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.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

New COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. are on the rise. How are Americans reacting?

Johns Hopkins University reports the seven-day average of new cases hit 68,767 on Sunday  — a record — eclipsing the previous record hit in late July during the second, summer wave of infection. A funny thing is happening with consumers though: Even as COVID-19 cases rise, Americans don’t appear to be shying away from stepping indoors to shop or eat or exercise. Morning Consult asked consumers how comfortable they feel going out to eat, to the shopping mall or on a vacation. And their willingness has been rising. Surveys find consumers’ attitudes vary by age and income, and by political affiliation, said Chris Jackson, who heads up polling at Ipsos.

How many people are flying? Has traveled picked up?

Flying is starting to recover to levels the airline industry hasn’t seen in months. The Transportation Security Administration announced on Oct. 19 that it’s screened more than 1 million passengers on a single day — its highest number since March 17. The TSA also screened more than 6 million passengers last week, its highest weekly volume since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While travel is improving, the TSA announcement comes amid warnings that the U.S. is in the third wave of the coronavirus. There are now more than 8 million cases in the country, with more than 219,000 deaths.

How are Americans feeling about their finances?

Nearly half of all Americans would have trouble paying for an unexpected $250 bill and a third of Americans have less income than before the pandemic, according to the latest results of our Marketplace-Edison Poll. Also, 6 in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation, but Black respondents are much more likely to think that race has a big impact on a person’s long-term financial situation than white or Hispanic/Latinx respondents.

Find the rest of the poll results here, which cover how Americans have been faring financially about six months into the pandemic, race and equity within the workplace and some of the key issues Trump and Biden supporters are concerned about.

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