Georgia residents took to shops and the shore, just a day after the state’s coronavirus restrictions began to lift — while the toll of the pandemic there intensified.
As residents sunned themselves, hit the salons and got inked at tattoo parlors, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms put out a warning.
“If you’re getting your nails done right now, please share these noon numbers with your manicurist,” Bottoms tweeted at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, along with a chart showing the Peach State’s latest stats on coronavirus deaths and infections. She added the hashtag #StayHomeGeorgia.
The numbers show deaths there hit 904, a 34 percent jump over a week ago, and cases reached 22,695, up 28 percent in a week.
Georgia was one of several states easing back into “normal” life this weekend, even as the pandemic rages on.
In Louisiana, where more than 1,600 people have died of COVID-19, protestors waving large American flags gathered outside the governor’s mansion Saturday, rallying against that state’s stay-at-home order. Few of them wore masks.
Alaskans could once again dine in restaurants and visit stores. One couple donned masks to shop at a jewelry store and the clerks helping them wore face coverings as well.
Restrictions were also eased in Michigan and Oklahoma. Residents in Montana can return to church Sunday.
In California, where some Orange County shorelines reopened as temperatures soared past 80 degrees, beachgoers crowded the sand Saturday.
Rules against beach-going were also relaxed in Florida.
“I know they have rules and restrictions, but people aren’t listening,” said John Overchuck, 45, an attorney who lives in a beachfront home in New Smyrna Beach. “I walked on the beach 10 minutes ago and it’s packed. That wasn’t supposed to happen.”
One Atlanta gym owner, meanwhile, said he would remain closed.
“We’ve sacrificed so much already,” said Shawn Gingrich, CEO of Lion’s Den Fitness. “I feel like if we do this too soon, we’ll see a spike in cases and we’re back to square one.”
With Post wires
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