A look at states rolling back COVID-19 guidelines this spring


NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — Coronavirus restrictions are slowly being rolled back across the country, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting nearly 30% of all adult Americans are fully vaccinated.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday he expects to see COVID-19 restrictions lifted and the city “fully reopen” by July 1. De Blasio cited rising COVID-19 vaccination rates and decreasing hospitalization rates for his optimistic projection. About half of all adults in the city have now had at least one vaccine dose.

“This is going to be the summer of New York City,” de Blasio said at a news briefing Thursday. “We are all going to get to enjoy this city again, and people are going to flock here from all over the country to be a part of this amazing moment in New York City.”

The mayor doesn’t have unilateral power to lift remaining pandemic restrictions. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has maintained throughout the pandemic that decisions on when restaurants, theaters, offices and other places can open at full capacity are his alone.

Asked at his briefing if he had spoken to the governor about his reopening plans, de Blasio said, “I have not, and I think the best way to proceed here is to set out the city’s vision.”

In the southwest, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she expects the state to reopen completely by the end of June if the state reaches its goal of having at least 60% of residents fully vaccinated by then. The latest New Mexico state data shows that more than 41% of state residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated.

But not every state is rolling back coronavirus guidelines. In the Pacific Northwest, new restrictions could be in the future as infections and hospitalizations rise.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is putting 15 counties that encompass the state’s biggest cities into the state’s extreme risk category starting Friday, imposing restrictions that include banning indoor restaurant dining. As Brown issued her order on Tuesday, she said rising COVID-19 hospitalizations threaten to overwhelm doctors.

“If we don’t act now, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other health care providers in Oregon will be stretched to their limits treating severe cases of COVID-19,” Brown said.

Michigan Gov. Whitmer detailed a plan that ties rolled-back coronavirus restrictions to specific vaccination levels as her state battles the worst outbreak in the country.

“Nearly one in two Michiganders have received their first shots and nearly one in three are fully-vaccinated,” said Whitmer.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is also expected to order new restrictions next week for several counties that would force businesses and churches to reduce their indoor gathering capacity from 50% to 25%.

L.A. county, once California’s pandemic epicenter, could enter its final reopening phase May 5th.

Chicago hopes to be close behind with Bulls fans back in the stands May 7th.

“And now I’m thrilled to announce that we are able to broadly loosen capacity restrictions across industries starting today,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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