States are taking steps to re-open and relax social distancing rules during the coronavirus pandemic. States are trying to make up for catastrophic economic losses but health experts say reopening is not a good idea.

More than 30 states are reducing social distancing restrictions as May begins. According to CNN, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a document providing guidance on how businesses, schools, churches, transit organizations and others can safely re-open during the pandemic. Each recommendation includes a plan for phasing in re-opening.

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Health officials have repeated that states should not begin reopening until coronavirus cases have declined for 10 consecutive days. To states that re-open too early, “You’re making a big mistake. It’s going to cost lives,” Dr. Irwin Redlener, a pediatrician and disaster preparedness specialist at Columbia University Medical Center, told CNN.

Georgia, a state that allowed businesses to reopen and removed the state’s shelter in place order on May 1 and reopened some businesses the week before, saw a spike in cases after the social distancing measures expired. Restaurants in Georgia, Tennessee, and Alaska opened for dine-in business the last week of April, and Texas, Oklahoma, Utah and part of Iowa are lifting social distancing restrictions May 1.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, told CNN on April 30 that states that reopen without taking caution or putting measures like testing and protective equipment in place are, “making a really significant risk.”

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

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Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

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Catch up on our latest coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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