These three southern states will start easing coronavirus lockdowns

The swift decisions by Republican leaders draw criticism, including from Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom

Coca-Cola Roxy COVID-19 theGrio.com
A general view of the Coca-Cola Roxy in The Battery Atlanta connected to Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, on March 26, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. The concert venue has closed its doors temporarily due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina are set to begin easing their states’ shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. All three states made their announcements on Monday.

Georgia governor, Brian Kemp will allow indoor facilities like bowling alleys, gyms, and hair salons to start opening on Friday. Restaurants will open next week with new safety standards. All businesses are expected to continue to practice social distancing.

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The governor admitted that “we’re probably going to have to see our cases continue to go up,” but said the state was better equipped to address new outbreaks.

The reopening came as a surprise to Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms, who in an interview with CNN, stated that she had not talked to the governor prior to his announcement.

Tennessee governor, Bill Lee also announced on Monday that he would not be extending the state’s stay-at-home order beyond April 30. However, he did state that some precautions may need to remain in place especially in the state’s largest cities.

In a dramatic move, South Carolina governor Henry McMaster reopened some retail locations immediately following his Monday announcement. Clothing stores, furniture stores, and florists were able to open at 5 pm yesterday.

“We are still in a very serious situation…we must be sure that we continue to be strict and disciplined with our social distancing,” Gov. McMaster said at the press conference. “Our goal was to cause the most damage possible to the virus while doing the least possible damage to our businesses. South Carolina’s business is business.”

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The three southern governors, all Republicans, are likely to please the president with their aggressive reopening plans. Yet, they admit that they remain in a very precarious health situation, all while prioritizing the economy of their states over human lives.

“We are still in a very serious situation…we must be sure that we continue to be strict and disciplined with our social distancing,” Gov. McMaster said at his press conference.

“Our goal was to cause the most damage possible to the virus while doing the least possible damage to our businesses. South Carolina’s business is business.”