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Pennsylvania, Texas, California among states lifting rules Friday

By
Don Jacobson
Vehicles and pedestrians line up for a virtual drive-through sponsored by United Hands Multi-Purpose Center in Compton, Calif., on May 2. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Vehicles and pedestrians line up for a virtual drive-through sponsored by United Hands Multi-Purpose Center in Compton, Calif., on May 2. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

May 8 (UPI) -- California and a few other states began loosening more coronavirus restrictions on Friday to gradually revive their economies.

California entered "Stage 2" of Gov. Gavin Newsom's reopening plan, which allows lower-risk workplaces like book sellers, clothing stores, florists and sporting goods outlets to conduct business -- but with social distancing modifications.

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Other types of retail, manufacturing and logistics business considered low-risk are also allowed to reopen Friday if they meet certain criteria. Individual counties can decide for themselves whether to continue restrictive measures based on their specific conditions.

In Iowa, dental services can resume starting Friday if they comply with guidelines adopted by the state's dental board.

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Businesses like campgrounds, drive-in movie theaters, tanning facilities and health spas can also reopen in Iowa with limited capacity and "appropriate public health measures," officials said.

In Texas, hair and beauty salons are allowed to reopen Friday with social limits, such as one customer per stylist.

A week ago, Gov. Greg Abbott allowed all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, malls, museums and libraries to reopen with limited capacity.

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In Rhode Island, Gov. Gina Raimondo allowed a statewide stay-at-home order to expire Friday. On Saturday, retail stores can begin to reopen if they meet rules that require frequent cleaning and limited capacity. Elective medical procedures can also resume and Rhode Island state parks can open.

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Raimondo has issued a new order extending a ban on social gatherings of five of more until at least May 22.

In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolfe designated 24 counties as "yellow" starting Saturday, which allow them to lift stay-home orders and resume in-person retail business.

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Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's two largest cities, remain in the "red" zone, for which lockdowns have been extended through at least June 1.

In North Carolina, the first phase of Gov. Roy Cooper's reopening plan began Friday, which removed the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses. Retail stores are now allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity and gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed outdoors.

"This is a careful and deliberate first step, guided by the data, and North Carolinians still must use caution while this virus is circulating," Cooper said this week.

In Arizona, retail stores like barber shops and hair salons are now allowed to begin face-to-face business with distancing limits.

In Alaska, the second phase of Gov. Mike Dunleavy's reopening plan took effect allowing restaurants to operate at 50 percent capacity. Bars can reopen for the first time, at 25 percent.



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California life in the COVID-19 pandemic

A pedestrian walks past a bar established in 1933 after Los Angeles County officials closed it for the second time following a spike in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles on August 10. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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