By MATTHEW BROWN and AMY BETH HANSON Associated Press
ROUNDUP, Mont. (AP) — Parts of the U.S. are starting to lift closures, and some of the quickest to reopen have been rural states like Montana, Vermont and Alaska.

The effects of the pandemic in smaller, more remote towns can seem a world away from cities grappling with overwhelmed hospitals, packed morgues and economies pushed to the brink.

The consequences of easing restrictions in rural communities won't be fully known for some time, and health officials said they will be watching closely for any resurgence of infections.

But in places like tiny Roundup, Montana, nonessential businesses are reopening and many think it's the right thing to do after weeks long stay-at-home orders.