Open? Closed? Here’s how the 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico are easing social distancing restrictions amid coronavirus outbreak

Some experts believe the United States has passed its first peak of coronavirus deaths, and state leaders have rolled out a patchwork of constantly evolving plans to relax social distancing restrictions, plans that often vary by region, state, county and even city. 

Just this week alone, a third of states will ease limits in some fashion.

That comes as new analysis from inside the administration of President Donald Trump predicts coronavirus cases and deaths will rise over the next several weeks, according to two news reports. The White House, however, has disputed both reports.

Trump, eager to revive a once-booming economy upended by the virus, pushed suggestions designed to reopen the U.S. economy following the expiration of his “Stay at Home” guidelines on April 30. The administration has pivoted to a three-phase plan that leaves the decision to states, creating an uneven strategy that some health experts warn could undermine the progress that has been made in stemming the spread of coronavirus. 

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U.S. coronavirus map: Track how the outbreak has spread in your state

At the height of stay-at-home restrictions in late March and early April, more than 310 million Americans were under various directives – some called shelter-in-place orders, others labeled stay-at-home orders. The mandates generally required people to avoid all nonessential outings and stay inside as much as possible.

Here is how all 50 states – plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. – are making moves to roll back social distancing regulations. We will keep this file updated as measures are announced:


On April 28, Gov. Kay Ivey outlined her “Safer At Home” order, which went into effect 5 p.m. April 30, immediately after Alabama’s stay-at-home order expired. 

Alabamians filed onto beaches and into previously shuttered retail stores after the order expired, although salons, on-site restaurant dining and other places remained closed under a new state health order.

Beach cams showed people strolling along the sand in Gulf Shores under the late afternoon sun as beaches opened for the first time in a month. Elective and non-emergency medical procedures are also being allowed to resume.

The new order allows all retail businesses to open at 50% of their occupancy levels and abide by social distancing and sanitation measures. Gatherings are restricted to fewer than 10 people and visitors must observe 6 feet of distance from each other.

Restaurants, bars and breweries will remain limited to take-out, curbside or delivery.

And night clubs, theaters, bowling alleys, gyms and fitness centers, hairs salons, nail salons, tattoo parlors and other close-contact service providers will remain closed. Churches will stay closed and are encouraged to provide drive-in or online services.

“Safer At Home” expires 5 p.m. May 15.


On April 24, Alaska began allowing restaurants to resume dine-in service and for retail shops and other businesses to reopen, all with limitations, under an initial phase of a plan to restart parts of the economy. 

Personal care services, like barber shops and nail and hair salons, were allowed to reopen April 27, as were restaurants. However, all are operating under strict guidelines intended to guard against spreading the virus.

Gatherings have been limited to 20 people, or 25% maximum capacity, whichever number is smaller and can now include guests from other households. Social distancing, however, must be obeyed.

Religious services must also follow the gathering guidelines.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy and health officials have issued a number of health orders as a part of the phased Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan.

Anchorage, the state’s largest city, waited until April 27 to slowly begin reopening.


Gov. Doug Ducey on May 4 accelerated his phased reopening plan for Arizona, saying expanded testing and declines in reported COVID- and flu-like illnesses had provided “a green light to make additional decisions for our first step forward.”

Barbershops and salons can resume hair, nail, waxing and other services by appointment May 8, if they limit occupancy, implement social distancing measures, up sanitation protocols and provide cloth masks to employees, the governor said.

On May 11, restaurants and coffee shops can start offering dine-in service. They must also limit occupancy and physically distance diners, in addition to checking employees for COVID-19 symptoms before their shifts.

Ducey on April 29 extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 15, and some businesses reopened on a limited basis May 4.

A week earlier, on April 22, Ducey had announced that hospitals and outpatient centers would resume elective surgeries on May 1.

Ducey said businesses will be able to resume in-person sales May 8, but only if they have certain safety protocols in place.


Large outdoor venues may now reopen to the public with a limit on the size of crowds, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said May 4. The governor also announced a May 18 target date for the reopening of large indoor venues such as movie theaters and bowling alleys.

Hutchinson also reiterated the state’s COVID-19 guidelines for places of worship, and gave his blessing on churches resuming in-person services.

Arkansas’ barbershops and beauty salons, which have been closed since March 25, reopened for business May 6.

The announcement applies to barbers, cosmetologists, massage therapists, tattoo artists and medical spa services. Barber colleges and beauty schools will remain closed at this time, Hutchinson said.

Gyms, fitness centers and indoor athletic facilities reopened on May 4.

Such facilities will be required to screen both its staff and its patrons for COVID-19 when they reopen. Face masks will be required for staff and patrons except when actively exercising, hand sanitizer must be made readily available and all equipment must be sanitized after each use, the governor said.

Facilities will not be allowed to admit someone displaying possible COVID-19 symptoms such as a fever, a cough or shortness of breath. Those with compromised immune systems or chronic diseases will also be barred entry. Pools, spas, showers and saunas at gyms and similar facilities will remain closed until further notice.

Gym staff and patrons must observe 12-foot social distancing with no personal contact, Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson had announced April 22 that the state would begin lifting restrictions on elective medical procedures; that went into effect April 27. 


Gov. Gavin Newsom said May 4 that some retail businesses, including clothing, sporting goods, music, toys, books and florists can open for curbside pick-up starting May 8, if guidelines are met. 

The moves are part of Stage 2 of California’s plan to reopen. In a corresponding measure, manufacturing businesses that support retailers can also resume operations.

“This is a very positive sign and it has happened only for one reason: The data says it can happen,” Newsom said May 4. 

Office spaces, malls and restaurants with in-person dining were not allowed to open yet under Stage 2.

Other businesses such as hair salons, movie theaters and live events are under Stage 3 of the state’s plan and will take longer to open. 

On April 22, Newsom made the first modification to the state’s stay-at-home order with the resumption of “essential” surgeries.

California schoolchildren could return to their classrooms as soon as late July, though likely with modifications, Newsom said in late April. 

Following speculation that Newsom would shut down all beaches in the state following overcrowding issues at some Southern California beaches, on April 30 Newsom announced a targeted closure of some Orange County area beaches. He praised the work of multiple local municipalities to increase access to the coast while keeping regulations in place to ensure social distancing.

Meanwhile, sparsely populated Modoc County, in California’s northeast corner, planned to reopen its schools, hair salons, churches, restaurants and the county’s only movie theater on May 1, becoming the first county in the state to ease out of stay-at-home orders and flouting the governor’s mandate.


Offices deemed nonessential were allowed to reopen May 4 with reduced staff. Current restrictions allow curbside retail and real estate showings. Getting a haircut and shopping in person at retail stores were allowed again in much of Colorado starting May 1 as the state eased restrictions.

However, stay-at-home orders remained in place for Denver, and in several surrounding counties; only essential businesses such as grocery, liquor and hardware stores are open there.

One week before the state’s stay-at-home order lifted April 27, Gov. Jared Polis announced the next phase, called “safer at home”: The goal is for Coloradans to maintain 60% to 65% social distancing, and vulnerable residents should continue to shelter in place.

Polis said the state will work with nonessential businesses on guidelines to phase in reopening beginning May 1. On May 4, nonessential business offices reopened with half the usual staff to allow for social distancing.

Schools will remain closed, and bars and restaurants will not immediately reopen.

Colorado hospitals, dental offices, optometrists and other health care providers are set to start seeing patients for elective procedures again by early May.

On April 27, Colorado also joined California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada in the Western States Pact, a coalition that shares aligns reopening plans with other states in the region.


On April 10, Gov. Ned Lamont extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 20, and on April 30 announced that date is when the state is expected to start the first step in a gradual, multi-stage process of lifting restrictions on businesses and activities.

That’s when outdoor restaurant dining, in addition to existing takeout, will be allowed. Barring virus flare-ups by then, Lamont also hopes to reopen — with added precautions — salons, outdoor zoo and museum exhibits, camping and other outdoor recreation, and university research programs.

On May 5, Lamont said he is canceling in-person classes at all Connecticut K-12 public schools for the rest of this school year amid the coronavirus pandemic, requiring districts to continue distance learning.


Gov. John Carney announced plans May 5 to allow some businesses to operate again under social distancing rules to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Many businesses can resume “limited operations” starting May 8 at 8 a.m., according to the announcement from the governor’s office,

Retail stores, such as clothing, book or music stores, will be able to do curbside pickup. Barbershops and salons can reopen for some customers but under strict rules. 

Delaware residents are required to wear face coverings in public settings, according to Carney’s state of emergency declaration.


Gov. Ron DeSantis reopened the state’s parks May 4 with some restrictions, saying the ability for Floridians to get outdoors will offer some “peace of mind.”

DeSantis said May 1 the opening of parks will cover all parts of the state, including the Southeast Florida counties that have been hit hardest by the coronavirus and are set to open their businesses on a slower schedule than the rest of the state.

DeSantis said April 29 he is easing back on Florida’s month-long shutdown. The first phase went into effect May 4, but excluded Miami-Dade, Broward and West Palm Beach counties.

Elective surgeries can resume, restaurants can offer outdoor seating with six feet of social distance, and indoor seating must be at 25% of normal capacity. Indoor retail businesses can operate at 25% indoor capacity. Bars and gyms would remain closed; schools will remain in distance learning. DeSantis has said he has no plans to reopen movie theaters.

DeSantis urged everyone to continue observing social distancing, avoiding gatherings of 10 or more people and wearing face masks in situations when physical distance is difficult to achieve. He also recommended that Florida’s most vulnerable population, including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, remain sheltered in place.


Some malls reopened May 4, though things were far from normal with many businesses inside still shuttered and parking lots sparsely filled, as the state continued on an aggressive course to reopening.

Gov. Brian Kemp allowed his statewide shelter-in-place order to expire at midnight April 30 but extended his emergency powers to June 12 and telling the elderly and medically fragile to stay at home until then.

Social distancing requirements and bans on large gatherings remain in place.

Gyms, tattoo parlors, hair and nail salons, massage therapists were among businesses allowed to reopen in Georgia on April 24, less than a month after the state forced them to close. 

In-person religious services resumed over the April 25-26 weekend, and restaurants and theaters reopened on April 27 with “specific social distancing and sanitation mandates.”


Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green said May 1 the state is moving into “Phase 2” of its effort against the coronavirus now that it has successfully reduced the rate of new infections and “flattened the curve.”

Low-risk activities like elective medical procedures are resuming and officials in the next few weeks will consider authorizing medium-risk activities.

“Can our gyms open? Can restaurants that do social distancing open? That’s what we’re working on,” Green said.

On April 25, Gov. David Ige announced that he would be extending the state’s stay-at-home directive and mandatory quarantine for travelers entering Hawaii through May 31.

Ige did say that beaches could be used to access oceans for outdoor water exercise like swimming and surfing and for “running, jogging, or walking on the beach, so long as social distancing requirements are maintained.” Golfing is also allowed, with some restrictions.

The latest order indicates that elective surgeries can resume “as each facility determines to be appropriate.”


Gov. Brad Little allowed his five-week stay-at-home order to expire April 30. Idaho residents have been successful at reducing infections and deaths because of the coronavirus, Little said.

On May 1, the state entered the first of his four-stage plan to recover from the economic damage caused by the virus. Little said the process will take time, and advancing through the stages to return the state to near normalcy by the end of June will be based on declining infections and strong testing. The readiness of the health care system is another factor.

Child-care centers were able to reopen May 1. Churches can reopen, with distancing and sanitation rules. Bars, gyms, salons, movie theaters and sporting venues remain closed. Restaurants can offer curbside and delivery service.


Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a five-phase reopening plan May 5 called “Restore Illinois” and indicated at that time that the state was already in the plan’s second phase, with nonessential businesses open for curbside pickup and delivery.

Also part of the second phase, residents are directed to wear face coverings when outside and can resume outdoor recreational activities such as golf, boating and fishing as long as social distancing is practiced. 

The next phase will see manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops and salons reopen with capacity limits and social distancing requirements. Gatherings of 10 or fewer will be allowed and face coverings and social distancing will also remain standard.

Restaurants and bars won’t resume service until Phase 4.

The phases correspond with hospital bed occupancy, the surge capacity of the health care system, the increase of contact tracing and testing capabilities. The phases will apply differently to the regions of the state and Illinois can also revert back to previous phases if a spike in cases occurs. 

“Here’s the truth and I don’t like it any more than you do: Until we have a vaccine, or an effective treatment or enough widespread immunity that new cases fail to materialize, the option of returning to normalcy doesn’t exist,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker’s modified stay-at-home order took effect May 1; it allows small, safe worship services to resume.

Before his stay-at-home order was set to expire at the end of April, Pritzker announced April 23 that he would be signing an extension that runs through May 30.


The stay-home order was lifted May 4 for most of the state, while Gov. Eric Holcomb allowed more manufacturers and retailers to reopen. In-person restaurant dining and hair salons remain closed for another week. And gyms, movie theaters, bars and casinos remain closed until at least late May.

Holcomb on May 1 announced the state’s plans for a 5-stage phased reopening, with the goal of having the state “back on track” by July 4. He cautioned that the plan is subject to change.

Stage 1 has been ongoing since mid-March. This phase included essential manufacturing, construction, infrastructure, government, business and other critical operations remaining open. Schools remained closed.

Stage 2 began May 4 for most counties. In this stage, those 65 and older or high-risk should remain at home as much as possible and social gatherings can increase to 25 people. Restaurants can open at 50% capacity starting May 11. Essential travel restrictions will be lifted. Remaining manufacturers that were not considered essential will be able to open. Retail and commercial businesses will open at 50% capacity.

Holcomb on April 27 reopened routine care. That includes dental offices, abortion clinics, dermatology offices and veterinary clinics. 


Gov. Kim Reynolds said April 27 that select businesses in 77 of Iowa’s 99 counties would resume operating, with limited capacity, starting May 1.

Those include restaurants, fitness centers and retail stores, which must obey 50% limitations on normal operating capacity. Social, community, recreational and leisure sporting events can open with limits to 10 people and spiritual and religious gatherings must adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Malls can also open at 50% operating capacity but must keep play areas and other common seating areas, such as food courts, closed.

Reynolds also said on April 24 she would allow elective surgeries and farmers markets to open with some restrictions. She described it as a first step in a long process of reopening Iowa’s economy.


Gov. Laura Kelly’s stay-at-home order expired May 3 as she moved the state into the first part of a three-phase plan to reopen Kansas. Some businesses, including restaurants, opened their doors for the first time in weeks, with the addition of social distancing protocols.

The transition included a passing of the baton to county health officials, who have the option of imposing tighter restrictions based on local infections, hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus.

Kelly announced April 30 that she hopes to lift all coronavirus-inspired state limits on mass gatherings and other restrictions by June 15.

The state plans to recruit and train 400 new workers for a robust contact tracing program.


Gov. Andy Beshear laid out his first phase of a plan for re-opening several portions of Kentucky’s economy on April 29, saying places of worship will be able to hold in-person services and retail shops will be able to welcome customers in May.

In order to re-open, various businesses must follow public health guidelines set forth by industries and the state in its “Healthy at Work” initiative. These rules include enforcing social distancing, closing common areas and making masks universal for employees, among others.

Under phase one of the plan, manufacturing companies can re-open their doors on May 11, and horse racing can occur without fans. On May 20, places of worship can hold in-person services, and retail shops can welcome back customers. And on May 25, 10-person or less social gatherings can occur, and barbershops can re-open doors.

With the things that can reopen in May, Beshear said they represent “cautious steps that are going to be done with strict compliance.”

Beshear’s prohibition on certain types of interstate travel was deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge May 4.


Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed an extension of his stay-at-home order through May 15, warning the state will enforce the restrictions if some parishes allow businesses to reopen early.

Edwards’ new proclamation makes a few minor changes in his previous order that expired April 30.

It allows some outside dining at restaurants but no table service, outside church services with social distancing and curbside retail at malls otherwise closed, but most restrictions remain in place, including inside gatherings of 10 or more people. Non-emergency medical procedures can resume.

Meanwhile, some Louisiana parishes bucked the governor’s continued coronavirus order by letting churches and other establishments open their doors to more people May 1.

LaSalle Parish in central Louisiana and East Feliciana Parish near Baton Rouge both said churches and businesses may open at 25% of occupancy limits – a change Bel Edwards has said he hopes to make in mid-May. East Feliciana Parish also is reopening libraries and some other establishments.


On April 28, Gov. Janet Mills announced that she will extend a stay-at-home order through a modified order that went into effect May 1.

The first phase of reopening lifts restrictions lifted on the use of golf courses, visits to the dentist, barbers and hairdressers, and stay-in-your-vehicle religious services.

The order also allows certain outdoor recreational activities like hunting and fishing to resume.

Called “Stay Safer at Home,” the order will run through May 31.


Gov. Larry Hogan said April 24 that Maryland could be ready by early May to begin phase one of its three-phase recovery process.

Maryland isn’t ready to lift restrictions right now, but the governor said he’s optimistic.

  • Phase one: Lifting the stay-at-home order, reopening many small businesses and restarting low-risk community activities

  • Phase two: Allow for a larger number of businesses to reopen, including restaurants and bars, with significant safety precautions in place.

  • Phase three: Begin permitting larger events and lessening restrictions even further.

“If we try to rush this and if we don’t do it in a thoughtful and responsible way, it could cause a rebound of the virus, which could deepen the economic crisis, prolong the fiscal problems and slow our economic recovery,” Hogan said.


Gov. Charlie Baker said May 5 that a 17-person commission is scheduled to issue a proposal May 18 on suggestions to safely open up the economy.

Baker had previously extended the state’s stay-at-home advisory until May 18. 

“If we act too soon, we could risk a spike in infections that could force our state to revert to serious restrictions again,” Baker said. “This scenario would be far worse for our economy, and for our communities, and for our people.”

Starting May 6, everyone in the state was ordered to wear masks or facial coverings while in public under an executive order signed by Baker. The order applies to everyone over the age of two and must be observed indoors and outdoors when social distancing cannot be achieved.


Construction, real estate and more outdoor work can resume Thursday under Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s latest order.

Whitmer on April 30 ordered theaters, restaurants, bars, casinos, gyms and other places of accommodation to remain shuttered until May 28; they remain limited to carry-out and delivery orders only.

The order also continues the closure, through May 28, of all “non-essential personal care services,” that require individuals to be within six feet of each other, including hair and nail salons, barber shops, and tanning, massage, spa, tattoo, and piercing services. The order does not apply to personal services that are medically necessary.

The executive order issued April 30 extends one set to expire and came as the governor also extended a state of emergency without approval from the Republican-controlled Legislature. The state of emergency was set to expire April 30.


Beginning May 11, doctors, dentists and veterinarians will be able to begin providing elective surgeries again — as long as they create a plan to keep patients and health care workers safe. 

Gov. Tim Walz signed an order May 5 to allow hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers and clinics to resume many delayed procedures. Leaders of those facilities will have to develop criteria for determining which procedures should proceed during the novel coronavirus pandemic and provide a safety plan. 

An April 30 executive order from Walz extended Minnesota’s stay-at-home order to May 17. Restaurants, bars and other public accommodations will remain closed until then.

Effective May 4, however, many retail businesses reopened, but only for curbside and delivery services. 

Previously, some businesses were able to reopen under an executive order signed April 23 by Walz.

The order allowed “industrial, manufacturing and office-based businesses that are not customer-facing to return to work,” with conditions, Department of Employment and Economic Development Steve Grove said during a press conference.

Another executive order closed schools in Minnesota through the end of the school year.

And on April 17, Walz signed an executive order that reopened outdoor recreational businesses, including golf courses, bait shops, public and private marinas and outdoor shooting ranges. The order went into effect the following day and requires residents to adhere to social distancing guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Gov. Tate Reeves on May 4 announced steps to reopen restaurants and parks starting May 7, in the latest step to lift coronavirus restrictions in Mississippi after a nearly month-long lockdown.

Among other changes, up to 20 people will be allowed gather for outdoor activities. Gatherings are still limited to 10 people or less for indoor activities.

Reeves on April 24 issued a new executive order for Mississippians that he calls “Safer-at-Home,” which allowed most retail stores to open with certain guidelines, but kept other businesses closed.

The new order took effect at 8 a.m. April 27 and will remain in effect until May 11. 

It allowed clothing, gift and other retail locations to open, but owners and managers must take precautions such as sending home sick employees, wearing masks in common areas, using proper sanitation procedures, providing hand sanitizer for customers and limiting the number of customers at any given time.

Reeves said the businesses that won’t be allowed to open are ones that generally involve close, interpersonal contact, such as movie theaters, museums, casinos, entertainment venues and gyms.


Much of Missouri reopened May 4 under relatively lenient statewide orders, but local governments can impose stricter rules if they want.

The state’s stay-at-home order expired May 3 at midnight, but St. Louis and Kansas City, for example, remain under stay-at-home orders.

Statewide through May 31, people must stay 6 feet away from non-family members in public unless they’re doing a job that makes that impossible; schools remain closed; retail businesses must limit the number of customers and restaurants can reopen dine-in services if they employ social distancing measures.

On April 27, Gov. Mike Parson announced the first phase of the “Show Me Strong Recovery” plan.

“Opening these businesses is going to look very different for a while, but I’m confident Missourians will abide by the guidelines as we move forward,” Parson said.


On April 22, Gov. Steve Bullock announced a phased reopening plan that allowed church services to resume April 26 and retail businesses on April 27 “if they can adhere to requirements to limit capacity and maintain strict physical distancing.”

Restaurants, casinos, bars, breweries and distilleries reopened May 4 with limited capacity. Schools will can return to “in-classroom teaching delivery at the discretion of local school boards” on May 7. Montana public schools are mostly not taking Bullock up on the offer to resume classes.


Gov. Pete Ricketts loosened restrictions May 4 in most of the state, allowing salons, tattoo parlors and dine-in restaurants to reopen with limited capacity. Restaurant employees must wear masks. Day cares will be allowed up to 15 children per room. The loosened restrictions will be expanded to 10 more counties May 11.

Nebraska is one of the handful of states without a formal stay-at-home order, although many of the restrictions Ricketts imposed are similar.


Many Nevada retail stores, small businesses and other “low-density open spaces” could reopen in mid-May or sooner, according to Gov. Steve Sisolak.

Sisolak unveiled the plan, dubbed “Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery,” April 30. Nevada remains in “phase zero” of that effort, Sisolak said, but is expected to move into a new phase around the same time his latest stay-at-home order expires on May 15. 

Officials predict it will take two or three weeks to work through each of the plan’s phases. Sisolak said he wasn’t sure how many phases the plan would ultimately require.  

Sisolak has said Nevada schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year.

On April 27, Nevada joined California, Oregon, Washington and Colorado in the Western States Pact, a coalition that shares aligns reopening plans with other states in the region.

New Hampshire

On May 1 Gov. Chris Sununu extended the state’s stay-at-home order to May 31 while allowing the restricted reopening of restaurants, hair salons and other businesses throughout the month.

Hair salons, barber shops, retail stores and drive-in movie theaters also will be allowed to reopen May 11 with different requirements for the various industries. Retail stores, for example, will be limited to 50 percent capacity, and hair salons will not be allowed to offer services beyond basic haircuts and root touch-ups.

Restaurants, which are currently limited to takeout and delivery, will be allowed to offer outdoor dining starting May 18.

Hospitals, which had largely been restricted to treating COVID-19 patients and emergencies, started performing time-sensitive procedures such as CT scans and knee and hip replacements for chronic pain May 4.

New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy announced April 29 that state and county parks and golf courses would reopen May 2.

Murphy eased closures that he put in place April 7, opening all state parks and giving counties and golf course operators the discretion to open their parks and courses this weekend. Counties and towns will make the call whether to reopen parks and have various positions.

On April 27, Murphy laid out a “road map” for restarting New Jersey’s economy with a series of public health benchmarks that indicate the state is many weeks away from returning to any semblance of normal life. 

Reopening is still an aspirational prospect and the stay-at-home order Murphy issued five weeks ago will remain in effect “until further notice,” he said. Given the sustained deaths and hospitalizations related to COVID-19 and the lag in testing capacity, Murphy acknowledged that he doesn’t know when the state will be able to “start this journey” of reopening. 

New Mexico

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced April 30 that the state would begin to ease business restrictions, acknowledging that the coronavirus has brought about an “economic crisis.”

But Grisham has also invoked provisions of the state Riot Control Act, to order residents of Gallup to remain home except for emergencies and block roads leading in and out of town to nonessential travel and any vehicles carrying more than two people as local coronavirus infections soar.

Many nonessential retailers, pet groomers, state parks and golf courses resumed operations May 1 in a limited way under a new, modified state public health order. The new order is in effect through May 15 and replaces the order that expired April 30.

Here’s what’s not opening: movie theaters, casinos, barbershops and hair salons, gyms, indoor malls, camping centers and state park visitor centers, and offices or workplaces.

Restaurants and bars can only operate as curbside or delivery. Gatherings of five people or more are still prohibited.

New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said April 29 that he would sign an executive order authorizing the resumption of elective surgeries in all upstate New York communities except for Erie County. Cuomo said April 27 that he would extend the “New York State on PAUSE” plan in regions most-impacted by the virus beyond May 15, the date by which the stay-at-home restrictions were to be lifted. 

New York’s schools and colleges will remain shut through the end of the academic year, Cuomo said.

Areas not as severely impacted may see a gradual easing of restrictions. The businesses that could open first are construction and manufacturing, Cuomo said.

He added that the state would “be smart about it” and would follow CDC guidelines that recommend states show a 14-day decline in cases and would consider continued social distancing and face mask measures.

On April 18, New York joined Connecticut and New Jersey in opening up their marinas, boatyards and boat launches for recreational use.

The state updated its guidance for golf courses, opening the door for public and private courses to open. Golfers will have to walk the course and carry their own bags without a motorized cart, according to Dani Lever,Cuomo’s communications director.

North Carolina

The state’s stay-at-home order will extend through May 8, Gov. Roy Cooper announced April 23. When trends improve, the state will use a three-phase approach to gradually ease restrictions.

Although data tracking the spread of COVID-19 in the state remains “mixed,” Cooper said in late April he was optimistic those trends could improve enough for the state to enter Phase 1 of his three-step reopening plan on May 9. 

In phase one, a stay-at-home order remains in place, but people can leave home for more commercial activities (including shopping at certain retail stores). Among the other changes in the first phase: Gatherings would be limited to no more than 10 people but parks can open, subject to gathering limits.

North Dakota

Gov. Doug Burgum unveiled guidelines April 28 for reopening certain businesses that had been closed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Most businesses reopened May 1. Burgum eased restrictions that included limiting bars and restaurants to half capacity, requiring barbers and cosmetologists to wear masks and prohibiting some high-intensity fitness classes. Burgum said movie theaters could also reopen if they do such things as limit seating and stagger start times.

While most businesses may reopen with precautions, other large-scale venues and K-12 schools are closed until further notice, Burgum said.


Under state orders for a gradual reopening of the state economy, hospital, medical, dental and veterinary procedures that do not require an overnight stay in a hospital can move forward.

Retail stores reopened May 2 for curbside pickup, delivery or appointment-only service, and had to limit the number of customers to 10 or fewer.

State Health Director Dr. Amy Acton signed a modified order April 30, gradually reopening parts of the Ohio economy, with precautions.

The directive, which goes through May 29, allows Ohioans to leave home for work and shopping when those services reopen. Ohioans can still go to buy groceries, exercise outside, take care of relatives and complete tasks allowed under the previous two orders.

Office work restarted May 4. Retail shops can reopen May 12. DeWine backed off his initial order, after public outcry, that required customers to wear face masks.


Oklahomans returned to restaurants, malls and other stores May 1 as stay-at-home orders expired in the state’s biggest cities, putting local governments in line with Gov. Kevin Stitt’s plans for reopening the state’s economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Social distancing rules will still apply, though it remains to be seen how many businesses will reopen

Gov. Kevin Stitt plans to begin reopening the state through a three-phase plan that began May 1. Stitt enacted a plan called “Open Up and Recover Safely” April 22 that allowed personal care businesses to open April 24 by appointment only.

These include hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and pet groomers and must follow sanitation and social distancing guidelines. Customers are encouraged to wait in their cars until the time of their appointments.

Churches reopened May 1 under guidelines that “they leave every other row or pew open” and follow social distancing measures. Restaurants, movie theaters, gyms and tattoo parlors (by appointment only) also reopened May 1.


Oregon reopened a small number of outdoor destinations on May 6, beginning a gradual effort to relax limits imposed on recreation. Eight state parks and boat ramps reopened at that time, with more places to come the following week, officials said on May 5. 

Ski resorts will also be able to resume activities under a forthcoming executive order from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

Oregon medical providers could resume non-urgent medical procedures May 1, Brown announced April 23.

Brown had ordered providers to stop doing non-emergency procedures in an effort to preserve hospital space and protective gear like gowns, masks and gloves to care for COVID-19 patients.

The move is what Brown calls a “step forward” as the state ponders loosening some restrictions meant to limit the spread of new cases of COVID-19.


Two dozen counties in rural northern Pennsylvania will see some relief from restrictions, Gov. Tom Wolf said May 1. Those counties are all in the northwest and north-central regions of Pennsylvania, which have seen far fewer virus infections and deaths than the rest of the state.

The changes are to take effect Friday, May 8. Stay-at-home orders will be lifted and retail shops can start to reopen, though other restrictions will remain in place as counties move from “red” to “yellow” in a three-phase reopening plan.

Wolf also allowed golfers to hit the course and boaters to hit the water starting May 1. 

Golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately owned campgrounds will be able to open, but campgrounds in state parks must remain closed through May 14. Social distancing and masking guidelines will be required just as for other essential businesses. 

Wolf announced on April 22 a three-phase, color-coded plan that will be used to reopen the state’s counties in the coming weeks.

He said several metrics will be used to move counties from red, yellow or green status.

Wolf also announced that he reopened construction in the state beginning on May 1, moved up from May 8.

After state liquor stores were closed in March, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is now allowing select stores to offer curbside delivery.

Previously Wolf signed a bill to allow online notary services so online auto sales can resume. 

Puerto Rico

A medical task force appointed by Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced submitted recommendations on April 25, suggesting that Puerto Rico abide by strict social distancing and hygienic measures for 18 to 24 months, absent of a vaccine or proven treatment for the virus.

The task force recommends a gradual reopening in four stages, broken down by the infection rate per industry. In the first tier are construction, mining, computing, agriculture and manufacturing. Rather than provide specific target dates for the stages, it recommended enacting each by monitoring the rate of transmission on the island.

On May 1, Vázquez Garced extended a lockdown order through May 25. It allows residents to leave their homes only from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. for essential activities. After 7 p.m., a daily curfew goes into effect until the following morning. The latest extension allows residents to walk, jog, run, ride bicycles and exercise, while observing social distancing measures from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Rhode Island

Governor Gina Raimondo announced May 4 that she plans to lift the stay-at-home order set to expire on May 8 and begin reopening the state. Starting May 8, all Rhode Islanders in public places will be required to wear a face covering, Raimondo said on May 5.

That would begin the first part of a multi-phase process over the next many months aimed at reviving the economy and restoring life to something resembling normal.

Raimondo on April 22 announced plans to roll out a staged reopening of parks and beaches in the coming weeks, citing encouraging virus statistics.

“It is my hope that we will be able to enjoy our parks and beaches in some form or fashion in the month of May,” she said.

South Carolina

Gov. Henry McMaster lifted a mandatory stay-home order May 4, the same day that outdoor dining at restaurants resumed.

The easing of key restrictions came after state health officials reported 50 COVID-19 deaths since April 28 – marking the deadliest four-day period that the state has seen during the ongoing pandemic.

Under a mandatory stay-home order that McMaster issued April 6, South Carolina residents have been required to stay home unless they were at work, visiting family, shopping for essential items or exercising.

According to a statement, McMaster and state epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell strongly urge anyone considered to be “at-risk” for COVID-19 based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to limit exposure to others.

McMaster announced a plan April 21 called “Accelerate South Carolina” to “stomp on the gas” and reopen certain sectors of the economy.

Clothing, department, furniture, jewelry and sporting goods stores, as well as florists and flea markets can reopen but will be forced to operate at reduced capacity. The closure on beaches will be lifted, though it will be up to local officials to decide on the reopening of specific beaches.

The order still encourages social distancing directives to be followed. Barber shops, beauty salons, bingo halls, gyms and nightclubs must remain closed for now.

South Dakota

Gov. Kristi Noem unveiled in late April a “Back to Normal Plan” for businesses and residents for the next phase of the coronavirus response. 

The plan lays out actions for residents, employers, schools and health care providers once four criteria categories are met, including a downward trajectory of documented coronavirus cases for 14 days in an area with sustained community spread.

However, some South Dakotans will never be able to return to normal because they’ve lost a family member to coronavirus, Noem said, adding, “My heart breaks for them.” 

Noem had not issued a stay-at-home order, but had placed some statewide restrictions.


Guidance issued by Gov. Bill Lee’s office May 1 says house of worship should exercise caution, encouraging their community members to wear face coverings and remain six feet away from others. The guidance urges faith communities to “conduct as many activities as possible remotely.”

The state reopened salons and barber shops May 6, the latest in a string of restrictions to be loosened in the state.

Details of business restrictions in the order, which also continued the state of emergency, apply to all but six counties in the state. Those counties, which are home to the state’s larger urban areas, are following the guidance of their respective health departments which are operated locally.

Previously, Lee allowed for restaurants to reopen on April 27, many retailers on April 29 and gyms on May 1, each of which came with rules on limited capacity and suggested guidelines. 

Under Tennessee’s plan, businesses in six counties – Davidson, Shelby, Knox, Hamilton, Madison and Sullivan – will not open until local officials sign off on their own reopening proposals.

On April 28, Lee issued an executive order extending the closure of bars and close-contact businesses through the end of May.


Hair and nail salons can reopen May 8 with restrictions on capacity and distances and gyms can get back to business on May 18, Gov. Greg Abbott said during his news briefing May 5 on the state’s response to coronavirus.

Bars, meanwhile, will remain shuttered pending more information on the best ways to keep staff and customers safe amid the fast-spreading pandemic, Abbott said.

Every restaurant and retailer across the state was allowed to open doors to customers May 1, although more widely in some cities than others and still under social distancing requirements.

Outdoor sports like golf and tennis can resume, as long as four people or fewer are participating in the event and social distancing is followed.

Abbott announced executive orders April 17 that mandated all schools, public and private, to remain closed for the rest of the school year. 


Utah moved May 1 from the “red” to “orange” phase of Gov. Gary Herbert’s proposal to gradually scale back restrictions.

The state allowed gatherings of up to 20 people, and most businesses, including dine-in restaurants, could open as long as they follow specific guidelines spelled out in the state’s plan.

Every household also has a chance to order face masks from the government. The program, which he dubbed “A Mask for every Utahn,” was unveiled as Herbert announced an official step back from the state’s most stringent stay-at-home orders.


Some elective health care procedures will be able to resume as the spread of the new coronavirus in the state continues to slow, Gov. Phil Scott announced May 4

Health care providers had been asked to postpone all elective procedures in March. Scott attributed the ability to resume these procedures to successful social distancing efforts and the state’s increased robustness to track and trace outbreaks, a news release stated.

Scott on May 1 announced additional steps to ease restrictions under the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order.

Manufacturing, construction and distribution companies reopened May 4, with a maximum of 10 employees. The following week, on May 11, those same sectors, will be allowed re-open at full operations with as few employees as necessary.

In order to return to work, Vermont employers and employees must undergo mandatory health and safety training developed by the Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Agency.

The state’s residents and businesses have been operating for more than a month under the order which asks most people to work from home and severely limits how and which businesses may remain open.


On May 4, Gov. Ralph Northam extended an executive order through May 14 that closed restaurants, as well as recreational, retail and other nonessential businesses.

The following day, Northam will enact the first phase of the state’s three-tiered reopening plan that will continue the ban of social gatherings of more than 10 people, require continued social distancing and encourage teleworking and encourage face coverings to be worn in public. Businesses, however, will be allowed to open, though Northam did say May 4 that residents “will still be safer at home” during Phase I.

Phase I includes guidelines for all businesses “to enhance physical distancing, do more cleaning and disinfecting and promote workplace safety.” That includes clear signs with rules to establish social distancing and businesses operating at lower capacity.

Northam said Phase I could last two to four weeks, and could even extend beyond that.

Northam allowed elective surgeries and dental procedures to resume May 1. Veterinarians will also be allowed to see non-emergency pets, Northam said.


Gov. Jay Inslee announced May 1 that the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order would be extended through at least May 31 and said there will be a four-stage phase for lifting of restrictions, starting with allowing retail curbside pickup, automobile sales and car washes by mid-May.

There will be a minimum of three weeks between each phase, though he said some counties with lower numbers of cases and deaths may be able to open parts of their economy sooner if approved by the Department of Health.

Fishing, hunting and golfing resumed on May 5, at which time people could also return to state parks and other state lands for day trips.

Inslee on April 24 announced a plan that allows existing construction projects to resume as long as strict coronavirus social distancing protocols are in place.

Washington, D.C.

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on April 23 the formation of a task force, the Reopen D.C. Advisory Group, that will issue recommendations in May on the timeline to ease restrictions. To accelerate the process, Bowser said the city would look to hire several hundred contact tracers.

Bowser said the District will be “deliberate and strategic” in its plans, until a stay-at-home order lifts May 16.

West Virginia

West Virginia has scaled back its plan to lift coronavirus restrictions to gauge how current reopenings will effect the state’s caseload, officials said May 5.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice has announced that the third week of his plan will begin May 11 with the opening of physical therapy centers and drive-in movie theaters. His original strategy sought to have offices, gyms, restaurants and other businesses start resuming operations in the third and following weeks.

Justice has so far let hospitals resume elective procedures and allowed the reopening of small businesses, outdoor dining restaurants and barber shops. The physical therapy centers and drive-in theaters can open May 11.


On April 27, Gov. Tony Evers allowed businesses that can offer services “free of contact with customers” like dog groomers, upholsterers and lawnmower repair shops to open April 29. And on May 1, 34 state parks and forests may open under special conditions. The openings come with attendance limits and reduced daily hours, while facilities like public restrooms, shelters and playgrounds will remain closed.

Outdoor recreational vehicle rentals like those who deal with boats, golf carts, kayaks and ATVs can also open April 29, as can automatic or self-service car washes.

“This order means that every business across our state can do things like deliveries, mailings, curbside pick-up and drop-off, and it’s an important step in making sure that while folks are staying safer at home, they can also continue to support small businesses across our state,” Evers said.

Evers has extended the state’s stay-at-home order closing most nonessential businesses until May 26. The Democratic governor’s administration has unveiled an online dashboard meant to track progress on the benchmarks Evers set, but the data includes gaps.

On May 1, the Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed to decide whether to keep in place  Evers’ stay-at-home order following a challenge from Republican lawmakers. 


Wyoming eased some of its coronavirus restrictions May 1, with barbershops, gyms, nail salons and child care centers among the businesses that were allowed limited re-openings, Gov. Mark Gordon said.

The changes announced April 28 replace health orders that expired April 30. They are the first steps in the governor’s plan to restart the state economy.

Gordon also said residents would be allowed to camp at state parks starting May 15.

In a news conference, Gordon described the measures as a “methodical, measured approach moving forward.”

Contributing: Savannah Behrmann, Grace Hauck, USA TODAY; Natalie Allison, Nashville Tennessean; Stacey Barchenger, Bergen Record; Teresa Boeckel, York Daily Record; Lisa Kaczke, Sioux Falls Argus Leader; Dustin Racioppi, Bergen Record; Sady Swanson, Fort Collins Coloradoan; The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus: What states are reopening, and when? Here’s the list

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