COVID-19

What are states looking at as they start planning to lift COVID-19 lockdowns?

Meghan McCarty Carino Apr 15, 2020
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"This can’t be a permanent state, and I want you to know it’s not. It will not be a permanent state," California Gov. Gavin Newsom said of the shutdowns. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
COVID-19

What are states looking at as they start planning to lift COVID-19 lockdowns?

Meghan McCarty Carino Apr 15, 2020
"This can’t be a permanent state, and I want you to know it’s not. It will not be a permanent state," California Gov. Gavin Newsom said of the shutdowns. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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Coalitions of governors on both coasts are beginning to draw up plans to lift stay-at-home orders and gradually reopen their economies. On the East Coast, the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are coordinating. In the West, California, Oregon and Washington have joined together and outlined a path forward.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, acknowledged that the shutdowns will have to end at some point.

“This can’t be a permanent state, and I want you to know it’s not. It will not be a permanent state,” Newsom said at a news conference Tuesday.

He and leaders from other states will be watching several key indicators to determine when and how much life can begin to go back to normal.

“What we really want to avoid is that resurgence of disease which could very easily happen if we don’t keep shelter in place going,” said Erin Mordecai, a biology professor at Stanford University.

She says that in order to reopen, we’ll need to be able to test and trace those infected with the virus so hospitals aren’t overwhelmed, and to respond when conditions change.

What businesses might start to come back? Construction and manufacturing would probably be among the first, says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

“They’re in many cases tied up with national security and just keeping the supply chain open,” Zandi said.

But reopening businesses where people socialize might depend on whether they can create safe spaces. Of course, that’s if people feel comfortable enough to go out at all.

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