Apr 24, 2020 - Health

Southern states plunge into coronavirus reopenings

Joe Farley wears a mask as he gets a haircut at the just reopened Salon À la Mode in Dallas

Joe Farley wears a mask as he gets a haircut at the just reopened Salon À la Mode in Dallas. Photo: LM Otero/AP

Multiple states are preparing to plunge into the unknown with partial coronavirus reopenings for non-essential businesses, and Georgia and Oklahoma will lead the way.

Why it matters: We have no idea how this will go, but experts emphasize that prematurely lifting the lockdowns could create a surge in new cases.

Between the lines: Some of these states are loosening their rules for the benefit of rural areas, while letting urban mayors keep tighter rules in place.

  • Governors have watched their economies go off the cliff, with no idea of if or when the federal government will step in to help city and state governments.

In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp's plan allows gyms, bowling alleys, nail salons and hairdressers to open Friday. Movie theaters and restaurants can open on Monday.

  • "Democratic mayors in Atlanta, Savannah and Albany, which had one of the worst outbreaks in the U.S., have complained about the order itself and the fact that they didn't know it was coming," Bloomberg reports.
  • Trump tweeted his lukewarm disapproval: "Spas, beauty salons, tattoo parlors, & barber shops should take a little slower path, but I told the Governor to do what is right for the great people of Georgia (& USA)!"

In Oklahoma, Gov. Kevin Stitt authorized personal-care businesses to open reports.

  • Some of the state's largest cities, including Norman, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, won't be lifting their bans until at least the end of the month.

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott is preparing to roll out partial reopenings for restaurants and hair salons.

  • We're gonna be making an announcement opening so many different types of businesses, where you're gonna be able to go to a hair salon, you're gonna be able to go to any type of retail establishment you want to go to — different things like that," he told a Lubbock radio host on Wednesday.
Go deeper