurants began serving dine-in customers with limits, including reducing capacity to 50 percent, setting tables six feet apart, and restricting diners to no more than six-person groups. Self-serve buffets and salad bars are prohibited.
Under Gov. Chris Sununu’s modified stay-at-home order, certain health care services could resume operations Monday.
The order, which runs through May 31, implements a phased approach to reopening the economy over several weeks.
Manufacturing, distribution, and construction began opening back up Monday, along with general office environments.
On Friday, Gov. Mike DeWine allowed all medical procedures that can be done without an overnight stay to resume, including dentists and veterinarians.
Gov. Henry McMaster lifted the statewide “Work-Or-Home” order and returned to voluntary status Monday. Restaurants could resume outdoor dining service, with a table limit of no more than eight people. Staff and customers must follow social distancing and sanitation measures.
The state allowed crews of 10 or fewer workers to resume outdoor work, including construction at unoccupied job sites. Manufacturing and distribution operations could also resume with no more than 10 employees and follow social distancing.
Vermont has a "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order in place until May 15.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced last week that some outdoor restrictions would be lifted, allowing Washingtonians to play golf, hunt and fish, and use state parks and public lands beginning Tuesday.
Public gatherings, team sports and camping are among the activities still banned.
Gov. Jim Justice on Monday reopened small businesses with 10 employees or fewer, along with pet groomers, barbershops, and hair and nail salons. Restaurants can resume outdoor dining, and takeaway and delivery service.
Elective medical procedures also were allowed to resume.
Justice announced that gyms and fitness centers, along with drive-in movie theaters, will be among the next wave of businesses to reopen May 11.
Fox News' Chris Irvine and Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.