Image: New Scientist

US States to Remain Open Even After Surge in Coronavirus Cases

In the US, there has been a surge of coronavirus cases causing the country to re-consider their reopening plans. At the same time, restaurants, bars, and other public places are open in many of the states, including those with the highest number of cases. For instance, there are more patients of coronavirus in Arizona than any other state but businesses are widely open and catering to customers.

The government of Arizona is, however, asking people to stay at home as much as possible and only head out when it is absolutely necessary. Therefore, it is often confusing for the residents to estimate the risk of contracting the infection when going out for work or even for leisure activities.

Many residents of Arizona, as well as other states, have neglected the preventive measures recommended for avoiding coronavirus by the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Health experts have estimated that negligence of guidelines are the primary reason there have been coronavirus spikes all over the country.

The majority are no longer wears masks while heading out or practices social distancing as strictly. At the beginning of the first lockdown, the residents of Arizona were seen to strictly follow guidelines. Now that the restrictions no longer exist, many residents have assumed that the risk of a virus is controlled and not as high as it was before.

According to reports, while reopening plans have been paused, many local governments do not plan on imposing a lockdown similar to the one before mainly due to its economic damage. This overall gives the impression that the threat of coronavirus in the country is controlled or not as high as before since the states are now better facilitated.

The Governors of different states, including Florida, have indeed claimed that the states are better prepared to tackle the rise in coronavirus cases. In fact, echoing the US president Donald Trump’s words, many states spokespersons have even said that the increase in coronavirus cases may simply be due to the increase in testing.

For now, the overall progress over coronavirus in Arizona or in other states cannot be estimated. There has been an increase in testing but there is evidence to show that the cases are rising in reality too. For instance, the city of Houston in Texas just announced that hospitals no longer have spaces in the Intensive Care Unit to accommodate new cases of coronavirus.

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Such incidents, combined with the local governments’ own advice on staying indoors and avoiding trips in public spaces show that the virus remains to be a big threat and the vast majority of people are susceptible to it. So, is it safe to go out for leisure activities including dining in restaurants?

In fact, dining-in may actually be very risky considering that research has shown that coronavirus is more likely to spread indoors in comparison with outdoors in public spaces. For people with family members who are more susceptible to the virus, going out should especially be avoided.

However, in case any person still wishes to dine out or engage in any activity in public spaces, experts recommend choosing places that follow guidelines of social distancing and good ventilation strictly. It is also important to wear a face mask, carry hand sanitizer, and follow all other instructions.

Keep in mind that the risk of coronavirus in Arizona and other states is almost as high as it was before. Therefore, it is better to follow instructions from experts as much as possible. The reopening of businesses does not mean that the virus has been controlled.