Northeast: Coronavirus-Related Restrictions By State

Northeast: Coronavirus-Related Restrictions By State

4:39pm Aug 31, 2020
Visitors line up as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York reopens to the public on Aug. 29, 2020. The museum closed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Visitors line up as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York reopens to the public on Aug. 29, 2020. The museum closed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kena Betancur / AFP via Getty Images

Part of a series on coronavirus-related restrictions across the United States.

Jump to a State: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, other states


Connecticut

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order directing Connecticut residents to "Stay Safe, Stay at Home" beginning March 23. Lamont extended the stay-at-home order until May 20 and outlined a phased-in approach to reopening beginning on that date.
  • An executive order requires the use of cloth face coverings in public "wherever close contact is unavoidable," including while using public transit and ride-sharing services, began on April 20. A later modification requires anyone declining to wear a face covering because of a medical condition to have documentation of the condition.

Reopening

  • The governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware announced on April 13 the creation of a multi-state council that will develop a regional framework for safely and gradually lifting stay-at-home orders and restoring the economy.
  • On May 7, Lamont announced the state must meet seven criteria in order to enter the first phase of reopening. On May 9, Lamont released specific rules that businesses eligible to reopen under Phase 1 must follow. He stressed that individual business owners can choose whether to open.
  • In Phase 1, restaurants can reopen outdoor seating only, at limited capacity and with social distancing measures in place. Offices can open at limited capacity, though working from home remains encouraged whenever possible. Retail stores and malls can allow some walk-ins, with safety parameters in place. Museums and zoos can open outdoor exhibits at up to 50% capacity. Businesses eligible to open in Phase 1 must self-certify that they will comply with state rules and regulations.
  • On May 20, the state entered Phase 1 of reopening, which allows certain sectors of the economy to reopen, including retail and malls, outdoor dining, offices and outdoor recreation businesses. An executive order extended the prohibition on large gatherings and restrictions on indoor fitness and movie theaters to June 20.
  • Lamont issued an executive order allowing restaurants, wineries, breweries and bars to deliver directly to homes. State statutes have been modified to suspend the delivery signature requirement.
  • The governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut announced that marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers in their states can operate for personal use as long as strict social distancing and sanitation protocols are upheld.
  • A May 12 executive order helps expedite various approval processes so that restaurants can expand their outdoor dining areas. It also allows retail stores to get fast-tracked permission to sell goods in certain outdoor spaces, including on sidewalks.
  • The state released guidance for dentist offices considering resuming elective services after May 20.
  • State parks with beaches along the Connecticut shoreline opened with capacity limitations on May 22, as part of a regional agreement.
  • The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection released an operations plan for state park grounds, trails, beaches and boat launches heading into the summer season. State campgrounds, cabins, youth sites and river camping sites are closed until at least June 11.
  • Summer camps can open as June 29, in compliance with forthcoming state guidance.
  • Barber shops and hair salons can resume operations as of June 1.
  • Effective June 1, limits on social and recreational gatherings are raised to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Religious and spiritual gathering limits are raised to 25% of indoor venue capacity or a maximum of 100 people, whichever is smaller, and 150 people outdoors.
  • Two tribal casinos resumed limited operations on June 1, though Lamont said he thought it was too early.
  • A June 2 executive order increases the number of children that a child care program can serve during the emergency without needing Office of Early Childhood approval from 30 to 50.
  • Outdoor, in-person graduation ceremonies can be held in line with specific guidelines starting July 6.
  • The state released requirements for superintendents regarding the optional reopening of in-person summer school, beginning no earlier than July 6.
  • The Connecticut Judicial Branch announced plans to resume limited operations in three courthouses, beyond the 10 that never closed, on June 8. Starting the week of June 29, limited operations resumed at an additional four courthouses, bringing the total number of open courthouses to 17. As of the week of July 6, all operating courthouse locations are open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. As of July 20, a total of 25 courthouses will be operational.
  • Phase 2 of reopening began on June 17. In Phase 2, additional businesses can choose to resume operations in compliance with sector-specific regulations. Sectors allowed to reopen include amusement parks, hotels, libraries, sports and fitness facilities, personal care services, outdoor events, indoor museums, zoos and aquariums, indoor recreation venues and indoor restaurant dining.
  • As of June 17, indoor gathering limits increased to 25 people, outdoor gathering limits increased to 100 and outdoor event venues such as amphitheaters and race tracks can accommodate 25% of their fire capacity with social distancing.
  • Effective July 3, one-time outdoor graduation ceremonies of up to 150 people are allowed. Outdoor organized gatherings such as fireworks and concerts can have a cap of 500 people as long as there are 15 feet of space between blankets.
  • In mid-July, indoor gatherings will be able to increase to 50 people, outdoor gatherings can expand to 250 people, outdoor event venues can expand to 50% capacity and outdoor organized gatherings will have no cap but must enforce social distancing.
  • State campgrounds opened for the season on July 8. Campers can make reservations online beginning June 20.
  • The state's two river ferry services resumed on June 20.
  • The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles reopened select offices on June 23, and is offering in-person services — including road tests — by appointment only.
  • Lamont announced a detailed framework for reopening all school districts to full-time, in-person instruction for the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Lamont announced on July 6 that Phase 3 would be postponed indefinitely due to rising case numbers in other states.
  • Lamont signed an executive order strengthening the travel advisory for people entering Connecticut from designated high-risk states. The order makes the self-quarantine requirements mandatory and punishable by a fine, and requires travelers to fill out a form upon arrival.
  • Senior centers can begin to reopen on Sept. 1.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • In-person classes at K-12 schools will remain canceled for the rest of the academic year, Lamont announced on May 5. Schools must continue providing meals to children under lunch and breakfast programs for consumption at home.
  • The state's 2020 presidential primary election has been rescheduled a second time, to August 11.
  • The governors of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York announced a joint travel advisory, effective 11:59 p.m. on June 24, requiring all individuals coming from designated states with significant community spread to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
  • Lamont announced an update to the travel advisory on July 2, allowing travelers to enter the state without having to quarantine if they test negative within 72 hours prior to arrival.

Testing and tracing

  • Lamont is encouraging Connecticut residents to self-report their daily symptoms through the "How We Feel" app to anonymously provide critical public health information to the medical community.
  • An initiative between Hartford HealthCare and Quest Diagnostics, announced April 21, will increase the state's testing capacity from 500 to 2,500 COVID-19 tests per day.
  • Lamont's administration increased access to COVID-19 testing by suspending two regulations: patients no longer need a referral from a medical provider, and pharmacists can now order and administer tests.
  • A June 1 executive order mandates COVID-19 testing for staff of private and municipal nursing homes, managed residential communities and assisted living services agencies. It was later modified to allow facilities to cease testing after 14 consecutive days with no positive cases, with testing required to resume if a worker or resident tests positive.
  • Lamont announced that the state, working with Yale University and other partners, will conduct a study of 1,400 randomized, representative residents using blood samples to identify people who have developed COVID-19 antibodies, in an effort to quantify the spread of the virus statewide.

Relief and resources

  • Lamont says the state's small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the virus may apply for "one-year, no-interest loans of up to $75,000."
  • Lamont issued an executive order on April 7 permitting recent graduates of medical school and "other medical profession graduates" who are not yet licensed to begin practicing. It also permits practice before licensure for mental health counselor associates and marital and family therapy associates.
  • An April 10 executive order issues protections for residential renters impacted by the pandemic for the duration of the public health emergency.
  • The Connecticut Insurance Department said all fully-insured health plan members can now receive COVID-19 testing and treatment with no out-of-pocket costs.
  • Lamont is expanding Medicaid payments to nursing homes across the state by 15 percent, constituting $65 million to be used for coronavirus-related costs. The state Department of Public Health will make on-site visits to all 215 facilities to conduct infection control surveys.
  • A multi-state initiative will expand payment relief for people with private and non-federal student loans, which are not covered by the CARES Act. The agreement expands protections to student loan borrowers in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
  • The state received a $2 million federal grant to support mental health services, which it will use to launch the Connecticut COVID-19 Behavioral Health Response and Assistance initiative.
  • Lamont and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association are distributing free face coverings to eligible, designated small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
  • Connecticut is authorized to provide $72.3 million in SNAP benefits to children eligible for free and reduced-price school meals, as part of the new Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer program.
  • The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood launched the CTCARES for Frontline Workers Program, which expands access to child care for eligible front-line workers by paying subsidies directly to care providers.
  • The Connecticut Judicial Branch announced that parties who have an agreement may have their family court cases resolved remotely.
  • On May 3, the governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware announced a multi-state agreement to develop a regional supply chain for personal protective equipment, medical equipment and testing. The regional purchasing initiative aims to increase market power and prevent price gouging.
  • Additional SNAP benefits went to nearly 100,000 eligible households in May, and to more than 108,000 eligible households in June.
  • The state will provide $95.5 million in SNAP benefits to families of children eligible for free and reduced-price school meals through the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer program.
  • Lamont announced that residents who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 can receive free assistance managing their student loans through Summer, a resource for borrowers.
  • While visitation to nursing homes is prohibited, an order implements standards to ensure residents can speak with their families through window visits or virtual conferencing.
  • The state is receiving $111 million in federal relief aid to help school districts provide continued learning and address coronavirus-related disruptions. The state Department of Education will allocate funding based on need.
  • The state is distributing 50,000 infrared thermometers to small businesses, nonprofits and places of worship.
  • An executive order allows all registered voters to vote absentee in the August 11 primary. The secretary of the state said she intends to mail every registered voter an absentee ballot application.
  • The state implemented SNAP online food purchasing at participating retailers beginning June 2 and 3.
  • The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles is extending expiration dates by 180 days for licenses, permits, registrations, identification cards and other credentials with original expiration dates between March 10 and June 30.
  • The Connecticut Superior Court ordered a stay of all issued executions on evictions and ejectments through July 1.
  • The utility shutoff moratorium for non-residential customers continued through July 1. The utility shutoff moratorium for residential customers will continue for the duration of the public health emergency.
  • Lamont announced the state is partnering with philanthropic organizations to provide assistance to vulnerable residents who are impacted by the pandemic but otherwise ineligible for federal pandemic relief programs, including members of the undocumented community.
  • Banks and credit unions are extending their participation in the Connecticut Mortgage Relief Program through July 30.
  • Lamont announced the creation of the Connecticut Municipal Coronavirus Relief Fund Program, which will reimburse cities and towns for pandemic-related expenses.
  • The new CT Back to Work Initiative will provide workers and businesses with career tools, including a customized state job portal, virtual job fair and online workforce training courses.
  • Lamont announced a $33 million plan to provide emergency assistance to renters, homeowners and residential landlords impacted by the pandemic.
  • Lamont extended the moratorium on residential evictions through Oct. 1.
  • Lamont issued an executive order ensuring workers' compensation benefits for essential employees who contracted COVID-19 on the job.
  • Connecticut PK-12 schools are receiving a total of $266 million in relief funds to assist with reopening and operations in the fall.


Maine

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Janet Mills issued an order directing residents to "stay at home at all times unless for an essential job or an essential personal reason, such as obtaining food, medicine, health care, or other necessary purposes" until at least April 30. A modified stay-at-home order extended through May 31. Certain businesses in select rural counties could reopen before then.
  • Individuals must maintain a 6-foot distance from others when in public, and are now required to wear cloth face coverings in public settings where physical distancing measures are hard to maintain, including at outdoor gatherings. Businesses must post signs alerting customers of the face covering requirement by June 5, and may deny entry to people who do not comply.
  • On July 8, Mills issued an executive order requiring large retail businesses, restaurants, outdoor bars, tasting rooms and lodging establishments in specific cities and coastal counties to enforce the state's face covering requirement.
  • An executive order effective June 1 continues the "Stay Safer at Home" order but allows people to venture out for more businesses and activities as they reopen.

Reopening

  • On April 28, Mills introduced a modified stay-at-home order effective through May 31 and introduced a plan to gradually lift certain restrictions. The plan establishes four stages, starting with resuming low-risk business operations. It's designed to progress on a month-by-month basis depending on the success of each step. The first stage started May 1.
  • As of May 1, some business and quality of life activities can resume with specific limits and safety precautions in place. They include: personal care services, drive-in religious services, drive-in movie theaters, auto dealerships and car washes, and most state parks and historic sites. Guided outdoor activities like hunting and fishing, as well as restricted use of golf and disc golf courses, are permitted. Retail stores can offer curbside pickup.
  • Also starting May 1, state-licensed health care providers can resume operations if they implement certain protocols and maintain capacity for potential outbreaks.
  • Mills announced a rural reopening plan for the resumption of certain services and activities in 12 counties where community transmission is not believed to be present. Retail stores can reopen as of May 11, with added health and safety precautions. Restaurants there can reopen beginning May 18 with additional precautions. Also on that day, remote campsites and sporting camps in these counties can reopen with public health safeguards, only to Maine residents or those who have completed a 14-day quarantine.
  • Statewide as of May 11, fitness and exercise gyms can reopen for outdoor classes capped at 10 people and one-on-one personal training indoors.
  • Effective May 14, Maine lodging providers can begin accepting reservations for stays with an arrival date of June 1 or later for Maine residents and non-residents who comply with the state's two week self-quarantine mandate. Lodging establishments must "be prepared" to cancel and fully refund reservations if they cannot open under Stage 2.
  • Campgrounds and RV parks opened to Maine residents only on May 22.
  • The state moved into Stage 2 of reopening on June 1. Counties that have not already reopened retail businesses to indoor shopping can do so voluntarily with strict precautions. Another county can join the 12 rural counties that allow restaurants to open for outdoor and indoor dining, and three counties can reopen restaurants for outdoor dining only.
  • The limit on gatherings has increased from 10 to 50 people.
  • An executive order effective June 1 removes the distinction between essential and nonessential businesses in line with the restarting plan. All workplaces are encouraged to keep employees working remotely to the extent practicable. Public transportation should only be used for essential purposes, and people traveling in private vehicles must limit passengers to their household members. Interstate travel restrictions remain in effect.
  • Under the rural reopening plan, 13 of Maine's 16 counties can open gyms, fitness centers, nail salons and tattoo and piercing establishments beginning June 12. Bars and tasting rooms in those counties will also be able to open for outdoor service.
  • Mills announced the "Keep Maine Healthy" plan, a three-fold approach to protecting residents and visitors that involves testing as an alternative to self-quarantine, increased symptom checking and state support for local public health and COVID-19 prevention efforts. Visitors with proof of a recent negative test result do not have to quarantine upon arrival, and residents of New Hampshire and Vermont are exempt from this requirement altogether.
  • Mills announced that visitors from Connecticut, New York and New Jersey are exempt from the state's quarantine requirement and testing alternative effective July 3.
  • Mills announced that lodging establishments can begin serving out-of-state residents who meet the 14-day quarantine or alternative testing requirement beginning June 26, moved up from July 1. Residents of New Hampshire and Vermont can stay at Maine lodging establishments as of June 12.
  • State officials released guidance for town meetings and elections during the pandemic, with two options for conducting meetings that exceed the 50-person gathering limit as well as hygiene and social distancing protocols for polling places.
  • Effective June 17, the remaining three counties are allowed to reopen indoor dining with additional health and safety protocols. They can also open bars, breweries and tasting rooms for outdoor, seated service. Gyms, tattoo parlors and nail salons can open in line with requirements. Capacity limits at retail establishments expands to allow up to 5 customers per 1,000 square feet.
  • Officials released COVID-19 prevention checklists for establishments opening in Stage 3, including spas, indoor and outdoor amusements, movie theaters and performing arts venues.
  • Mills' administration announced support for school systems, including an updated framework for deciding whether to return to classroom instruction and CARES Act funding to implement new safety protocols.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • Maine's primary election was rescheduled to July 14. Applications for absentee ballots can be made, without specifying a reason, up to and including the day of the election.
  • Mills instructed all state government departments to freeze non-emergency spending and hiring and prohibited state employees from traveling outside of Maine on government business.
  • The Mills administration said it does not anticipate accepting cruise or commercial passenger ships with more than 50 people this summer, excluding passenger ferries working between Maine ports.
  • Mills announced that indoor bar service, tentatively scheduled to reopen on July 1, is postponed "until further notice."

Testing and tracing

  • Through a partnership with Maine-based IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., Mills' administration is purchasing enough COVID-19 testing kits to "more than triple" the state's testing capacity. Mills said the state is purchasing enough test kits to run at least 5,000 tests per week "for the foreseeable future."
  • As of May 18, Maine has eliminated its testing prioritization system and is allowing health care providers to seek testing for anyone suspected of having COVID-19, including individuals showing symptoms or those who have had close contact with a confirmed case.
  • Mills announced that the state is expanding its contact tracing efforts by enlisting more staff and volunteers, deploying new technology and expanding social supports for individuals self-quarantining because of exposure.
  • Mills announced that starting in July, the state will "quadruple" its COVID-19 lab testing capacity, develop an additional 20 "swab and send" testing locations and allow more people with elevated risk of exposure to get tested.

Relief and resources

  • The state legislature approved Gov. Mills' emergency package worth roughly $11 million that expands eligibility for unemployment benefits and prohibits utilities from terminating residential electric and water service.
  • Mills issued an executive order on April 7 that expands access to health care by allowing licensed social workers, psychologists and physical therapists to provide services via telehealth. It also allows certain health care providers like respiratory therapists and pharmacists to receive temporary licenses to provide care if licensed in another state, or reactivate their Maine license if retired within the last three years.
  • Preparation is underway to open two alternative care sites in Portland and Bangor.
  • An April 16 executive order limits evictions during the state of emergency.
  • Mills announced a rental assistance relief program for people affected by COVID-19. Eligible households will receive a one-time payment up to $500 that will be paid directly to their landlord. The program has since been extended to cover rent for April, May or June.
  • Maine received nearly $11 million in federal funds to support access to child care for essential workers and offer relief to child care providers affected by the pandemic.
  • The state launched its "FrontLine WarmLine," a volunteer phone support service to help health care workers and first responders manage stress.
  • Mills extended Maine's state of civil emergency a fifth time, through Sept. 3, allowing the state to continue accessing federal resources.
  • Through federal funding and private donations, Mills' administration secured internet access and learning devices for "100 percent of Maine school children for whom there was a reported need."
  • The state provided 1,900 cloth face coverings to the Maine Association of Broadcasters, for use by broadcast media outlet employees.
  • The state received $52.7 million in federal funding, which will be used primarily to expand laboratory capacity, particularly at rural hospitals, and establish more drive-through testing sites.
  • The state Department of Health and Human Services distributed nearly $11 million in CARES Act funding in the form of child care subsidies for 525 essential workers and stipends for more than 1,600 child care providers.
  • Mills approved almost $9 million in COVID-19 prevention and protection grants for 96 municipalities.
  • Mills signed an order making several procedural changes in order to facilitate access to safe in-person and absentee voting for the general election.


Massachusetts

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Charlie Baker ordered nonessential businesses to close throughout the state, and limited restaurants to carryout and delivery service only. He extended the stay-at-home order, including the closure of nonessential businesses and limit on gatherings larger than 10 people, until May 18.
  • Effective May 6, all residents over the age of two are required to wear a mask or face covering in public where maintaining social distance is not possible. The order applies to workers and customers of essential businesses as well as anyone using any transportation service or public mass transit.

Reopening

  • Massachusetts began Phase 1 of reopening on May 18. A Safer-at-Home Advisory instructed residents to stay home except for engaging in permitted activities, and directed people over 65 or with underlying conditions to stay home except for essential errands.
  • In Phase 1, manufacturing facilities, construction sites and places of worship can open. Hospitals and community health centers can provide high priority preventative care, pediatric care and treatment for high-risk patients in line with certain protocols. Other sectors of the economy were allowed to begin a staggered reopening on May 25. All must follow industry-specific guidance.
  • Grocery stores must limit occupancy to 40 percent of their maximum permitted levels, enforce social distancing measures, and provide alternative hours for adults over the age of 60.
  • The state changed some of its rules about essential business operations on May 4, allowing certain nonessential retail businesses like flower shops, bookstores and car dealerships to fulfill online and phone orders for delivery. Expanded guidelines now allow between three and seven employees inside of a store, depending on the building's square footage, to fill remote orders. They must wear masks and follow other social distancing and sanitation protocols.
  • Municipalities can choose to open golf courses as of May 7, in compliance with strict safety and social distancing guidelines.
  • On May 11, Baker announced a four-phase approach to gradually reopening certain industries. He also released Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards, which will apply across all sectors as restrictions are lifted.
  • Businesses permitted to reopen in a staggered approach beginning May 25 include lab space, office space, limited personal services including hair salons and pet grooming, and retail for remote fulfillment and curbside pickup. Many facilities can reopen that same day, including beaches, parks, drive-in movie theaters, select athletic fields and courts, outdoor gardens, zoos, reserves and public installations, many outdoor adventure activities and most fishing, hunting and boating.
  • Additional businesses and activities can open in Phase 2 of the state's reopening plan, which Baker announced on May 29. Outdoor dining will begin at the start of Phase 2, with indoor dining to open later on. Lodging businesses including hotels, motels and short-term rentals can expand operations but keep event spaces closed. Professional sports teams can begin practicing in line with league guidance, but facilities will remain closed to the public.
  • A June 1 executive order lists the businesses and services that can reopen in phases two, three and four. It permits Phase 2 enterprises to reopen their workplaces to employees for preparations necessary for resuming operations.
  • Other businesses permitted to reopen in Phase 2 include hotels and other short-term lodging, behind-the-wheel driver training, non-contact personal services such as photography and window washing, funeral homes, warehouses and distribution centers, small group non-athletic instructional classes for youth under 18 and library browsing with restrictions.
  • The state released guidelines for the phased reopening of child care programs, camps and summer recreational programs, which can open in Phase 2 after submitting preparedness plans. Minimum requirements include face coverings and group size limits.
  • The state relaxed family visitation restrictions at nursing homes and assisted living facilities to allow for scheduled outdoor visits beginning June 3, and issued accompanying guidance.
  • Step One of Phase 2 began on June 8.
  • Health care providers may resume all previously suspended in-person services beginning June 8, except for elective cosmetic procedures and in-person day programs. They should continue utilizing telehealth as much as possible.
  • Step Two of Phase 2 began on June 22, allowing additional businesses to reopen in line with sector-specific guidance. Indoor table service at restaurants and close contact personal services can reopen. Retail dressing rooms can open by appointment only, and offices can open at 50% capacity.
  • The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released initial guidance for the reopening of schools in the fall.
  • Updated travel guidance effective July 1 requires all travelers and residents entering the state to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, excluding critical infrastructure workers and travelers from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York and New Jersey.
  • Most of the state (except for Boston) entered Step One of Phase 3 on July 6. Movie theaters, outdoor performance venues, museums, cultural and historical sites, fitness centers, health clubs and certain low-contact indoor recreational activities can resume under industry-specific rules and restrictions. Professional sports teams can hold games without spectators under league-wide rules.
  • Also effective July 6, indoor gatherings are limited to eight people per 1,000 square feet with no more than 25 people in a single enclosed space. Outdoor gatherings in enclosed spaces are limited to 25% of the facility's maximum permitted occupancy, with a maximum of 100 people in a single enclosed outdoor space.
  • In Phase Three, certain group treatment programs, day programs and human services programs can reopen under health and safety guidance.
  • Courthouses physically reopened to the public for limited purposes on July 13, but courts will continue to conduct most business virtually. In-person proceedings will expand in a second phase scheduled to begin August 10.
  • Beginning Aug. 1, all visitors and residents entering the state must fill out a travel form and self-quarantine for 14 days, unless they are coming from a designated lower-risk state, can provide a negative COVID-19 test result from within 72 hours prior to arrival or qualify for one of few exemptions.
  • An updated order effective Aug. 11 lowers the outdoor gathering limit from 100 to 25 people in both public and private settings. The order also requires face coverings at any indoor or outdoor gathering where more than 10 people from different households will be present.
  • Updated restaurant rules allow alcoholic beverages to be served for on-site consumption only if accompanied by orders for food prepared on site.
  • Baker announced on Aug. 7 that due to an increase in positive cases, Step Two of Phase 3 is postponed indefinitely.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • On May 15, Baker announced a partial list of large employers in the state that will continue their work from home policies "for the rest of the spring and, in numerous cases, beyond." The list includes 54 companies employing a total of about 150,000 individuals.
  • Bars, nightclubs, dance clubs, large capacity venues, festivals, parades, road races, amusement parks and outdoor and indoor water parks will remain closed until Phase 4.
  • Jury trials in both civil and criminal cases in state courts remain postponed until at least September 8.

Testing and tracing

  • The state is conducting contact tracing through its COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative, which makes private phone calls to individuals who tested positive or were in contact with someone who did.
  • The state Department of Public Health now recommends COVID-19 testing for all symptomatic individuals as well as individuals identified as close contacts through contact tracing.
  • Baker announced an expanded testing plan, which involves ramping up capacity to 45,000 daily tests by the end of July and 75,000 daily tests by the end of December.
  • The governors of Maryland, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio and Virginia announced an interstate compact with the Rockefeller Foundation to purchase a total of 3 million rapid antigen tests.
  • Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, the state is requiring all students enrolled in child care, preschool, K-12 schools and higher education institutions to get vaccinated against the flu by Dec. 31.

Relief and resources

  • Baker issued an emergency order allowing physicians who retired in good standing within the past year to reactivate their licenses.
  • State authorities rolled out an online portal to facilitate the donation or sale of personal protective equipment.
  • Baker issued emergency orders easing licensing restrictions for foreign-educated doctors to practice in the state, expediting the licensure of nursing school students and graduates, and mandating that insurers cover all "medically required costs of COVID-19 treatment" in out-of-network hospitals.
  • Baker's administration announced the launch of the Manufacturing Emergency Response Team, along with $10.6 million in funding. The initiative will support manufacturers as they pivot operations to produce personal protective equipment and other critical supplies for front-line and health care workers.
  • Baker outlined five key initiatives in his administration's ongoing strategy to support homeless populations during the outbreak. Additionally, the Department of Children and Families is making supplementary monthly payments to foster parents through June, and Baker authorized the Department of Early Education and Care to establish emergency sites for youth living in residential homes that need to be cared for in isolation due to COVID-19.
  • Baker signed legislation on April 20 prohibiting evictions and foreclosures during the emergency.
  • Baker announced that eligible cities and towns will receive temporary WiFi hot spots, expanding their broadband access through September 1.
  • On May 3, the governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware announced a multi-state agreement to develop a regional supply chain for personal protective equipment, medical equipment and testing. The regional purchasing initiative aims to increase market power and prevent price gouging.
  • The state will distribute up to $502 million in federal relief funding to cities and towns for costs related to their COVID-19 response efforts.
  • Since April 20, six chartered flights have delivered over 7.5 million pieces of personal protective equipment to front-line workers.
  • Baker announced the state is providing $56 million to programs and initiatives addressing urgent food insecurity as a result of the pandemic, in line with recommendations from its Food Security Task Force.
  • Baker signed "An Act Addressing COVID-19 Data Collection and Disparities in Treatment," which aims to expand collection and publication of data to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on underserved populations and other groups.
  • On June 11, Baker announced that applications are open for the $36 million Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program, and said the state is investing an additional $5 million in the Healthy Incentives Program.
  • Baker announced additional administrative tax relief measures for local businesses impacted by the pandemic, especially in the restaurant and hospitality sectors. Measures include postponing the collection of regular sales, meals and room occupancy taxes for small businesses until September and waiving penalties and interest.
  • Baker proposed a $275 million COVID-19 economic recovery package focusing on the core areas of housing, community development and business competitiveness.
  • Baker announced $19.6 million to support vital social services and small businesses in 181 municipalities.
  • Baker extended the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until October 17.


New Hampshire

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Chris Sununu issued a stay-at-home order on March 26, mandating the closure of all nonessential businesses and requiring people to stay in their place of residence except for certain permitted activities.
  • Sununu announced on May 1 that a revised stay-at-home order would remain in effect until May 31. Certain services and businesses will be allowed to resume limited operations over the course of the month, in compliance with state guidance. He later extended the stay-at-home order to June 15, but is gradually allowing additional businesses and activities to open.
  • The state's stay-at-home order and 10-person gathering limit expired at 11:59 p.m. on June 15.
  • An emergency order requires attendees of certain scheduled gatherings of 100 people or more to wear face coverings.

Reopening

  • Under the revised stay-at-home order, campgrounds can open to New Hampshire residents and at limited capacity beginning May 4.
  • As of May 11, private and public golf courses can open for residents and club members, in accordance with health guidelines. Barbers and hair salons can start offering limited services by appointment only. Retail locations can open at 50% occupancy and subject to strict guidelines. Drive-in movie theaters can resume operations.
  • While dentist offices were not ordered closed, the state has issued guidance for reopening "if they should choose," effective May 11.
  • Restaurants may choose to start offering outdoor seating beginning May 18. They must comply with specific health and safety guidelines.
  • Beginning May 18, outdoor activities in natural settings that occur individually or in groups no larger than 10 people can resume with restrictions. Those activities include bike, canoe and kayak rentals, outdoor driving and shooting ranges, small fishing charters, paint ball and guided fishing, hunting and hiking. Amusement parks, water parks, boat cruises and indoor attractions remain closed.
  • As of May 18, equestrian facilities can resume socially-distant operations.
  • Small-group youth and amateur sports training and practices are allowed to begin as of May 22. Competitions and contact sports remain prohibited.
  • Beginning June 1, fitness centers can resume small-group fitness classes with occupancy limits and social distancing requirements. Use of gym equipment is only allowed in one-on-one personal training sessions.
  • State seacoast beaches can open for recreational activity starting June 1. State parking lots will have capacity limits, and sitting and sports are prohibited.
  • Personal care services such as nail and tanning salons, acupuncturists, massage therapy centers and tattoo shops can reopen beginning June 1.
  • The state issued guidance for places of worship to resume in-person services at 40% occupancy.
  • Behind the wheel driver's education classes can resume.
  • Hotels and short-term rentals can resume service for in-state residents and out-of-state travelers who have quarantined for 14 days, beginning June 5.
  • Effective June 5, sunbathing and other "traditional beach activities" can resume at state seacoast beaches. Parking restrictions remain in effect, and beach visitors must keep 6 feet from other groups.
  • Sununu announced on June 5 that the state will move forward with Phase 2 of its golf guidance, which allows two people from separate households in the same golf cart, shortens the break between tee times and opens courses to out-of-state residents.
  • Additional outdoor recreational activities and attractions can resume in line with guidance, including batting cages, ropes courses, caves, disc golf and petting zoos.
  • Sununu announced that restaurants in six counties can open indoor dining at 100% capacity beginning June 15, with restaurants in the rest of the state permitted to open at 50% indoor capacity.
  • The state released guidance for wedding receptions starting June 15.
  • Effective June 15, gyms can open at 50% capacity and amateur sports can move into Phase Two, which includes the reopening of indoor athletic facilities and road races. Bowling alleys, charitable gaming facilities, libraries, funeral homes, museums, art galleries and pools can also open in line with state guidance. Outdoor attractions such as outdoor race tracks, tourist trains and organized motorcycle rides can resume operations in line with updated guidance.
  • Day camps can open under new guidance beginning June 22. Overnight summer camps can open beginning June 28.
  • Beginning June 29, indoor movie theaters, performing arts centers, amusement parks and adult day centers can all open with capacity limits. Arts and music education can also resume.
  • Health officials said nursing homes are developing individual plans to resume limited no-contact, outdoor visitation, with some potentially being able to allow visitors starting the weekend of June 20. Facilities cannot accept visitors if they are experiencing outbreaks.
  • Larger hotels, inns and campgrounds can operate at 100% capacity as of June 29.
  • Sununu announced the New Hampshire Motor Speedway will host the rescheduled NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 on August 2, with the grandstands at up to 35% capacity.
  • Sununu announced that effective July 2, there is no longer a quarantine requirement for leisure travelers coming from Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
  • Officials released school reopening guidance that allows local districts to choose whether to offer fully in-person instruction, fully remote instruction or a mix of both.
  • As of Aug. 21, restaurants in every county statewide can operate at 100% capacity for indoor dining.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • An April 28 executive order directed executive branch agencies to pause hiring and nonessential out of state travel.
  • Sununu issued an emergency order rescinding the ban on reusable shopping bags.

Testing and tracing

  • The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is opening new testing centers as part of a campaign to increase testing to 1,500 residents per day.
  • Any New Hampshire resident can now get tested at the state's fixed testing sites, regardless of symptoms.
  • ClearChoiceMD is offering antibody tests for all residents, available at its walk-in care centers. The state has agreed to pay for those who are uninsured or whose insurance plans do not cover the test.
  • An emergency order allows licensed pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests under certain conditions.
  • The state's new Asymptomatic Spread Assessment Program encourages residents to get tested even if they are not showing symptoms.

Relief and resources

  • Sununu has expanded the number of circumstances that qualify for state unemployment.
  • Business tax payment deadlines for most of the small businesses throughout the state were delayed until June 15.
  • Utilities in the state were temporarily prohibited from disconnecting service for non-payments until July 15.
  • An emergency order halted eviction proceedings and foreclosure actions until July 1.
  • Absentee voting eligibility has been expanded to allow any New Hampshire voter concerned about visiting polling places to request an absentee ballot. This applies to the September primary and November general election regardless of how the outbreak may have progressed by the fall.
  • On April 15, Sununu announced a $300 weekly stipend for up to 25,000 front-line workers at residential facilities and social service organizations through June.
  • The state Department of Health and Human Services received a $2 million grant to assist individuals impacted by mental health and substance use disorders during the pandemic, which it will use to create a system of crisis intervention, treatment and recovery supports.
  • The state released an additional $3 million in federal CARES Act funding to assist homeless shelters. The money will cover staff stipends and provide direct support to shelters and community agencies.
  • Businesses reopening under the revised stay-at-home order can request free disposable masks from the state, for use by employees and customers.
  • The state is allocating $40 million to communities impacted by the coronavirus, to help cover expenses incurred by towns.
  • Using CARES Act funding, the state is giving stipends to front-line workers. Full-time workers will receive $300 per week, and part-time workers will receive $150.
  • To address staffing shortages, an emergency order authorizes "temporary health partners" to assist licensed staff in long-term care facilities.
  • The state's Long Term Care Stabilization Fund made $6.2 million in payments to long-term care facilities as of May 13, with a committed $5.5 million per week going forward. It has been extended through July 31.
  • The state sent $575,000 to local police and fire departments to support the purchase of ventilators, supplies and personal protective equipment and help cover overtime costs.
  • Sununu announced plans for the allocation of $250 million in federal funding, to be distributed to efforts including: expanding the first responder stipend program to include additional front-line professions, doubling the size of the state's health care relief fund, supporting emergency child protection and domestic violence relief, municipal COVID-19 cost reimbursement, and oversight and federally-mandated expenses. Additional relief will go to "child care, farm and food, a non-profit relief fund, a Main Street relief fund, public higher education relief and aid for eligible small businesses."
  • Sununu signed an emergency order ensuring the continuation of special education services and mandating districts hold individualized meetings to consider extended school year services for every child with an Individualized Education Plan.
  • Sununu said the state will use $35 million in CARES Act funding to support families and individuals facing housing insecurity due to the pandemic. The New Hampshire Housing Relief Program has two components: one-time grants and short-term rental assistance.
  • Sununu issued an order lifting the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures effective July 1. It also extends the minimum cure period for eviction notices related to unpaid rent between March 17 and June 11 from seven to 30 days.
  • Sununu announced additional allocations of CARES Act funding, with $15 million going to homeless shelters, $2 million for area Chambers of Commerce to help local businesses reopen, $10 million to private colleges and universities and $50 million for a broadband expansion initiative.
  • An emergency order clarifies that members of the New Hampshire National Guard who have been called into active service are eligible for expanded worker's compensation coverage.
  • Sununu announced additional allocations of CARES Act funding, with $5 million going to youth focused programs, $6 million for mental health and substance use disorder resources and $7 million for veterans' assistance.
  • Sununu announced the New Hampshire Self Employed Livelihood Fund.
  • Sununu announced a $19 million grant to help the University System of New Hampshire with facility modifications and equipment for reopening safely in the fall.
  • Sununu signed legislation expanding telemedicine permanently.


New Jersey

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Phil Murphy instructed New Jersey residents to stay home indefinitely, except for "obtaining essential goods or services, seeking medical attention, visiting family or close friends, reporting to work, or engaging in outdoor activities."
  • The state's attorney general has said that law enforcement will enforce the governor's executive orders, and people who don't comply will face criminal charges.
  • Murphy lifted the stay-at-home order on June 9.
  • On July 8, Murphy issued an executive order requiring individuals to wear face coverings in outdoor public settings where social distancing is not feasible. The order reiterates that face coverings are required in indoor spaces accessible to members of the public such as retail and recreational businesses and mass transit.

Reopening

  • On May 18, Murphy introduced a multi-stage blueprint for reopening the economy and said the state was in Stage 1.
  • The governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut announced that marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers in their states can operate for personal use as long as strict social distancing and sanitation protocols are upheld.
  • Through an administrative order, Murphy clarified that pet grooming, care and boarding businesses, as well as businesses that principally sell items necessary for religious observation, are considered essential retail. Car dealerships may permit individuals who have ordered a vehicle online or by phone to test drive the vehicle upon pickup under specific conditions. Personal care service professionals may not provide in-home services, with few exceptions.
  • All state parks and forests reopened at sunrise on May 2. Golf courses and county parks are also allowed to reopen.
  • An administrative order allows the construction of religious facilities to resume or continue, as long as projects abide by state-issued health and safety requirements.
  • A May 13 executive order permits car gatherings for drive-through and drive-in events, effective immediately. It also allows the resumption of nonessential construction, and curbside pickup at nonessential retail businesses, effective 6:00 a.m. on May 18.
  • Charter fishing services and other chartered-boat services, as well as watercraft rental businesses, can open as of May 17 if they adopt certain policies and practices.
  • Murphy announced that Jersey Shore beaches can reopen, with restrictions in place, beginning May 22.
  • An executive order effective May 22 allows state beaches, boardwalks, lakes and lakeshores to open with social distancing measures in place. Facilities like water fountains and playgrounds will remain closed, and outdoor seating will be blocked off. The order allows swimming and picnicking at state parks and forests, as well as county and municipal parks, and reopens park restrooms effective May 16.
  • Murphy signed legislation allowing business owners to sell and deliver mixed drinks in sealed containers for off-premises consumption.
  • As of May 20, in-person sales at car dealerships, motorcycle dealerships, boat dealerships and bike shops can resume, by appointment only and with social distancing and sanitation protocols in place.
  • An executive order allows certain outdoor activities at recreational businesses, including archery ranges, batting cages, horseback riding, shooting ranges and tennis clubs to open with restrictions effective May 22. The order also allows community gardens and all-terrain vehicle and dirt bike rental businesses to open, and lifts certain restrictions on golf courses. It recommends wearing face coverings while participating in these activities in public settings, and clarifies that other places of public amusement remain closed.
  • Medical and dental elective surgeries and invasive procedures can resume starting May 26, in accordance with state Department of Health policies and guidelines.
  • The state released guidance for seasonal farm workers and employees, covering workplace and housing safety as well as COVID-19 testing and treatment protocols.
  • An order effective May 22 increases the outdoor gathering limit from 10 to 25 people and allows recreational campgrounds to reopen with social distancing measures in place. Indoor gatherings remain limited to 10 people.
  • The state is releasing updated guidance allowing school districts, colleges and universities to hold outdoor in-person graduation ceremonies beginning July 6. Ceremonies must adhere to capacity restrictions and social distancing protocols. K-12 schools can choose to hold virtual ceremonies on any date, and drive-in and modified in-person ceremonies starting in July.
  • Professional sports teams that play or train in New Jersey can return to practice and competition if their league resumes operations.
  • Horse racetracks can open with no spectators, effective June 1.
  • An executive order allows child care centers to resume normal operations beginning June 15 in line with state guidance. Outdoor, non-contact organized sporting activities can resume as of June 22. Youth day camps can open as of July 6 in line with health and safety guidelines.
  • The state entered Phase 2 of reopening on June 15. All workers who can work from home should continue to do so. High-risk individuals are encouraged to stay home whenever possible. Phased-in businesses and activities can reopen with modifications, including museums, libraries, limited in-person government services, gyms and in-person clinical lab research.
  • Nonnessential retail opened on June 15, with stores required to limit the number of customers inside to 50% of approved capacity, increase sanitation frequency and require customers and staff to wear face coverings.
  • An executive order allows food and beverage establishments to open outdoor dining in line with health and safety protocols beginning June 15. Establishments with liquor licenses can also apply to temporarily expand their outdoor premises.
  • The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission began a phased-in reopening of services on June 15, with all customers and employees required to wear face coverings on the premises.
  • A June 9 executive order raises the limit on gatherings. Indoor gatherings are permitted with 25% of a building's capacity or 50 people, whichever number is lower, and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people are allowed. Outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people are allowed for First Amendment-protected activities such as political protests and religious services.
  • Another June 9 order also authorizes the opening of all outdoor recreational and entertainment businesses that were previously closed, except for amusement parks, water parks and arcades.
  • Murphy signed an executive order allowing personal care service facilities such as barber shops and nail salons to open on June 22, provided they comply with health and safety requirements.
  • Municipal and private-club swimming pools can open beginning June 22.
  • An administrative order clarifies that libraries can allow curbside pickup and open their outdoor spaces as of June 15, but cannot allow patrons inside. It also specifies requirements for other services allowed to operate, such as car washes, real estate open houses, yard and garage sales, bicycle shops, garden centers and fireworks displays.
  • Students can enter school premises to retrieve personal belongings, and may do so accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Outdoor organized sports can resume as of June 22, in line with health department guidance. The guidance permits practices and competitions for low-risk sports that do not involve contact, and modified no-contact practices for medium- and high-risk sports. Traditional practices and competitions can begin on July 6 for medium-risk sports and July 20 for high-risk sports at outdoor venues only.
  • The Department of Education released guidance for school districts to conduct in-person summer educational programming, including Extended School Year and special education services, as of July 6. Districts that have planned for remote learning can proceed with virtual instruction, and those that want to operate in-person programs or a combination of the two must submit an attestation form to the state health department in advance.
  • State education officials released standards for colleges and universities preparing for summer sessions and the fall semester. The protocols align with the three stages of the state's reopening plan and focus on 10 areas of on-campus life, from instruction to housing to dining to athletics. Schools must submit their restart plans to the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education at least 14 days before any students or staff return to campus.
  • As of July 1, in-person clinical, lab and hands-on programming at institutions of higher learning can reopen subject to their restart plans. Career and training schools can also open that day, subject to health and safety protocols from their respective oversight agencies.
  • Indoor portions of retail shopping malls can reopen with restrictions beginning June 29.
  • The Health Department released guidance permitting limited outdoor visitation at long-term care facilities starting June 21.
  • Campgrounds at state parks and forests opened on June 22.
  • Beginning July 2, some indoor recreational and entertainment businesses can open at 25% capacity. Gyms and fitness centers can offer individualized indoor instruction by appointment only.
  • Playgrounds and outdoor amusement and water parks can open on July 2, as well as personal care services that require the patron to remove their face covering.
  • Effective June 22, indoor gatherings are capped at 25% room occupancy with a maximum of 100 people, and outdoor gatherings are capped at 250 people. Outdoor religious services and political activities continue to have no limits.
  • Officials released reopening guidance for schools and said that "absent a change in public health data," public schools will open for in-person instruction and operations "in some capacity" in the fall.
  • Indoor pools can open at 25% capacity with social distancing, effective July 2.
  • As of July 3, outdoor gatherings are limited to 500 people. Outdoor religious services and political activities continue to have no numerical limits.
  • Health officials released guidelines allowing the parents or legal guardians of pediatric, developmentally disabled and intellectually disabled residents of long-term care facilities to arrange for visits by appointment.
  • An executive order effective July 15 lifts the 50% capacity limit on public transit and private-carrier vehicles. It requires face coverings to be worn in all NJ Transit and private-carrier indoor stations, as well as outdoor stations where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • The New Jersey Department of Education issued clarifying guidance allowing parents to choose full-time remote learning for their children in the 2020-2021 school year.
  • As of August 4, the indoor gathering capacity limit is reduced to 25% of a room's capacity but no more than 25 people. Weddings, funerals, memorial services, religious services and political activities are still limited 25% room capacity with up to 100 people.
  • Face coverings are required for all students inside school buildings at all times.
  • A state health department directive sets mandatory benchmarks for long-term care facilities to open visitation and resume normal operations, and establishes phases for reopening based on the time that's passed since the last outbreak.
  • Murphy signed an executive order allowing public and private schools to reopen for in-person instruction if they meet certain criteria, and allowing those that do not reopen to begin the year with remote-only learning.
  • An executive order allows gyms, fitness centers and indoor amusement and water parks to open in compliance with specific requirements beginning Sept. 1.
  • Indoor dining can resume starting at 6 a.m. on Sept. 4, at 25% capacity and with social distancing and ventilation requirements.
  • Movie theaters and other indoor performance venues can open, at 25% capacity with face masks and social distancing required, starting on Sept. 4.
  • Murphy announced on Aug. 31 that the capacity limits for indoor religious services, weddings, funerals, memorial services and political activities are increased to the lesser of 25% or 150 individuals.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • Businesses are directed to switch to work-from-home arrangements wherever possible.
  • The state's primary elections, originally set for June 2, were rescheduled to July 7. An executive order created a modified vote-by-mail election, and the state will mail every registered voter a ballot or application with pre-paid postage.
  • All New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission facilities are closed. Driver licenses, registrations and inspections with original expiration dates between March 13 and May 31 are extended to July 31. Documents expiring June 30 are extended to August 31, and those expiring July 31 are extended to September 30. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission added more services online, including license renewals, and is encouraging customers to utilize them remotely.
  • The governors of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York announced a joint travel advisory, effective June 24, requiring all individuals coming from designated states with significant community spread to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
  • Gyms, fitness centers, movie theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues and indoor amusement and water parks must keep their indoor spaces closed, and dance floors at any business must be cordoned off.
  • Murphy announced on June 29 that the reopening of indoor dining, tentatively set for July 2, is postponed indefinitely.
  • Murphy rescheduled all upcoming scheduled elections to November 3, the day of the general election.

Testing and tracing

  • The governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut are developing a regional contact tracing program.
  • Murphy announced on April 30 that the New Jersey Department of Corrections would begin conducting universal testing for inmates and staff and providing non-congregant shelter for staff exposed to COVID-19.
  • After an April 30 meeting with President Trump, Murphy announced that the state would receive 550,000 test kits and 750,000 swabs from the federal government.
  • Beginning the week of May 4, daily COVID-19 testing will be available to all NJ TRANSIT employees.
  • The Red Cross opened two convalescent plasma collection sites in North New Jersey.
  • Two of the state's COVID-19 testing sites are now providing tests to asymptomatic residents, prioritizing asymptomatic health care workers, congregate living facility personnel and individuals having had close contact with a confirmed case.
  • On May 12, Murphy announced a strategy to expand New Jersey's testing capacity and implement a contact tracing program. The state plans to double its testing capacity and expand to at least 20,000 tests per day by the end of May, with a minimum of 25,000 tests completed per day by the end of June. It will prioritize access to testing for vulnerable populations, including individuals living in congregate settings and front-line workers. It will also utilize mobile testing units and establish testing sites in faith institutions.
  • The state will create and bear the cost of a digital, centralized database for contact tracing. Murphy signed an executive order mandating all county, local and regional health departments use the platform. The state will build a Community Contact Tracing Corps and partner with colleges and universities to launch recruitment efforts, with the goal of hiring at least 1,000 additional tracers.
  • The Health Commissioner signed an executive directive requiring all long-term care facilities in the state to implement COVID-19 testing of staff and residents by May 26. Facilities must also retest individuals who test negative, first within three to seven days and subsequently according to CDC guidance.
  • Murphy announced that state agencies are increasing insurance coverage to cover expanded access to COVID-19 testing.
  • More than 18,000 licensed pharmacists in the state have been authorized to administer COVID-19 tests.
  • Murphy announced that each step of the state's reopening will be accompanied by the on-boarding of new contact tracers, who will be trained by Rutgers School of Public Health and local health departments. Murphy said the state anticipates scaling up to 2,500 contact tracers by the end of June, and is prepared to bring on a total of at least 4,000 tracers if needed.

Relief and resources

  • Essential workers qualify for assistance for child care costs.
  • Murphy has signed a number of executive orders intended to help meet the need for ventilators and Personal Protective Equipment in state health care facilities, including an April 2 order authorizing the commandeering of property like medical supplies from private entities.
  • Murphy signed an executive order establishing a process to provide "temporary home confinement"or grant early parole for incarcerated individuals who meet certain criteria.
  • FEMA approved the state's request to provide emergency, non-congregate sheltering for "individuals impacted by COVID-19 that do not have means or ability to isolate themselves," expanding housing access for vulnerable individuals, health care workers and first responders.
  • Murphy signed an executive order prohibiting cable and telecommunications providers from terminating internet and voice service due to nonpayment until 30 days after the public health emergency ends.
  • Murphy signed a bill that provides civil and criminal immunity to health care workers during the state of emergency. He signed another allowing professional and occupational licensing boards to reactivate some professional licenses during the emergency.
  • Murphy expanded protections of the Family Leave Act, allowing workers forced to take time off to care for family during the outbreak to use up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave in a 24-month period without jeopardizing their jobs.
  • For the duration of the emergency, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency has suspended rent increases at all eligible properties in its portfolio, which includes 36,000 rental units across the state.
  • Eligible physicians who are licensed in another country but living in the U.S. can now apply for a temporary emergency license to practice in New Jersey.
  • A multi-state initiative will expand payment relief for people with private and non-federal student loans, which are not covered by the CARES Act. The agreement expands protections to student loan borrowers in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
  • An April 24 executive order allows tenants to direct their landlords to use their security deposits to offset rent or back rent until 60 days after the public health emergency ends.
  • An administrative order effective April 25 clarifies that counties and municipalities cannot impose restrictions on the ability of hotels, motels and guest houses to accept individuals who don't have permanent housing.
  • Murphy signed an executive order creating a process for individuals seeking to obtain or renew Carry Permits to demonstrate their qualifications as required by law. The order also extends Carry Permits for retired law enforcement officers by a period of 90 days until after the emergency ends.
  • On May 3, the governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware announced a multi-state agreement to develop a regional supply chain for personal protective equipment, medical equipment and testing. The regional purchasing initiative aims to increase market power and prevent price gouging.
  • A May 1 executive order suspends in-person requirements and allows videoconferencing technology to be used for marriage and civil union licenses and ceremonies, as well as working papers for minors.
  • Murphy announced on May 5 that recent graduates of nursing, physician assistant, pharmacy and respiratory care therapy programs who have not yet been able to take their licensing exams can apply for temporary emergency licenses.
  • Murphy announced that he directed the New Jersey National Guard to deploy its members to long-term care facilities to assist in mitigation efforts, beginning the weekend of May 9.
  • The state launched a jobs and hiring portal.
  • The state received an additional $31.5 million in federal funding, to be used for activities including buildings and improvements, assistance for businesses and renters, capacity building and increased public services.
  • New Jersey was approved to provide $248 million in food assistance benefits to the households of the nearly 600,000 children who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals.
  • As of May 14, the state had distributed more than 42.6 million pieces of personal protective equipment to front-line health care workers and first responders.
  • Murphy signed legislation providing financial relief to students enrolled in state higher education financial aid programs during the pandemic.
  • Murphy signed a bill mandating hospitals allow a "loved one, doula or other support person" to accompany women during childbirth.
  • NJ Transit was awarded $1.4 billion in federal CARES Act funding to support continued service for essential workers.
  • SNAP recipients will be able to use their benefits to order groceries online from certain retailers beginning the week of May 25.
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has extended assistance for the state's veteran's homes to the end of June, and is providing an additional 40 clinical staff at long-term care facilities.
  • New Jersey's public colleges and universities are receiving a total of $68.8 million in CARES Act funding to cover pandemic-related expenses.
  • New Jersey Human Services announced up to $20 million in grants to help child care centers and youth camps meet health and safety guidelines. Child care centers can receive up to $5,000, and camps can receive up to $2,000.
  • The new COVID-19 Short-Term Rental Assistance Program will help low- and moderate-income households that have experienced a substantial reduction in income due to the pandemic.
  • The application window for New Jersey's Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program opened on June 9.
  • Murphy signed legislation limiting excessive delivery service fees charged to restaurants by third-parties during the state of emergencies.
  • A state Department of Health executive directive exempts doulas from hospital delivery support person limits.
  • SNAP-eligible households can shop for groceries online through certain retailers.
  • Murphy announced a $25 million, CARES Act-funded Small Landlord Emergency Grant Program, which will reimburse qualifying small property owners whose tenants missed payments between April and July.
  • State guidance clarifies that schools must continue to provide free and reduced-price meals to eligible students, regardless of whether school days are shortened, students are receiving virtual learning that day or parents have opted for all-remote learning.
  • An executive order requires each county's elections officials to send vote-by-mail ballots with prepaid postage to all active registered voters for the general election.
  • The moratorium on utility shutoffs has been extended until Oct. 15.


New York

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo mandated that all nonessential workers stay home as part of the "New York State on Pause" executive order. Nonessential businesses are closed, and social distancing rules remain in place. The statewide order was extended through May 15, at which point several counties began Phase One of reopening. "New York State on Pause" was extended to May 28, but regions can enter Phase One before then if they meet certain requirements.
  • A May 29 executive order continues New York on Pause indefinitely while allowing regions that satisfy public health and safety metrics to be eligible for Phase One reopenings. Nonessential gatherings larger than 10 people are prohibited.
  • New York City became the last region to enter Phase One on June 8.
  • People are required to maintain a 6-foot distance from others in public. Beginning April 7, New York increased the maximum fine for violations of its social distancing protocol from $500 to $1,000.
  • Beginning April 17, all New Yorkers are required to wear a mask or face covering in public and "in situations where social distancing is not possible." This includes on public transportation and in for-hire vehicles.
  • A May 28 executive order authorizes businesses to deny entry to people without masks.

Reopening

  • The governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware announced on April 13 the creation of a multi-state council that will develop a regional framework for safely and gradually lifting stay-at-home orders and restoring the economy.
  • Cuomo ordered all essential businesses to provide face coverings for their employees and ensure workers are wearing them when in direct contact with customers or members of the public, beginning April 15.
  • The governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut announced that marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers in their states can operate for personal use as long as strict social distancing and sanitation protocols are upheld.
  • On April 26, Cuomo outlined a plan to reopen the state in phases based on regional analysis and determinations. Phase one will reopen low-risk construction and manufacturing operations. On April 28, he issued additional guidelines that regions must follow as part of the reopening plan, covering aspects including business precautions, health care capacity, isolation facilities, testing and tracing.
  • Cuomo announced that elective outpatient treatments will be allowed to resume on April 28 in select counties and hospitals with low risks of an imminent COVID-19 surge. As of June 8, 52 counties and New York City are eligible to resume elective surgeries. Ambulatory surgical centers in those counties may also resume elective surgeries.
  • Cuomo announced on May 4 that the state will monitor four core factors to determine when a region can reopen: new infections, health care capacity, diagnostic testing capacity and contact tracing capacity.
  • Cuomo announced that certain low-risk businesses and recreational activities can resume statewide as of May 15. Those include landscaping and gardening, drive-in movie theaters and low-risk outdoor recreation like tennis.
  • Five regions met all of the benchmarks required to begin Phase 1 of reopening on May 15. Those regions are able to open certain businesses including construction, manufacturing, wholesale supply chain, agriculture, forestry, fishing and retail for curbside or in-store pickup.
  • Judges and staff are returning to courthouses in 30 upstate counties beginning the week of May 18.
  • As part of a regional agreement, New York state beaches can open as of May 22 with strict precautions in place. City, town and county beaches can also open as long as local governments enforce the minimum rules.
  • Religious gatherings of up to 10 people, as well as drive-in and parking lot services, are allowed statewide as of May 21.
  • Cuomo said on May 24 that New York professional sports leagues will be able to begin training camps in the state while following health protocols.
  • Campgrounds and RV parks can open statewide as of May 25.
  • Veterinarian practices are allowed to reopen in all regions beginning May 26.
  • Watkins Glen International Racetrack and horse racing tracks across the state can open without fans beginning June 1.
  • New York City entered Phase 1 of reopening on June 8.
  • Five regions began Phase 2 of reopening on May 29. Two others joined on June 2 and 3, and two more joined on June 9 and 10. By June 10, every region except New York City had entered Phase 2. In Phase 2, office-based workers, real estate services, in-store retail shopping and some hair salon and barber shop service can resume, in line with industry guidance.
  • Dentist offices can open statewide as of June 1.
  • Cuomo announced that summer camps statewide can open beginning June 29.
  • An executive order allows low-risk, outdoor recreational activities, and businesses providing these activities, to open in regions cleared for Phase 1.
  • Outdoor dining at restaurants is now permitted in Phase 2. Cuomo announced that restaurants in the seven regions that have entered Phase 2 can open for outdoor dining beginning June 4.
  • Cuomo announced that schools can hold drive-in and drive-through graduation ceremonies.
  • Outdoor, socially distanced graduations of up to 150 people are allowed starting June 26.
  • Medical schools statewide can open with precautions beginning June 22, to prepare for new students arriving in the summer and fall.
  • An executive order allows necessary in-person special education instruction to take place over the summer, in line with state and federal guidance.
  • Cuomo announced that places of worship can open at 25% occupancy, with social distancing, for regions in Phase 2.
  • Effective June 11, the state is allowing localities to open public pools and playgrounds at their discretion, in compliance with state guidance.
  • On June 12, five regions entered Phase 3, which allows indoor restaurant and food services, as well as personal care services, to open subject to specific guidelines.
  • Cuomo announced that low-risk youth sports can begin in Phase 3 regions starting July 6, with up to two spectators allowed per child.
  • Gathering limits can increase from 10 to 25 people in Phase 3.
  • Cuomo announced on June 16 that hospitals statewide can accept visitors at their discretion, in line with state requirements including time limits and temperature checks. Group homes can accept visitors beginning June 19, provided they adhere to state guidelines and certify compliance to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.
  • New York City began Phase 2 of reopening on June 22. As of that date, three regions were in Phase 2 and seven were in Phase 3.
  • Cuomo announced that the Yankees and Mets baseball teams will hold spring training in New York.
  • An executive order holds bars responsible for the sidewalks or areas in front of their establishments. Cuomo said businesses that violate health guidelines can face "the immediate loss of their liquor license or a shut down order."
  • Five regions entered Phase 4 on June 26. In Phase 4, low-risk indoor and outdoor arts and entertainment, film and television production, higher education and spectator-less professional sports can resume. Social gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, and indoor religious gatherings are permitted at up to 33% capacity.
  • New York City entered Phase 3 on July 6, with indoor dining remaining closed.
  • State park outdoor pools across New York were permitted to reopen for swimming the weekend of July 4.
  • Cuomo said that a decision about reopening schools in the fall will be announced the first week of August.
  • Cuomo announced that effective July 10, malls can open in Phase 4 regions as long as they have enhanced HVAC filtration systems and follow proper ventilation protocols.
  • Concessions at state ocean and lakefront beaches can open with restrictions as of July 12.
  • Out-of-state travelers must complete a state Department of Health travel form upon entering New York. Enforcement teams will be stationed at Port Authority and regional airports.
  • Cuomo announced new guidance for reopening schools based on regional conditions. Regions in Phase 4 can open schools if the daily infection rate remains below 5 percent using a 14-day average, but must close them if the infection rate rises above 9 percent, using a 7-day average, after August 1.
  • Cuomo announced new regulations for New York City bars and restaurants to ensure compliance with social distancing and face covering orders, including only serving alcohol to people who are ordering and eating food and reserving bar top service for seated, socially-distant patrons.
  • New York City was cleared to enter Phase 4 on July 20, but indoor activities in malls and cultural institutions remain prohibited.
  • Cuomo announced on July 29 that DMV licensed driving schools can conduct distance learning pre-licensing courses.
  • Cuomo announced on Aug. 7 that based on each region's infection rate, schools statewide are permitted to open in the fall, with local districts to determine whether they will operate fully or partially in person.
  • Bowling alleys statewide can open at 50% capacity as of Aug. 17.
  • Low-risk indoor cultural institutions such as museums and aquariums can open in New York City as of Aug. 24, with a 25% occupancy limit and other safety protocols in place.
  • Cuomo announced that gyms can open Aug. 24 at 33% capacity with mask requirements and strict health protocols.
  • Statewide, lower-risk sports like soccer and tennis can practice and play beginning Sept. 21. No travel games or practices will be allowed outside of a school's region or neighboring region until Oct. 19. Full-contact sports will be able to practice but are not authorized to compete.
  • Cuomo announced that New York Fashion Week will take place Sept. 13-17 with capacity limits and limited or no spectators.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • Local special district and village elections are delayed until September 15.
  • Summer school will be conducted through distance learning. Meal programs and child care services for essential workers will continue.
  • Cuomo said bars and restaurants that violate reopening rules could lose their liquor license, and that individuals can be fined for open container and social distancing violations. He added that failure of local governments to enforce reopening rules and guidelines may result in business closures.
  • The governors of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York announced a joint travel advisory, effective June 24, requiring all individuals coming from designated states with significant community spread to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
  • Cuomo announced on July 1 that the reopening of indoor dining in New York City, initially set for Phase 3, will be postponed.
  • The 2020 New York State Fair is canceled. Cuomo announced on July 8 that all county fairs are canceled until further notice.
  • Cuomo announced on July 6 that movie theaters and casinos will remain closed.
  • The U.S. Open will take place in Mamaroneck from September 13 to September 20 without fans.

Testing and tracing

  • Cuomo issued an executive order requiring all public and private labs in New York to coordinate with the State Department of Health to prioritize diagnostic testing.
  • The state's department of health began conducting a statewide antibody testing survey on April 20.
  • Following an April 21 meeting with President Trump, Cuomo announced a partnership with the federal government to double testing capacity in the state to 40,000 tests per day. The state has met this target as of May 17.
  • Cuomo announced on April 22 that New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will launch a regional contact tracing program in partnership with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
  • The state is expanding COVID-19 testing criteria to allow all first responders, health care workers and essential employees to get tested regardless of symptoms.
  • Cuomo issued an executive order allowing independent pharmacists to conduct diagnostic COVID-19 tests.
  • Cuomo announced an initiative to establish temporary testing sites at churches in predominantly minority communities in downstate New York. He later announced an expansion of the effort, totaling 72 faith-based testing sites.
  • The state is continuing its partnership with Ready Responders to expand testing from eight to 40 public housing developments in New York City.
  • An executive order mandates all nursing homes and adult care facilities test all personnel for COVID-19 twice a week and promptly report any positive cases to the State Department of Health. The order also mandates that hospitals cannot discharge patients to a nursing home unless they test negative. Nursing homes that fail to comply will lose their licenses. Cuomo announced the state is sending 320,000 testing kits to nursing homes to help with this effort.
  • The state launched a website to help New Yorkers locate their nearest COVID-19 testing sites.
  • It has also expanded its testing criteria to include all individuals who would return to their workplace in Phase One.
  • Cuomo announced a new pilot program with 52 independent pharmacies to conduct an additional 7,000 tests per week.
  • Cuomo announced New York is making its contact tracing training curriculum available to all states, at no cost, through the National Governors Association.
  • The state expanded its testing criteria to include anyone who has attended a protest in New York state. Cuomo is encouraging protesters to get tested and "act as if you may have been exposed." There are 15 new testing sites in New York City for people who attended protests.
  • Cuomo signed legislation requiring the State Department of Health to conduct a study on the health impacts of COVID-19 on minorities in New York State.

Relief and resources

  • The state has extended the period covered by unemployment benefits to a total of 39 weeks.
  • Cuomo issued an order allowing funeral directors licensed out of state to practice in New York.
  • An additional $200 million in emergency food assistance will be available for SNAP-eligible households.
  • Cuomo issued an executive order allowing New Yorkers to obtain marriage licenses remotely and permitting authorized officiants to perform marriage ceremonies using online video technology.
  • The New York State Department of Financial Services is directing health insurers to "immediately process for payment outstanding hospital claims"and ease administrative burdens on state hospitals.
  • The state's health department and attorney general are partnering to investigate nursing homes that violate an executive order requiring them to communicate COVID-19 test results and deaths to residents' families.
  • Federal funding will be used to provide $30 million in Child Care Scholarships for essential workers and to purchase supplies for child care providers.
  • The state is providing $25 million to food banks and food providers impacted by the outbreak.
  • On April 29, Cuomo announced he would adopt all six recommendations of the COVID-19 Maternity Task Force. He signed an executive order that diversifies birthing site options to support patient choice, extends the time period that healthy partners can accompany mothers post-delivery and clarifies that doulas are essential support.
  • The MTA will disinfect the New York City subway and bus systems, as well as the Metro North and Long Island Railroads, every 24 hours. It will stop MTA service from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. daily and provide free transportation alternatives to essential workers during that window. Cuomo announced on May 28 that the MTA will pilot the use of UV light technology to disinfect subway cars and crew facilities.
  • On May 3, the governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware announced a multi-state agreement to develop a regional supply chain for personal protective equipment, medical equipment and testing. The regional purchasing initiative aims to increase market power and prevent price gouging.
  • The state directed insurers to waive all cost sharing, co-payments and deductibles for mental health services for essential workers during the pandemic.
  • Cuomo announced that New York State will require all hospitals to have on hand a 90-day supply of personal protective equipment "at quantities sufficient to meet the rate of use during the worst of this crisis."
  • New York State is distributing an additional 7 million cloth masks to nursing homes and lower-income communities.
  • New York State is extending the moratorium on evictions for residents facing outbreak-related hardship until August 20. Late fees and missed payment fees are also banned during this period. Renters facing financial hardship will be allowed to use their security deposit as payment and repay the deposit over time.
  • Due to the outbreak, the state is extending the window for childhood sexual abuse survivors to file cases under the Child Victims Act until January 14, 2021.
  • New York is investigating emerging cases of COVID-related illness in children and notifying the other 49 states. At the request of the CDC, the state is helping develop the national criteria for identifying and responding to the illness.
  • Cuomo announced that an initial $3 million in grants are available to businesses manufacturing emergency medical supplies and equipment.
  • Cuomo announced on May 19 that the state is implementing a two-week hospital visitation pilot program in 16 hospitals, through which loved ones will be provided with personal protective equipment and given symptom and temperature checks for time-limited visits.
  • The state extended sales tax interest and penalty relief through June 22.
  • The New York Forward Loan Fund will support eligible small businesses with 20 or fewer employees, with a focus on minority- and women-owned businesses. Pre-application opened May 26.
  • State and local governments will provide death benefits for front-line workers who died from COVID-19 during the emergency.
  • Cuomo issued an order requiring the board to mail every New Yorker a postage-paid application for an absentee ballot for the state's Democratic presidential primary, which was rescheduled to June 23. He also extended the deadline to submit absentee ballots until the day of the election.
  • Cuomo announced that the MTA is accelerating construction on $2 billion in capital projects due to reduced ridership related to the pandemic. The state is also deploying 25,000 gallons and 500,000 2-oz. bottles of sanitizer, as well as over one million masks, to the MTA for its reopening.
  • New York is distributing 10,000 gallons and 100,000 2-oz. bottles of hand sanitizer, as well as 500,000 cloth masks, to Metro North.
  • Cuomo signed legislation suspending the forfeiture of unemployment benefits during the state of emergency, allowing individuals who have faced forfeit penalties for past claims to collect benefits during the pandemic.
  • Cuomo announced that $65 million in CARES Act funding is available to child care providers statewide through the New York Forward Child Care Expansion Incentive program.
  • Cuomo announced an emergency rental assistance program to help low-income families who have lost income due to the pandemic.
  • New guidance for New York health insurers will ensure that patients are not charged personal protective equipment fees by participating health care providers.
  • Cuomo signed legislation allowing absentee ballots to be submitted to the Board of Elections beginning Aug. 20, expanding protections to allow voters to get an absentee ballot due to risk or fear of illness and ensuring all absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day (or received by the Board of Elections the day after the election without a postmark) will be counted.
  • An executive order extended the moratorium on COVID-19-related commercial evictions until Sept. 20.


Pennsylvania

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Tom Wolf issued a statewide stay-at-home order initially effective until April 30. It was extended for all of Pennsylvania's 67 counties until 12:01 a.m. on May 8. The stay-at-home order applied to counties in the red phase of the state's reopening plan through June 4.
  • The state's stay-at-home order expired at 11:59 p.m. on June 4, at which point all remaining red phase counties moved to the yellow phase.
  • On May 11, Wolf announced consequences for counties that do not abide by stay-at-home order. Non-compliant counties will not be eligible for federal stimulus discretionary funds. Businesses risk losing their liability insurance, and dine-in restaurants risk receiving citations that could ultimately lead to loss of their liquor license. Wolf said that in counties opening prematurely, employees who do not feel comfortable returning to work can continue receiving unemployment compensation.
  • Masks must be worn inside all businesses in both green and yellow phase counties. Effective July 1, masks must be worn in all public spaces.
  • The last county to move to the green phase did so on July 3. As of that date, the entire state is green.

Reopening

  • The governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware announced on April 13 the creation of a multi-state council that will develop a regional framework for safely and gradually lifting stay-at-home orders and restoring the economy.
  • Wolf's three-phase "Plan for Pennsylvania" emphasizes relief, reopening and recovery. On April 22, he outlined a plan for the state's phased reopening with a targeted May 8 start. As regions move from the red phase to the yellow phase, certain restrictions will be loosened.
  • On May 8, 24 counties moved into the yellow phase of reopening. In the yellow or "aggressive mitigation" phase, some restrictions on work and social interaction are lifted while limits on gathering size and closures of certain businesses remain in place. An additional 13 counties entered the yellow phase on May 15. Another 12 counties moved to the yellow phase on May 22.
  • On May 29, eight additional counties moved to the yellow phase and 18 moved to green. On June 5, 16 more counties moved to the green phase and the ten remaining red counties entered the yellow phase. Another 12 counties became green on June 12.
  • In the yellow phase, the stay-at-home order is lifted but restrictions on social and economic activities remain. Telework must continue whenever feasible. In-person retail is allowable, but curbside and delivery services are preferable. Indoor recreation, health and wellness, personal care service and entertainment facilities will stay closed. Child care can open in adherence to state guidelines, but congregate care and prison restrictions will remain in place. Gatherings larger than 25 people are prohibited.
  • Wolf signed a bill on April 20 enabling auto dealerships to conduct limited car sales and leasing operations online. That same day, he permitted the curbside pickup of wine and spirits at certain Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board locations, and said construction projects may resume in adherence with strict guidelines on May 8.
  • Wolf announced that golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately-owned campgrounds may reopen, following specific guidance, starting May 1. Campgrounds in state parks remained closed through May 14.
  • Beginning May 19, employees in the real estate industry can conduct limited business-related activities statewide. They must follow industry-specific guidance in both red and yellow counties.
  • Wolf signed a bill temporarily allowing the sale of cocktails-to-go from bars, restaurants and hotels with a liquor license. The state's open container law applies.
  • The state Department of Health released guidance for summer camps and recreational activities. Children and youth programs can operate without a waiver in yellow and green counties. Overnight camps and organized team sports can resume operations in the green phase. Outdoor community pools and public bathing places can open in yellow and green phase counties. Programs must develop written health and safety plans in line with CDC guidance, and post them on their websites.
  • In the green phase, which the first counties entered on May 29, stay-at-home orders and business closures are lifted. Restaurants, bars, personal care services, indoor recreation, health and wellness facilities and all entertainment venues can open at 50% occupancy with restrictions. All businesses operating at 50% occupancy in the yellow phase can expand to 75% occupancy. Continued telework is strongly encouraged and large recreational gatherings remain limited to a maximum of 250 individuals. Visitation to prisons and hospitals may resume at the discretion of the facility.
  • Beginning June 5, counties in the yellow phase can allow restaurants to open for outdoor dining. Restaurants and bars in green counties can open for indoor and outdoor dine-in service with occupancy limits and other safety protocols.
  • Professional sports teams are allowed to practice and play without in-person spectators in the yellow and green phases of reopening, provided the team has developed a COVID-19 safety plan.
  • All state park beaches opened to swimming on June 6. Facilities such as cabins, cottages and lodges opened statewide on June 12, and most state park swimming pools opened on June 13. Capacity at beaches and pools is limited to 50%.
  • The state Department of Education released preliminary guidance for the reopening of schools, saying it expects students to return to classrooms "in some capacity" for the coming academic year.
  • Wolf released preliminary guidance as high school and recreational sports teams, including college sports, resume voluntary workouts and other in-person activities in yellow and green counties. Players and spectators must adhere to phase-specific gathering limits and other hygiene and social distancing protocols.
  • Updated recreation guidance allows businesses to offer outdoor activities such as mountain biking, miniature golf, motor sports, go carts, rock climbing, disc golf, paintball, horseback riding, tennis and archery in the yellow and green phases, provided they implement safety and social distancing protocols.
  • The Department of Transportation began reopening certain Driver License Centers and Photo License Centers in yellow counties on May 8, with more resuming operations in June.
  • The Department of Education released preliminary guidance for the phased reopening of K-12 schools with additional health and safety precautions.
  • Health orders requiring additional mitigation efforts took effect statewide on July 16. Nightclub operations must close, gyms and fitness facilities must "prioritize" outdoor physical fitness activities, businesses must conduct operations entirely or in part remotely through teleworking when possible and events and gatherings are limited to 25 people indoors and 250 people outdoors. Indoor dining at restaurants is reduced to 25% capacity, and bars are open only for sit-down meals at tables. Alcohol can only be served for on-premises consumption in the same transaction as a meal, but take-out sales of alcohol remain permitted.
  • Travel guidance updated on July 24 recommends that people entering Pennsylvania from designated high-risk states self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • In the green phase, prison and hospital restrictions are determined by individual facilities, and congregate care visitation remains restricted.
  • The state health and education departments jointly recommended that Pre-K-12 school and recreational youth sports be postponed until at least Jan. 1, 2021.

Testing and tracing

Relief and resources

  • Wolf also announced that $50 million in state funding will be spent to purchase medical equipment and supplies for hospitals, nursing homes, and emergency workers.
  • Wolf ordered the state Department of Corrections to establish a "Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences of Incarceration," which would release eligible non-violent and vulnerable individuals from the state corrections system starting as early as April 14. Those granted temporary reprieves would be equipped with reentry plans and monitored similarly to parolees.
  • Wolf announced a $450 million loan program for "financially strained" hospitals in the state, for costs incurred between March 1 and September 1.
  • Businesses that collect Pennsylvania state tax will not have to make Accelerated Sales Tax prepayments in April, May and June.
  • The Department of Revenue extended the due date for corporations with tax returns due in May to August 14.
  • Wolf announced the creation of a new Task Force for Health Disparity to address how COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting the state's minority populations.
  • The Department of Human Services is issuing emergency SNAP benefits to eligible households for March and April.
  • On April 18, Wolf announced nearly $16 million in funding for Pennsylvania food banks.
  • Wolf signed a bill allowing National Guard members who contract COVID-19 as a result of being called into active duty to be covered under the Heart and Lung Act, which offers additional workers' compensation benefits.
  • Nearly $324 million in funding has been awarded to 31 Pennsylvania hospitals through the Hospital Emergency Loan Program.
  • On May 3, the governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware announced a multi-state agreement to develop a regional supply chain for personal protective equipment, medical equipment and testing. The regional purchasing initiative aims to increase market power and prevent price gouging.
  • On May 6, Wolf announced the creation of the Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps, a public service initiative that will support COVID-19 recovery efforts in the fall. It is designed to increase testing and contact tracing efforts and provide new job opportunities in the public health sector.
  • Wolf signed an executive order providing civil immunity to health care workers responding to COVID-19.
  • The state received $523.8 million in one-time federal emergency funds to help schools respond to the pandemic. At least 90% of the funds will go to traditional public and charter schools.
  • Many older homeowners, renters and people with disabilities will receive Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program rebates starting in May instead of July.
  • Pennsylvania food distributors will receive more than $50 million in funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farmers to Families Food Box Program.
  • Wolf announced the initial distribution of $51 million in CARES Act funding to nearly 7,000 child care providers statewide.
  • The Wolf Administration awarded $9.6 million in grants to 145 nonprofit entities for projects fighting hunger and preventing food waste.
  • Wolf announced that $50 million in direct relief is available to fire and emergency medical service companies impacted by the pandemic.
  • Wolf announced $225 million in statewide grants to assist small businesses impacted by the pandemic and business closure order. Funding is available through three programs: the Main Street Business Revitalization Program, the Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program and the Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program. Eligible businesses can apply beginning June 30.
  • Households with children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals can receive additional assistance through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program.
  • Wolf announced $260 million in CARES Act funding will assist people with intellectual disabilities and autism, as well as the providers of support services for these populations.
  • School entities are eligible to apply for two grant programs, totaling $157.5 million, to address COVID-19-related health and safety needs for the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Wolf announced the availability of $40 million in CARES Act funding to support the state's dairy industry and food security programs.
  • Wolf announced $20 million in grants is available for eligible museums and cultural organizations to offset lost revenue caused by the pandemic and shutdown order.
  • Wolf announced an additional $53 million in financial support for child care providers.
  • Wolf signed an executive order protecting homeowners and renters from eviction and foreclosure until August 31 if they are not receiving assistance from federal foreclosure moratorium programs, judicial orders or the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency relief program.
  • Wolf announced $50 million in grant funding to help employers provide hazard pay to front-line workers in "life-sustaining occupations."
  • The state will cover the cost of postage for mail-in ballots for the general election.


Rhode Island

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Gina Raimondo ordered Rhode Island residents to stay at home "unless traveling to work, traveling for medical treatment or obtaining necessities." She extended this and other restrictions through May 8. The state entered Phase 1 of its reopening plan on May 9, and began Phase 2 on June 1.
  • An executive order effective May 8 requires individuals to wear masks or cloth face coverings in indoor and outdoor public settings, unless they can "easily, continuously, and measurably" maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others. It also requires face coverings to be worn inside retail stores and while using car services and mass public transit. On June 4, Raimondo extended the order for an additional month. She has since extended it to August 3.

Reopening

  • The governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware announced on April 13 the creation of a multi-state council that will develop a regional framework for safely and gradually lifting stay-at-home orders and restoring the economy.
  • On May 4, Raimondo released additional information about Phase 1 conditions. Though the stay-at-home order will lift, people are encouraged to remain close to home. Anyone who can continue teleworking is directed to do so, and employees who must work in offices can do so on a limited basis.
  • Elective medical procedures can resume under safety guidelines. Non-critical retailers can reopen with capacity restrictions.
  • In Phase 1, residents are encouraged to stay close to home, but some non-critical retailers, state parks and offices can resume limited operations. Restaurants, bars and cafes can sell wine and beer with take-out orders, and as of May 9, restaurants can also sell mixed drinks in sealed containers with take-out orders.
  • Raimondo announced that in Phase 1, places of worship can reopen for groups of five for services that can be streamed online. Drive-in services are allowed as long as individuals remain in their cars, and funerals can have a maximum of 10 people with appropriate social distancing.
  • Raimondo signed an executive order requiring client-facing businesses and nonprofits to provide face coverings to all employees, to be worn in the workplace with few exceptions. Businesses must also direct customers to wear face coverings. The order is effective April 18, and compliance will be monitored through Department of Business Regulation spot checks.
  • Raimondo announced that restaurants can offer limited outdoor dining beginning May 18.
  • The Department of Environmental Management is reopening Rhode Island's state parks "in a graduated manner" during Phase 1. It will reduce the size of parking areas and restrict hours of operation and permitted activities in order to prevent crowds.
  • Certain parks reopened for day use on May 9. Visitors must bring face coverings, and indoor spaces, playgrounds and athletic fields are closed.
  • Raimondo announced that two state beaches would open with restrictions on May 25.
  • The state released guidelines allowing in-person faith services to resume the weekend of May 30. Houses of worship are limited to 25% of their overall capacity.
  • In Phase 1, many libraries offered curbside pickup of pre-ordered books. In Phase 2, they can introduce limited, touchless browsing in designated areas. In-library services will be provided in adherence to state regulations for sanitation and social distancing.
  • In Phase 2 of reopening, social gatherings of up to 15 people are allowed, and certain travel restrictions are relaxed. State parks and beaches can open with restrictions. Indoor restaurant dining, personal care services, malls, gyms and certain outdoor activities will be allowed to reopen with restrictions. Non-critical retailers can relax certain restrictions, and office-based businesses are encouraged to continue telework policies but can allow up to 33% of their workforce to return "if viewed as necessary."
  • In Phase 2, all state parks and beaches can reopen with restrictions.
  • Child care services can resume in "small, stable groups" effective June 1.
  • The state released guidance for the limited resumption of youth sports activities beginning June 1.
  • The state is allowing summer camps and youth summer programs to operate in person under strict regulations beginning June 29. Camps must limit groups to 15 people and follow other sanitation and social distancing guidelines.
  • Raimondo announced a goal of returning to full in-person school in the fall, and said all public school districts will use the same base statewide calendar. State officials released school reopening guidance for the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • In Phase 3, businesses and places of public interaction can expand their operating capacity as long as 6-foot spacing is maintained. Indoor venues can increase up to 66% capacity or up to 1 person per 100 square feet. Indoor assembly venues must submit a plan if they wish to host more than 250 people, and large outdoor venues may have to submit plans for approval, with groups of more than 250 people in outdoor places of public interaction discouraged.
  • Parking restrictions at state beaches eased the weekend of June 26, increasing parking to 75% capacity. Passes must be purchased online in advance.
  • The state entered Phase 3 on June 30, with updated gathering limits. Social gatherings will be limited to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. Weddings with licensed caterers can have 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
  • Long-term care and assisted living facilities can resume limited visitation as of July 8.
  • The state Department of Health announced that business that demonstrate "egregious disregard" for safety rules will be issued a compliance order or fined immediately. A second violation will result in a fine or shut down.
  • Raimondo extended Phase 3 and lowered the social gathering limit to 15 people.
  • As of Aug. 7, bars cannot operate past 11 p.m. Restaurants that have bars can stay open but must close their bars.
  • The state created a hotline specifically for people to report large social gatherings.
  • Beginning Aug. 9, anyone from designated higher-risk states who checks in at a rental property or hotel must sign a certificate of compliance saying they either have a negative test result or intend to quarantine, or else they will not be able to stay.
  • Raimondo has extended Phase 3 until at least Sept. 28.
  • Raimondo announced on Aug. 31 that all but two school districts in the state (Providence and Central Falls) meet the necessary metrics to reopen for in-person learning on Sept. 14.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • Anyone returning to the state from international travel must self-quarantine for 14 days. Anyone entering the state from designated states with a positivity rate of greater than 5% must self-quarantine for 14 days, unless they can provide proof of a negative test result from within 72 hours prior to arrival or during their quarantine period.
  • The DMV is open by appointment only and has suspended all road tests.
  • Raimondo announced on April 29 that there will be no parades, festivals, concerts or other large gatherings in the state during the summer of 2020.
  • Night club operations remain closed in Phase 3.
  • Raimondo announced that the first day of school will be delayed two weeks, until Sept. 14.

Testing and tracing

  • Raimondo announced the launch of the first version of CRUSH COVID RI, a mobile app with coronavirus-related news and resources including a symptom checker and optional location diary. The governor is encouraging Rhode Islanders to use the app and offer feedback.
  • An April 9 executive order issues stricter self-quarantine and self-isolation rules for any who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or in close contact with a confirmed positive case. It also authorizes the health department to make and enforce additional rules, including through civil penalties. Raimondo said authorities could issue fines in "the hundreds of dollars range" to those who violate quarantine rules.
  • Effective June 8, the state is expanding testing eligibility to include asymptomatic child care employees and close-contact workers at salons, barber shops, gyms and tattoo, massage and tanning establishments. Anyone who has attended a protest can get tested, regardless of symptoms. The state's asymptomatic testing program later expanded to include restaurant workers and bus drivers.
  • On June 17, Raimondo announced four additional appointment-only testing sites for asymptomatic individuals.
  • Raimondo said on July 8 that individuals traveling from one of 28 states with 5% or greater test positive rate must either present a negative test result or quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
  • The state has expanded asymptomatic testing to every resident between the ages of 18 and 39.

Relief and resources

  • Raimondo has ordered that health insurance must cover telemedicine for primary care, specialty care and mental and behavioral health care.
  • Courts are closed for all nonessential business, "including residential and commercial evictions," through May 17.
  • Goldman Sachs, in partnership with Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and Community Reinvestment Fund has committed $10 million in loans to small businesses in the state.
  • An order mandating that regulated utilities cannot be shut off or sent to a collection agency has been extended through May 31. It applies to residential and non-residential customers.
  • Rhode Island is issuing Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer benefits to certain SNAP and non-SNAP households with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals.
  • The state is partnering with Brown University to provide more than 700 single-occupancy dormitory rooms to front-line workers for free.
  • The state health department is partnering with Rhode Island PBS to host a television graduation special in June. The special airs on June 15.
  • Raimondo announced the Financial Institution COVID-19 Relief Pledge, through which certain institutions have committed to offering a 90-day grace period for residential mortgage payments, no fees or charges, a temporary moratorium on initiating foreclosure sales or evictions, and no negative credit impacts resulting from relief.
  • An April 27 executive order relaxes regulations and eliminates certain barriers to health care for one month.
  • On May 3, the governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware announced a multi-state agreement to develop a regional supply chain for personal protective equipment, medical equipment and testing. The regional purchasing initiative aims to increase market power and prevent price gouging.
  • Eligible SNAP households not already receiving the maximum benefit amount received additional benefits in March, April and May.
  • The state made an initial $1.5 million in emergency rental assistance available to low-income renters who are at immediate risk of homelessness. Qualifying individuals will receive a grant of up to $5,000 to support past due rent payments and other expenditures. Raimondo later announced an additional $5 million for the fund.
  • Rhode Island is partnering with the social enterprise Summer to provide free student loan assistance for all residents financially impacted by the pandemic.
  • The executive order implementing Phase 1 of reopening says that health and safety regulations can include enforcement provisions, like civil fines, to ensure compliance. It establishes an enforcement task force that will educate and inspect businesses, governmental entities and other establishments. The task force's mandate continues in Phase 2.
  • The state will distribute 500,000 masks, and disinfectant solution, to small businesses who can prove they completed their COVID-19 control plan.
  • Microsoft is donating 500 laptops to small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. Applications were due May 26.
  • Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence has temporarily increased the number of emergency beds available.
  • The Equity Considerations Workgroup is tasked with guiding the state's coronavirus response to make sure decisions and resource distribution reflect the needs of all communities, especially communities of color.
  • The Rhode Island Red Cross launched the Virtual Family Assistance Center, a resource to support families who have lost a loved one to COVID-19.
  • Raimondo said the state is providing 50,000 surgical masks to its more than 900 child care facilities.
  • As of June 10, SNAP participants can purchase groceries online from participating Amazon and Walmart stores.
  • The Department of Human Services is issuing a one-time emergency payment in June to 3,700 eligible families receiving RI Works benefits.
  • Raimondo said the state will distribute $42 million in CARES Act funding to support the safe return of teachers and students to schools in the fall.
  • Public school students can sign up for SAIL courses to continue virtual learning between June and August. The Summer Academy for Interactive Learning is a temporary program intended to enhance educational opportunities for PreK-12 students.
  • Raimondo said the newly-created COVID-19 Response Youth Summer Jobs Program will support employers who hire youth for summer jobs related to the state's pandemic response and recovery efforts.
  • Raimondo said she will extend several executive orders set to expire in July until August 3, including gun background checks and quarantine rules.
  • Raimondo announced the launch of Restore RI, a $50 million program to help eligible small businesses impacted by the pandemic.


Vermont

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Phil Scott issued a "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order effective March 25, which directed Vermonters to leave their residences only for essential reasons and to adhere to social distancing policies while in public. That order and all measures associated with the state of emergency were extended through May 15. Scott later extended the state of emergency until July 15 while updating previous orders to reflect eased restrictions.
  • An expanded order effective August 1 requires all Vermonters to wear face coverings whenever it is not possible to maintain six feet of distance from others outside of their household. Businesses and other entities can also require customers to wear masks.

Reopening

  • The Agency of Commerce and Community Development issued guidance authorizing certain outdoor businesses, construction operations and professional services to operate if they can meet specific safety requirements, beginning April 20.
  • An April 24 executive order requires any entity currently or imminently operating to comply with specific physical distancing, health and sanitation measures. Examples include wearing masks and completing special training.
  • The order also allows additional operations to reopen, provided they can comply with the outlined measures. Certain manufacturing, distributing and construction operations can resume with a maximum of five workers per location. Outdoor retail space can allow in-person shopping with a maximum of 10 people present. Upon approval from local municipalities, farmers' markets may reopen beginning May 1 with specific restrictions in place.
  • Scott announced that effective May 4, crews of 10 people or fewer can perform outdoor and construction work in unoccupied job sites. Manufacturing and distribution operations may resume with a maximum of 10 employees in any one location. Effective May 11, manufacturing, construction and distribution operations may restart with "as few employees as necessary to permit full operations" if they meet all health and safety requirements and develop enhanced training programs.
  • Scott announced on May 4 that limited elective procedures could resume. Health care providers may perform nonessential outpatient clinic visits, diagnostic imaging and outpatient surgeries if they follow specific protocols.
  • On May 6, Scott announced that some outdoor recreation and limited social interactions could resume with specific health and safety precautions. Vermonters are now permitted to leave home for outdoor recreation and fitness activities with low or no direct contact. Gatherings of 10 or fewer are permitted, preferably outdoors. Members of one household can gather with members of "another trusted household."
  • Businesses, non-profits and government entities that support outdoor recreation and fitness activities are allowed to open, in compliance with specific guidelines, as of May 7. Those include state and municipal parks, recreation associations, trail networks, golf courses, big game check stations and guided expeditions. Beaches, campgrounds and marinas remain closed.
  • Scott announced that in-person retail businesses will be allowed to reopen beginning May 18, subject to occupancy limits and social distancing requirements. Face coverings are required for employees and recommended for customers.
  • On May 22, Scott authorized additional medical procedures and health services to resume, including inpatient surgeries, outpatient services like clinic visits and elective dental services. Health care providers must follow mitigation protocols and a phased implementation timeline.
  • Beginning May 22, campgrounds, marinas and lodging facilities can resume limited operations for Vermont residents only, or those who have met the 14-day quarantine requirement. Lodging facilities include hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, inns, short term rentals and parks for recreational vehicles.
  • Beginning May 22, restaurants and bars can open for outdoor dining by reservation only. They must follow strict social distancing and sanitation guidelines, including maintaining a log of customers' contact information for 30 days in case contact tracing is required. Takeout service is recommended.
  • Beginning May 29, hair salons and barber shops may reopen by appointment only, with occupancy limits and other safety measures.
  • Scott announced that child care programs can reopen on June 1 if they meet health and safety requirements. Summer day programs may also open. Scott's administration will provide about $6 million in restart grants to help these programs implement public health measures.
  • Close-contact businesses including gyms, fitness centers, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlors, as well as cleaning services and other businesses that involve home visits, can resume operations as of June 1, in line with state guidance.
  • Social gatherings of up to 25 people are allowed as of June 1. Existing occupancy limits for businesses remain in effect.
  • The Department of Motor Vehicles announced a plan to resume driver's license tests and introduce online learner's permit tests. Beginning June 1, individuals can take a standard learner's permit test on the DMV website and receive a permit by mail within three weeks if they pass. Starting June 8, driver's license examinations can resume by appointment only and certain DMV branch offices will open for that purpose.
  • Youth summer camp programming can resume with restrictions beginning June 7.
  • Scott announced that restaurants can open for indoor dining, at 25% capacity and with other restrictions, beginning June 8.
  • Also beginning June 8, lodging and campgrounds can open at 50% capacity.
  • Scott loosened travel restrictions effective June 8, allowing people in counties in New England and upstate New York with 400 or fewer cases per 1 million people to come to Vermont without having to self-quarantine. Vermonters may also visit those counties without needing to self-quarantine upon their return, as long as they are traveling in a personal vehicle.
  • Starting June 15, out-of-state travelers from certain counties have options for leisure travel. If they are traveling in a personal vehicle without making any stops, they can complete a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test in their home state and enter Vermont without further quarantine requirements. If they are traveling by public transportation or farther than a direct car ride, they must quarantine either in a Vermont lodging establishment or with friends and family upon arrival.
  • Effective July 1, the state's quarantine-free travel policy expanded to include designated counties in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, as well as Washington, D.C.
  • The state issued guidelines for the limited resumption of certain low-contact recreational sports, effective June 15. Activities and crowd sizes can include no more than 25 people, and play will initially be limited to scrimmages within one team. Teams should follow guidance related to social distancing, face coverings, hygiene and equipment cleaning requirements.
  • Scott said the state expects schools to open in the fall, with health and education officials currently working on joint guidance for the safe resumption of in-person instruction.
  • Scott announced on June 17 that Vermonters age 65 and older are no longer required to stay home, but should take precautions when going out.
  • Outdoor visitation at long-term care facilities can resume as of June 19, with up to two visitors per resident allowed each day. Facilities must adhere to health and safety guidance.
  • Updated guidance allows health care providers to ease visitation restrictions if they follow baseline protocols. The guidance recommends different levels of precautions for outpatient clinics and inpatient, acute care, emergency department and urgent care visits.
  • Senior Centers can begin reopening in line with state guidance.
  • Beginning June 26, events can have up to 75 people indoors and up to 150 outdoors. Event, arts, culture and entertainment venues, as well as restaurants, can expand capacity for events and dining to 50% or 1 person per 100 square feet of customer-facing space.
  • Scott signed an executive order making September 8 the universal opening date for Vermont schools, which can offer in-person or remote instruction.
  • An Aug. 14 executive order allows municipalities to enact stricter local limits on gathering sizes and the sale of alcohol at bars and clubs. Scott said the order is geared toward giving college towns additional mitigation measures.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • A May 22 addendum to an executive order cancels "traditional fairs and festivals" until further notice. Fairgrounds and other venues can still operate for events in line with occupancy limits, distancing guidelines and other health and safety measures.

Testing and tracing

  • On April 29, Scott announced a strategy for expanding the state's testing and contact tracing programs. Over the next month, officials aimed to ramp up to about 7,500 tests per week and increase contact tracing accordingly.
  • Testing is free and available to anyone without symptoms at pop-up sites throughout the state.

Relief and resources

  • Commercial insurers are ordered to waive cost-sharing requirements like co-payments and deductible requirements for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19. The emergency regulation, announced April 15, applies retroactively from March 13.
  • The Department of Public Service is working with several businesses to increase internet access by installing public WiFi hot spots in rural towns across the state.
  • More than 40 auto insurance companies — Vermont-based as well as major out-of-state insurers — have filed plans to either return premiums or reduce rates for Vermont policyholders, providing relief "in the range of 15-20% for a period of two or three months."
  • A multi-state initiative will expand payment relief for people with private and non-federal student loans, which are not covered by the CARES Act. The agreement expands protections to student loan borrowers in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
  • Scott signed a bill codifying the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.
  • Northeast Delta Dental, the state's largest provider of dental benefits, will provide $2.89 million in premium relief to approximately 70,000 Vermonters due to the pandemic-related suspension of most dental services.
  • Scott ordered the creation of a Racial Equity Task Force to undertake projects and promote equity in areas including, but not limited to, the state's COVID-19 response.
  • Scott announced unemployment insurance tax relief for Vermont employers. Additionally, the maximum weekly benefit amount paid to unemployed state residents will increase from $513 to $531 beginning the first week of July.
  • Vermont's Economic Recovery Program, which will utilize CARES Act funding to provide direct cash grants to eligible businesses, launched on July 6.
  • Scott announced $30 million in housing assistance programs utilizing federal funding to support tenants unable to pay rent, landlords suffering from loss of rental payments and lower income homeowners needing mortgage assistance.
  • Scott announced $25 million in relief grants for eligible dairy farmers and processors who have experienced financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic.
  • A $275 million Health Care Provider Stabilization Grant Program, launched July 17, will provide direct cash grants to eligible health care and human services providers impacted by the pandemic.
  • Beginning Aug. 4, public safety, public health, health care and human services employers whose employers helped mitigate or respond to COVID-19 can apply for hazard pay grants.
  • Scott announced a $12 million grant program for child-care providers, with applications open through Aug. 26.
  • The state is distributing 300,000 cloth face coverings to the public, emergency responders and select agencies during the month of August.
  • Scott announced $8 million in funding to assist residents impacted by the pandemic with their overdue utility bills.

The first version of this page was originally published on March 12. This is a developing story. We will continue to update as new information becomes available.

NPR's Brakkton Booker, Merrit Kennedy, Vanessa Romo, Colin Dwyer, Laurel Wamsley, Aubri Juhasz and Bobby Allyn contributed to this report.


This is part of a series about coronavirus-related restrictions across the United States.

Northeast: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont

Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin

South: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia

West: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

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