“We’re going to have to face the harsh reality in some states that we may need to shut down again,” said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor at George Washington University School of Medicine.
“Because of quarantine fatigue, because of the economic effects of quarantine, another round of shutdowns might have even larger effects on businesses that may be on the edge of not being able to stay solvent,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
“Covid’s not taking a summer vacation,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases expert and professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
“It’s actually having new opportunities to spread.”
Murray said the “biggest and most difficult choice” states could face in the coming months is managing a potential second shutdown.
And the consequences of another shutdown would be wide-ranging, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
But the federal government hasn’t been in control of shutdowns and reopenings. Those have been at the discretion of each state.
“If you run out of hospital beds, and you run out of ICU beds … (states would) have to shut down,” said Reiner.
It’s happened before
Second shutdowns aren’t just possible — they’ve already happened in some parts of the world during this pandemic.
Japan’s second-largest island, Hokkaido, also shut down to control the spread of coronavirus. “But they opened too quickly,” Reiner said, leading to a Covid-19 comeback.
“They shut down again. And that’s how they extinguished the virus.”
How Americans can prevent another round of shutdowns
While states try to revive the economy, the fate of this pandemic is largely up to individuals.
“People must observe the safety guidelines,” top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said.
“Social distancing must be observed. Face coverings in key places must be observed.”
“That only continues to grow,” Hidalgo said Friday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said “the best thing to do is to avoid crowded areas.”
“But if you’re not going to do that,” he said, “please wear a mask.”
CNN’s Amanda Watts contributed to this report.