Experts worry because US virus restrictions are minimal or violated

PROVIDENCE, RI (AP) – State and local officials around the US are rolling back social-security regulations after allowing them to open bars, restaurants and gyms, once again during the summer. Fans are gathering mask-free at football games. President Donald Trump is doing crowded indoor rallies.

Although some Americans may see such things as a welcome step closer to normal, public health experts warn that the US is re-establishing itself to failure.

“Very concerned about the epidemic,” said Mark Rupp, professor and head of infectious diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The governor of Nebraska on Monday ended all of his state’s restrictions, even with new cases of coronovirus on the rise.

“I think it’s setting us up for further broadcasts and more people are getting sick and unfortunately, more people are dying,” Rupp said.

According to calculations maintained by Johns Hopkins University, the virus has been blamed for more than 6.5 million confirmed infections and 195,000 deaths in the US, the highest total of any country.

While case numbers have fallen from the peak average of 67,000 new infections per day to about 36,000 at the end of July, the number is now much higher. Nearly 750 deaths a day are occurring below the peak of over 2,200 at the end of April.

In recent times, Mississippi has allowed restaurants to expand to 75% of their customer capacity. With limited capacity in New Jersey, however, the restaurant re-opened the gym and indoor dining. The governor of Michigan allowed the gym to be reopened and the games to resume. County commissioners in Pinellas County, Florida, discuss Thursday whether to repeal their masked ordinance.

Public health experts noted that it is safe to resume certain activities in communities where there are low levels of infection.

The nation’s top infectious-pathologist, Drs. Anthony Fauci appeared in Vermont Village via video. Phil Scott’s virus briefed on Tuesday and praised the state’s response and its steps to safely reopen. He insisted on wearing Vermont’s masks, avoiding crowds, and taking other simple precautions.

But elsewhere, experts said, case counts are too high to resume high-risk activities, such as going to bars, gyms, theaters and stadiums, participating in close contact sports or eating inside restaurants.

In most communities in Florida, bars were allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity on Monday, taking into account certain precautions. But Florida’s three largest counties – Miami-Dad, Broward and Palm Beach – are keeping their bars closed due to high case numbers.

Even in places where OK has been given to reopen drinking establishments, some owners and customers alike hesitate.

At Leon’s Pub, a smoky bar about a mile from the Capitol of Florida in Thalassi, the crowd was sparse on Monday night, as it has been for a long, oppressive summer.

“It’s been cricketers and Tumbleweeds,” said bartender Lauren Bryant.

Some of them were Ellie Preston and her husband. “We’ve been scared for a while. It was good to be normal, ”he said.

Florida was closed on St. Patrick’s Day in March, allowed to reopen in June, then re-ordered two weeks later as virus cases rose. The Leone pub was allowed to reopen in July as it had a restaurant license.

Jim Smith. Poor Paul’s boss in Tallahassee intends to keep his place closed until the outbreak is over.

“I miss working every day. I miss seeing customers and employees, ”he said. “We have to keep this thing under control.”

It is not just government officials who are waiving sanctions. In Milwaukee, the Roman Catholic Archbishop said that he would no longer excuse people from in-person worship unless they were ill or caring for a sick person. Meanwhile, cases are increasing in Wisconsin.

Some local authorities are seeing cases ascending.

In Wichita, Kansas, health officials made it mandatory to wear bar curfews and masks. In Framingham, Massachusetts, officials said they have begun issuing $ 500 fines to property owners who violate regulations on gatherings and wearing masks.

Public health experts said they worry that they are seeing a pattern: declining cases relax officials and regular Americans with measures to stay safe, and infections and deaths return.

“, You’ve done so well, don’t disappoint your guard,” Fauci said during a call-in news conference with the Vermont governor. “Because if we do, we’re going to look at the surges that are going to put us back where we were months ago.”

Calvan reported from Tallahassee, Florida, Ring reported from Stowe, Vermont. Journalists from the Associated Press across the United States contributed to this report.