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Stay Safe Ohio order

Updated at 10:47 p.m. ET

As the number of new coronavirus cases surges each day in many parts of the country, some states are hitting pause on their plans to reopen.

Ohio Department of Health

Governor Mike DeWine says the state as a whole has seen a steady decrease in cases of COVID-19.

An NPR survey of state health departments shows that the national coronavirus contact tracing workforce has tripled in the past six weeks, from 11,142 workers to 37,110. Yet given their current case counts, only seven states and the District of Columbia are staffed to the level that public health researchers say is needed to contain outbreaks.

Across the country, states are loosening the restrictions that had been put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 — with varying results.

Ohio Department of Health

Interim Ohio Department of Health Director Lance Himes has signed an order allowing county fairs and animal exhibitions to re-open from COVID-19 closures with strict safety standards in place. 

Just weeks after parts of the U.S. began reopening, coronavirus infections are on the upswing in several states, including Arizona, Utah, Texas and Florida. Dramatic increases in daily case counts have given rise to some unsettling questions: Is the U.S. at the start of a second wave? Have states reopened too soon? And have the recent widespread demonstrations against racial injustice inadvertently added fuel to the fire?

The U.S. has reached another dire landmark in its fight against COVID-19, surpassing 2 million confirmed cases on Wednesday. New coronavirus infections are rising in at least 20 states, even as restrictions on daily life continue to ease across the country.

As of Thursday morning, more than 112,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. — the most fatalities reported by any nation, according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University. And most experts believe those numbers underestimate the true toll.

Texas reported a record-breaking number of COVID-19 hospitalizations Monday as the governor plans to reopen more businesses and double capacity.

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says casinos, amusement parks and racetracks will be allowed to reopen June 19.  

ohiosenate.gov

The Ohio Senate has rejected a house-passed measure to limit the powers of the governor and state health director in issuing health orders. 

State leaders are considering reopening economies and allowing people to leave their homes, but more and more Americans appear to be doing so on their own.

Emerging data suggest that though people dramatically altered their habits to stay at home during the first month of America's response to the pandemic, that cooperation has since leveled off and — eventually — decreased. This could point to long-term challenges for state governments asking citizens to cooperate with extended stay-at-home policies.

Ohio's "Stay at Home" order has been extended to May 29, and is being rebranded as "Stay Safe Ohio".