States Are Backtracking Amid Virus Resurgence

Some are ordering masks, others are walking back reopenings
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 30, 2020 12:12 AM CDT
States Are Reversing Course as Virus Resurges
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Dr. Cara Christ leave after providing an update on the COVID-19 situation in the state, Monday, June 29, 2020, in Phoenix.   (Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)

Arizona's Republican governor shut down bars, movie theaters, gyms and water parks Monday and leaders in several states ordered residents to wear masks in public in a dramatic course reversal amid an alarming resurgence of coronavirus cases nationwide, the AP reports. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's order went into effect immediately and for at least 30 days. Ducey also ordered public schools to delay the start of classes until at least Aug. 17. Most Arizona bars and nightclubs opened after the governor's stay-at-home and business closure orders were allowed to expire in mid-May. Arizona health officials reported 3,858 more confirmed coronavirus cases Sunday, the most reported in a single day in the state so far and the seventh time in the past 10 days that daily cases surpassed the 3,000 mark. The state is not alone in its reversal:

  • Places such as Texas, Florida and California are backtracking, closing beaches and bars in some cases amid a resurgence of the virus. Read on for details.

  • In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that he’s postponing the restarting of indoor dining because people have not been wearing face masks or complying with recommendations for social distancing. New Jersey has been slowly reopening, and on Monday indoor shopping malls were cleared to start business again.
  • Democratic governors in Oregon and Kansas said Monday that they would require people to wear masks. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s order will require people to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces starting Wednesday. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said she will issue an executive order mandating the use of masks in stores and shops, restaurants, and in any situation where social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained, including outside. The order goes into effect Friday.
  • In Texas, a group of bar owners sued on Monday to try to overturn Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s order re-closing their businesses. They contend Abbott doesn’t have the authority, and they complained that other businesses, such as nail salons and tattoo studios, remain open. Abbott also scaled back restaurant dining.
  • Among those implementing the face-covering orders is the city of Jacksonville, Florida, where mask-averse President Trump plans to accept the Republican nomination in August. Trump has refused to wear a mask during visits to states and businesses that require them. Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has opposed a statewide mask requirement but said in response to Jacksonville’s action that he will support local authorities who are doing what they think is appropriate.
  • Counties in Florida and California are shutting down their beaches for the upcoming holiday weekend.
  • Elsewhere around the world, Britain reimposed lockdown restrictions on the city of Leicester after a spike in cases, ordering the closing of schools along with stores that do not sell essential goods.
Governors on both sides of the aisle—Democrat Andrew Cuomo in New York and Republican Gary Herbert in Utah—are urging the White House to issue a national call to wear masks. (More coronavirus stories.)

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