Three Southern States To Ease Coronavirus Restrictions This Week

(FamilyRetirementClub.Com)- Three states in the South are going to be the first to ease restrictions related to their coronavirus lockdowns, with some businesses allowed to re-open as soon as this Friday.
The governors of Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina all announced the moves on Monday, against the warnings of medical professionals. These states also haven’t met the benchmarks for phase one under President Donald Trump’s re-opening plan.
Still, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced Monday that some non-essential businesses will be able to re-open this Friday. The state will keep its shelter-in-place order active through April 30, but in the meantime, businesses such as bowling alleys, salons and gyms will be allowed to open.
They must maintain social distancing requirements, though, and abide by safety rules. How a place such as a salon can maintain social distancing is a little tough to figure out.
Restaurants can re-open in Georgia on April 27, but they must also meet guidelines the state will release this week. The “medically fragile” are encouraged to remain at home through May 13.
Georgia hit its “peak” for daily deaths on April 7, according to a model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. That model also predicts daily deaths in the dozens for the coming week, meaning Georgia would then eclipse Trump’s guidelines and not be ready to re-open. In fact, the model suggests Georgia not re-open their state until after the middle of June.
Kemp said his order will be in effect statewide, and no local ordinance has the ability to restrict these openings.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said on Monday that he wouldn’t extend his state’s stay-at-home order beyond April 30, and businesses will be allowed to re-open next week. Local restrictions may remain in place, though, especially in Tennessee’s larger cities such as Nashville.
Finally, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announced some retail shopping facilities can re-open that were initially labeled as “non-essential.” The stores that will be allowed to re-open must abide by strict social distancing guidelines and also limit how many people are in the store at one time.
Those facilities where it is next to impossible to ensure social distancing measures — such as gyms and salons — have to remain closed in South Carolina.
Trump has urged states with low coronavirus infection and death numbers to do all they can to re-open their economies on May 1. He released a guideline called “Opening up America Again” a week or so ago that laid out phased re-openings of states that meet what are called “gating” criteria. Whether a state should enter each phase of the plan depends on the data in their state.
On a call with state governors earlier this month, Trump said:
“You states with beautifully low numbers, let’s get your states open and get back to work.”
The plan sounds good, and the guidelines look great, but states have to follow them in order for it to work. For now, these three Southern states will serve as a test case for how to deal with regular life again after coronavirus restrictions are eased.