In Georgia, Tammy Noboa has seized on her state’s blessing to open her hair salon after weeks of closure — and she says deciding to do so wasn’t hard.
“I have to work. I’ve got bills to pay,” said Noboa, who accepted seven appointments Saturday at her newly reopened Dominican Hair Salon in Douglasville.
Georgia is one of the states that allowed some businesses to reopen Friday, weeks after shutting them down to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
In Oklahoma, salons, barbershops, spas and pet groomers also took appointments Friday, and state parks and outdoor recreation areas also reopened.
Georgia should not begin to reopen until at least June 22, according to those behind the model at the university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
“Even the (business owners) who open up say, ‘I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing,” Ernst said Saturday. “(Reopening) needs to be an orderly process.”
Georgia and Oklahoma aren’t alone
Besides Georgia and Oklahoma, these states also are easing restrictions:
• Alaska allowed salons and restaurants to open in many areas Friday, though restaurants must keep distance between tables and can’t exceed 25% of their normal capacity.
• In Iowa, elective surgeries and farmers markets will begin reopening on Monday.
• In Tennessee, restaurants can reopen Monday at 50% capacity. Retail stores may reopen Wednesday under that same guideline, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said.
And other governors are setting dates for when their reopening plans will kick into action.
Yet other leaders have stopped short of setting a timeline.
In San Francisco, which issued the country’s first sweeping stay-at-home order in mid-March, Mayor London Breed said the order is “very likely” to be extended for a few more weeks past May 3.
“How we reopen is going to be important to ensuring that we do it responsibly so that we don’t go backwards,” said Breed, who stressed the importance of having enough PPE, testing and requirements for social distancing.
Business owners struggle with reopening decisions
Some business owners in Georgia told CNN they felt wary of reopening, but they did so to pay their bills.
“I’m at the point where I have to do something … I’m about to lose my business if I don’t,” Tim Timmons, owner of Salon Gloss in Woodstock, said Friday.
Timmons said he, too, put measures in place to guard against the spread of the virus.
The business wasn’t running on full staff, and employees stood 14 feet apart. Customers had their temperatures taken when they arrived, and were asked whether they’ve come into contact with anyone who’s had the virus.
But other owners said now wasn’t the time to reopen.
“I said, ‘No, absolutely not. Get your hair done for what?'” Sabrina Watkins said of her hair salon in College Park, an Atlanta suburb. “There’s a pandemic, people are dying. As much as I love the business, now is not the time, regardless of who says it is.”
Lequawn James, an Atlanta nurse practitioner and bodybuilder, said Saturday he would not yet visit any reopened gyms.
He said he understands workers’ struggles. But he thinks it’s too soon to work at or exercise at places like gyms.
“I know money is what people need to survive, but you may not be around to spend it if you contract this virus,” he said.
At a Douglasville bowling alley, Leon Perpignan was in line 10 minutes before it opened Friday at noon. Typically, he bowls four times a week, he said. About a dozen bowlers were there shortly after opening.
“I know a lot of people disagree and say they should have waited,” he said, “but I was 100% ready (for this).”
“Besides,” he added, “all my ‘honey-do’ lists are done.”
No evidence yet on immunity from a 2nd infection, WHO warns
It is urging governments to not yet issue any kind of “immunity certificate” to people who had the disease.
The WHO published the brief as guidance on how to adjust public health and social measures for the next phases of the Covid-19 response.
The health agency said it is reviewing evidence on antibody responses to the novel coronavirus. The brief says “most” studies show that people who have “recovered from infection have antibodies to the virus.”
But as of Friday, no study has “evaluated whether the presence of antibodies to (the virus) confers immunity to subsequent infection by this virus in humans,” the WHO brief says.
The US Food and Drug Administration has now authorized three new coronavirus antibody tests, bringing the total number of FDA-authorized tests to seven.
The tests were green-lit under emergency-use authorizations, a lower regulatory standard used when the FDA believes a test’s benefits could outweigh any risks.
CNN’s Kevin Conlon, Lindsay Isaac, Dakin Andone, Natasha Chen, Nicole Chavez, Tina Burnside and Alexandra Meeks contributed to this report.