In California, more than 180 people may have been exposed by a person who had the virus during an in-person religious service last week, the Butte County Public Health Department said.
And in Erie, Pennsylvania, officials said they will keep city park facilities closed to ensure a continued path toward the state’s reopening — despite repeated requests from residents to utilize park grounds for sports, runs and picnics.
The warnings echo conversations taking place across the US by health officials, residents, business owners and experts who are trying to tackle what a safe reopening looks like — and what could happen if it’s rushed.
North Carolina churches allowed to resume indoor services
Thousands of Americans have already spent weeks protesting against stay-at-home orders and measures that have kept their businesses and communities shut down — demanding it should be their right to choose the precautions they take.
“We don’t want indoor meetings to become hotspots for the virus and our health experts continue to warn that large groups sitting together inside for long periods of time are much more likely to cause the spread of Covid-19,” the statement read.
Beaches and amusement parks set to reopen
Despite experts’ warnings and grim predictions of the country’s death toll if measures are lifted prematurely, beaches on both coasts of the country have also begun to welcome visitors again.
In Ocean City, New Jersey, a loudspeaker reminded sun lovers every 15 minutes this weekend to “practice social distancing while walking the boardwalk and beach.”
All New Jersey beaches will open next weekend for the Memorial Day holiday and Ocean City took a “dry run” to see how well people respect the social distancing rules.
In California, Los Angeles County was the latest to re-open its shores — with new rules.
FDA authorized ‘standalone at-home sample collection kit’
And while reported cases in the US continue to rise with more testing, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also announced Saturday it authorized an “at-home sample collection kit that can then be sent to specific laboratories for Covid-19 diagnostic testing.”
The kit received an emergency use authorization, according to the agency, in order to be used by people who have already been screened using an online questionnaire that’s reviewed by a healthcare provider.
It will allow people to “self-collect a nasal sample at home” using the kit that has been authorized, the agency said.
“The authorization of a Covid-19 at-home collection kit that can be used with multiple tests at multiple labs not only provides increased patient access to tests, but also protects others from potential exposure,” Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, the director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a statement.
CNN’s Ben Tinker, Madeline Holcombe and Ralph Ellis contributed to this report.