Which States Are Reopening, Which Remain on Lockdown, and Why

Florida

After weeks of criticism over his reluctance to enact sweeping social distancing measures, Governor Ron DeSantis ordered all Florida residents to shelter in place beginning April 2. A previous order applied only to four southeastern counties: Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Broward, and Monroe.

Most of the state will reopen beginning May 4, with restaurants allowed to resume dine-in services at 25 percent capacity, and retail stores, museums, and libraries permitted to reopen with restrictions. Elective surgeries will be permitted to resume, but bars, gyms, schools, and salons will remain closed. The order will not apply to Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, home to many of the state’s cases.

“Everyone in the media was saying Florida was going to be like New York or Italy, and that has not happened,” DeSantis said in a press conference with President Trump April 28.

Georgia

Governor Brian Kemp, who was one of the last state officials to order residents to shelter in place, became one of the first to roll back such restrictions, issuing an executive order April 20 permitting a variety of businesses to reopen.

High-touch businesses such as tattoo studios, hair salons, massage parlors, and gyms were allowed to open starting April 24, provided they follow state mandated social-distancing and public health guidelines. Bowling alleys, theaters, social clubs, and dine-in restaurants could reopen beginning April 27.

Hawaii

Governor David Ige announced a statewide shelter in place order, effective March 25. The order includes exceptions for outdoor recreation like swimming and surfing. On April 26, he extended the order through May 31.

“This was not an easy decision. I know this has been difficult for everyone. Businesses need to reopen. People want to end this self-isolation and we want to return to normal,” said Ige. “But this virus is potentially deadly, especially for the elderly and those with preexisting conditions.”

Idaho

Governor Brad Little ordered all 1.8 million Idaho residents to stay at home, effective March 25. The order is set to expire April 30, after which Little says the state will reopen in stages.

Under stage one, which is set to take place May 1 to May 15, places of worship, daycare facilities, and organized youth activities, including summer camps, may reopen. Personal care services, gyms, and restaurants are permitted to reopen in stage two, set for May 16 to 29.

Illinois

Governor J. B. Pritzker ordered all Illinois residents to shelter in place beginning March 21. The order has been extended until at least May 31, however, Republican lawmakers in the state are waging a legal war to weaken it.

GOP state lawmaker Darren Bailey filed a lawsuit alleging that Pritzker did not have the legal authority to extend the stay at home order beyond 30 days. A judge granted Bailey a temporary restraining order blocking the state from enforcing the public health restrictions against him. Pritzker said the state attorney general’s office will appeal the decision. “This ruling has put the people of Illinois at risk,” Pritzker said in a statement.

Indiana

Governor Eric Holcomb ordered residents to shelter in place beginning March 25. The order is set to expire on May 1, replaced by a new mandate requiring all Indianans over the age of 2 to wear a face covering when in public spaces where social distancing is difficult. Restrictions on some businesses, such as greenhouses and pet groomers, have been relaxed, as have restrictions on non-essential medical procedures.

Holcomb said he was “not contemplating” extending the Indiana order till June 1 like other states. “Here in the state of Indiana, we’re focused on May 1, and all the changes we need to make and put in place through May 1,” said Holcomb. “We’ll continue to look at that road ahead in those kind of two-week, 10-day, three-week increments.”

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