States across the country continued Thursday to work toward reopening as researchers said the novel coronavirus has been deadlier in the United States than the seasonal flu.
California, one of the first states to implement a stay-at-home order, is set to begin loosening some restrictions Friday, though state Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly warned residents, “It does not mean a return to normal.”
“We still know that the virus is alive in California and that your good efforts have helped us suppress it quite a bit, but it is still there spreading,” he said.
Starting Friday, some retail stores will be able to do more curbside pickup and potentially delivery, though they should continue to encourage social distancing, Ghaly said. Manufacturers should keep workers farther apart for social distancing, and warehouse workers should have sanitation materials and use personal protective equipment during deliveries.
A new study of the fatality rate from coronavirus in the United States puts it at 1.3%, which is greater than the 0.1% fatality rate from the seasonal flu in a typical season.
Anirban Basu, a professor at the University of Washington School of Pharmacy, used publicly available data on virus infections and deaths through April 20.
The study did not include New York City, which has had the highest number of cases and deaths in the country. The numbers of cases and deaths was changing too quickly to include in the study, Basu said.
The figure is preliminary, Basu said, as it’s based only on the reported cases and confirmed Covid-19-related deaths.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday that outdoor dining will be allowed to begin May 15, with dine-in services able to resume beginning May 21. Personal services such as hair salons, barber shops, spas and nail salons will also be able to open beginning May 15 with some guidelines.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo confirmed her statewide stay-at-home order will expire Friday and the state will start the first phase for reopening. But movie theaters, bowling alleys, museums, gyms, salons and barber shops will remain closed.
“This is not the time for social gatherings,” Raimondo said. “The economic devastation in this state and every state around this country is untenable. So I am focused like a laser on work, getting people enabled to work.”
More than 75,500 people have died of the virus and more than 1.2 million are infected as of Thursday in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University.