Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has announced that he will lift the state's shelter-in-place order for most residents on Thursday at 11:59 pm, though it will remain in place for the elderly and “medically fragile” through June 12.

Why it matters: Kemp has come under fire for his aggressive efforts to roll back coronavirus restrictions earlier than most governors. Even President Trump, an ally of the governor, said he "strongly disagrees" with Kemp's decision last week to reopen non-essential businesses like gyms, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors.

The big picture: While all businesses will be allowed to reopen, Kemp said he is urging shops to follow “strict social distancing and sanitation rules” that will run through May 13.

  • Kemp also renewed restrictions that require nursing homes and long-term care facilities to take aggressive steps to curb the virus through June 12.
  • Georgia residents should still adhere to the CDC's recommendation of wearing masks in public and maintaining six feet of distance.

By the numbers: Georgia has reported 26,125 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 1,120 deaths as of Thursday.

What they're saying: “What we’ve done has worked. It’s given us time to build our hospital infrastructure capacity, get ventilators and ramp up testing. That’s what really drove our decision," Kemp said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The other side: "Brian Kemp is playing a dangerous game by ending Georgia’s shelter in place order before it is safe,"said Nikema Williams, chair of the Georgia Democratic Party. "It is reckless and irresponsible for Kemp to use Georgians as the guinea pigs in a public health experiment that will go wrong."

Go deeper: Texas governor to allow stay-at-home order to expire

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Aug 7, 2020 - Health

Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases

Gov. Charlie Baker at Boston MedFlight Headquarters on Aug. 4. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced Friday that the state's second phase of reopening is "postponed indefinitely" in response to a modest increase in coronavirus cases.

The big picture: The state is reporting more COVID-19 deaths than most others across the U.S. outside of domestic epicenters like California, or previous hotspots including New Jersey and New York, per a New York Times database.

Aug 7, 2020 - Health

Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning

Gov. Cuomo on July 23 in New York City. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that all school districts across the state can choose to reopen for in-person learning because it has so far maintained low enough coronavirus transmission rates.

Why it matters: It’s another sign that the state, once the global epicenter of the pandemic, has — at least for now — successfully curbed the spread of the virus even as infections have surged elsewhere around the country.

Updated 32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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