State governments across the United States are beginning to formulate a structure in order to safely reopen their local economies. This is a positive sign for the economy as a whole. Both executive and state powers have competed on how they should mandate restrictions, but state governments hold the power when it comes to safety mandates. The country was shut down by state, meaning the states with looser mandates are likely to comply and implement harsher mandates that further restrict the economy.
In addition, Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, discussed the issue of reopening the economy with CNN. Fauci states, “it will be dependent on where a business is in the country, the nature of the outbreak they have already experienced and the threat of an outbreak. New York will be very different than Arkansas… This will not be one-size-fits-all.”
This is exactly the case since the same precautions in New York and Wyoming have yielded extremely different outcomes. Wyoming has experienced only one death due to Covid-19 while New York has over 10,000.
Currently, governors from New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Connecticut have formed a pact while other states in the west have done the same.
Future Plans for Reopening
Concrete measures and precautions have yet to be outlined by any states. The previous news is simply an announcement to show that discussions are already taking place in order to reopen the economy. The government has yet to give any indication of which businesses and activities will reopen first. It is important to note that these governors are working together, proving that changes are being put in place. For example, liquor stores closed in Pennsylvania, causing citizens to cross state borders. This miscommunication directly affects the stay-at-home orders which is why it is important that governors address their unique concerns with one another.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee stated that any reopening will require ‘a robust system for testing, tracking, and isolating.’
Governor Cuomo of New York agrees and states that the antibody test is critical as it may indicate who will be immune to the virus moving forward. Cuomo further mentioned that reopening too quickly may lead to dire consequences, as it did for so many other countries who reopened too soon. A comprehensive plan between the states would ensure that states do not contradict each other and counter other states’ efforts.
In further news, Governor Newsom has outlines a roadmap regarding what they will be tracking and requiring so that businesses can reopen. Although there is no designated timeline, it does provide insight into how long it will take to reopen. One of the points on this roadmap states, ‘The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing’ could affect on-premise dining despite the relaxation of stay-at-home orders. New York City has taken a major step in reducing venue capacity by 50%. It will be interesting to see how California responds in enforcing social distancing in bars and restaurants.
State legislation is in a difficult position, being forced to consider both lives and livelihoods. Covid-19 cases and deaths are decreasing as precautions are put in place, yet it will require plenty of caution if any state is to completely reopen. These states working together will result in less infection spikes and speed up the reopening process.