Around the country, governors began announcing plans to ease restrictions in their states on Friday, even as cases continue to surge in some parts of the country and inadequate testing will make it difficult for them to identify and contain future outbreaks.
They are taking action as Mr. Trump, who has been impatient to restart the economy, issued a set of guidelines Thursday offering suggestions of when and how to reopen.
The governors are grappling with mounting economic damage and hardship caused by the pandemic. But their moves to tentatively let some businesses reopen is getting underway as the national death toll remains high. Public health experts are warning against acting too soon, fearing new waves of outbreaks that will be difficult to identify early on unless testing is significantly ramped up. But many states and localities are beginning to ease restrictions.
In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, outlined his plans Friday for “retail-to-go” shopping, and also said that he would lift restrictions on some medical procedures and reopen state parks while requiring masks and social distancing.
But Mr. Abbott announced that the group working to reopen Texas — which he described as a “strike force” — had determined that it would be unsafe for children to return to school, so schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. The governor said that he would announce more reopening April 27, and still more in May.
In Minnesota, Mr. Walz, a Democrat, said Friday that golf courses and driving ranges could reopen Saturday morning, and many other outdoor activities could resume, too, including boating, fishing, hunting, and hiking. Some businesses that support those activities, including bait shops, shooting ranges and game farms, can also open. But campgrounds, recreational equipment rental, charter boats, and guided fishing will remain closed.
In Michigan, Ms. Whitmer, who imposed one of the strictest stay-at-home orders in the nation, said Friday that she hoped to loosen the regulations in two weeks’ time, on May 1.