At least 16 states have paused or reversed their plans to reopen in response to a surge in new coronavirus infections, but some health officials say the spread of the virus will remain difficult to control.
"What we hope is that we can take it seriously and delay transmission in these places," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, senior deputy director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at an event broadcast in I live for the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"But what I think is very discouraging is that we are clearly not at a point where there is so little virus spread that it will be easy to eliminate," he said.
State and local leaders have said the increase in cases is partly due to meetings, both in homes and in places like bars, which some experts have called the perfect breeding ground for the virus.
But public health experts have also warned that some states also reopened too soon and too quickly, warning the movement could lead to more spikes in the cases.
Over the weekend, California Governor Gavin Newsom closed bars in seven counties and recommended closing them in several more. In Texas, bars were ordered closed, while Florida suspended alcohol consumption at the site statewide.
Arizona closed its bars, gyms, and other businesses for a month. The Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach beaches were also ordered closed for the upcoming holiday weekend.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the state will decide later this week whether to delay reopening food in New York City, as "it has been shown to present risks in other states."
Even with renewed measures, an expert says there is no evidence that re-closing bars and other businesses will delay the resurgence of the virus in parts of the U.S.
"They are trying to see if they can do this surgically, which means closing 50% bars or restaurants and encouraging the use of masks or, in some cases, forcing the masks and not reaching that full closure," said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. "What is the evidence that this will work?