After more than 100 days of lockdown, New York City residents on Monday celebrated their progress in curbing the coronavirus pandemic by getting their first haircuts in months, shopping at long-closed stores, and dining at outdoor cafes.
Once the epicenter of the global outbreak, New York City was the last region in the state to move into Phase 2 of reopening with restaurants and bars offering outdoor service and many shops reopening. Barber shops and hair salons welcomed customers for the first time since mid-March.
Playgrounds were also due to reopen on Monday in the most populous U.S. city. The pandemic has killed nearly 120,000 Americans.
At the same time, a dozen states in the South and Southwest reported record increases in new coronavirus cases – and often record increases in hospitalizations as well, a metric not affected by more testing.
The number of new cases rose by a record last week in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, together home to about a third of the U.S. population. Alabama, Georgia, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming also experienced record spikes in cases.
On Saturday more than 6,000 people, mostly without masks, crowded together inside a Tulsa, Oklahoma, arena for a campaign rally by President Donald Trump.
Trump defended his response to COVID-19, saying more testing had led to identifying more cases, seemingly to his chagrin.
«When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to … find more cases,» he said. «So, I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.'» A White House official said he was «obviously kidding» with that remark.

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