Communities across the US are loosening restrictions meant to curb the spread of Covid-19 ahead of a fall and winter season experts warn could be especially challenging.
Florida this week reported a spike in new cases just days after the governor cleared the way for bars and restaurants to fully reopen. In Nevada, the governor bumped the limit on public gatherings from 50 to 250 participants, still not to exceed 50% capacity of a venue.
Wyoming, which last week set a record for new Covid-19 cases, loosened rules around restaurants after the governor said data showed dine-in restaurants have “not significantly contributed” to the spread of the virus in the state. And several California counties were given the green light to move into less restrictive tiers of the state’s reopening plans, officials said.
The announcements come after the US topped more than 7.1 million infections and more than 205,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
With many social settings moving indoors amid cooler weather and a potentially complicated flu season on the horizon, leading experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci have urged communities to continue heeding safety guidelines — such as wearing masks and social distancing — and prepare for another rise in infections.
As of early Wednesday, at least 26 states across the US were reporting more new cases than the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins. Two of those, New Mexico and North Carolina, are reporting more than a 50% rise in new cases. Only eight states have seen downward trends.