Updated May 26, 2020 - Health

In photos: Authorities issue warning as Americans venture out for Memorial Day weekend

Ocean City beach visitors enjoy Memorial Day weekend taking advantage of the sand on May 25, 2020 in Ocean City, New Jersey.

Ocean City in New Jersey on May 25. Photo: Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

Authorities urged Americans to maintain social distancing and wear masks to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus amid reports of packed beaches and bars during the Memorial Day weekend.

Details: Law enforcement stepped up beach patrols, and there were crowded scenes in several places, notably at Lake of the Ozarks bars in Missouri and at Daytona Beach and on the Gulf Coast in Florida, per AP. Police dispersed crowds in some places, ABC notes. But many Americans did take precautions against COVID-19 as they ventured outside for the long weekend, some three months after the pandemic began in the U.S.

The big picture: Retail and recreation has become steadily available in many states over the past two weeks, as nearly every state across the U.S. has taken steps to reopen their economies partially or completely, per analysis by the New York Times.

  • New York, Kansas, North Carolina and Indiana began to ease more stay-at-home restrictions over the weekend, the NYT reports. Many people did take precautions against COVID-19, as Americans ventured outside to enjoy the weekend some three months after the pandemic began spreading across the U.S.
People wait for US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump in a Memorial Day Ceremony at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine on May 25, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland
People wait for President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to participate in a Memorial Day Ceremony at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, on May 25. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
People hang out on a sandbar on Lake Tillery on May 25, 2020 in Mount Gilead, North Carolina.
Lake Tillery in Mount Gilead, North Carolina, on May 25. Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images
An Abraham Lincoln and Civil War-era actors interact with the public at Los Angeles National Cemetery
An Abraham Lincoln and Civil War-era actors interact with members of the public at Los Angeles National Cemetery on May 25. Photo: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images
Decorating grave sites for family members on Memorial Day at Washington Memorial Park on May 25
Washington Memorial Park in SeaTac, Washington, on May 25. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images
Venice Beach  in Los Angeles on  May 24.
Venice Beach in Los Angeles on May 24. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images
On Memorial Day weekend a sign at the entrance of Sheep Meadow in Central Park
The entrance to Sheep Meadow in New York City's Central Park on May 24. Photo: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images
People wait in a queue at a snack bar at Island H2O Live! water park as the attraction becomes the only major water park in the Orlando area to reopen for Memorial Day weekend
The line for a water park in Kissimmee, Florida, on May 23. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
The boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland on May 23.
The boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 23. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
A crowd of people walk down a boardwalk
The boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 23. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
In this image, a woman wearing a visor hands an object to a woman wearing a mask
Holly Meyer hands out flags to volunteers at the Calverton National Cemetery in Wading River, New York, on May 23. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Birds-eye view of a shoreline of a beach with a Ferris wheel in the background
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 23. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images
In this image, an artist paints for a small crowd. Most are wearing face masks
The boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 23. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
In this image, a uniformed man carrying a bundle of American flags walks through a graveyard
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Brian Carabine, 78, replaces the U.S. flags at the South End Cemetery in East Hampton, New York, on May 23. Photo: Astrid Riecken/Getty Images
A row of beach chairs and umbrellas
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 23. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images
A uniformed soldier plants small American flags on graves
A member of the Army's 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment places flags at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday. Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP
In this image, a man holds a kite on a beach as a woman sits next to him
Stephen Wilmer of Lindenhurst, N.Y., tries to get a kite aloft for his daughter, Emma, in a light breeze at Jones Beach on Long Island. Photo; Kathy Willens/AP

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the holiday weekend.

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