Businesses in 5 more states, more Florida beaches reopen Monday

Don Jacobson & Darryl Coote
Some beaches in Florida, including this one near Cocoa Beach, reopened on Sunday and more are expected to reopen in the coming days and weeks. Photo by Joe Marino/UPI
Some beaches in Florida, including this one near Cocoa Beach, reopened on Sunday and more are expected to reopen in the coming days and weeks. Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | License Photo

April 27 (UPI) -- Some businesses in Tennessee, Minnesota, Colorado, Montana and Mississippi will be allowed to reopen Monday as more governors decide the coronavirus pandemic has reached a point that it's safe to do so.

The latest group of states to allow reopenings came three days after the first in Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Alaska and South Carolina, where certain types of service, industrial and office-based businesses were allowed to resume activities.


In Tennessee, restaurants in many parts of the state will reopen in-person dining. The change, however, does not include counties with the state's largest cities like Nashville and Memphis, which will set their own timetables.

Retail stores will be allowed to open next week. Like restaurants, they must enforce new rules, including limiting capacity to 50 percent and supply protective gear for workers.

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Tennessee saw its largest one-day increase in cases Sunday.

In Minnesota, about 20,000 small businesses will reopen Monday under a directive issued last week by Gov. Tim Walz. The order allows up to 100,000 Minnesotans to return to work mainly in industrial, manufacturing and office settings.

Businesses that reopen must implement COVID-19 "preparedness plans" to ensure social distancing, worker hygiene and facility cleaning and disinfection.

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In Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis announced that retail businesses outside the metro Denver area can open for curbside pick-up and delivery beginning Monday.

Real estate home showings and elective medical, dental and veterinary surgeries will also resume "if facilities are following required safety protocols." They will be joined by retail businesses and personal services starting Friday, under the same restrictions.

In Montana, Gov. Steve Bullock allowed a statewide stay-at-home order to expire Sunday and business closures were lifted beginning Monday. Under the order, main street and retail businesses can reopen "if they can adhere to requirements to limit capacity and maintain strict physical distancing."

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In Mississippi, Gov. Tate Reeves ordered last week that businesses capable of putting social distancing guidelines into place can reopen Monday. However, businesses where that is impossible, such as fitness centers and salons, will remain closed.

Retail businesses will be limited to 50 percent capacity and be required to monitor employees for COVID-19 symptoms.

There have been nearly 966,000 cases in the United States and almost 55,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

More beaches in Florida are reopening Monday, including some in the southwest part of the state. A few others have also reopened in recent days while others remain closed.


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said over the weekend the state will begin to reopen in stages, although he advises residents statewide to comply with his stay-home order until at least Thursday.

Meanwhile, in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom warned his residents visiting beaches in disregard of social distancing guidelines that doing so could delay the state's reopening.

Newsom's comments follow images of people crowding beaches in Orange and Ventura Counties, and the Democratic governor said during a press conference Monday that he can't stress enough for people to refrain from enjoying the nice weather or they will all pay the consequences.

"Those images are an example of what not to see, people, what not to do if we're going to make the meaningful progress that we've made in the last few weeks extend into the next number of weeks," Newsom said.

Newsom became the first governor to issue a statewide stay-at-home order in mid-March, which he said Monday not only bent the curve of infections in California but stabilized it and that they were weeks away -- not months -- from easing some of those restrictions. However, that trend could be balked by their behavior.


"The virus doesn't take the weekends off," he said. "It doesn't go home because it is a beautiful sunny day around our coasts."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said over the weekend in a National Academy of Sciences webcast that testing still needs to be greatly expanded in the United States.

Fauci said "we're getting better and better" but cautioned "we are not in a situation where we say we're exactly where we want to be with regard to testing."

Johns Hopkins reports more than 5.4 million tests have been administered in the United States.

U.S. copes with COVID-19 pandemic

Bass Pro Shops marketing manager David Smith (R) carries a box of donated face masks into Mercy Health in Chesterfield, Mo., on May 13. The company is donating 1 million FDA-approved ASTM Level 1 Procedure Face Masks to healthcare workers and first responders working on the front lines of the pandemic. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

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