Americans are growing weary of coronavirus restrictions, but according to recent numbers, the coronavirus isn’t going away anytime soon. More than two dozen states have reported spikes in cases as they move forward to reopening measures.
As the first day of summer arrived, states from Arizona, California, and Florida to South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas saw a rise in new reported cases compared to one week ago. In fact, California reported the most new cases in a single day- 4,515- since the pandemic began in March.
Now leaders of some cities and states are second guessing their decisions to push forward with reopening.
Austin, Texas Extends Stay at Home Order
Mayor Steve Adler of Austin, Texas, vocalized his concern over the weekend: “When the governor started reopening, I wish he had done it a little slowly so we could have seen the numbers in each one of the phases before we moved on to the next phase,” he said.
On June 16, Adler addressed Austin’s coronavirus spikes and Stage 4 risk level by extending stay-at-home orders through August 15.
On Twitter he wrote, “We have a rise in COVID-19 cases and are now in Stage 4 risk. Wear a mask when you go outside & don’t go places where people aren’t wearing masks.”
Adler’s efforts in Austin stand in contrast to the decisions made by Texas Governor Greg Abbot, who confirmed that Texas would continue its reopening plan despite the growing number of coronavirus cases in his state.
“Make no mistake, we will be seeing more hospitalizations and deaths,” Adler told a local news outlet. “We need the governor’s help enforcing masks and social distancing if we are to keep reopening the economy without overwhelming hospitals.”
Colorado Governor Extends State of Disaster
On June 20, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed executive orders extending the state of disaster declaration in his state.
“Coloradans have done a great job wearing masks when leaving the house, staying physically distant from others, and washing our hands but we are only a few short steps ahead of the virus and we need to do better. The data is now starting to show a reversal of some of our gains, the 3-day moving average for cases is now going up in our state,” said Polis in a statement.
According to Polis, the extension of the state of disaster will help the government “further support our response efforts and remain prepared in the face of this global pandemic.”
Though Colorado residents are not subject to an extended stay at home order like those in Austin, Texas, the governor’s executive orders do require all workers in stores and public-facing businesses to wear face masks. Additionally, “employees, contractors, and others providing services for Mass Transportation Operations and Critical Businesses where employees, contractors, or others who interact in close proximity” must wear medical or non-medical cloth face coverings over the mouth and nose.
As the summer continues, governors and mayors across the country will face the same difficult challenges: How to reopen the economy without compromising health and safety.