Coronavirus

US states look to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Fears over the economy are pushing states to end lockdowns, with half of all US states lifting restrictions as coronavirus numbers level off in some places.

US states look to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions
JUSTIN LANE EFE

Fears over the economy are pushing states across the US to end lockdowns, with half of all US states lifting restrictions as coronavirus numbers level off in some places.

About half of all US states have at least partially lifted their coronavirus shutdowns, in a bid to revive their battered economies, and with the number of Covid-19 infections beginning to decline or level off in many places, though infections are still on the rise in others. At the same time as states are beginning to open up, President Donald Trump acknowledged that as many as 100,000 Americans could die in the pandemic.

Ohio looking to bring economy back

In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine was allowing construction and manufacturing to reopen on Monday, and letting office workers return. Retail shops and many consumer services were due to resume operations on May 12. To reopen, businesses must meet state requirements that workers wear face coverings and stay at least six feet apart, and employers sanitise their workplaces. DeWine has urged as many workers as possible to work from home.

"It's a delicate balance," he told MSNBC on Monday.

Fears of a resurgence of Covid-19

Health experts have warned of a possible resurgence of the virus if states rushed to restart their battered economies too early and without a widespread testing and tracing network in place. Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, has infected more than 1.1 million people in the United States and killed nearly 68,000.

President Donald Trump late on Sunday acknowledged the U.S. death toll from the disease would exceed previous projections cited by the White House. “We’re going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people. That’s a horrible thing,” Trump said on Fox News on Sunday night. As recently as Friday the president said he hoped fewer than 100,000 Americans would die and earlier in the week had talked of 60,000 to 70,000 deaths.

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