More states reverse or slow reopening plans as coronavirus cases climb


Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy.

Sergio Flores | AFP | Getty Images

Governors in Washington, California, Florida and Texas are walking back some of their reopening plans as coronavirus cases rise in more than 30 states across the U.S., according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

As of Sunday, new Covid-19 cases jumped by at least 5% over the previous week in 37 states across the country, based on a seven-day moving average, according to the Johns Hopkins data. Those states include California, Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Nevada.

The number of new daily Covid-19 cases across the nation jumped 42% over the past week to an average of about 38,200 on Sunday, based on a seven-day moving average.

The number of global Covid-19 cases topped 10 million Sunday, with the U.S. reporting roughly a quarter of the cases. The coronavirus has now killed more than half a million people across the globe. 

Public health officials are also closely watching hospitalizations, which can indicate how severe an outbreak is in an area. This data generally lags new cases because it can take weeks before a patient is sick enough to require hospitalization. 

Covid-19 hospitalizations were growing in 20 states as of Sunday, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project, an independent volunteer organization launched by journalists at The Atlantic.

In New York City, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that he could postpone restaurants from reopening their indoor dining spaces, which were scheduled to resume on July 6, as cases appear to be spiking in other states that reopened them.

He added that outdoor dining, allowed in the city as of June 22, has so far worked well across the state, including in New York City. 

“Our reopenings have worked very well. We’re not going backwards; we’re going forwards,” Cuomo said a press briefing. “A lot of other states have actually had to go backwards.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday that the state’s restaurants won’t be allowed to resume indoor dining on Thursday as originally planned due to a growing number of coronavirus cases in other states. He has yet to determine when indoor dining will be allowed to resume. 

Murphy noted that some New Jersey residents and establishments haven’t been adhering to social distancing guidelines or using face coverings as recommended by the state. New Jersey is still preparing to reopen its outdoor amusement centers, indoor recreational facilities, casinos, museums and libraries on Thursday. 

“Unfortunately the national situation compounded by instances of knucklehead behavior here at home are requiring us to hit pause on the start of indoor dining for the foreseeable future,” Murphy said.

On Sunday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the state’s bars to close in several counties as the coronavirus shows signs of accelerating, including in Los Angeles. The state’s seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases increased by more than 40% compared with a week ago, according to Johns Hopkins data. 

“My phone is filled with images of people taking photos of some of the bars over the weekend and saying, ‘How could this help with community spread? It’s only going to make things worse, not better,'” Newsom said at a press briefing Monday. 

“COVID-19 is still circulating in California, and in some parts of the state, growing stronger,” Newsom said in a written statement. “That’s why it is critical we take this step to limit the spread of the virus in the counties that are seeing the biggest increases.”

Newsom has left it to municipalities within the state to decide whether they’re prepared to reopen certain parts of their economy after more rural counties reported few Covid-19 cases.

In San Francisco, Mayor London Breed said in a tweet Friday that she would delay the city’s planned reopenings for Monday, which included nail salons, barbershops and outdoor bars, citing a recent spike in Covid-19 cases. 

“Yesterday we saw 103 cases. On June 15, when we first reopened outdoor dining and in-store retail, we had 20,” Breed wrote on Twitter.

On Saturday, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee also postponed reopening in eight of the state’s 39 counties that were planning to move forward. 

“Rising cases across the state and concerns about continued spread of the COVID virus have made Phase 4, which would essentially mean no restrictions, impossible at this time,” according to the state’s order from Inslee and John Wiesman, Washington’s secretary of health. 

“Phase 4” of Washington’s reopening plan would resume all recreational activities and would allow for gatherings of more than 50 people, according to the state’s plan. It would also allow people at high risk of serious illness to resume public interactions with physical distancing. A county in phase four would also be allowed to reopen its nightclubs, concert venues and large sporting events. 

On Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced he would roll back some of the state’s reopening plans, closing bars and reducing the capacity for indoor dining, among other modifications and closures

Texas’ seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases increased by more than 52% compared with a week ago, according to the Johns Hopkins data.

“As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10%, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said in a press release. 

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, also announced Friday on Twitter that the state is ending onsite consumption at bars. Gov. Ron DeSantis allowed bars to reopen with modifications in early June after keeping them closed for two months. 

On Saturday, Florida reported a second day of record-breaking new coronavirus cases, recording more than 9,000 additional cases. As of Sunday, the state’s seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases more than doubled compared with a week ago, according to Johns Hopkins data.

Arizona cases continued to reach record highs over the weekend. The state reported 3,858 additional cases on Sunday, a new high since the beginning of the outbreak, according to the state’s Department of Health. 

Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday that if Arizona’s reopening plan were a traffic light, it would be in the ”yellow” or “yield” position. 

“To proceed with caution, to go slower, to look both ways,” he said. “This virus is everywhere — it is likely in this room right now — and the actions that you take as a citizen will make a difference.”

Ducey said the state’s hospitals are seeing additional stress and are “likely to hit surge capacity very soon.” 

— CNBC’s Nate Rattner, William Feuer and Emma Newburger contributed to this report. 

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