As states have reopened businesses and life in the U.S. is starting to regain a sense of normalcy, a leading health expert is warning "we are still in a pandemic" and confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. topped 2 million on Wednesday.
Many people remain vulnerable to the disease, and the pandemic will continue as long as there's a readily transmissible virus and a population with little or no immunity to it, said Dr. Jay Butler, head of the COVID-19 response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The news comes as the U.S. is now officially in a recession, bringing an end to a historic 128 months of economic growth.
- MAPS: Confirmed cases in the U.S. and worldwide; confirmed deaths in the U.S. and globally
- Reopening America: See what states across the U.S. have already reopened.
- The coronavirus has destroyed the job market in every state. See the per-state jobless numbers and how they’ve changed.
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Grocery prices spike as coronavirus puts pressure on supply chain
Hawaii extends quarantine for out-of-state travelers to July 31
Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Wednesday extended the state's 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving from out of state through the end of July.
"We continue to look for opportunities to invite guests from out of state," he said, but cautioned that some mainland states were seeing new increases in coronavirus cases.
Ige announced that the self-quarantine mandate would be lifted for interisland travel beginning Tuesday. "It really is an opportunity to reunite families," he said.
The state attorney general Wednesday announced that 48-year-old Patricia L. Pian of Honolulu was arrested and is accused of failing to self-quarantine when she returned from a trip to San Diego.
Multiple tourists have been arrested after failing to self-quarantine, but Pian is the first returning state resident to be accused of violating the emergency proclamation.
The iconic Iowa State Fair canceled
The Iowa State Fair, an annual slice of Americana summer since before the Civil War, was canceled Wednesday because of ongoing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, organizers announced.
"We are heartbroken we can’t be together this August," event officials in Des Moines said in a statement, promising to be back Aug. 12-22 in 2021. "We tirelessly analyzed all the unique traditions at the Iowa State Fair and believe it will be safer given the current COVID-19 situation. That will give us enough time to properly get ready for the Iowa State Fair you know and love."
The first Iowa State Fair was held in 1854 and has been skipped only a handful of times before - in 1898 to make room for the World's Fair in Omaha and in 1942-45 because of World War II.
Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals officially canceled
California music festival Coachella and its smaller sibling Stagecoach are officially canceled this year.
Citing the ongoing pandemic, both festivals were initially postponed from their usual dates in the spring until October but public health officials said on Wednesday that even the fall is too soon for such a large gathering.
“I am concerned as indications grow that COVID-19 could worsen in the fall,” said Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser.
“In addition, events like Coachella and Stagecoach would fall under Governor Newsom’s Stage 4, which he has previously stated would require treatments or a vaccine to enter," he added. "Given the projected circumstances and potential, I would not be comfortable moving forward."
‘By no means is this over’: WHO warns against coronavirus complacency
As her colleagues pointed to a still evolving pandemic, and the danger of asymptomatic spread, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove cautioned against a false dichotomy of "focusing on public health or livelihoods," insisting, "We must do both."
Disney unveils plans to reopen California parks and resorts
Nearly three months after closing, Disney has set its sights on a phased reopening for its California parks and resorts starting early next month, the company announced Wednesday.
Downtown Disney District will begin reopening on July 9, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will reopen by July 17 and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel plan to reopen on July 23. All of these dates are subject to state and local government approval.
Parades, nighttime spectaculars and character meet-and-greets will return at a later date, the company said.
Theme park capacity will be significantly limited to comply with government requirements as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread. Visitors will be required to make a reservation in advance for park entry.
Arizona sees spike in ICU coronavirus cases after governor reopens state
NBC News' Vaughn Hillyard breaks down the numbers behind Arizona's spike in coronavirus cases requiring ICU hospitalization after Gov. Doug Ducey lifted COVID-19 restrictions.