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All 50 states partially reopen as CDC quietly releases its guidelines

All 50 states have now taken some steps to reopen after COVID-19 shutdowns. Their approaches vary, with only minor restrictions remaining in states like Texas, while New York still has strict limitations in place. Federal guidance from the CDC was released quietly, but its recommendations aren't mandatory. Meanwhile, WHO officials warned that the pandemic isn’t going away. Stephanie Sy reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The reopening of America is now in full swing, from auto plants to theme parks. It is happening at different rates in different states, as the national death toll reaches 93,000.

    Stephanie Sy begins our coverage tonight.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    A new phase in the fight to breathe life into an economy ravaged by COVID-19. As of today, all 50 states have taken varying steps to reopen.

    In Texas, where only minor restrictions remain in place, children are back at day care, and youth programs have opened, ahead of the summer break.

  • Whitt Melton:

    It's been really good to bring back normalcy for the kiddos. You know, we're really excited to get everybody back, but we want to — we're really trying to make sure we do it the right way and the safe way.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    By contrast, in New York, it is far from business as usual. Retail stores are still closed to the public, only now beginning to offer curbside services. And public parks, like this one in Brooklyn, are getting creative about how to distance New Yorkers eager to bask in spring weather.

  • Brittany Degirolamo:

    The park basically just put down some circles to help people just see what six feet apart looks like, so it's easy for us to chill and not be worried about that.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Starting tomorrow, the state will also allow religious services with up to 10 people to resume. In Orlando, Florida, tourists roamed around stores and restaurants inside Disney World, as the theme park began welcoming patrons.

    Visiting a nursing home with Vice President Mike Pence today in Orlando, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis defended his decision to open faster than others, and he denied that an expert was fired for refusing to manipulate data to support his decision.

  • Governor Ron DeSantis:

    We have succeeded. And I think that people just don't want to recognize it because it challenges their narrative, it challenges their assumption, so they have got to try to find a boogeyman.

    Maybe it's that there are black helicopters circling the Department of Health. If you believe that, I got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    For weeks, states have taken steps toward lifting lockdowns, with mixed messages coming from federal authorities.

    After much delay, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has quietly released a 60-page document with guidance on testing and reopening, but it generally steers clear of language on mandatory rules. It includes cleaning and social distancing recommendations for bars and restaurants, suggests staggered shifts and physical barriers to prevent contact in the workplace, and calls for limited ridership on public transportation, with required face coverings for transit workers.

    Schools in areas that meet certain metrics for lower virus transmission are encouraged to space desks at least six feet apart, conduct daily temperature screenings, and serve lunch in the classroom, if they reopen. Notably left out of the CDC document, any mention of how places of worship should resume activity safely.

    Overseas, another glimpse of what moves toward normalcy might look like came from South Korea, where high school students returned to class for the first time today.

    But, as more countries move to loosen restrictions, in Geneva, the World Health Organization warned the pandemic continues.

  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus:

    In the last 24 hours, there have been 106,000 cases reported to WHO, the most in a single day since the outbreak began.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    The head of the WHO said, while the virus may be slowing down in developed nations, poorer countries are now seeing more infections.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Stephanie Sy.

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