27 States With a Game Plan To Reopen the US Economy

Six months after pandemic-related shutdowns began across the United States, states now are in various phases of reopening their economies. Some still are instituting restrictions on which businesses can open their doors, and others are allowing all businesses to operate as usual. Many states fall in between, with most businesses allowed to operate — but with limits on capacity and social distancing and personal hygiene protocols in place.

State leaders are having to make difficult decisions regarding how to enable businesses to thrive while keeping lives safe. More than 6.6 million people in the United States have contracted the coronavirus, and almost 200,000 have died. Most states are exhibiting escalating community spread or the potential for community spread, according to Sept. 16 data reported by NPR. Meanwhile, the temporary business closures implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus have led to millions of people losing their jobs, along with the permanent closure of numerous small businesses that could not survive without revenue for weeks — or months — during the shutdown.

With lives, and livelihoods, on the line, some states have developed robust plans for safely reopening their economies, which can have a ripple effect on the U.S. economy as a whole. Here’s how 27 states and Washington, D.C., are planning to reignite their economies and job markets.

Last updated: Sept. 22, 2020

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