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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The first stages of reopening haven’t produced a surge in coronavirus cases in most states — at least, not yet.

Yes, but: The reopening process is still in its early stages, so a second wave of infections still remains distinctly possible.

Between the lines: Our chart compares each state's seven-day average of new cases from Monday, and the seven-day average from a week prior, May 4.

  • Comparing the averages of two weeks helps smooth out a lot of the noise in how states sometimes inconsistently conduct and report tests.
  • The latest average captures the first full week in which some states began to ease some of their lockdown measures.

Some of the states that skeptics were most worried about, including Florida and Georgia, haven’t seen the rise in total cases that some experts feared.

  • Florida’s new cases have actually declined by 14% compared to the previous week, and Georgia’s fell by 12%.
  • Nevada leads the pack with a 44% reduction, while several hard-hit states that embraced aggressive lockdowns to help contain early outbreaks — Michigan, New York and New Jersey — all saw reductions of at least 30%.

The other side: Cases are still increasing in other parts of the country. The most worrisome is South Dakota, which saw a startling 123% increase, likely the result of outbreaks in the meat processing industry.

  • Total cases are an imperfect measure, in isolation, of an outbreak’s severity, because that count is limited by the amount of testing in each state, as well as differences in reporting.
  • But they're still an important part of the puzzle. Federal guidelines call for a steady decline in new cases for any reopening process to proceed.

The bottom line: None of this means any state is in the clear — as more businesses open and more people venture back out into the world, the risk of a second wave grows. But it’s an encouraging early sign.

Go deeper

Coronavirus hotspots begin to improve

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Danielle Alberti, Sara Wise/Axios

Coronavirus infections are falling or holding steady in most of the country, including the hard-hit hotspots of Arizona, California and Florida.

The big picture: A decline in new infections is always good news, but don't be fooled: the U.S. still has a very long way to go to recover from this summer's surge.

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Florida surpasses 500,000 confirmed coronavirus cases

Emergency at Coral Gables Hospital near Miami on July 30. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Florida has reported over 500,000 total confirmed coronavirus cases as of Wednesday, according to the state's health department.

Why it matters: Florida joins California as the only two states to surpass this milestone. Texas, which is reporting the third-most confirmed cases in the country, is not far behind, according to Johns Hopkins data.

Updated Aug 5, 2020 - Health

N.Y., N.J. and Conn. to require travelers from 35 states to quarantine

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Travelers from 35 states are now required to quarantine for 14 days when traveling to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, per New York state's health department.

What's new: New York City will set up bridge and tunnel checkpoints to enforce the quarantine order, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday, per the Wall Street Journal.