By Peter Szekely
(Reuters) – Less than four months after a 57-year-old California woman died and was later found to be the country’s first COVID-19 fatality, the coronavirus U.S. death toll topped 100,000 people on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally.
The grim milestone is by far the largest of any country, although by population, several Western European countries, led by Belgium, have much higher death rates.
The outbreak set off a patchwork of responses by the 50 states and the District of Columbia, some of which were hammered by the global pandemic while others were barely touched.
Initial actions ranged from sweeping business shutdowns and orders to shelter in place to less drastic guidance and regional closings. All states have loosened at least some restrictions in recent weeks, but still require or recommend precautions, such as social distancing or masks. Almost all states have ended in-class instruction at public schools for the academic year.
Below are summaries of how the states and the District of Columbia are coming back from the economic slowdown they orchestrated to combat the pandemic, based on Reuters reporting, a Reuters tally of infections and deaths as of Wednesday, and data compiled by the National Governors Association:
ALABAMA: 12 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 581. Total cases: 15,775. After its stay-at-home order expired at the end of April, the state moved to a “Safer at Home” order that urged residents to minimize travel and banned public gatherings unless social distancing can be maintained. The order was amended to continue until July 3. The state has allowed retail stores to operate at 50% of capacity, while restaurants, bars, gyms and some personal care services were allowed to reopen with restrictions. State beaches also were reopened.
ALASKA: 1 death per 100,000. Total deaths: 10. Total cases: 411. On May 8, the state entered the second phase of a five-step reopening process that allows offices, restaurants, swimming pools, personal care and other retail businesses to operate at 50% of capacity, and bars, gyms and theaters to operate at 25% of capacity. Social and religious gatherings are limited to 50 people with social distancing.
ARIZONA: 11 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 831. Total cases: 17,262. After the state’s stay-at-home order expired on May 15, bars, pools, gyms and ballparks without fans were allowed to reopen, though social distancing policies remain in place. Non-essential retailers, including barbershops, reopened on May 8 and dine-in service at restaurants reopened on May 11.
ARKANSAS: 4 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 119. Total cases: 6,180. The state responded to the outbreak in March with piecemeal measures, not a sweeping shutdown, and is now relaxing them. Restaurants were allowed to resume dine-in service at 33% capacity on May 11, personal service businesses, such as barbershops, were allowed to reopen on May 6, gyms were allowed to reopen on May 4. Large venues, such as movie theaters and sports arenas, were allowed to reopen on May 18, and restaurant bars could reopen on May 19, all with capacity limits. Since May 14, travelers from any international location, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey or New Orleans have been required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
CALIFORNIA: 10 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 3,824. Total cases: 99,769. The most populous U.S. state is in the second step of a four-stage reopening process after leading the country to close businesses and lockdown residents in March. The reopening is being phased in by county and business sector. Some statewide commerce is allowed, including curb-side retail sales and limited in-store shopping, manufacturing and office work. Some counties were permitted to open limited dine-in restaurant service, barbershops and hair salons. State beaches, bars, gyms and large venues, such as theaters, remain closed. On May 18, Governor Gavin Newsom said professional sports could return by early June under strict guidelines that include no fans.
COLORADO: 23 deaths per 100,000: Total deaths: 1,352. Total cases: 24,565. After a month-long “stay-at-home” order, the state moved to a looser “safer-at-home” order on April 27 that phases in activities, while still barring gatherings of 10 or more and requiring residents to stay within 10 miles (16 km) of home. On May 1, personal services, such as hair salons, and in-person shopping at non-critical stores resumed with restrictions. On May 4, commercial employers could have up to 50% of their employees on-site but were encouraged to have them work from home. Bars remain closed, but on Wednesday restaurants were allowed to resume seating customers, either outdoors or inside at 50% of capacity.
CONNECTICUT: 106 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 3,769. Total cases: 41,303. Two months after issuing a stay-home order, the state, among the country’s hardest hit, began loosening commercial restrictions on May 20. With restrictions, the new order allows offices to reopen, stores to allow onsite shopping and restaurants to offer outdoor table service. Unlike some neighboring states, Connecticut never closed manufacturing, construction or curbside retail service. Bars, gyms and personal service businesses remain closed. DELAWARE: 34 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 344. Total cases: 9,096. The state is gradually reopening the activities and businesses it shuttered on March 23 when residents were told to shelter in place, an order that has been extended to May 31. On May 8, most non-essential retailers were allowed to do curbside pickup sales, while several others, including hair care shops, were allowed to open for business with restrictions. Wider limited reopenings, including beaches, malls and restaurants and bars at 30% of capacity are set for June 1, although meeting facilities, sports venues and nail salons will remain closed.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: 62 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 445 Total cases: 8,406. Unlike most states that have moved to expand economic activity, the U.S. capital extended its stay-at-home order to June 8 because its efforts to curb the spread of the disease, had not met federal reopening guidelines. All but essential businesses, including grocery stores and restaurant take-out sales, remain closed. The district, among the country’s hardest-hit areas, was considering reopening parks.
FLORIDA: 11 deaths per 100,000: Total deaths: 2,319. Total cases: 52,634. The expiration of the state’s stay-at-home order on May 4 enabled most counties to reopen businesses, including retailers, dine-in restaurants, personal care services and gyms. Three heavily populated South Florida counties were slower to accept the reopenings, with Palm Beach, the home of U.S. President Donald Trump’s resort, joining a week later and Miami-Dade and Broward announcing some incremental reopenings afterward. The city of Miami Beach, which was hit hard by the virus, set its reopening of restaurant dining for May 25.
GEORGIA: 18 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 1,907. Total cases: 44,421. Georgia was the first state to emerge from lockdown as Governor Brian Kemp relaxed restrictions on April 24 over the objections of some local officials. The move allowed retail stores, dine-in restaurants, gyms and personal care businesses to open their doors, along with places of worship.
HAWAII: 1 death per 100,000. Total deaths: 17. Total cases: 643. The state, which relies heavily on tourism, requires all visitors arriving on the islands through June 30 to self-quarantine for 14 days. While the reopening of some businesses began on May 7, a stay-at-home order remains in effect through May 31. Retailers have been allowed to operate, except in Honolulu and Maui, and outdoor recreational facilities, including beaches, are open. More reopenings are expected on June 1.
IDAHO: 4 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 79. Total cases: 2,699. The state began its incremental reopening on May 1, the day after its stay-at-home order expired, by allowing places of worship to operate. Dine-in restaurants, gyms and personal care service businesses were allowed to open on May 16. More openings are expected on May 30.
ILLINOIS: 39 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 4,923. Total cases: 113,195. Illinois has taken only tentative steps away from the stay-at-home order Governor J.B. Pritzker issued in March. Since April, retail curbside sales and some manufacturing have been permitted, and state parks were opened. The stay-at-home order in place through May 29 bars non-essential travel, encourages work-from-home and restricts religious activities to gatherings of up to 10 people or drive-in services.
INDIANA: 30 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 2,030. Total cases: 32,437. Since May 4, the state has been phasing in the reopening of its economy in most regions, following the expiration of its March 23 stay-at-home order. The steps toward relaxation have allowed retailers and personal care services to do business, while restaurants and bars that serve food to could reopen their dining areas. Manufacturers, offices and places of worship also were free to operate.
IOWA: 15 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 490. Total cases: 18,360. One of a handful of states that did not issue a shutdown order, Iowa has been gradually unwinding the piecemeal restrictions it implemented in March but is keeping social distancing requirements. By May 15, all dine-in restaurants, gyms, hair salons and other personal service businesses were allowed to reopen. Large venue businesses, including theaters and zoos, were allowed to open on May 20, and bars were set to resume business on May 28. Gatherings of more than 10 people remain banned through May 27.
KANSAS: 6 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 205. Total cases: 9,337. The state has been in a phased reopening since May 4 when Governor Laura Kelly’s earlier stay-at-home order expired. Under the May order, retailers, offices, hair salons, gyms and restaurant dining areas were permitted to reopen, while bars and theaters remained closed. Further reopening steps are expected.
KENTUCKY: 9 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 394. Total cases: 8,951. The state is in the process of a phased-in reopening following a March 22 shutdown order. On May 11, manufacturing, construction and office workers were allowed to go back to their workplaces with restrictions. The reopenings also extended to horse racing tracks, including the state’s internationally known Churchill Downs, but without spectators. Limited reopenings at 33% of capacity were applied to retailers on May 20 and restaurants on May 22. Other targeted reopenings include personal care services on May 25 and gyms and movie theaters on June 1. Bars remain closed.
LOUISIANA: 58 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 2,722. Total cases: 38,497. With New Orleans among the areas hit hardest by the outbreak, Governor John Bel Edwards issued a stay-at-home order on March 22, but began a gradual unwinding of it on May 15. The new order permits several businesses, including restaurant dining areas, shopping malls, salons and barber shops, places of worship, casinos, racetrack, gyms and most other businesses to operate at 25% of their customer capacity. Parks are also open.
MAINE: 6 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 81. Total cases: 2,137. Maine, which has had a stay-at-home order in effect since April 2, began a regionally phased-in reopening approach on May 1. Car washes and auto dealerships were allowed to operate statewide, but the reopening of other retailers and restaurant dining areas was limited to some rural counties. On May 19, Governor Janet Mills delayed the reopening of salons and gyms, but opened the state’s campgrounds in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
MARYLAND: 39 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 2,392. Total cases: 48,423. After shutting down the state on March 30 with a stay-at-home order that also banned gatherings of more than 10 people, Governor Larry Hogan began reopening commerce on May 15. The new order allowed a broad range of retail stores, drive-in movie theaters, personal care services, manufacturers and places of worship to reopen in much of the state. The initial reopening phase also covered beaches and campgrounds, but not dine-in restaurants and gyms. Some localities chose to remain closed.
MASSACHUSETTS: 94 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 6,473. Total cases: 93,693. Massachusetts, among the states hardest hit by pandemic, began to emerge from a March 23 stay-at-home order with a phased-in reopening on May 18. The new order by Governor Charlie Baker, the first in a series, allowed the resumption of manufacturing, construction and worship services. It also sets May 25 for the reopening of curbside retail sales, office buildings, salons, car washes and drive-in movie theaters. Bars, dine-in restaurants, gyms and personal care services remain closed.
MICHIGAN: 53 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 5,334. Total cases: 55,608. Michigan, scene of protests by groups of armed demonstrators calling for a resumption of commerce, has been one of the most locked-down states since March 24. It began relaxing restrictions by region on May 11 by allowing some retailers to do curbside sales. Another order allowed retailers and car dealerships to do business by appointment starting May 22. Some manufacturing, construction and restaurants also were allowed to resume operation in certain areas. The current stay-at-home order is set to expire after Thursday.
MINNESOTA: 16 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 942 Total cases: 22,464. The state has loosened its March shutdown order over the past few weeks, allowing manufacturing and office employees back to work, but requiring that workers who can work from home do so. Gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited, although drive-in gatherings are permitted. On May 17, Governor Tim Walz reopened parks and many recreation areas and allowed retailers and malls to open their doors while limiting customers to 50% of capacity. A planned reopening of bars and dine-in restaurants is set for June 1. Gyms and personal care services remain closed.
MISSISSIPPI: 22 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 670. Total cases: 14,044. A shelter-in-place order issued on April 3 lasted only a matter of weeks, before being loosened for a phased-in resumption of commerce, starting with retailers operating their stores at 50% of capacity. Since then, the reopening has extended to dine-in restaurants and bars, gyms, casinos, salons, barbershops and state parks.
MISSOURI: 11 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 696. Total cases: 12,492. After the expiration of a shelter-at-home order, restaurants were allowed to seat customers in their dining areas on May 4, and retailers were allowed to open their doors, but with limits ranging from 10% to 25% of customer capacity, depending on the size of the store. Also reopened were gyms, entertainment venues, personal care services and campgrounds. Manufacturing, construction and office employees were allowed to return to their workplaces.
MONTANA: 2 death per 100,000. Total deaths: 17. Total cases: 481. A phased-in business restart began on April 27, following the expiration of a March stay-at-home order. Allowed to reopen were retail stores, restaurants and bars, salons and barber shops, gyms and entertainment venues. Places of worship were also reopened. In early May, some public schools reopened their classrooms in Montana, one of the very few states to allow it.
NEBRASKA: 9 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 167. Total cases: 12,619. One of the few states not to issue a blanket stay-at-home order, Nebraska began to relax its limited, regionally varied “directed health measures” on May 4 with the resumption of elective surgeries. While Governor Pete Ricketts limited public gatherings and urged Nebraskans to stay home, construction, manufacturing and office work continued. Restaurants, which were restricted to takeout in some regions, were allowed to serve a limited number of dining patrons by May 11. Bars and large venue businesses were either operating with limited capacity or ordered to stay closed through May 31.
NEVADA: 13 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 396. Total cases: 8,114 While Las Vegas casinos remain closed, Nevada has been phasing in an economic restart after ordering a statewide shutdown in March. Starting on May 9, restaurants were allowed to seat guests, retailers could operate at 50% of capacity, barbershops and salons could serve customers and drive-in theaters could roll movies. The state’s legal brothels, gyms, and indoor malls are among the businesses still closed.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: 16 deaths per 100,000 Total deaths: 214. Total cases: 4,231. While the state’s March 27 stay-at-home order remains in effect at least through the end of May, some pockets of the economy have been allowed to restart. Starting in May, retailers were allowed to open their doors to customers at up to 50% of capacity. Gyms, barbershops and hair salons also could reopen, while restaurants could seat customers outside and drive-in movie theaters could operate. Construction workers were allowed to return to their jobs.
NEW JERSEY: 126 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 11,339. Total cases: 156,628. The country’s most dense state and one of the hardest hit by the outbreak is emerging from a sweeping March shutdown order incrementally. While bars and dine-in restaurant service remain closed, non-essential construction, curbside pickup for non-essential retailers and drive-in businesses resumed on May 18. Parks reopened in early May, and beaches were set to reopen on May 22. On Tuesday, Governor Phil Murphy opened the way for the state’s professional sports teams to come back to train and compete.
NEW MEXICO: 15 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 325. Total cases: 7,130. With a March 24 stay-at-home order in effect until at least the end of May, New Mexico has taken limited steps to reopen its economy, though not in all regions. Retail stores were allowed to open at 25% of their customer capacities, places of worship, parks and golf courses have opened and offices were allowed to operate at 25% of capacity. Bars, restaurant dining areas, gyms and personal care services remain closed.
NEW YORK: 150 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 29,339. Total cases: 369,883. A strict March shutdown and stay-at-home order in the most severely affected U.S. state was slowly being lifted by region. Its reopening moves began in mid-May in several upstate areas that were largely unaffected by the surge of cases in the New York City area, and extended to areas along the Hudson River and Long Island on Tuesday and Wednesday, all with social distancing and other restrictions. Construction can resume and retailers may offer curbside pickup or open their doors with capacity limits in those areas. Drive-in movie theaters were among a handful of outdoor, low-risk businesses allowed to reopen statewide on May 15, and state beaches reopened for Memorial Day weekend. Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday invited the state’s sports teams to come back to train and compete in empty arenas. Dine-in restaurants, bars and personal care services remain closed.
NORTH CAROLINA: 7 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 794. Total cases: 24,628. The state has moved incrementally to reopen its economy even as a March 30 stay-at-home order remained in effect through most of May. Starting on May 22, retail stores, restaurant dining areas and personal care services were allowed to operate at 50% of their customer capacity. Places of worship and some outdoor recreational areas were also reopened. Earlier in May, the beaches of the state’s Outer Banks were reopened to non-residents.
NORTH DAKOTA: 7 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 56. Total cases: 2,439. The state responded to the outbreak with “a low-mandate, high-compliance approach” that left the “vast majority” of its economy open, according to Governor Doug Burgum. March shutdowns of bars, dine-in restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and personal care services, were lifted on May 1 with distancing constraints. Banquet hall gatherings of up to 250 people were permitted on May 15, but sports arenas and entertainment venues remain closed. Most travelers from other countries must quarantine for 14 days.
OHIO: 17 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 2,044. Total cases: 33,439. The state is slowly unwinding a number shutdown orders it issued in March, including a March 22 stay-at-home order. Manufacturing, construction and office workers were allowed to return to their workplaces on May 4. Retailers could reopen in early May, but only for curbside pickup or by appointment, a limited number of customers at a time. Personal care services, including salons and barber shops, could reopen on May 15, and restaurants can serve customers in outdoor seating areas. On Tuesday, the state reopened fitness centers and a variety of sports and recreational facilities, ranging from batting cages to bowling alleys.
OKLAHOMA: 8 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 322. Total cases: 6,229. The state, among the few not to issue a sweeping statewide shutdown order, has undone the selective closings it ordered in March, which mostly affected businesses in counties where there was community spread of the disease. By May 15, dine-in restaurants, bars, personal care services, gyms, theaters, houses of worship and sports venues were allowed to reopen with social distancing and other restrictions. A “Safer at Home” order directs older residents and those with pre-existing conditions to limit travel. Travelers coming to Oklahoma from six severely infected states are required to quarantine for 14 days.
OREGON: 4 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 148. Total cases: 3,967. Oregon has taken a regional approach to reopen its economy after a number of shutdown orders, including one to “Stay Home, Save Lives,” were issued in March. Retail stores were allowed to reopen with restrictions earlier in May, while restaurant dining areas, gyms and personal care services in many parts of the state were also allowed to operate.
PENNSYLVANIA: 41 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 5,273. Total cases: 73,553. With an April 1 stay-at-home order in effect until at least June 4, the state has taken tentative steps to restart its economy in phases and by region. So far, construction workers have been allowed to return to their job sites, and retail stores have been allowed to reopen with restrictions in some counties. Bars, dine-in restaurants, gyms and personal care services remain closed.
RHODE ISLAND: 60 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 655. Total cases: 14,353. Since a stay-at-home order expired on May 8, Rhode Island has gradually reopened businesses sector by sector. Manufacturing, construction and office employees have been allowed to return to their workplaces. Retail stores were allowed to operate with restrictions, restaurants may seat customers in outdoor areas, and parks and golf courses are open. Bars and gyms remain closed, but plans are in place to allow fitness classes, salons and barbershops and indoor restaurant dining at 50% of capacity to resume on June 1. At least some beaches reopened on the May 25.
SOUTH CAROLINA: 9 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 446. Total cases: 10,416. After shutting down most businesses for a matter of weeks in late March and early April, the state has been allowing them to reopen, starting in late April. Retail stores, gyms, restaurant dining areas and salons and barbershops have been allowed to operate with restrictions. Zoos, amusement parks, museums and other attractions were set to reopen on May 22.
SOUTH DAKOTA: 6 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 54. Total cases: 4,710. The state did not shut down businesses or issue a stay-at-home order, but many businesses throughout the state, including meat packers, closed temporarily because of the outbreak. Governor Kristi Noem issued a “Back to Normal” plan on April 28 that offers guidance for business reopenings and encourages social distancing and other precautions.
TENNESSEE: 5 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 353. Total cases: 21,306. After closing businesses and ordering residents to stay home in late March and early April, Tennessee has started to reopen its economy, except in some regions. Dine-in restaurants, retail stores, gyms, personal care services and places of worship have been allowed to operate with restrictions. Bowling alleys and arcades also were allowed to reopen, but bars, theaters and sporting and entertainment venues remain closed. Office employees were allowed to return to their workplaces with restrictions.
TEXAS: 5 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 1,551. Total cases: 57,475. Since its stay-at-home order expired on April 30, Texas has reopened much of its economy by region. In most areas, retail stores, restaurant dining areas, shopping malls, movie theaters and personal care services were allowed to operate at 25% of capacity. Places of worship also have been allowed to operate with restrictions. Manufacturing and office workers were allowed to return to their workplaces. Starting on May 31, the state will allow professional sports to be played without spectators.
UTAH: 3 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 105. Total cases: 8,706. While the state did not issue a blanket shut-down order, some selected businesses were ordered closed locally in March, including personal care and dine-in restaurant services and movie theaters. A March 27 “Stay Safe, Stay Home” directive from Governor Gary Herbert asks residents to stay home where possible and reminds businesses to comply with hygiene and distancing measures. Herbert has gradually lowered the state’s color-coded alert status from high-risk red, and declared most counties to be at low-risk yellow on May 16. The status permits the opening of all businesses, bars and dine-in restaurants with precautions.
VERMONT: 9 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 54. Total cases: 971. After the state’s stay-at-home order expired in mid-May, retail stores were allowed to operate with restrictions and state parks and golf courses could open. Public worshipping was limited to drive-in services and fitness center activity was restricted to outdoor classes. Manufacturing, construction and office employees were allowed to return to their workplaces. Bars, restaurant dining areas and personal care services remain closed.
VIRGINIA: 14 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 1,281. Total cases: 40,249. Although a March 30 stay-at-home order remains in effect, the state has phased in much of its economic reopening, except in the suburban areas surrounding Washington, D.C. Retailers and personal care services can operate with restrictions, restaurants and bars were allowed to offer outdoor seating and fitness centers were permitted to offer outdoor classes. Places of worship were allowed to operate, and campgrounds were reopened.
WASHINGTON: 14 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 1,078. Total cases: 20,181. In Washington, the first state to have a COVID-19 casualty, some counties have been allowed to reopen businesses even as a March 25 shutdown order remains in effect. The reopenings include retail sales, restaurant dining, personal care services and some fitness center activities, all with restrictions. In select counties, manufacturing, construction and office employees were allowed to return to their workplaces with restrictions. Parks and golf courses were reopened, and public worshipping is limited to drive-in services.
WEST VIRGINIA: 4 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 74. Total cases: 1,867. In West Virginia, among the last states to be hit by a coronavirus infection, businesses have been reopening since a stay-at-home order expired on May 3. The reopenings include restaurant dining areas at 50% of capacity, retail stores, personal care services and gyms, all with restrictions. State parks, campgrounds and drive-in movie theaters are also open. Bars, movie indoor movie theaters, playgrounds, zoos and bowling alleys are among the businesses that were still closed.
WISCONSIN: 9 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 539. Total cases: 16,462. After the state Supreme Court struck down Governor Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order on May 13, the pace of the state’s economic reopening was left to each locality. In what one restaurant trade group official called “a little bit of the Wild, Wild West,” some allowed bar and restaurant owners to open, while others kept their lockdowns in place.
WYOMING: 2 deaths per 100,000. Total deaths: 13. Total cases: 850. Although Wyoming was among a handful of states that did not issue sweeping shutdown orders, it closed select businesses on March 20, including bars, dine-in restaurants, theaters, personal care services and gyms. On March 25, Governor Mark Gordon urged residents to stay home whenever possible. The targeted shutdowns were rescinded on May 15 and the limit on public gatherings was expanded to 25 from 10.
(Reporting by Peter Szekely; Additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)