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Here are the states beginning to lift major coronavirus restrictions

Diners ate at a Georgia Waffle House after restaurants reopened in the state.
Diners ate at a Georgia Waffle House after restaurants reopened in the state.JOHN SPINK / AJC

A high-stakes debate is continuing over when and where to ease restrictions that governors around the country have put in place on residents and businesses to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Though the death toll from the virus is staggering — nearly 80,000 have been reported in the US — there are emerging indications that “lockdown” measures are working: Washington state and New York, both early hot spots of the virus, appear to have pushed their curves down enough that worst-case scenarios involving the collapse of health care systems have not come to pass.

Though the crisis is far from over, some states are beginning to lift their restrictive measures, allowing businesses like hair salons and retailers to reopen their doors. Here’s a look at which states are reopening.

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Alabama: Many retailers and other businesses were allowed to reopen May 1, but large categories of businesses including entertainment venues, personal care services like salons, and gyms must remain closed. Read more.

Alaska: Restaurants, personal care services, and many other businesses began reopening under strict sanitation guidelines April 27. Read more.

Arizona: The state extended its stay-at-home order through May 15, but allowed some retailers to partially reopen. Read more.

California: California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, announced on May 4 that some businesses in the state will receive permission to reopen as early as May 8, with restrictions. Newsom’s phased-in plan allows clothing stores, sporting goods, florists and other retailers to resume operations with curbside pickup.

Colorado: The state shifted to a “safer at home” phase with retailers being able to offer curbside pickup starting May 1. “Personal care providers” like salons could also reopen May 1 with social distancing measures in place. Many businesses, like nightclubs, remain closed. Restaurants can only offer takeout. Read more.

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Florida: Some retailers and restaurants were allowed to reopen at a reduced capacity beginning May 4, but the easing of restrictions excludes the populous Florida counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. Personal care services, as well as movie theaters, must remained closed. Read more.

Georgia: Gyms, bowling alleys, and personal care businesses like hair salons, tattoo parlors, and massage therapists could reopen April 24, with social distancing measures. Restaurants, theaters, and private social clubs were allowed to reopen on April 27, with social distancing. Read more.

Hawaii: The state has allowed retail and other “low risk” businesses to reopen in parts of the state, but the order excludes Oahu and Maui. Read more.

Idaho: The state’s governor announced a staged reopening plan, but cautioned that dates are targets and subject to change. Beginning on May 1, day cares, houses of worship, and many other employers were allowed to reopen, but personal care services and restaurants remain closed. The stay-at-home order was lifted for non-vulnerable individuals. Read more.

Indiana: Most of the state saw some restrictions lifted on May 4, including retailers and manufacturers being allowed to reopen with reduced capacity. Personal care services and restaurants could reopen with social distancing measures on May 11.

Harris Little cuts Matt Kim's hair at 2Qute Hair Salon on April 27 in Atlanta.
Harris Little cuts Matt Kim's hair at 2Qute Hair Salon on April 27 in Atlanta.Jessica McGowan/Getty

Kansas: The stay-at-home order expires on May 3, and some businesses could reopen on May 4. Personal care services, entertainment venues, and bars must remain closed. Read more.

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Maine: The state announced a gradual reopening plan, with retail and personal care services like salons able to reopen with capacity restrictions on May 1. Restaurants, gyms, and retail can open on June 1, and bars and hotels can reopen July 1. Read more.

Massachusetts: Governor Baker announced a phased-in reopening plan which began with manufacturing and construction businesses allowed to resume operations May 18.

Michigan: Construction, real estate and more outdoor work can resume Thursday under Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s latest order.

Mississippi: The stay-at-home order has been replaced with an order that encourages people to remain at home. Some retail businesses can open with reduced capacity, but restaurants, entertainment venues, and personal care services remain closed. Read more.

Missouri: Beginning May 4, the stay-at-home order was lifted and the vast majority of businesses could reopen, with social distancing measures in place. Schools will remain closed. Read more.

Montana: The state’s stay-at-home order was lifted on April 26. Businesses were allowed to reopen with reduced capacity on a rolling basis, with houses of worship opening first on April 26, retailers following on April 27, and restaurants and entertainment venues opening on May 4. Read more.

Michaela Wolfinger checks out a customer at the The Base Camp on the first day the business was open since the easing of coronavirus-related closures April 27 in Helena, Mont.
Michaela Wolfinger checks out a customer at the The Base Camp on the first day the business was open since the easing of coronavirus-related closures April 27 in Helena, Mont. THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record/Associated Press

Nevada: Many businesses, including personal care services like barber shops, were allowed to reopen May 9 with social distancing restrictions. Restaurants can resume dine-in service, but many other businesses like casinos and gyms remain closed. Read more.

New Hampshire: Beginning May 11, some retail businesses and personal care services are allowed to reopen. Read more.

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North Carolina: The state on May 8 began easing some travel and gathering restrictions, and reopened child care and some retail businesses. Read more.

Ohio: Manufacturing, construction, and office environments could reopen May 4 with reduced maximum capacity. On May 12, retailers and other services can reopen with social distancing guidelines. Restaurants, schools, hair salons, and day cares remain closed for now. Read more.

Oklahoma: Personal care services like hair salons could reopen April 24 with social distancing measures. On May 1, gyms, restaurants, houses of worship, and other venues could reopen with social distancing measures. Bars remain closed. Read more.

Oregon: Retail child care centers, and personal care services will be allowed to reopen on May 15 with social distancing measures.

Pennsylvania: On May 8, Governor Tom Wolf plans to lift his stay-at-home order, reopen many retailers and ease other restrictions in the least-affected parts of the state. Golf courses, marinas and private campgrounds can already reopen, and construction work can resume.

Rhode Island: On May 9, the state began easing some restrictions slightly, giving parents some options for child care, running pilot programs of dine-in service at some restaurants, and allowing more health providers, like dentists, to reopen. The state’s stay-at-home order also lifted. Read more.

South Carolina: Department stores and several other retail businesses were allowed to reopen April 21 with social distancing guidelines. People also were able to visit public beaches as of that date. Read more.

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Sunbathers enjoyed North Myrtle Beach, S.C. on April 20.
Sunbathers enjoyed North Myrtle Beach, S.C. on April 20.Jason Lee/Associated Press

Tennessee: The state announced that the vast majority of businesses in most counties were allowed to reopen May 1, and the stay-at-home order was allowed to expire. Read more.

Texas: Retailers opened for curbside pickup April 24, and some non-urgent health care services have resumed, with certain conditions. On May 1, movie theaters, malls, restaurants, and other businesses could reopen with reduced capacity and the state’s stay-at-home order expired. Read more.

Utah: Gyms, restaurants, and personal care service businesses were allowed to reopen with social distancing measures, and Utah residents can gather in small groups, as of May 1. Read more.

Vermont: Farmers’ markets and some small business operations can resume May 1. The state also loosened its rules around social gatherings. Read more.

West Virginia: Beginning April 30, some restrictions on health providers such as dentists were lifted and outpatient surgeries can resume. The following week, businesses with fewer than 10 employees can reopen with social distancing measures and some dine-in restaurant service, such as outdoor dining, can resume. Personal care service businesses like hair salons can also reopen during this period. Read more.

Wyoming: Gyms, barber shops, hair salons, and other personal care services were allowed to reopen with social distancing measures on May 1. The state extended an order banning gatherings of 10 or more through mid-May. Read more.

Several states did not have stay-at-home orders in place to begin with, though some of them imposed limited business shutdowns, including Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, and Arkansas. Utah had a “Stay Safe Stay Home” directive which urges residents to remain at home “as much as possible.”

Maintenance workers touch up a sidewalk at the Nebraska Crossing Outlets outdoor mall near Gretna on April 20.
Maintenance workers touch up a sidewalk at the Nebraska Crossing Outlets outdoor mall near Gretna on April 20.Nati Harnik/Associated Press

A number of states have formed regional pacts to coordinate their reopening. In the Northeast, they include New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. On the West Coast, Oregon, Washington, and California are coordinating. And a Midwest pact also has formed, including Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.






Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.