Pence says 16 states have released plans to lift coronavirus restrictions

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President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on April 22, 2020, in Washington, DC.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Sixteen states have released “formal reopening plans” to lift coronavirus restrictions, Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday.

“At the present moment, 16 states have released formal reopening plans,” Pence said at a news briefing. “States are beginning to make those plans and we’re encouraged to see so many states embracing the phased approach to reopening their economies that’s contemplated in our guidelines for opening up America again.”

Missouri, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Idaho have all released plans to lift restrictions meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Pence said. The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for the complete list of states.

The administration is now also calling on states to resume elective surgeries, which were largely suspended as health systems sought to boost capacity for an expected surge of Covid-19 patients, Pence announced. He said several states have already unveiled plans to do so, including Arizona and Indiana.

“Given the unique burden on hospitals, we are now encouraging states to restart elective surgeries wherever possible, either statewide or on a county-by-county basis,” he said. We recognize the role elective surgeries play in finances for local hospitals and we’ll be working with states to enable that.”

This is breaking news. Check back here for updates.

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