States preparing to lift COVID-19 restrictions despite apprehensions

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced plans to restart the state's economy before the end of the week as long as owners follow strict social distancing and hygiene requirements.
7:10 | 04/22/20

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Transcript for States preparing to lift COVID-19 restrictions despite apprehensions
Good evening. It's great to have you with us on this Tuesday night. As this country faces its next major challenge, trying to save jobs and businesses, without risking lives, there was major news today. A $480 billion stimulus bill has just passed the senate. The president speaking about it moments ago. It will help small businesses, and also fund testing. It comes as the death toll across America now approaches 44,000. Still more than 2,000 lives lost in a single day. Hard-hit New York on the way down from the plateau. But 481 lives lost in just the last 24 hours. In one New York City hospital, this mother, a coronavirus survivor, meeting her newborn daughter for the first time, 25 days after she was born. But tonight from Illinois to Massachusetts, governors warning they have yet to reach their we're on the front lines in Boston tonight with an emt crew answering calls. That state battling to handle the surge. The governor closing schools for the rest of the year, and hiring 1,000 contact tracers who will track any second wave of this when workers begin going back to work. We'll report on how that will work. The Illinois governor saying the peak will come in mid-may. And beaches reopening, hair salons and gyms reopening in Georgia Friday. Mayors saying it's too soon. We'll get to it all tonight, including the words from the head of the CDC, reportedly saying there's a possibility the second wave of this could be even worse. Why he suspects that to be the case. But tonight, we begin with whit Johnson in New York. Reporter: Tonight, as America considers its future beyond the pandemic, chaplain rocky walker of mt. Sinai hospital in New York warns of a second wave of suffering. And that is a wave of depression, exhaustion, and weariness on the part of the health care workers themselves. Reporter: The chaplain witnesses doctors and nurses giving everything to this fight. I see god in their reaction, their response, their courage, their faith. Reporter: And today, a shining example of what health care workers are doing in this crisis. A precious delivery inside maimonides hospital in Brooklyn. We first met iris Nolasco two weeks ago, diagnosed with covid-19, then separated from her newborn baby girl after an emergency "c"-section. I just hope that I'll be able to hold her, and then just protect her. Reporter: Today, mother and daughter reunited. A new chapter for little Isabella Michelle. Can I touch? She's yours, go for it. Reporter: Relief after 25 days apart. You can't explain how much it hurts knowing that you have a baby and you cannot hug her. Reporter: Today New York's Bryant park with this message of thanks on its empty lawn for all essential workers. New York's governor Andrew Cuomo acknowledging the numbers in his state are heading in the right direction. Our definition of good has changed here. Good is now not terrible. Reporter: Today, Cuomo heading to Washington to lobby president trump on the one thing so many governors and health officials call key to reopening. Stepped-up testing. A new Harvard study shows the U.S. Needs to conduct between 5 million and 20 million tests a day. So far there have only been 4 million tests total. Cuomo says New York labs are ready and waiting, but he needs the president's help to get them testing supplies. You shouldn't expect governors to run around and do an international supply chain. Reporter: Even as New York comes down the mountain, other states still bracing for the worst. In Illinois, the governor saying the state won't hit its peak until mid-may. Cases still surging in Massachusetts. The death toll climbing to more than 1,500. The data shows we are still very much in the grips of a pandemic. Reporter: But three southern states are making aggressive moves to reopen, though none of them are reporting a steady two-week decline in cases as the white house guidelines recommend. Georgia governor Brian Kemp, facing a local backlash for his ambitious plan to open gyms, hair salons, and bowling alleys on Friday. Some movie theaters and restaurants next week. When we have more people moving around we'll probably going to see more cases continue to go up but we're a lot better prepared now than we were over a month ago. Reporter: Kemp now taking heat from mayors. From Albany -- I pray that the number of Georgians who are infected and die will not increase significantly in the coming weeks as a result of the lifting of these restrictions. Reporter: -- To Atlanta. I certainly cannot in good conscience say that I agree with his order and I will continue to use my voice as mayor of Atlanta to ask people to continue to stay home, follow the science, and exercise common sense. Reporter: But some business owners, like Shannon Stafford, who owns a beauty salon in Savannah, are desperate to reopen. It's just a scary situation all the way across the board but, I mean, we're in a situation where we have to work. Reporter: In neighboring South Carolina, senator Lindsey graham tweeting, "I worry that our friends and neighbors in Georgia are going too fast, too soon." Adding, "What happens in Georgia will impact us in South Carolina." But South Carolina is easing restrictions too. Beachgoers allowed back to the shores. People grouping together with chairs and coolers. It's showtime! Reporter: Some businesses opening their doors to eager customers, with social distancing limits. In Washington tonight, word congress has struck a deal on a $484 billion plan to help the economic recovery, including new loans for small businesses plus and more money for hospitals and testing. There very been some big businesses that have taken these loans. I was pleased to see that shake shack returned the money. Shake shack was not alone in being a big company. I'm going to request -- You're going to ask them to return that money? Yup. Jon Karl on following the money with the president moments ago. Whit, that other news before we came on the air tonight, the warning from the head of the CDC. Reportedly saying the second wave could be even worse this winter? Reporter: Yes, the director saying when he warns people about that second wave, they just kind of put their heads back. They don't understand what he means. Dr. Birx was just asked about this during the white house press briefing a moment ago. She said if there is a rebound later in the year, we are better prepared, able to watch for warning signals early on. David? Let's hope so. Whit, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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