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Governors cautiously shape plans to reopen states after Trump unveils new guidelines for coronavirus

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The New York Times
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Governors edged Friday toward relaxing restrictions to combat coronavirus after President Donald Trump released new national guidelines, but they cautioned that testing shortages and other hurdles could hinder progress to revive the economy.Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday plans to reopen state parks Monday, to ease limits on surgeries Wednesday and to reopen retail businesses for pickup, delivery and mail orders April 24.“We have demonstrated that we can corral the coronavirus,” Abbott said.But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose state has faced the biggest outbreak with more than 200,000 cases and 12,000 deaths, said the only quick fix would be a vaccine or better anti-viral treatment, which could be months or more than a year away. Each phase requires a 14-day period of a “downward trajectory” for COVID-19 cases.But in a key shift, Trump said governors would determine the pace of lifting restrictions."We are not opening all at once, but one careful step at a time," Trump said.Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, the current chair of the National Governors Association, described the recommendations as “pretty good." But he also said that his state is looking at its own metrics for when to reopen and has been doing so for several weeks.“We’ll gradually start easing things off and opening things up when we believe it’s safe to do so,” the Republican governor said Friday during a virtual event organized by the Economic Club of Washington, D.C.Hogan stressed that governors have their own public health experts and economists studying the timing on when to reopen.“We all want to get the economy opened up and states back open as quickly as possible but we’re not going to do it in a way that endangers the lives of thousands of our citizens,” he added.Like other governors, Hogan noted that Trump’s remarks this week claiming to have authority to make the decision “put everybody in a big uproar” but said that the president “completely reversed himself” days later. Three schools – the University of North Carolina, East Carolina University and Duke University – are coordinating research to track infections, to get a better idea of how many people have the virus without symptoms.“We need testing to be more widespread, and we need to use it to give us a better indication of where we are in this fight,” Cooper said.The reliance on China to reopen the country became a source of friction between governors and Trump. Schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year.“Even more openings will be announced in May when it is determined that the infection rate continues to decline, that hospital capacity remains available and when testing capacities are sufficient to detect and contain outbreaks of COVID-19,” Abbott said.In North Carolina, Cooper said he was consulting with business leaders about what kinds of conditions to set on reopening.

As said here by Bart Jansen, Jeanine Santucci, John Fritze