Texas and Ohio reopen as Connecticut unveils plan to lift lockdown

Texas recorded a record number of daily deaths on the eve of the state lifting its coronavirus lockdown measures - as Ohio pushed ahead with reopening and Connecticut unveiled its plan to slowly lift restrictions on businesses on May 20.   

With White House guidelines for reopening having expired on Thursday, more than half of US states are now forging ahead with various strategies to allow businesses - from restaurants and retailers to construction and manufacturing - to reopen.

In Texas, one of the most populous US states, all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls can resume activity from today while limiting capacity to 25 percent of their usual occupancy.

The lift in restrictions came as deaths jumped by 146 in just three days, bringing the state's total to 812. The state recorded its highest daily death toll - 53 - on Thursday.  

Ohio will start by allowing non-essential surgeries from today and then move to open construction and manufacturing on Monday. Retail shops and many consumer services will not resume in the state until May 12. 

Georgia has also taken another step toward a full restart by allowing all businesses to reopen from today. 

Meanwhile, Connecticut's governor has revealed the state's four-phased plan to reopen from May 20. Connecticut is part of the alliance of seven Northeastern states, including epicenter New York, who have agreed to coordinate lifting COVID-19 restrictions. 

Scroll down for a full list of where each state is with current lockdown measures 

Texas recorded a record number of daily deaths - 53 in a single day - on the eve of the state lifting its coronavirus lockdown measures, bringing the state's total to 812

Texas recorded a record number of daily deaths - 53 in a single day - on the eve of the state lifting its coronavirus lockdown measures, bringing the state's total to 812

Gov Ned Lamont warned the state would only forge ahead with a partial May 20 reopening if certain criteria is met, including 14 days of downward infections, increased testing availability and sufficient contact tracing methods.  

If that criteria is met, restaurants with outdoor seating, offices, hair and nail salons and outdoor museums and zoos will be allowed to reopen. 

The next three stages are only tentative but Gov Lamont warned the final phases could take up to 10 months to implement.  

States are feeling enormous pressure to reopen businesses and restore social life, despite a lack of wide-scale virus testing and other safeguards urged by health experts as the outbreak appears to have waned across many parts of the country. 

In the states that are reopening, companies are not being forced to reopen and it's unclear how many business owners and employees would want to immediately return to work. 

It also isn't clear how many customers would be venturing back into stores and restaurants.  

The sense of urgency with which states were looking to reopen was highlighted on Thursday by Labor Department data showing that more than 30 million Americans have sought unemployment benefits since March 21. 

The jobless toll amounts to more than 18.4 percent of the working-age population, a level not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. 

States, mostly in the South, the Midwest and mountain West, have moved to relax restrictions since Georgia led the way late last week. 

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said late on Thursday he was relaxing his state's month-long shelter-in-place orders, allowing all businesses to reopen on Friday. 

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said late on Thursday he was concerned about states and communities 'leapfrogging' over the first phase of federal guidelines for reopening.

'Obviously, you could get away with that but you're making a really significant risk,' Fauci told CNN. 

Phase one of the White House guidelines to reopening the US recommends states and regions satisfy a series of criteria including a 14-day decline in cases of the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus, a robust testing program and the healthcare capacity to handle a possible surge.

They also recommend that Americans 'maximize physical distance' and avoid social settings of more than 10 people and that employers encourage telework whenever possible and a gradual return to the workplace. 

Arizona, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin all reported a record number of new cases on Thursday. The spike in infections in those states could be linked to an increase in testing, which would show cases previously undetected.  

Several states, including Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas and West Virginia, posted new highs in their daily death tolls.

The number of known infections across the US has now climbed to well over one million. The death toll has increased to more than 63,000 deaths. 

Here's where each state is with current lockdown measures:  

Partially reopening

Alabama

Alabama's employers and retail stores are allowed to reopen from April 30 at a reduced 50 percent capacity. 

Beaches will reopen but residents have to adhere to social distancing, including not gathering in groups of 10 or more. 

High risk business including theaters, night clubs, fitness centers, barber shops, hair and nail salons will remain closed. 

Bars and restaurants can only have takeaway or curbside pickup.   

The updated order expires May 15.  

Alaska 

Reopening of restaurants, stores, hair and nail salons and other businesses started April 24.

Under the new rules in some Alaska territories, restaurants will reopen but are limited to 25 percent capacity and there must be 10 feet between tables and only family members can be seated at the same table.

Salons in Alaska may only accept customers by appointment.

Alaska's largest city, Anchorage, where some 40 percent of residents live, delayed easing restrictions until April 27. 

Arkansas 

There is no state-wide stay-at-home order.

Restaurants will open for limited dine-in services from May 1 but can only operate at a third of its normal capacity. 

Gyms and indoor recreational facilities can resume operates from April 30. Restrictions will lift on hair salons and barber shops on May 1. 

State parks will reopen from May 1.

Colorado 

Elective surgeries and retail curbside delivery began April 27. Hair salons, dental offices and tattoo shops can also reopen that date with restrictions. 

Other retail will be allowed to reopen from May 4 with social distancing restrictions. Large workplaces can reopen on May 4 at 50% capacity.   

Restaurants and bars are still limited to takeout only.

The state's stay-at-home order expired April 26 but residents are still urged to stay home where possible.

Florida 

The state will reopen some business on May 4 except for in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.  

Restaurants can offer outdoor seating six-feet between tables and indoor seating at 25% capacity.

Retail can operate at 25% capacity.

Bars, gyms, movie theaters and personal services - like hair salons - are to remain closed.

Some beaches and parks reopened from April 17 if it could be done safely. 

Georgia

Gyms, hair salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors can reopen from April 24 as long as owners follow strict social-distancing and hygiene requirements. 

Elective medical procedures can also resume. Movie theaters may resume selling tickets and restaurants limited to takeout orders can return to limited dine-in service from April 27.

At-risk people are urged to remain home until May 13.  

Bars, live performance venues and amusement parks will remain closed. Religious institutions are still urged to hold drive-thru or online services for now.  

Idaho 

Some business are allowed to offer curbside pick up, drive in and drive thru services. 

Bars and restaurants limited to take-out only. 

Illinois

From May 1, nonessential retailers can reopen for delivery or offer online orders that can be picked up outside stores.

Face masks are required outdoors. 

Iowa 

There is no stay-at-home order. 

From May 1, restaurants can open at 50 percent capacity but no more than six people at one table.

Malls, fitness centers, libraries and retail stores can open at 50 percent capacity.

Horse and dog racing tracks can reopen with no spectators.

All other businesses remain closed through May 15.  

Kentucky

No stay-at-home order but anyone going out in public will have to wear a mask from May 11.  

Dentists, chiropractors, optometrists allowed to start taking non-urgent patients from April 27. Prior to that, those services were only allowed to take urgent appointments.

Outpatient/ambulatory surgery and invasive procedures can begin May 7. Elective and non-urgent procedures can resume at 50 percent capacity from May 13. 

Manufacturing, construction, car dealerships and professional services can start May 11 at 50% capacity.

Retail and houses of worship can begin May 20. Barber shops and salons can reopen from May 25.

Restaurants and bars can likely reopen for dining in June.  

Louisiana 

Bars and restaurants are limited to take-out only but from May 1 they will be allowed to let customers eat in outdoor areas as long as there's no table service.

Malls can also start operating curbside retail from May 1. 

Stay-at-home order has been extended until May 15. 

There's a 10 person limit on gatherings. 

Maine 

Businesses including drive-in theaters, barber shops and hair salons, dog groomers and car dealerships can reopen from May 1. 

Some outdoor recreation like golf courses, marinas and state-owned public land trails will also be allowed to reopen. 

Current restrictions, including no gatherings of more than 10 people and 14 day quarantine for out of state visitors, still apply. 

If employees are able to work from home, they should continue to do so.  

Restaurants and bars are still limited to take-out only. 

Michigan 

Stay-at-home order extended until May 15. Public gatherings prohibited - with religious exemptions.

Garden stores, nurseries, lawn-care, pest-control and landscaping operations were allowed to resume business from April 24. 

The construction industry can return to work on May 7. 

Nonessential businesses are still limited to minimum operations or remote work. Retailers that do not sell necessary supplies can reopen for curbside pickup and delivery. 

Bars and restaurants limited to take-out only. 

Minnesota  

In Minnesota, only businesses that don't interact with the public can reopen from April 27. 

It includes those in industrial, manufacturing and office settings. Retail stores must remain closed. 

The state's stay-at-home order still runs through to at least May 3.

Entertainment and performance venues

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