Sunny days draw crowds across U.S.

New virus cases still on the rise in about 20 states

Calgary Herald - - PANDEMIC - DOINA CHIACU AND JONATHAN ALLEN

Sunny days and warm weather are prov­ing to be as chal­leng­ing to man­age as restau­rants, hair sa­lons and other busi­nesses as about half of U.S. states par­tially re­open their economies af­ter the coron­avirus lock­down.

On Satur­day, thou­sands of peo­ple gath­ered on the Na­tional Mall in Washington to view a U.S. navy fly­over to hon­our health-care work­ers and oth­ers bat­tling the pan­demic.

In New York City, the warm­est weather yet this spring caused pic­nick­ers and sun­bathers to flock to green spa­ces in Man­hat­tan, in­clud­ing crowded con­di­tions at Christo­pher Street Pier in Green­wich Vil­lage, ac­cord­ing to pho­tos on so­cial me­dia.

Last week, Cal­i­for­nia or­dered beaches in Or­ange County to close, af­ter crowds de­fied pub­lic health guide­lines to throng the pop­u­lar shore­line. That prompted protests by de­mon­stra­tors who ac­cused the state’s Demo­cratic gov­er­nor of over­reach.

New York City Mayor Bill de Bla­sio said there are “some real is­sues” near the pier and po­lice would in­crease pa­trols.

Dr. Deb­o­rah Birx, re­sponse co-or­di­na­tor for the White House coron­avirus task force, said on Fox News Sun­day that mass­ing on beaches was not safe un­less peo­ple kept at least six feet apart. She also weighed in against al­low­ing such busi­nesses as beauty sa­lons and spas to re­open in the first phase.

“We’ve made it clear that that is not a good phase one ac­tiv­ity,” she said, as the num­ber of U.S. cases topped 1.1 mil­lion and the death toll rose to more than 67,000 on Sun­day.

Scott Got­tlieb, a for­mer Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion com­mis­sioner, said on Sun­day the coun­try was see­ing a “mixed bag” of re­sults from coron­avirus mit­i­ga­tion ef­forts. He said there were about 20 states that are see­ing a ris­ing num­ber of new cases in­clud­ing Illi­nois, Texas, Mary­land, In­di­ana, Vir­ginia, North Carolina and Ten­nessee. Vir­ginia re­ported a record num­ber of deaths on Sun­day, up 44 for a to­tal of 660.

“We ex­pected that we would start see­ing more sig­nif­i­cant de­clines in new cases and deaths around the na­tion at this point. And we’re just not see­ing that,” he said on CBS’ Face the Na­tion. “If we don’t snuff this out more and you have this slow burn of in­fec­tion, it can ig­nite at any time.”

As Texas be­comes one of the lead­ing states push­ing for its busi­nesses to re­open, Dal­las Mayor Eric Johnson said peo­ple ap­pear to be obey­ing the new rules.

“Peo­ple have not been rush­ing back into these restau­rants and they have not been rush­ing back into the ar­eas of the econ­omy that the gov­er­nor re­opened on Fri­day,” he told CNN. “What we are see­ing is peo­ple sort of putting their toe back in.”

SARAH SILBIGER / GETTY IM­AGES

Peo­ple walk on the Na­tional Mall in Washington, D.C., on Satur­day. Ear­lier in the day thou­sands gath­ered at the site to watch a U.S. navy fly­over to hon­our health-care work­ers and oth­ers bat­tling the pan­demic.

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