South: Coronavirus-Related Restrictions By State

South: Coronavirus-Related Restrictions By State

5:05pm Aug 11, 2020
Layer Elementary School in Winter Springs, Florida is one of many schools across the region reopening with COVID-19 social distancing and sanitation protocols.
Layer Elementary School in Winter Springs, Florida is one of many schools across the region reopening with COVID-19 social distancing and sanitation protocols.
Paul Hennessy / NurPhoto via Getty Images

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

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


Alabama

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statewide stay-at-home order effective April 4 through April 30. The order mandated people stay in their place of residence except for performing specific essential activities, closed nonessential businesses and required those still operating on-site to implement social distancing measures. The latest amended Safer at Home order is in effect statewide from 5:00 p.m. on May 22 to 5:00 p.m. on July 31.
  • A statewide order requiring masks to be worn in public and when people are in close contact with others took effect July 16, and was extended through August.

Reopening

  • The latest Safer at Home order allows additional activities and establishments to open in line with social distancing and sanitation rules. Those include athletic activities, educational institutions, child care facilities, summer camps and entertainment venues such as arcades, theaters and bowling alleys.
  • The first Safer at Home order eased certain restrictions beginning April 30, originally through May 15. Ivey later announced a second amended order that applied statewide from May 11 to May 22. It permitted restaurants to open at a 50% occupancy rate with six feet of spacing between tables. Personal care services like barber shops and salons can operate according to state protocols. Gyms, athletic facilities and athletic classes can resume under strict sanitation and social distancing guidelines.
  • The amended Safer at Home order removes the 10 person limit on non-work gatherings, including those at beaches. People are still required to maintain six feet of distance from non-household members.
  • Under the latest Safer at Home order, all businesses can operate subject to sanitation and social distancing guidelines. Retail stores can operate, at 50 percent occupancy and in line with safety protocols. Beaches are open.
  • Medical procedures are allowed to resume, in accordance with public health and regulatory guidance. Hospitals and nursing homes must continue to restrict visitation.
  • Ivey is urging people to wear face coverings when in contact with individuals from other households.
  • The state issued general and industry-specific guidelines for businesses operating under the Safer at Home order.
  • Educational institutions can open beginning June 1, subject to sanitation and social distancing rules.
  • Ivey issued an amended Safer at Home order effective through 5 p.m. on August 31. It extends existing measures and includes a statewide mask requirement.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • On July 27, the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board passed an emergency order requiring licensees to stop selling and serving alcohol for on-premises consumption between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Enforcement began on August 1.

Testing and tracing

  • Anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus must quarantine in their place of residence for 14 days.
  • Ivey awarded more than $18 million for coronavirus testing and surveillance at nursing homes statewide.

Relief and resources

  • Ivey said local authorities can allow law enforcement officers to issue a summons instead of making an arrest for misdemeanors, with some exceptions, to reduce movement in and out of jails. Local officials were temporarily allowed to reduce the number of local inmates being held in county jails in a way that did not jeopardize public safety.
  • On April 3, Ivey granted temporary relief from residential evictions and foreclosures for the duration of the public health emergency. The proclamation saves people from being thrown out of their homes but doesn't relieve them of the need to pay their rent and mortgage.
  • Ivey announced the launch of altogetheralabama.org, a centralized guide to the state's coronavirus relief efforts.
  • A supplemental emergency proclamation issued April 13 allows the Board of Pardons and Paroles to resume parole hearings in a "manner that reduces person-to-person interaction."
  • Alabama was approved to operate Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, a program that provides supplemental food purchasing benefits to the families of children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
  • Auto insurers are returning more than $100 million in premiums to two million policyholders across the state.
  • Ivey awarded more than $17 million in block grants to 20 community action agencies providing social and emergency services across the state.
  • Ivey issued a proclamation addressing the risks of COVID-19 in state and local correctional facilities and directing the Department of Corrections to revise inmate intake procedures. It requires county jails to maintain custody of state inmates until they can be transferred according to updated procedures, and says the state will reimburse counties for the cost of housing and caring for them in the interim.
  • The state Department of Revenue extended the deadline for obtaining March, April, May and June motor vehicle registrations to July 17.
  • Ivey announced $30 million in CARES Act funding will go towards COVID-19 testing and safety development programs.
  • Ivey announced $48 million in emergency relief funding for the state Department of Education, with institutions of higher education able to submit requests for reimbursement totaling up to $50 million in CARES Act funding.
  • Ivey announced a $100 million "Revive Alabama" small business grant program.
  • Ivey announced $170 million for health care and remote learning in Alabama public schools.
  • Due to the pandemic, Alabama driver license holders can now renew their licenses online twice in a 12-year period. They were previously limited to one online renewal every eight years.


Arkansas

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Asa Hutchinson resisted calls to issue a statewide stay-home order as other states have done. He told NPR on April 6 that he did not plan to issue such an order, but said "if we need to do more, we will."
  • On July 3, Hutchinson signed an executive order allowing cities to implement ordinances requiring mandatory face coverings to curb the spread of COVID-19. An order effective July 20 requires face coverings to be worn in public statewide.

Reopening

  • On April 23, Hutchinson announced that certain industries will be permitted to reopen, following specific guidelines, after May 4.
  • Medical service providers can resume certain nonessential outpatient procedures beginning April 27 as long as they meet specific health department requirements. Beginning May 11, providers can resume medical procedures requiring hospital stays of up to 48 hours.
  • Hutchinson announced that certain dental procedures can resume on May 18, subject to protective guidelines.
  • Hutchinson announced a limited reopening of some state park facilities for Arkansas residents only. As of May 1, residents with self-contained RVs are allowed to stay overnight in campgrounds. As of May 15, state parks can open facilities such as visitor information centers, equipment rentals and gift shops. Starting that same day, state residents can rent cabins, lodges and RVs for weekends. Certain high-use trails will remain closed.
  • Restaurants are permitted to resume limited dine-in service beginning May 11. They must follow requirements including screening workers daily and limiting occupancy. Face masks are mandatory for public-facing staff and service can be denied to patrons not wearing masks.
  • Gyms and fitness centers may resume limited operations beginning May 4 if they follow specific health and safety guidelines.
  • Barber shops, body art establishments, cosmetology facilities, massage therapy clinics and medical spas may resume appointment-only operations beginning May 6. They must follow phase one health and safety requirements including pre-screening staff and clients, using gloves and face masks, practicing social distancing and limiting occupancy.
  • Indoor venues designed for large groups, such as theaters, arenas, stadiums and auction houses, can reopen beginning May 18 on a limited basis. Venues must comply with sanitation and social distancing requirements, including capping audiences at 50 people.
  • Hutchinson issued guidance for faith-based organizations. Places of worship are strongly encouraged to offer online platforms for participation, but may resume in-person services during phase one of the state's reopening if they comply with specific directives.
  • The state's three gaming casinos opened at 1:30 p.m. on May 18, at one-third capacity and with strict social distancing measures.
  • Recreational pools may resume limited operations starting May 22, if they meet specific requirements.
  • As of May 18, all retailers are open in accordance with industry-specific Phase 1 restrictions.
  • Hutchinson announced that bars inside of restaurants can open beginning May 19, and freestanding bars can open beginning May 26.
  • Effective June 1, certain limited-contact community and school-sponsored team sports can resume practices and competitions. For close-contact sports, only individual practice is permitted. All must follow safety directives.
  • Hutchinson issued a directive with operating guidance for day camps, effective May 18. Directives for summer residential camps took effect May 21, with campers allowed to arrive no earlier than May 31.
  • The state entered Phase 2 on June 15, allowing restaurants and businesses to expand to two-thirds capacity.
  • Hutchinson announced that long-term care facilities that meet specific requirements can resume limited visitation and other activities beginning July 1.
  • Hutchinson said his administration plans to reopen schools in August, with the number of students attending classes in-person versus remotely dependent on local conditions.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • Under updated guidance regarding out-of-state recreational travel, visitors coming from areas identified as "hot spots" by the Arkansas Department of Health must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Testing and tracing

  • Hutchinson announced a goal of testing all nursing home residents and staff beginning June 1.
  • Hutchinson announced on June 24 that the Department of Health will double its number of contact tracers to more than 700.

Relief and resources

  • Hutchinson has issued an executive order to "fully leverage telehealth" in the state, and loosened regulations to help patients access therapists over the phone.
  • Hutchinson signed an executive order making health care workers immune from liability in coronavirus cases. He also ordered health care workers and first responders eligible for workers' compensation if they are exposed to coronavirus on the job.
  • The state will use Medicaid funds to increase the weekly income of "long-term services and support direct care workers" such as nurses, home health aides and hospice service staff. The payments will be made to Medicaid-enrolled agency providers each week through May.
  • The Arkansas Ready for Business Grant Program has $55 million available for businesses across sectors. At least 75% of funding is reserved for businesses with fewer than 50 employees, and at least 15% of recipients will be minority- and women-owned businesses.
  • Hutchinson signed three executive orders on June 15, to remain in effect for the duration of the pandemic. One grants businesses and their employees immunity from civil liability as a result of exposure from COVID-19, except in cases of "willful, reckless or intentional misconduct" as defined by the order. Another grants the same immunity to health care workers and providers. The third order assures workers' compensation coverage for employees and designates COVID-19 an occupational disease under the law, stipulating there must be a causal connection between employment and the disease.
  • Hutchinson announced a $10 million initiative to provide Wi-Fi access devices for every school district in the state.
  • Hutchinson issued an executive order allowing Arkansans to vote by absentee ballot if they are concerned about the risks of COVID-19. The order also allows election officials to start processing absentee ballots one week earlier than usual.


Delaware

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. John Carney ordered people in his state to stay at home when possible, and nonessential businesses to close, from March 24 through May 15 or "until the public health threat is eliminated." He extended the emergency declaration, stay-at-home order and other modifications through May 31.
  • Effective 8:00 a.m. on April 28, Delaware residents are required to wear cloth face coverings in public settings, including stores, doctor's offices and public transportation.

Reopening

  • Certain small businesses can resume limited operations as of May 8. Retailers including department stores, consumer good rentals and stores selling clothing, shoes, sporting goods, books, tobacco and used merchandise can offer curbside pickup. Jewelry stores may conduct business by appointment only. Hair-care services can be offered only to workers at essential businesses and with strict protocols in place. Golf carts at courses are available for one rider at a time, and drive-in movies can operate if patrons remain inside their vehicles.
  • Employees required to report to work under these expanded guidelines are permitted to utilize child care services, provided both parents work outside the home and alternate care is not available.
  • Farmers' markets statewide can reopen beginning May 15 if they follow Department of Agriculture-issued protocols. The protocols limit the number of visitors per household, require check-in upon arrival and the use of face coverings, ban social gatherings and on-site food consumption, designate a one-way route for patrons and prohibit vendors from having products out for others to handle.
  • Carney announced that ice cream shops and trucks can reopen, with restrictions, as of 5 p.m. on May 15. The state lifted restrictions on beaches and community pools effective 5 p.m. on May 22, though social distancing and hygiene requirements remain in place.
  • Carney released guidance for Phase 1 of the state's rolling reopening plan, which began June 1. The document includes general guidance for businesses and individuals, as well as sector-specific guidelines.
  • Carney released guidance for churches and houses of worship, which are considered essential under the stay-at-home order. Indoor gatherings must be limited to 30% occupancy, and virtual services are encouraged.
  • Beginning May 20, all retail establishments statewide can operate by appointment only. Retailers may accept two appointments per half hour, and must adhere to sanitation and social distancing guidelines.
  • Beginning May 22, restaurants, bars, taprooms and breweries may apply to expand outdoor seating effective June 1.
  • The state released updated guidance for communities of worship, which are permitted to conduct outdoor services without gathering limits as long as they follow health and social distancing protocols. They are advised to discourage vulnerable individuals from attending in-person services.
  • Outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people, with public health precautions in place, are allowed as of June 1.
  • Effective June 1, outdoor gatherings of more than 25 people are allowed at state forests.
  • The state issued guidance for summer camps and summer school programs, which will be able to open in Phase 2. Recreational camps must develop written plans for enforcing social distancing and other public health precautions.
  • Phase 2 of reopening began at 8 a.m. on June 15. Retail establishments, restaurants and other businesses permitted to open at 30% of stated fire capacity in Phase 1 can expand to 60%. Child-care facilities are allowed to open for all families, with group size limits and other safety protocols. People are urged to continue teleworking and keep their children at home if possible.
  • Private instruction businesses and personal care services such as tattoo establishments and massage therapy services can open in line with guidance beginning June 8. Those and exercise facilities will remain limited to 30% capacity in Phase 2.
  • Effective June 20, youth and adult recreational sports tournaments can resume, provided they receive prior approval of their specific safety plans from the Division of Public Health.
  • Effective June 22, personal care service businesses can expand to 60% capacity.
  • Officials released guidance to help school districts and charter schools develop reopening plans for the 2020-2021 academic year. Guidance covers three scenarios depending on the extent of community spread.
  • A July 24 order allows driver education services to resume and senior centers to open at 30% capacity, with other precautions. It also requires food and drink establishments to give customers the option of leaving their information on file to facilitate potential contact tracing.
  • Carney announced on August 4 that schools may open under a hybrid model of in-person and remote instruction, due to community spread in the state.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • Delaware's presidential primary was postponed for a second time, to July 7. The state Department of Elections mailed absentee ballot applications to all registered Democrats and Republicans.
  • Carney's order also reschedules school board elections for July 21 and places additional requirements on municipalities conducting elections.
  • Carney announced that Phase 3 would be delayed past its anticipated June 29 start date, citing lack of compliance with public health requirements. On June 30, he said Phase 3 is postponed indefinitely.
  • Carney ordered all bars in eastern Sussex County to close indefinitely on July 3.

Testing and tracing

  • On May 5, Carney announced a plan to test all residents and staff of long-term care facilities in the state.
  • Carney announced an expansion of Delaware's testing program, allowing the state to conduct 80,000 tests per month. Under the new program, testing is prioritized for symptomatic individuals, anyone with known exposure to COVID-19, vulnerable populations and certain front-line workers.
  • The state is partnering with nonpartisan research institute NORC at the University of Chicago to build up its contact tracing program. It will hire approximately 200 Delawareans as contact tracers and support staff, and share information with the state of Maryland.
  • On May 22, Carney announced the state is working with partners to transition from symptom-driven, hospital-based testing to proactive, community-based testing. The new testing strategy prioritizes the elderly, members of low-income and at-risk communities, symptomatic individuals, certain front-line workers and anyone with known COVID-19 exposure. An updated version of the plan, including testing expansion, was released in July.

Relief and resources

  • A modification to the state emergency declaration suspended residential foreclosures and evictions. Filings for evictions and foreclosures can resume as of July 1, but evictions will continue to be stayed.
  • An April 15 modification to the emergency declaration requires nursing homes and long-term care facilities to enact stricter measures to protect workers and residents from COVID-19.
  • An April 23 modification to the emergency declaration allows medical workers licensed out-of-state to provide health care services on a volunteer basis in Delaware, pending authorization from the Public Health Authority. It loosens restrictions on pharmacists, respiratory therapists, paramedics, nurses, emergency medical technicians and physician assistants.
  • An April 30 modification to the emergency declaration expands renter protections during the pandemic. It also extended the application deadline for Delaware's Senior School Property Tax Credit Program until June 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 Division of Public Health received a $67 million grant to implement expanded COVID-19 testing and data capacity.
  • Starting in July, households can use SNAP benefits to purchase groceries online through three authorized retailers.
  • Delaware SNAP issued additional emergency benefits to eligible households for use starting July 1.
  • Carney signed legislation allowing Delaware residents to vote by mail in the 2020 primary, general and special elections due to the pandemic.
  • Carney announced $40 million in housing assistance for renters and homeowners affected by the pandemic. Eligible households can apply for up to $5,000.


District of Columbia

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a district-wide stay-at-home order effective April 1, with exceptions for performing essential activities like grocery shopping and obtaining medical care.
  • On April 15, Bowser renewed D.C.'s public health emergency for an additional month, extending the stay-at-home order, nonessential business closures and gathering restrictions until May 15. She later extended the public health emergency through June 8.
  • Bowser's April 15 order makes face masks mandatory for hotel staff and guests, individuals using ride shares and taxis, and workers and customers of food sellers. People taking public transit are "strongly encouraged" to wear masks.
  • D.C.'s stay-at-home order lifted on May 29.
  • A July 22 order requires people to wear a face covering whenever they leave their homes "if they are likely to come into contact with another person for more than a fleeting moment."

Reopening

  • Phase One of reopening began on May 29. Gatherings remain limited to a maximum of 10 people.
  • Shoppers must wear masks inside D.C grocery stores.
  • Bowser issued an order on April 8 requiring farmers' markets to obtain specific waivers in order to operate. It also applies safety and social distancing protocols to other retail food sellers.
  • Bowser and the D.C. Department of Health issued an emergency rule temporarily allowing registered dispensaries to provide medical marijuana to qualifying patients through delivery, curbside pickup and at-the-door pickup options.
  • The Educational and Academic Retail Shops (EARS) Pilot granted waivers to certain local retail stores to offer curbside and front door pickup. Eligible retailers include book, art supply, music, office supply and toy stores.
  • Bowser announced that D.C. Public Schools will hold virtual summer school from June 22 through July 24. The public school academic year will start on August 31.
  • Effective May 29, nonessential retail businesses can operate with no customers inside. Delivery, curbside and front door pickup are allowed.
  • Barbershops and hair salons can operate by appointment only beginning May 29.
  • Restaurants that already have outdoor seating can begin using that space as of May 29. Tables must be six feet apart and seat no more than six people.
  • Dog parks, golf courses, parks, tennis courts, tracks and fields can open as of May 29. Playgrounds, public pools and recreation centers will remain closed, and contact sports are prohibited.
  • Health care providers can offer elective procedures in Phase One.
  • Bowser announced changes to the use of public space to facilitate the district's reopening. Restaurants can apply to build out "streateries" to expand their outdoor dining space. The Department of Transportation will roll out at least 20 miles of "D.C. Slow Streets," with traffic restrictions and lower speed limits to support neighborhood-based social distancing during the public health emergency. As of June 1, the default speed limit on local roads has been permanently lowered from 25 to 20 miles per hour.
  • D.C. began Phase Two on June 22. In Phase Two, gatherings are limited to 50 people, and nonessential retail businesses can allow customers inside at 50% capacity. Personal care businesses can offer services by appointment only, with socially-distant stations and no waiting inside. Indoor dining is allowed at 50% capacity, with social distancing measures such as no more than six people at a table and no self-serve buffets.
  • Gyms, health clubs and yoga studios can open with capacity and group class limits. Pools can open for structured activities such as lessons and lap swimming. Playgrounds, courts and fields can open, and while "casual play" for low- and moderate-contact sports is allowed, no permits will be issued for sports on District fields.
  • Houses of worship are encouraged to continue providing virtual services, but can have indoor gatherings of no more than 100 people or 50% capacity, whichever is smaller. Theaters, cinemas and entertainment venues can apply for a waiver to host arts, entertainment or cultural events.
  • Camps can open with no more than 10 people in a cohort and other safety measures in place. Libraries can open at 50% capacity. Colleges and universities can open in line with plans developed with and approved by D.C. government entities.
  • The D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles resumed in-person services on June 23, with appointments required. Road skills tests resumed on June 30.
  • Bowser announced that the Washington Nationals are approved to use Nationals Park for training and games with no in-person spectators.
  • An order effective July 27 requires all travelers and residents entering D.C. from designated "high-risk" areas to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • According to its three-phase reopening plan, D.C. Metro will not return to pre-pandemic levels of service until early 2021.
  • Bowser announced that D.C. Public Schools will be virtual for the first term of of the 2020-2021 school year, which runs from August 31 through November 6.

Testing and tracing

  • On April 23, Bowser established the DC Contact Trace Force to expand the number of contact tracers at D.C. Health from roughly 65 to 200, saying "up to an additional 700" tracers will be hired through phase one of the reopening plan.
  • Criteria for priority COVID-19 testing were expanded to include critical infrastructure workers with a history of exposure to a lab-confirmed case.
  • Starting June 15, the District is expanding free walk-up testing to include four firehouses each day from Monday to Saturday.
  • Bowser announced that free antibody testing is now available by appointment.
  • Beginning June 16, children ages six and older can get tested at District testing sites.
  • Bowser announced on July 20 that the Contact Trace Force is preparing to activate a "home visit team" that will conduct home visits and community outreach for individuals that have tested positive and their confirmed contacts.

Relief and resources

  • D.C. Public Schools are distributing internet devices for K-12 students whose families do not have them at home, to facilitate access to online resources and support remote learning.
  • The D.C. Council passed a relief bill on April 7. The bill freezes rent across the district, requires mortgage companies to offer payment deferrals of up to 90 days, expands protections against utility shutoffs to include cable and telecommunications service and prohibits debt-collection lawsuits and property seizures. It also expands the definition of unemployment to include self-employment, gig workers and "others who otherwise would not qualify," expanding access to unemployment insurance.
  • Bowser announced the launch of a COVID-19 Needs Hotline and Web Portal that self-quarantining residents can use to request essential deliveries.
  • The District Department of Transportation is temporarily extending sidewalks near grocery stores and other essential retailers to facilitate proper social distancing. Locations will be based off DDOT's evaluation and suggestions from the public.
  • Bowser announced on April 24 that an additional $63 million from the District's Contingency Cash Reserve Fund will go towards purchasing medical equipment and expanding health care staffing.
  • The District invested $25 million in the D.C. Small Business Recovery Microgrants Program when it was created in March. On April 29, Bowser announced an additional $8 million, coming from local and federal sources.
  • On May 1, Bowser announced the District joined a multi-state initiative expanding financial relief options for residents struggling to pay private education loans due to the pandemic.
  • Bowser announced that $75,000 in grant funding is available to help nonprofits recruit, retain and engage volunteers in light of the pandemic.
  • Expiration dates for all driver licenses, identification cards, vehicle registrations, ticket payments and other DMV documents expiring March 1 through the duration of the public health emergency are extended until 45 days after the emergency ends.
  • Bowser announced new rental assistance and eviction prevention programs to support residents financially impacted by the pandemic. She also relaunched the D.C. Mortgage Assistance Program to provide relief to eligible homeowners.


Florida

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a stay-at-home order effective April 3, directing state residents to remain indoors and limit movement to obtaining "essential services" or conducting "essential activities." The statewide order was extended until 12:01 a.m. on May 4.

Reopening

  • As of May 18, all of Florida's 67 counties were in Full Phase 1 of reopening. Most of the state entered the first phase of limited reopening on May 4. Palm Beach County entered Phase 1 on May 11. Miami-Dade and Broward counties were approved to enter Phase 1 on May 18.
  • DeSantis said on April 17 that some municipalities can reopen parks and beaches with social distancing guidelines in place.
  • An executive order allows certain businesses to resume limited operations beginning May 4. Restaurants may reopen dine-in service with 25% indoor capacity and socially distant outdoor seating. Retail storefronts may operate at 25% capacity. Museums and libraries can also open at 25% building capacity pending local government approval. They must keep interactive exhibits and play areas closed.
  • In Full Phase 1, restaurants and food establishments can increase indoor capacity to 50%, though outdoor seating is encouraged. Retail establishments can operate at up to 50% capacity indoors. Museums and libraries can open at up to 50% capacity if permitted by local governments. Gyms and fitness centers can operate at limited capacity with sanitation protocols. Elective surgeries, as well as certain personal care services, can continue.
  • According to the executive order implementing Full Phase 1, amusement parks may submit reopening plans to the state. Counties can seek approval to operate vacation rentals by submitting a written request and safety plan to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
  • Health care providers may resume elective procedures in Phase 1 if they meet state requirements for bed capacity and personal protective equipment supply.
  • Florida State Parks is reopening certain recreational trails and day-use areas, including some beach access, with restrictions beginning May 4.
  • An executive order permits barbershops, cosmetology salons and cosmetology specialty salons to reopen in adherence with social distancing and other precautionary measures, beginning May 11.
  • A May 14 executive order allows professional sports to operate statewide and permits venues to host trainings, competitions, events and games.
  • Effective May 22, DeSantis lifted restrictions on organized youth activities including sports teams, summer camps and child care.
  • Most of the state entered Phase 2 on June 5. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties must submit a written request to the County Mayor or County Administrator to proceed with Phase 2.
  • In Phase 2, restaurants can allow bar-top seating. Bars and pubs can can operate at 50% capacity indoors and full capacity outdoors, though patrons can only receive service if seated. Retail establishments and gyms can operate at full capacity with social distancing and sanitation protocols. Entertainment businesses such as movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums and arcades can operate at 50% capacity. Personal services businesses such as tattoo parlors, massage establishments and tanning salons can operate under health department guidelines.
  • Floridians are encouraged to gather in groups no larger than 50 people.
  • State officials announced recommendations for local communities as they finalize plans to reopen schools, and outlined where the nearly $475 million in education assistance provided by the CARES Act will be invested. The recommendations involve an incremental reopening of K-12 and post-secondary facilities for summer programming in June and July, with campuses expanding to full capacity for the start of the academic year in August.
  • The state Department of Education ordered schools to reopen for in-person instruction in the fall for families who want to send their children to "brick and mortar" schools. Florida teachers are suing to block the mandate. DeSantis said districts that need to delay in-person instruction by "a few weeks" may do so.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • While houses of worship were exempt from the stay-at-home order, DeSantis encouraged religious leaders to hold services online or outside to minimize person-to-person contact.
  • DeSantis issued an executive order directing all Florida residents traveling from New York, New Jersey or Connecticut to self-quarantine for 14 days. It remains in effect during Phase 2.
  • On June 26, DeSantis ordered bars to shut down on-site service indefinitely.

Testing and tracing

  • DeSantis announced the launch of the state's mobile testing lab, which will be able to conduct 3,500 COVID-19 tests per week with a turnaround time of 45 minutes. It will focus on testing long-term care facilities.
  • DeSantis asked the secretary of the state's Agency for Health Care Administration to issue an emergency rule requiring hospitals to test all individuals that will be discharged to long-term care facilities, regardless of symptoms.
  • The state is offering antibody tests for first responders at five drive-through sites.
  • Phase 2 guidance directs all employees of long-term care facilities to get tested for COVID-19 "on a routine basis."
  • DeSantis announced on August 3 that all state-supported testing sites will have lanes specifically for people experiencing symptoms.

Relief and resources

  • DeSantis moved to allow recently retired law enforcement and health care workers to immediately reenter the workforce.
  • An April 2 executive order blocks the evictions of residents unable to pay rent because of the coronavirus, and suspends all mortgage foreclosures, for 45 days. DeSantis has since extended it until August 1.
  • DeSantis issued an order temporarily suspending the "actively seeking work" reporting requirement for Floridians applying for unemployment assistance.
  • DeSantis and the Department of Children and Families announced extended support for Floridians participating in SNAP and TANF during the public health emergency.
  • The state Department of Children and Families received $1.9 million in federal emergency funding to address mental health and substance use disorders resulting from the public health emergency.
  • Florida will provide additional assistance to families with children eligible for free and reduced-price school meals through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program.
  • DeSantis signed an executive order allowing local elections officials to begin canvassing vote-by-mail ballots earlier than usual in the August primary and November general election. It also authorizes administrative leave for state employees who serve as poll workers, and requires election supervisors to implement social distancing and sanitation procedures at polling places. The order encourages all superintendents to close K-12 schools for use as precinct polling locations in both elections.
  • DeSantis announced $250 million in CARES Act funding for an initiative that will provide rental and mortgage assistance to families impacted by the pandemic.
  • DeSantis said on July 7 that the state will send 100 health care workers to Miami amidst a surge in coronavirus cases.


Georgia

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Brian Kemp issued a statewide shelter-in-place order on April 3, which expired on April 30. Businesses are ordered to follow strict sanitation and social distancing protocols. Kemp extended the public health state of emergency through June 12, and ordered elderly and medically vulnerable individuals to continue sheltering in place until then.
  • As of June 11, residents 65 and older are only required to shelter in place if they live in long-term care facilities or have certain health conditions.
  • Kemp issued an order rescinding local mask mandates in more than a dozen jurisdictions, and has filed a lawsuit against the mayor of Atlanta seeking to block the city's order requiring masks in public.

Reopening

  • Kemp announced on April 20 that gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, nail care artists, aestheticians, and massage therapists could reopen for business on April 24. They must adhere to "minimum basic operations" and implement social distancing and regular sanitation.
  • Theaters, private social clubs and restaurant dine-in services may reopen beginning April 27. Kemp announced that drive-in movies can operate if they comply with the directives of the shelter-in-place order.
  • On April 23, Kemp signed an executive order for "reviving a healthy Georgia," which outlines specific provisions for the limited reopening of certain economic sectors effective May 1.
  • A May 12 executive order changed certain rules for some businesses and extended closures for others through May 31. Businesses are divided into three categories, and must follow industry-specific guidelines.
  • Restaurants can allow 10 patrons per 300 square feet of public space and accommodate tables with a maximum of 10 people, up from six. They must continue to follow specific health and safety protocols.
  • Under the May 12 order, day camps can resume if they meet certain criteria. Child care facilities can expand the maximum number of people allowed in a single classroom from 10 to 20 as long as the required staff-to-children ratio is maintained.
  • The University System of Georgia said its institutions are planning to resume face-to-face instruction in the fall.
  • Kemp announced best practices for film and television productions planning to resume filming in the state. On June 12, he announced that major motion picture, television and streaming companies plan to bring back and hire roughly 40,000 production workers for an expected total of 75 projects over 18 months.
  • Beginning May 31, overnight summer camps can open if they meet more than 30 specific criteria.
  • Kemp announced additional businesses and services can reopen beginning June 1 if they meet specific criteria. Bars and nightclubs can decide to reopen if they follow strict social distancing and sanitation rules. Banquet facilities, private event facilities and private reception venues must follow the same operating protocols as restaurants and dine-in establishments. Professional sports teams and organizations can resume operations, in line with guidance from their respective leagues.
  • Schools and districts that meet certain requirements can offer summer classes with in-person instruction starting in June.
  • Also as of June 1, gatherings of more than 25 people in a single location will be allowed if social distancing is maintained.
  • Kemp said operators of amusement park rides, traveling carnivals, circuses and water parks can open starting June 12 in compliance with mandatory guidance.
  • An executive order lifts additional restrictions statewide, effective June 16. Most gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited, unless there are 6 feet of distance between each individual. Indoor movie theaters and cinemas are no longer required to limit the number of people who can sit together, and personal care establishments can allow walk-ins subject to specific requirements. Restaurants and dining rooms can lift capacity limits and party maximums, and workers are required to wear face coverings only while interacting with patrons. Salad bars and buffets can offer cafeteria-style service or allow patrons to serve themselves if the establishment meets specific requirements. Bars can expand to 50 people or 35% capacity, whichever is greater.
  • Professional sports teams and organizations must follow the rules of their respective leagues. High school and collegiate teams must follow the rules of their conferences or associations. Amateur sports teams must follow the state's criteria for non-critical infrastructure entities.
  • Campers and workers may only attend an overnight summer camp if they receive a negative COVID-19 test result within 12 days, up from seven, of starting camp.
  • Effective July 1, conventions — including exhibitions, trade shows, conferences and business retreats — can be held if they meet specific requirements.
  • Also effective July 1, live performance venues can open if they meet certain criteria based on their designation as Tier I, II or III. There will be exceptions for drive-in performances, private recording sessions, livestream performances, rehearsals, events without spectators and non-ticketed events.
  • On July 21, officials called on Georgians to slow the spread of the virus by doing "Four Things for Four Weeks": wear a mask in public, practice physical distancing, wash their hands for 20 seconds throughout the day and follow public health orders.

Closed, canceled and delayed

Testing and tracing

  • COVID-19 testing is available by appointment for all Georgians, regardless of symptoms.
  • Kemp announced on June 15 that the state will begin priority testing for first responders at all "specimen points of collection" sites statewide, with no appointment needed.
  • On June 16, Kemp announced that 100% of nursing home residents in facilities with 25 or more beds had been tested.
  • The state is partnering with Mako Medical to supply an additional 10,000 tests a day, with results delivered within 48 hours on average.

Relief and resources

  • Kemp said on March 31 that the Georgia National Guard will be deployed to assisted living facilities and nursing homes to assist with containment measures.
  • Kemp signed an order suspending enforcement of the state's anti-mask statute so that Georgians can comply with public health guidance.
  • Georgia worked to increase hospital capacity for an anticipated COVID-19 patient surge.
  • An emergency rule allows workers to make up to $300 a week without reducing their weekly benefit amount, enabling employees working reduced hours to qualify for state and federal benefits.
  • On May 5, the state distributed 150 pallets of personal protective equipment — its largest shipment to date — to hospitals, health care facilities, testing sites and the Department of Corrections.
  • A May 8 executive order temporarily extends the 30-day renewal requirement for weapons carry licenses for those that expire between February 13 and June 12.
  • A May 12 executive order clarifies that individuals who received driver's licenses during the pandemic, while road tests were temporarily suspended, must take a road test by September 30.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $12 million grant to the Technical College System of Georgia's Office of Workforce Development to address workforce-related impacts of the pandemic.
  • Kemp issued orders extending Georgia's state of emergency through September 10 and and existing public health measures through August 15.
  • Officials announced on July 10 that they would be reactivating the Georgia World Congress Center as an overflow facility for COVID-19 patients. An initial 60 beds opened to patients on August 3.


Kentucky

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Andy Beshear enacted a statewide "Healthy at Home" order effective March 26. All "non-life-sustaining" businesses ceased in-person services, with exceptions including grocery stores, gas stations, hardware stores and firearm and ammunition retailers. The order also halted all residential evictions for the duration of the state of emergency.
  • Under the "Healthy at Work" plan, sectors of the economy are reopening incrementally starting May 11. All essential businesses permitted to operate are required to follow social distancing and hygiene guidance from the CDC and state public health department.
  • Under Beshear's plan to reopen Kentucky's economy, people must wear masks in public when they visit businesses as of May 11.
  • A July 9 executive order effective for 30 days requires individuals to wear face coverings in additional circumstances, such as inside or in line at indoor businesses and public spaces, on public transportation and in ride-sharing services and in outdoor public spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained. On Aug. 6, Beshear extended the order for another 30 days.

Reopening

  • An executive order issued April 8 limits the number of shoppers allowed inside essential businesses to "one adult member per household."
  • Beshear announced the "Healthy at Work" initiative for the safe and incremental reopening of Kentucky's economy. He said on April 21 that it was in the first phase, which is a state-readiness evaluation. The second phase is an individual business-readiness evaluation.
  • The state began the gradual restart of some health care services on April 27. Non-urgent services can resume in clinics, medical and dental offices, physical therapy settings and hospital outpatient settings in accordance with public health guidance. Health care providers are directed to maximize telehealth rather than in-person services, prohibit most visitation, eliminate waiting rooms and follow other sanitation and social distancing protocols.
  • Beshear released a four-phase plan for reopening the healthcare industry. Phase 2, effective May 6, allows outpatient surgeries and other invasive procedures to resume under strict guidelines. Under Phase 3, effective May 13, hospitals and care facilities can begin performing non-emergency surgeries and procedures at 50 percent of their pre-pandemic patient volume. The final phase began on May 27 and leaves restrictions up to individual facilities.
  • Beshear announced a timeline for the reopening of certain sectors in May. As of May 11, manufacturing, construction, vehicle and vessel dealerships, pet grooming and boarding, and spectator-free horse racing can restart if they meet minimum and industry-specific requirements. Professional services may resume at 50% of their pre-pandemic capacity. On May 20, retail businesses and houses of worship may reopen. Starting May 25, barbers, salons and other personal care services may resume operations, and social gatherings of up to 10 people will be permitted.
  • Beshear announced a second timeline for the reopening of additional businesses, in compliance with the "Healthy at Work" rules and industry-specific guidance. Restaurants can reopen, with "limited 33% capacity and outdoor seating," beginning May 22. Movie theaters and fitness centers can open on June 1. Public and private campgrounds can open on June 11.
  • Government offices and agencies can open on May 18, and funeral homes can reopen on May 20.
  • As of May 22, gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted and the state's travel ban is no longer in effect.
  • Beginning June 1, aquatic centers, fishing tournaments and auto/dirt track racing can resume operations. Public pools will remain closed.
  • Certain areas of state parks, including lodging, cabins and golf cart rentals, reopened on June 1.
  • Museums, outdoor attractions, aquariums, libraries and distilleries are allowed to reopen starting June 8.
  • Historical horse racing venues can reopen on June 8.
  • In-home child care programs can open on June 8, and center-based, licensed child care programs can reopen to all families on June 15.
  • Certain youth sports and athletic activities can resume beginning June 15, in line with state guidance. Low-touch indoor and outdoor sports can resume practices in groups of no more than 10 people. High-touch indoor and outdoor activities can hold small group physical fitness workouts and exercises. Beginning June 29, low-touch sports can resume competition with up to 50 spectators, and high-touch sports can resume group practices without competition.
  • Beshear announced that auctions can be held starting June 1, and horse shows can be held starting June 8. Bars and venues that hold 50 or fewer people can reopen, and gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed beginning June 29 provided they meet certain guidelines.
  • As of June 10, houses of worship can host gatherings of up to 50% of their pre-pandemic capacities.
  • Businesses permitted to operate at 33% capacity beginning May 22 can expand to 50% capacity on June 22, provided they meet specific guidelines.
  • Beshear released updated requirements for the reopening of public swimming and bathing facilities, effective June 29.
  • Beshear announced that NASCAR races will return to the Kentucky Speedway, with no spectators, beginning July 9.
  • Officials released initial guidance for K-12 schools reopening in the fall.
  • Assisted living and personal care homes can resume visitation, small group activities, communal dining and off-site appointments beginning June 29. Nursing homes and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities can resume visitation beginning July 15.
  • In response to the state's rising case numbers and positivity rate, Beshear announced on July 20 that social, non-commercial mass gathering limits are reduced from 50 to 10 people. He also issued a new travel advisory recommending a 14-day self-quarantine for travelers coming from nine states and Puerto Rico and encouraging residents not to visit those places.
  • On July 27, Beshear announced additional restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Effective July 28, bars are closed for two weeks. Restaurants are limited to 25% of pre-pandemic capacity indoors. Public and private schools were asked to delay in-person instruction until the third week of August.
  • Effective Aug. 11, bars can reopen and restaurants can increase their capacity to 50% with social distancing. Bars and restaurants must halt food and beverage service by 10 p.m. and close at 11 p.m.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • On Aug. 10, Beshear announced the state's recommendation that schools wait to begin in-person instruction until Sept. 28.

Testing and tracing

  • COVID-19 testing at drive-through locations is available to anyone who wants a test.
  • Beshear said on May 18 that the state would hire about 600 people to implement a seven-month contact tracing plan. On June 15, officials said more than 340 users had been onboarded to the online system and more than 600 local contact tracers were contributing to the effort.

Relief and resources

  • Pharmacists across the state are permitted to dispense emergency refills of up to a 30 day supply of non-scheduled medications for Kentucky residents, and can temporarily operate pharmacies in areas not designated on the pharmacy permit.
  • Beshear expanded workers' compensation eligibility to front-line personnel.
  • Some state facilities are being used as shelters for people who lack a place in which to self-isolate and can care for themselves with "minimal medical intervention." These four state park lodges reopened on June 8.
  • Beginning May 1, Kentucky's local public safety agencies and eligible local governments can apply for some of the $9 million in grant funding newly available from the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • The state will distribute more than $450,000 in federal funding to 93 non-profit arts organizations impacted by the coronavirus.
  • Beshear issued an additional 352 conditional commutations for individuals with five years or less remaining on sentences for non-violent, non-sexual offenses.
  • Kentucky is one of several pilot states for a new program allowing SNAP recipients to use benefits online at certain eligible retailers.
  • The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet received nearly $22.9 million in federal relief funding, to be distributed to 17 public transit agencies across the state.
  • Businesses can order face masks and hand sanitizer from the state.
  • Beshear announced $300 million in CARES Act funding for city and county governments, to reimburse expenses necessary to comply with public health guidelines.
  • Families with students eligible for free or reduced-price school meals will receive financial assistance through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program, beginning May 23.
  • Beshear temporarily authorized circuit court clerk officers to process expired driving credential renewals and replacement requests remotely. Cardholders with expiration dates between March 1 and June 30, and those needing replacements, can apply to receive a new card in the mail.
  • An executive order prohibiting price gouging will remain in effect for the duration of the state of emergency.


Louisiana

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide stay-at-home order, under which nonessential businesses must remain closed and gatherings larger than 10 people are prohibited. People can still do essential tasks such as go to the grocery store, pick up prescriptions or go to work "if absolutely necessary." He extended the order until the morning of May 15, at which point the state entered Phase 1 of reopening.
  • A statewide mask mandate took effect on July 13. Parishes with low COVID-19 incidence may choose to opt out.

Reopening

  • The Louisiana Department of Health issued a revised order for medical and surgical procedures, outlining the conditions under which they can be performed beginning April 27. It loosens restrictions from a previous order, which allowed surgeries only for emergency medical conditions.
  • Edwards announced that Louisiana will be in Phase 1 from May 15 through at least June 5. The stay-at-home order is lifted, though high-risk individuals are encouraged to stay home. All individuals must wear face coverings, practice good hygiene and maintain six feet of distance from non-household members. Certain nonessential businesses can open with occupancy limits. Employers are encouraged to continue allowing employees to telework whenever possible.
  • In Phase 1, the following businesses can open at 25% capacity with sanitation protocols and spacing for physical distancing: dine-in restaurants, gyms, fitness centers, theaters, places of worship, barber shops, nail salons, hair salons, bars serving food, casinos and video poker, museums, zoos and aquariums. Massage parlors, bars without food permits, tattoo parlors, amusement parks, contact sports, playgrounds, theme parks, adult entertainment venues and other similar businesses will remain closed.
  • State buildings began to reopen to the public at 25% occupancy on May 15. State agencies are directed to bring more employees back to work with proper protections in place.
  • The state's departments of health and education issued Phase 1 guidelines for child care centers, camps and summer extracurricular activities.
  • On May 18, the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles began providing limited service at 11 locations.
  • Phase 2 began on June 5. Places of worship and many previously operating businesses can expand to 50% capacity with social distancing, increased sanitation and other precautions. Additional businesses can open with capacity limits, including massage and tattoo parlors, spas, bars and breweries with food permits, bowling alleys, arcades, pool halls, casinos and video poker, trampoline parks, event centers and wedding venues, and outdoor playgrounds and play centers. Bars and breweries without food permits can reopen at 25% capacity.
  • In Phase 2, the state requires public-facing employees to wear face coverings and encourages businesses to offer temperature checks to patrons.
  • Expanded Phase 2 guidelines allow bars and nightclubs to host live music, provided they submit applications approved by the State Fire Marshal's Office and Department of Health.
  • Edwards announced on June 22 that the state will remain in Phase 2 for another 28 days, due to a rise in cases and hospitalizations in several regions.
  • The executive order extending Phase 2 also capped indoor gatherings at a maximum of 250 people.
  • Effective July 13, social gatherings are limited to 50 people indoors as well as outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Edwards extended the state's Phase 2 order, including the mask mandate, gathering limits and bar closures, first through Aug. 7 and then through Aug. 28.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • Louisiana's June 20 primary election was rescheduled for July 11. Its July 25 election was postponed to August 15.
  • Sleep-away camps, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, fairs, contact sports, children's indoor play centers, theme parks, music halls and indoor live entertainment must remain closed in Phase 2.
  • Edwards ordered bars across the state closed to on-premises consumption, effective July 13.

Testing and tracing

  • Edwards announced a plan to hire up to 700 contact tracers to operate two call centers. The governor's office said the first group of 250 tracers would undergo training and begin offering services around May 15.
  • The Department of Public Health is partnering with 11 commercial providers to expand testing statewide. It announced a set of goals for May and June, including achieving monthly testing at 4% per capita and positivity of 10% or less as a state and regionally.
  • 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.

Relief and resources

  • Edwards signed a proclamation relaxing medical licensure laws, making it easier for health care workers from out of state to practice in Louisiana.
  • The Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force set out to examine how health inequities are affecting communities impacted by the coronavirus. The Governor's COVID-19 Response Fund is making $500,000 available for its research and outreach.
  • The state's Keep Calm During COVID-19 Phone Line offers 24/7 confidential mental health resources.
  • The state launched OpenSafely.la.gov, a web-based program to assist businesses and places of worship safely resume operations.
  • Louisiana is participating in the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program, which provides assistance to the families of children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
  • Edwards signed a bill allowing third-party delivery services to deliver beer and wine through contract workers. He had previously authorized restaurants, grocery stores and liquor stores to deliver beverages with their own employees.
  • On July 16, the state launched an emergency rental assistance program for individuals financially impacted by the pandemic. Three days later, Edwards announced that phase one of the application process had been temporarily suspended due to "overwhelming response."


Maryland

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Larry Hogan announced a statewide stay-at-home order on March 30, demanding residents not leave their homes or travel outside the state unless it is absolutely essential. Nonessential businesses were closed, and gatherings larger than 10 people were prohibited.
  • Stage One of reopening began in most of the state on May 15. Certain businesses and services can reopen with health and safety precautions in place. Residents, especially those who are older or medically vulnerable, are advised to stay home as much as possible. Individuals should continue teleworking if possible, practice social distancing and wear masks in indoor public areas and on public transportation.
  • An expanded mask order requiring everyone over the age of 5 to wear masks in the public spaces of all businesses, and outdoors where social distancing cannot be maintained, took effect on July 31.

Reopening

  • An executive order requires individuals to wear face coverings when inside any retail establishment or riding any form of public transportation, effective April 18. It also orders all retail locations to put appropriate social distancing measures in place and require staff to wear face coverings.
  • Hogan announced Maryland's three-stage "Roadmap to Recovery" on April 24.
  • The Maryland Department of Health issued guidelines for the resumption of elective procedures at the discretion of local hospitals and health care providers, effective May 6.
  • As of May 7, the list of safe outdoor activities is expanded to include golf, tennis, recreational boating, fishing and camping.
  • The state moved to a Safer at Home public health advisory at 5:00 p.m. on May 15. County leaders have flexibility in decision-making about the timing of stage one reopening in their jurisdictions. Several counties initially delayed Stage One or are proceeding with only partial reopenings. Individuals can track progress through an interactive map.
  • In Stage One, retail stores can reopen at up to 50% capacity, with curbside delivery and pickup strongly encouraged. Manufacturing operations can resume with specific safety protocols. Houses of worship can hold religious services at up to 50% capacity, with outdoor services encouraged. Some personal care services may reopen by appointment only, at up to 50% capacity.
  • Hogan announced that the state could move forward with the completion of Stage One, allowing for the resumption of certain services and activities beginning at 5:00 p.m. on May 29. Restaurants and social clubs can reopen for outdoor dining. Outdoor youth sports and outdoor activities at youth day camps can resume. Outdoor pools may open with capacity restrictions and other best practices. Drive-in movie theaters can open.
  • An emergency order expands allowable outdoor seating and third-party shipment services for state-licensed manufacturers of alcohol, including breweries, wineries and distilleries.
  • Most of the state began Stage Two at 5:00 p.m. on June 5. Maryland is continuing its community-based approach, allowing jurisdictions to make their own decisions about timing.
  • To begin Stage Two, Hogan lifted the order requiring the closure of nonessential businesses. Other workplaces including real estate offices, travel agencies, auto dealer showrooms and bank branches can reopen in line with public health guidance, with employees encouraged to telework whenever possible. Additional personal care services such as nail salons, massage therapists, tanning salons and tattoo parlors can operate by appointment only at up to 50% capacity.
  • Maryland courts began implementing their five-phase reopening plan on June 5.
  • State government agencies are beginning a return to more normal operations starting June 8.
  • An additional round of Stage Two openings began at 5:00 p.m. on June 12. Restaurants can open indoor dining at 50% capacity. Outdoor amusements and rides, such as miniature golf and go kart tracks, can open with restrictions. Pools can expand to 50% capacity.
  • Effective at 5:00 p.m. on June 19, indoor gyms, martial arts, dance and other indoor fitness studio activities can resume at 50% capacity. Casinos, arcades and malls can also open with strict precautions.
  • Hogan said school systems can begin bringing small groups of students and staff into school buildings, and should prioritize summer instruction for vulnerable populations. Nonpublic special education schools can reopen.
  • All child care providers may begin to reopen, with up to 15 individuals allowed in one room.
  • Outdoor high school sports can resume practices and training activities in line with guidance for youth sports programs.
  • New guidance allows nursing homes to resume limited outdoor visitation, communal dining and small group activities with proper precautions. Facilities can only begin relaxing restrictions if they meet a set of specific prerequisites.
  • Hogan announced a phased reopening plan for assisted living facilities, which requires universal screenings and face coverings for staff and visitors and mandates widespread testing.
  • On July 14, Hogan directed local leaders to better enforce public safety requirements in bars and restaurants, saying state officials have connected an increasing number of cases to non-compliance.
  • Hogan signed an emergency order prohibiting blanket school closures, authorizing local schools systems to determine when to open for in-person instruction.
  • Hogan directed the state health department to issue a public health advisory for out-of-state travel, advising Marylanders from visiting states with positivity rates of 10% or higher.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • Maryland residents returning home from out of state are directed to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • On April 10, Hogan announced an immediate hiring and budget freeze on discretionary state spending across all agencies.

Testing and tracing

  • Hogan announced on April 20 that the state secured 500,000 COVID-19 tests from South Korean company LabGenomics.
  • New health directives for nursing homes include universal testing of all residents and staff.
  • Hogan said that through the efforts of local health departments and NORC at the University of Chicago, the state's contact tracing operation can track 1,000 cases and 10,000 contacts daily. The statewide contact tracing operation has more than 1,400 investigators across all 24 jurisdictions, and will be fully operational starting the week of May 25.
  • Appointment-free testing is available across the state, and is expanded to include asymptomatic individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • An emergency order authorizes the state's licensed pharmacists to directly order and administer COVID-19 tests.
  • Hogan announced that Maryland will conduct universal testing at all state-run correctional and juvenile facilities as part of its long-term testing strategy.
  • State officials are encouraging anyone who attended a protest to get tested, and are opening additional high-volume testing sites across Baltimore City.
  • Following universal testing at nursing homes, state health officials are requiring weekly retesting of all nursing home staff. Residents will be retested weekly in nursing homes that report facility-acquired cases.
  • A new state Department of Health order requires health care providers to order a test for any individual who requests it, regardless of symptoms.
  • 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.

Relief and resources

  • Hogan suspended certain regulations to allow for the temporary expansion of telehealth services.
  • Hogan banned evictions of tenants who are unable to pay rent because of the coronavirus. An order prohibiting utility companies from shutting off residential service and charging residential late fees has been extended through August 1.
  • An April 3 order extended those renter protections and introduced new provisions. Certain repossessions are suspended, residential mortgage closures may not be initiated, and commercial evictions are prohibited as long as tenants can prove they lost income because of the coronavirus.
  • The state invested $8 million in the Capital Area Food Bank and Maryland Food Bank. It also created a $5 million fund to incentivize Maryland businesses to make personal protective equipment.
  • Maryland has awarded a round of grants totaling more than $1.6 million to 20 local companies for starting or expanding production of personal protective equipment.
  • An emergency order allows court clerks to issue marriage licenses and conduct marriage oaths remotely.
  • Hogan announced the launch of the Caregiver Services Corps, a program that will deploy volunteers and resources to the homes of seniors who need assistance when their typical caregivers are temporarily unable to help due to COVID-19.
  • The state was approved to expand SNAP to online grocery purchases, curbside pickup and delivery starting May 27.
  • An emergency order allows local liquor boards to waive fees for liquor licenses, which can help local restaurants offer expanded outdoor dining.
  • Hogan announced on June 23 that the state had distributed more than 50 million units of personal protective equipment to hospitals, state agencies, local health departments and front-line workers. It also created the Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund to incentivize businesses to manufacture personal protective equipment and other supplies.
  • Hogan announced $210 million in additional funding to help local school systems expand access to remote learning and targeted tutoring initiatives.
  • Hogan announced a commitment of more than $45 million in education funding for K-12 technology improvements, community college workforce development programs, rural broadband expansion and other initiatives to help students affected by the pandemic.
  • The state is putting $30 million in new funding towards eviction prevention assistance and an assisted housing relief program.
  • Hogan announced $190 million in relief for colleges, small businesses and nonprofit organizations impacted by the pandemic.
  • Hogan directed the State Board of Elections to conduct the November general election with "enhanced voting options" due to the pandemic. He asked them to send an absentee ballot request application to every eligible voter and promote early voting, voting by mail and voting at off-peak times.
  • On July 24, Hogan announced open enrollment for the state's Assisted Housing Relief Program, which provides a four-month rebate voucher for renters living in state-financed properties.


Mississippi

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • On April 1, Gov. Tate Reeves issued a statewide stay-at-home order, banning residents from leaving the home for activities deemed nonessential. He announced on April 17 that it would remain in effect for an additional week. The revised order expired at 8:00 a.m. on April 27.
  • On August 4, Reeves issued a two-week statewide mask mandate.

Reopening

  • A "Safer-at-Home" order took effect on April 27 and allowed some businesses to reopen under certain guidelines. Stage 2 of the Safer-at-Home order officially began on May 7.
  • Reeves announced on April 17 that lakes and beaches could reopen to allow people to "fish or relax." He also permitted nonessential businesses to conduct sales via drive-through, curbside and delivery services. Businesses like salons may safely sell their excess supplies.
  • Beginning April 27, health care providers may resume "non-emergency, elective procedures" in accordance with specific health department guidelines.
  • A May 4 executive order amends the Safer-at-Home order to allow restaurants and bars to resume limited indoor and outdoor in-house dining beginning May 7. Restaurants must follow sanitation, screening and social distancing guidelines, including limiting capacity to 50%.
  • The May 4 order allows state parks to reopen on May 7 for socially-distant recreation. Municipal and private parks can also open, subject to restrictions imposed by local authority. Outdoor recreational activities are permitted between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Group gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors.
  • A May 12 executive order enacts stricter social distancing measures in seven counties for all businesses, retail establishments and people going out in public. The May 25 Safer-at-Home extension added an eighth county to the list of hot spots. These measures were extended in five counties until June 8.
  • Salons, barbershops and gyms can resume operations as of May 11, in line with social distancing guidelines and sanitation protocols.
  • Recreational boating is permitted with reduced capacity and social distancing.
  • Church services can be held in parking lots with individuals staying in their cars, though Reeves is encouraging churches to hold services online or remotely. Officials released guidance for houses of worship as they decide when and how to resume in-person gatherings.
  • A May 15 executive order allows tattoo parlors to reopen with specific protocols. It also allows restaurants that do not serve alcohol to offer in-house dining 24 hours a day.
  • Casinos are able to reopen with restrictions as of May 21.
  • An amended version of the Safer-at-Home order effective May 25 allows additional facilities and outdoor recreation activities to resume with restrictions. Schools can open weight rooms and training facilities for student use in accordance with restrictions placed on gyms, and outdoor practices can resume. Outdoor places of amusement and recreation including amusement parks, water parks, mini golf and playgrounds can open subject to specific limitations.
  • The Safer-at-Home order was replaced by a "Safe Return" order on June 1, to remain in effect originally until June 15. Under the Safe Return order, vulnerable populations are instructed to continue sheltering in place. For large group gatherings where social distancing is not possible, groups are capped at 20 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. When social distancing is possible, group gatherings of up to 50 people indoors and up to 100 people outdoors are permitted.
  • All businesses and non-profits can open in line with health guidance, and are encouraged to continue allowing employees to work from home. Bars that do not serve food are allowed to reopen, and bars and restaurants can host socially-distant live music performances.
  • Public school buildings can reopen for in-person classroom learning, including summer school. Private schools and institutions of higher learning are allowed to reopen their facilities to the public. Reception halls and conference centers are also allowed to reopen, with restrictions.
  • Indoor places of amusement such as bowling alleys and playgrounds can reopen with restrictions.
  • An executive order effective June 1 allows youth sports, movie theaters, libraries and museums to open under specific guidelines.
  • Reeves announced guidelines for the reopening of permanent driver's license stations statewide beginning June 8.
  • Reeves announced he will adjust and extend the Safe Return order initially through the morning of June 29. Under the new order, restaurants and bars no longer have to close to the public at 10:00 p.m. Gyms and fitness centers can expand to 50% capacity. Outdoor and indoor arenas can open with restrictions, such as limiting seating to 25% capacity.
  • The order was extended and amended to allow concession stands at outdoor sports complexes and multi-field complexes to open with restrictions. It also allows public pools to be open to the public 24 hours a day. Reeves later extended it again until the morning of July 20.
  • An executive order effective July 13 imposed tighter restrictions in 13 counties, including requiring masks in public and capping social gatherings at 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors. On July 19, Reeves added ten more counties to the order. He added another six on July 24.
  • Reeves extended the Safe Return order through the morning of August 3. Modifications limit the number of individuals at public pools to 50% capacity, and allowing non-emergency elective procedures to take place only if the health care facility performing them reserves at least 10% of its capacity for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
  • On July 24, Reeves amended the Safe Return order to implement additional restrictions through August 3. Social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 20 outdoors. Bars can only sell alcohol to seated customers, and restaurants and bars cannot sell alcohol between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • On July 30, Reeves extended the Safe Return and existing county-specific orders until the morning of August 17.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • Visits to hospitals remain prohibited under the Safe Return order, with some exceptions.
  • On Aug. 4, Reeves issued an executive order delaying the start of 7-12 grade public schools in eight counties classified as hot spots until Aug. 17.
  • The state health officer issued a statewide order requiring anyone with COVID-19 to isolate at home for 14 days.

Testing and tracing

  • One-day drive-through testing locations are offered daily for individuals determined to be at high risk, with testing free of charge.

Relief and resources

  • Reeves signed an executive order granting additional civil liability protections for health care workers and facilities responding to COVID-19 outside of their normal duties.
  • The Mississippi Public Service Commission temporarily prohibited utility shutoffs.
  • The State Housing Finance Agency for Mississippi reopened its Home Saver Program to provide short-term mortgage assistance to eligible homeowners who have lost income or employment due to COVID-19.
  • A May 11 executive order waives the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits for all claims filed between March 8 and December 26. It suspends additional penalties and requirements for employers and workers.
  • Reeves announced the launch of the Back to Business Mississippi website to expedite financial support for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Qualifying small businesses can apply for the Back to Business Mississippi grant program to receive up to $25,000, depending on their pandemic-related expenses.
  • Reeves issued an executive order extending the suspension of work search requirements until August 8 and continuing other unemployment benefits until September 26.


North Carolina

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Roy Cooper announced a statewide stay-at-home order directing North Carolina residents to leave only for "essential activities" and maintain social distancing of at least six feet, extended until May 8. He signed an executive order modifying the stay-at-home order and transitioning the state into Phase 1 of easing restrictions, effective 5:00 p.m. on May 8.
  • A statewide mandate effective June 26 requires people to wear face coverings when in indoor and outdoor public places.

Reopening

  • On April 15, Cooper announced a roadmap for incrementally easing certain restrictions, contingent on making progress in "testing, tracing and trends."
  • Under Phase 1 of the reopening plan, a modified stay-at-home order permitted people to leave home for commercial activity at any business that is allowed to be open. That includes clothing stores, sporting goods stores, book shops, housewares stores and other retailers.
  • During Phase 1, gatherings remained capped at 10 people and face coverings were recommended in public settings. Parks could reopen subject to gathering limitations. Restrictions on nursing homes and congregate care settings continued. Local emergency orders with more restrictive measures were allowed to remain in effect.
  • The modified stay-at-home order previously removed the distinction between essential and nonessential businesses. Retail businesses may operate at 50% capacity and must implement health and safety measures for workers and customers. Cloth face coverings are recommended for workers, and teleworking is encouraged whenever possible.
  • Child care facilities can be open during Phase 1, subject to strict cleaning protocols, to serve families of parents who are working or looking for work. Summer day camps can operate in compliance with state guidelines.
  • After North Carolina entered Phase 2 at 5:00 p.m. on May 22, the stay-at-home order became a "Safer at Home" recommendation, especially for vulnerable populations. Gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors in most circumstances. Certain businesses can open at limited capacity, and teleworking is encouraged. The Safer at Home Phase 2 was initially set to last through at least June 26.
  • In Phase 2, restaurants, personal care businesses and pools can open at 50% capacity and with distancing and cleaning requirements. Child care facilities, day camps and overnight camps can open with restrictions, and public health recommendations are available for worship services.
  • The state released guidance for the reopening of in-person instruction at K-12 public schools for the 2020-2021 academic year. It will decide by July whether schools will reopen with minimal social distancing, moderate social distancing or remote learning only.
  • Cooper announced on June 24 that the state will remain in Safer at Home Phase 2 for three more weeks. He said on July 14 that the state will remain in that phase for another three weeks.
  • Cooper announced that K-12 public schools must offer a hybrid model of in-person and remote instruction, and districts can choose to operate entirely remote. Schools must implement specific safety measures, and the state will provide at least five reusable face coverings for every student, teacher and staff member in public schools.
  • Cooper signed an executive order stopping the sale of alcoholic beverages at restaurants, breweries, wineries and distilleries at 11 p.m.
  • Cooper announced on Aug. 5 that the state will remain paused in Safer at Home Phase 2 for five more weeks, until at least Sept. 11.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • Bars, nightclubs, gyms, indoor fitness facilities and indoor entertainment venues like bowling alleys and movie theaters remain closed in Phase 2.

Testing and tracing

  • The Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative will hire and train up to 250 additional local staff to support contact tracing efforts.
  • Cooper advised anyone who has been "in any kind of crowd" to get tested, even if they have no symptoms.
  • On June 15, Cooper said efforts to test all nursing home residents and staff were ongoing.
  • North Carolina became the seventh state to join an interstate compact with the Rockefeller Foundation to secure 500,000 antigen tests for the state.

Relief and resources

  • The state is temporarily prohibiting utilities from cutting off people who are unable to pay for their "electric, gas, water and wastewater services."
  • On April 7, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced it would provide financial assistance to help certain eligible essential workers afford child care, and give bonuses to child care teachers and staff working during the pandemic.
  • The state received approval from FEMA to establish alternative housing for people with unstable housing who must quarantine either as a precautionary measure or after being exposed to the virus. The state aims to provide more than 16,500 individual housing units in hotels, motels, dormitories, and trailers.
  • An April 9 order makes specific public health and safety measures mandatory for nursing homes, and recommends other long-term care facilities follow those directives. It also streamlines the process for employers filing unemployment claims on behalf of their workers.
  • North Carolina was approved for the new Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program, which helps eligible families purchase food for children impacted by school closings due to COVID-19.
  • Cooper signed an executive order making furloughed workers eligible for unemployment benefits.
  • Cooper signed two COVID-19 relief bills into law on May 4. The package includes nearly $1.6 billion in relief measures for families, schools, hospitals, state governments and small businesses. Other provisions include extending drivers' license and registration expiration deadlines, modifying end-of-grade testing requirements for public schools and adjusting the 2020-2021 public school calendar to begin a week earlier than usual.
  • The state secured a contract with Charlotte-based Honeywell for a monthly delivery of 100,000 N95 masks through August 2021.
  • The state released Count on Me NC, a free online training program to help reopened restaurants, hotels and other hospitality businesses protect customers and employees from COVID-19 through cleaning, disinfection, social distancing and hygiene protocols.
  • Cooper announced that $85.4 million in federal relief funding will be distributed to 59 counties for public health and essential services.
  • The state received a $6 million federal grant to support job training and temporary employment opportunities. People are eligible to participate if they have been laid off due to COVID-19.
  • An executive order directs state agencies and offices to enact specific measures to address social, economic, environmental and health disparities exacerbating the impact of COVID-19 on communities of color.
  • Cooper signed a bill implementing changes to the state's election laws in response to the pandemic, making it easier to cast mail-in ballots and allocating money to equipment and security updates as well as personal protective equipment for in-person voting sites.
  • The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is allocating $35 million in federal funding to support the COVID-19 response efforts of local health departments.
  • The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services received $1.5 million to expand its statewide crisis counseling program.
  • The state distributed personal protective equipment to schools in preparation for the upcoming academic year, with starter packs including a two-month supply of thermometers, surgical masks, face shields and gowns for school nurses and staff who provide health care to students.
  • State health officials are distributing more than 900,000 masks and other infection control supplies to farms and agricultural operations.


Oklahoma

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Kevin Stitt issued a statewide "Safer at Home" order for adults over the age of 65 and individuals with serious underlying medical conditions. The order eventually applied to all counties in the state, and was extended through May 6.
  • The state entered its first of three phases of reopening on April 24. It began Phase 2 on May 15, and Phase 3 on June 1. Vulnerable populations must continue following safer-at-home guidelines.

Reopening

  • On April 16, Stitt released guidelines for medical providers determining how to proceed with elective surgeries. Procedures for certain conditions may resume beginning April 24, and other minor medical and dental procedures may resume as of May 1.
  • On April 22, Stitt introduced the "Open Up and Recover Safely" plan, a three-phased approach to reopening the state's economy. The state begins phase one on April 24, and if hospital and incident rates "remain manageable" for 14 days, it will move into the second phase.
  • Beginning April 24, personal care businesses can reopen for appointments if they adhere to strict sanitation protocols and are located in communities without additional restrictions in place. State parks and outdoor recreation areas can also reopen.
  • Beginning May 1, restaurant dining rooms, movie theaters and gyms may reopen, provided they enforce strict sanitation and social distancing measures. Tattoo parlors can reopen only for appointments, and places of worship can reopen if they leave every other row or pew open.
  • During Phase 1, Oklahomans should continue practicing physical distancing and minimizing nonessential travel, and employers should create plans allowing workers to return in phases. Elderly and vulnerable populations should continue following the original "Safer at Home" guidelines.
  • In Phase 2, organized sports activities can resume with social distancing and sanitation protocols. Bars can operate with limited standing room occupancy. Funerals and weddings can resume under social distancing protocols, and children's nursery areas in places of worship can reopen.
  • Phase 3 began on June 1. Businesses can resume unrestricted staffing at their work sites, and those previously operating by appointment only can begin accepting walk-in clients at their discretion. Summer camps can open in line with safety guidelines. Limited visitation to hospitals may resume at the discretion of the facility.
  • Individuals should minimize time spent in crowded environments, and vulnerable populations should remain Safer at Home. Local governments are encouraged to make decisions "that best fit their communities."
  • An amended executive order allows visitation at nursing homes and long-term care facilities to resume in a phased approach beginning June 15. Facilities must comply with safety guidance and submit certain information to the state health department.

Testing and tracing

  • On April 28, health officials announced plans to test all 42,000 residents and staff at the state's 306 nursing facilities using saliva testing. Stitt announced on June 2 that residents and staff had been tested at 265 nursing homes and long-term care facilities, with the remaining facilities to be tested by the end of that week.
  • State health officials outlined their plan to increase testing and contact tracing throughout May. They aim to collect and process 90,000 specimens by the end of the month and grow their contact tracing team from 150 to 650 trained workers. The state is also partnering with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma to expand COVID-19 testing access to under-served communities.
  • Individuals no longer need to exhibit symptoms in order to be eligible for COVID-19 testing.
  • The Oklahoma Blood Institute is providing free COVID-19 antibody tests to anyone 18 or older who donates blood at any of its donor centers and mobile blood drives.

Relief and resources

  • Stitt approved an emergency rule that provides hiring flexibilities for nurse aides for the duration of the emergency declaration.
  • Stitt issued an executive order guaranteeing first responders paid time off if they contract COVID-19.
  • Stitt approved the commutations of 452 individuals for early release on April 16.
  • As part of the state's major disaster declaration, federal funding is now available for crisis counseling and mental health initiatives designed to benefit individuals affected by the pandemic.
  • The state received a donation of 100,000 medical-grade face masks from Taiwan.
  • Eligible Oklahoma school districts can apply for a total of $16 million in emergency relief funds through the CARES Act, to help educators strengthen various aspects of distance learning.
  • Stitt announced two grant programs for Oklahomans impacted by the pandemic, supported by federal funding: a $10 million Eviction Mitigation program and a $100 million Oklahoma Business Relief Program.


Puerto Rico

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced announced a state of emergency and the activation of the National Guard on March 12. An executive order mandated an island-wide curfew, which the governor later updated to last from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. and extended until June 15.
  • The curfew will remain in place from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., for everyone except essential workers, until at least August 15. Face masks remain mandatory, and individuals who do not comply will be fined.

Reopening

  • Vázquez announced on April 30 that the island would begin a "slow and gradual" economic reopening. People are required to wear masks outside and when in businesses.
  • Beginning May 4, some smaller businesses are allowed to open if they practice social distancing and provide protective equipment to employees. Examples include professional services organizations like mortgage brokers, real estate agents, accountants, engineers and medical specialists.
  • Construction and manufacturing firms can begin operating as of May 11, provided they have submitted worker safety protocols to the Department of Labor.
  • Beginning May 26, restaurants can open at 25% capacity. Hair salons and barber shops can open by appointment only. Retail stores can reopen at limited capacity and with restrictions, like prohibiting people from trying on clothes. Other businesses can also reopen between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., including car washes, pet grooming and laundry services. Religious services must comply with strict measures, and wakes are allowed with no more than 10 people. Malls can reopen as of June 8.
  • People are allowed on beaches between 5 a.m and 7 p.m. for exercising, including surfing, jogging, swimming and kayaking.
  • Vázquez announced that starting June 16, beaches, churches, movie theaters and gyms can reopen. Businesses will be allowed to operate seven days a week, and restaurants can expand to 50% capacity.
  • Government agencies started reopening on July 6, with certain public employees returning to work on July 1.
  • Effective July 1, casinos can open at 75% capacity, and shops and restaurants can expand to 75% capacity. Public transportation services, wakes and funerals can resume in line with health and safety protocols.
  • Non-contact professional sporting events can resume starting July 15.
  • Tourists are allowed to visit as of July 15, but Puerto Rico has since issued a travel advisory encouraging "only essential travel" and is postponing its "official inbound tourism reopening." Airport screenings will continue, and travelers must bring a negative test result from no more than 72 hours prior to arrival or else self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Public and private schools are scheduled to start classes in mid-August, and are required to prepare safe reopening plans before then.
  • Vázquez announced new restrictions on July 16, amidst a rise in cases. Alcohol sales are prohibited after 7:00 p.m. and on Sundays, restaurants are limited to 50% capacity and beaches are only accessible to people who are exercising. Bars, clubs, theaters, gyms, casinos, concert halls and similar venues are closed. Tourists are not allowed to visit the popular islands of Vieques and Culebra.
  • Effective July 26, all businesses except pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants must close on Sundays.
  • Vázquez extended existing restrictions until at least August 15.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • Anyone arriving on the island must quarantine for 14 days. Ports are closed to all cruise ships. All arriving flights are limited to Puerto Rico's main international airport.
  • Vázquez signed a resolution postponing Puerto Rico's primaries to August 9. Puerto Rico held its Democratic presidential primary on July 14.

Testing and tracing

  • Health Secretary Lorenzo González said on April 13 that health officials would distribute 200,000 rapid testing kits.

Relief and resources

  • On April 8, Vázquez petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration to temporarily ban all flights from U.S. cities with large numbers of coronavirus cases. She specifically cited New York, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Illinois.
  • Puerto Rico's $787 million coronavirus relief package includes cash payments to small businesses, self-employed workers, nurses and other first responders.
  • Residents cannot have their power or water disconnected while the emergency decree is in effect.


South Carolina

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Henry McMaster announced a statewide "home or work" order, effective April 7 at 5 p.m. The order required South Carolinians to remain "at home or work unless visiting family, exercising or obtaining essential goods or services." McMaster lifted the order on May 4.
  • McMaster ordered that face coverings must be worn in all state government buildings, effective August 5. He is asking people to wear face coverings "as appropriate" and encouraged local governments to adopt their own ordinances.

Reopening

  • McMaster issued an executive order removing restrictions on public access points to state's beaches, piers, docks and wharfs while giving local officials the authority to restrict access if needed, effective April 21 at noon.
  • The order also reopens certain retail stores beginning 5:00 p.m. on April 20, and requires them to adhere to strict social distancing requirements. Examples of operational retailers include furniture stores, clothing and shoe stores, book and craft stores, flea markets, florists and department stores except for hardware and home improvement stores.
  • Once the "home or work" order expired on May 4, restaurants were able to resume outdoor customer dining services in line with sanitation and social distancing guidelines. As of May 11, restaurants can choose to reopen for limited dine-in services if they follow state guidelines, including capping indoor occupancy at 50%.
  • McMaster lifted restrictions on boating statewide, effective May 8.
  • Close contact service providers, fitness and exercise centers, commercial gyms — including group exercise classes — and public or commercial pools can open in a limited capacity beginning May 18. The state has issued general guidelines for close contact service providers, as well as specific guidelines for cosmetology establishments, pools and fitness centers.
  • McMaster announced a phased-in return of state government workers to their offices beginning in early June.
  • Beginning May 22, attractions including zoos, museums, aquariums, planetariums, historic sites, water parks, amusement park rides, Go-Kart tracks, bingo facilities and miniature golf facilities can reopen.
  • Youth and adult sports leagues can practice as of May 30, with competitive play allowed to resume on June 15.
  • Day camps can operate in line with health and safety guidelines.
  • A June 11 executive order continues the state of emergency, while lifting occupancy limits on retail businesses and allowing bowling alleys to open with restrictions.
  • McMaster announced that previously recommended capacity, social distancing and masking guidelines for restaurants and other establishments that attract large groups are mandatory as of August 3.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • McMaster announced on July 2 that he had directed officials to postpone the release of guidelines allowing limited visitation at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, due an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
  • McMaster implemented a nightly curfew on the sale of alcoholic beverages in bars and restaurants statewide, effective July 11.

Testing and tracing

  • On May 20, health officials announced a plan to ramp up statewide COVID-19 testing to 110,000 tests per month in May and June. The plan includes testing all nursing home residents and staff.

Relief and resources

  • McMaster issued an executive order allowing furloughed employees to qualify for unemployment benefits.
  • On April 20, McMaster announced the creation of "accelerateSC," a five-component economic revitalization plan. The accelerate.sc.gov website, a "one-stop-shop" for COVID-19 help and information, launched on May 5.
  • McMaster signed a bill allowing every eligible voter in the state to request absentee ballots for the June 9 primaries and their runoffs.
  • McMaster's proposal for allocating CARES Act funding recommends a minimum $500 million investment in the state's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.


Tennessee

Status of Stay-at Home order

  • Gov. Bill Lee issued a safer-at-home order restricting discretionary travel beginning March 31 at 11:59 p.m. A stronger stay-at-home order required Tennesseeans stay in their place of residence except for carrying out essential activities until April 30. Work-from-home orders for state employees were extended through the same period. Lee is gradually lifting restrictions on certain businesses and activities in most of the state.
  • Lee extended Tennessee's state of emergency declaration and various COVID-19 containment measures to August 29.
  • On July 3, Lee signed an executive order granting mayors in 89 counties the authority to issue local face mask requirements. The remaining six counties, with locally run health departments, already had the authority to issue such requirements.

Reopening

  • Lee announced on April 20 that the "vast majority" of businesses in 89 of the state's 95 counties would be allowed to reopen on May 1.
  • On April 24, Lee issued guidance for restaurants and retail stores, the first industries to reboot as part of the state's gradual economic reopening. In 89 of 95 counties, restaurants are able to operate at 50 percent capacity beginning April 27, and retailers are able to do the same beginning April 29. The state is recommending that employers meet hygiene and workplace sanitation standards and that workers wear cloth face coverings.
  • An amended executive order, effective April 27, reopened on-site dining in restaurants and allowed them to continue takeout and delivery alcohol sales. Bars, nightclubs and "limited service restaurants" remain closed to on-site operations.
  • An April 28 executive order encourages Tennesseeans to stay home as much as possible while permitting individuals and businesses in certain industries to return to work, provided they comply with state guidance. The order supersedes any contrary orders in 89 counties. It authorizes health departments in the remaining six counties to issue their own orders related to the operations of businesses, organizations and venues other than places of worship.
  • Hospitals can resume some elective medical procedures as of May 1. Dental procedures can resume as of May 6.
  • Beginning May 1, gyms and exercise facilities in most counties can reopen at 50% capacity. The state released guidelines for social distancing and worker and consumer protections.
  • Many state park facilities reopened on May 1. Online reservations are available for overnight trips with arrival dates after May 15, and park-hosted events with 10 or more people can resume after that date.
  • Close contact personal service businesses like barber shops and hair salons can reopen at 50% capacity and by appointment only, in most counties beginning May 6. Tennessee's Economic Recovery Group released guidelines for business processes and employee and consumer protections.
  • The state released guidance for faith communities on in-person gatherings. Decisions about when to resume in-person gatherings are left up to individual houses of worship, and faith communities are encouraged to continue conducting as many activities as possible remotely.
  • Small group, non-contact recreation businesses like bowling alleys, arcades, dance classes, water sports and mini golf can reopen in most counties as of May 8. State guidance for these establishments recommends capacity limits, spacing requirements and frequent sanitation.
  • The state issued guidance and protocols for essential industries including manufacturing, construction and lodging. It also released guidelines for office buildings as they prepare to reopen.
  • The state's Economic Recovery Group lifted capacity restrictions on restaurants and retail in all but six counties to focus on social distancing best practices, effective May 22.
  • Updated guidelines allow restaurants and retail in most counties to increase capacity as long as they maintain social distancing protocols. Live music is permissible with specific precautions. As of May 22, bars and nightclubs can reopen in line with state guidance for restaurants.
  • The state issued guidelines for the reopening of non-contact attractions and large venues in most counties beginning May 22. Establishments include concert and performing arts venues, amusement and water parks, auditoriums, theaters, zoos, museums, roller skating rinks and sporting event venues. It later expanded guidance to include recommendations for large community events such as fairs and festivals.
  • An executive order effective May 22 allows groups of up to 50 people to participate in social and recreational gatherings while practicing social distancing. It also keeps nursing homes and long-term care facilities closed to visitors, and recommends facility administrators test all residents and staff by May 31.
  • The state released guidelines for the reopening of non-contact sports, camps and higher education which apply to all but six counties.
  • The state updated its guidance for close contact service businesses, exercise facilities and recreation activities, applicable in most counties, to focus on social distancing measures rather than capacity limits.
  • The state Department of Education released the first in a series of guidance documents for reopening schools. It will release 26 topic-specific toolkits to provide districts with guidance and resources as they make local reopening plans.
  • Limited visitation at long-term care facilities can resume, in compliance with strict guidelines, beginning June 15. Facilities must first meet specific prerequisites, such as testing and retesting staff and residents as required and having no new cases for 28 days.
  • State officials released guidance and safety requirements for television, music and film production.
  • Lee unveiled school reopening guidance on July 28.
  • A July 31 executive order allows the resumption of contact sports.

Closed, canceled and delayed

Testing and tracing

  • Individuals can pick up a free, washable face mask from their local county health department on any weekday. All locations also offer free COVID-19 testing every weekday, regardless of symptoms.
  • On April 29, Lee announced an effort to test residents and staff at the state's more than 700 nursing homes and long-term care facilities. State officials are offering facilities test supplies, personal protective equipment and staff for the campaign, which they expect to take several weeks.
  • The Department of Health required nursing homes to test all residents and staff by June 30. Once a facility has completed the initial round of testing, it must test all staff members at least once every seven days.
  • Employers with 250 or more employees can request a pop-up testing event at their workplace.
  • As of June 18, the state has 640 staff members performing contact tracing activities and is recruiting an additional 650.

Relief and resources

  • The state is working with the Army Corps of Engineers to provide additional hospital beds if needed. The Mid-South region's alternate care site in Memphis was completed on May 18. Middle Tennessee's alternate care site in Nashville was completed on June 5.
  • The state is distributing $200 million in grants to its county and city governments for one-time, local expenses in fiscal year 2021.
  • Lee announced $10 million in grants to support small and rural hospitals under financial strain, and distributed the first round on April 20.
  • Tennessee's Statewide Crisis Line is available for 24/7 talk and text support.
  • A May 12 executive order amends and continues many provisions of previous orders to "minimize regulatory burdens." It suspends select deadlines and requirements in order to enforce social distancing. Renewed provisions include expanded access to telehealth and unemployment benefits, supply chain and price gouging protections and increased opportunities to work remotely. The order also extends deadlines for motor vehicle registrations, driver's license renewals and hand gun permits.
  • The Tennessee Talent Exchange is matching individuals with immediate job openings in the grocery, retail and logistics industries.
  • The new Tennessee Business Relief Program will direct approximately $200 million in federal funding to eligible small businesses impacted by the pandemic. Roughly 28,000 businesses across sectors are expected to qualify.
  • The state Department of Human Services is offering child care payment assistance to essential employees with children enrolled in licensed programs.
  • Families of children who receive free or reduced-price school meals are eligible for financial support through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program.
  • The state's Economic Recovery Group is partnering with more than 30 brands to distribute nearly 300,000 free or low-cost cloth face coverings to residents statewide through the "TN Strong Mask Movement."
  • Lee announced $81 million in coronavirus relief grants for K-12 schools and higher education institutions.
  • Early voting for the August 6 election is open from July 17 to August 1.
  • Lee announced $150 million in coronavirus relief funds for Tennessee non-profits.


Texas

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Greg Abbot issued an executive order directing Texans to minimize nonessential gatherings and in-person contact with people who are not in the same household, "except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services." The order expired on April 30.
  • The state began its first phase of reopening on May 1, allowing certain businesses and services to resume operations if they limit capacity and follow strict protocols. On May 18 the state began phase two, in which restaurants can increase occupancy to 50% and additional services and activities can open with restrictions. Certain counties experiencing surges in COVID-19 cases delayed phase two until May 29.
  • On July 2, Abbott issued an executive order requiring all Texans to wear a face covering in public in counties with 20 or more cases, with some exceptions.

Reopening

  • On April 17, Abbott issued a set of executive orders to begin reopening Texas. Certain activities and services are permitted to reopen using a "Retail-To-Go" model, requiring delivery with minimal contact, beginning April 24.
  • While elective surgeries were restricted through May 8, licensed health care professionals could make certain exceptions beginning April 22.
  • State parks are open as of April 20. Visitors must wear face coverings, maintain six feet of distance from those outside of their party, and limit gatherings to no more than five people.
  • Effective May 1, hospitals are ordered to reserve at least 15% of their capacity for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
  • An executive order effective May 1 lifts certain restrictions on businesses. The following businesses can reopen at limited capacity and in adherence with specific health protocols: dine-in restaurant services, in-store retail services, movie theaters, shopping malls, museums and libraries if approved by local governments, golf course operations and local government operations.
  • The order also directs people to minimize social gatherings and in-person contact with non-household members, and encourages Texans over the age of 65 to stay home as much as possible.
  • Texas A&M, Texas Tech University and the University of Texas systems plan to reopen their campuses in the fall.
  • The Texas Education Agency released guidance for school districts on graduation ceremonies. They are recommending four options: completely virtual ceremonies, hybrid ceremonies, vehicle ceremonies and outdoor in-person ceremonies. In-person ceremonies were permitted for certain counties between May 15 and May 31, and for all counties starting June 1.
  • Beginning May 8, personal care services like barber shops and nail salons can open if they ensure six feet of distance between operating work stations. Swimming pools may open, subject to specific limitations.
  • Beginning May 18, office buildings may reopen with occupancy limits and social distancing requirements. Gyms, exercise facilities and exercise classes may reopen at 25% occupancy. Locker rooms and shower facilities must remain closed. Nonessential manufacturing services can open at limited capacity.
  • Additional activities and services may resume in phase two, in line with specific health and safety protocols. Beginning May 18, child care centers, youth clubs and massage and personal care centers can open.
  • Beginning May 22, rodeo and equestrian events, bowling alleys, bingo halls, skating rinks, aquariums and natural caverns can open. That same day, restaurants can increase their occupancy to 50% and bars can open at 25% indoor occupancy. Zoos can open beginning May 29.
  • Day youth camps, overnight camps, youth sports and certain professional sports without in-person spectators can open on May 31. Public schools have the option to offer in-person summer school in line with health protocols beginning June 1.
  • The Texas Department of Public Safety began a phased reopening of driver license offices, with limited services and by appointment only, on May 26. It is also launching a statewide driver license appointment system that allows customers to book appointments up to six months in advance.
  • Abbott announced additional businesses and services can reopen in Phase Two. As of May 26, food courts in shopping malls can open with health and safety protocols. Beginning May 29, water parks can operate at 25% occupancy. Recreational sports practices for adults can resume May 31, and games and competitions can begin June 15.
  • Beginning May 31, outdoor professional sporting events can allow in-person spectators at 25% of the venue's occupancy, provided they submit plans and receive approval from the health department.
  • Phase Three of reopening began on June 3. Most businesses previously operating at 25% capacity can expand to 50%, with some exceptions. Bars can increase their capacity to 50% as long as patrons stay seated. Restaurants may expand their maximum table size from six to 10 people. Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with less than 1,000 confirmed positive cases can open at 50% capacity.
  • Beginning June 12, restaurants can expand their occupancy to 75%.
  • Starting June 19, amusement parks and carnivals in counties with more than 1,000 confirmed positive case can open at 50% capacity.
  • With coronavirus cases increasing, Abbott expanded the authority of mayors and county judges to impose restrictions on gatherings large than 100 people, down from 500. He also directed health official to enact emergency rules providing strict procedures for child care centers.
  • A June 26 order places limits on certain businesses and services. All bars and establishments that receive more than half of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages must close except for delivery and takeout. Rafting and tubing businesses must close. Restaurants can operate at no more than 50% of their indoor capacity. Most outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments.
  • A July 2 proclamation gives mayors and county judges the authority to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • After initially requiring all schools to open for in-person instruction, the state announced more flexible rules allowing them to teach online and remain fully funded for four weeks, with the possibility of additional four weeks upon approval from their local school board.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • People should continue to avoid visiting nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities and long-term care facilities in Phase Three.
  • Abbott directed state agencies and institutions of higher education to make plans to reduce their budgets by five percent, with the exception of certain critical government functions.
  • A May 22 executive order suspends in-person visitation at all county and municipal jails in the state, with exceptions for attorneys and religious leaders. Abbott previously directed state prisons, jails and juvenile justice facilities to restrict visitation.
  • On June 25, Abbott issued an executive order suspending elective surgeries and procedures at all hospitals in four counties to increase bed availability. A June 30 proclamation suspends elective procedures in four additional counties.
  • Also on June 25, Abbott announced the state will temporarily pause any further reopening phases.
  • A July 9 proclamation suspends elective procedures in hospitals in all counties located within 11 regions known as Trauma Service Areas.

Testing and tracing

  • On May 11, Abbott directed state health officials to develop and implement a plan to test 100% of residents and staff in Texas nursing homes. He later announced that local fire departments are partnering with local public health authorities to provide testing in nursing homes statewide, with associated costs eligible for federal reimbursement.
  • Abbott directed health officials to expand COVID-19 testing to all patients, residents and staff at all 23 state-operated inpatient psychiatric hospitals and living centers.
  • The state is distributing 3-ply surgical masks to every Texan who gets tested at a state-run mobile test collection site.
  • Abbott announced that CVS Health company Omnicare is partnering with the state to offer on-site COVID-19 testing for residents and staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Relief and resources

  • Abbott announced that public safety employees who contract COVID-19 during the course of their employment will be reimbursed for reasonable medical expenses related to their treatment of COVID-19.
  • The state's Comfort Food Care Package program will provide meals for at-risk youth and families. Each package contains enough food from participating restaurants to feed a family of 5 to 6 and will be delivered to recipients' homes.
  • SNAP and Medicaid benefit renewals currently due will be renewed automatically.
  • Abbott has waived certain Housing and Urban Development requirements in order to use program funds for tenant rent relief.
  • Abbott temporarily waived a series of regulations in order to expand telehealth services.
  • Goldman Sachs, in partnership with the LiftFund and other community development financial institutions, is providing $50 million in loans to Texas small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19.
  • Abbott announced on April 15 that his Public Safety Office will provide $38 million in federal emergency funding to local units of government.
  • Abbott has temporarily waived certain testing requirements for Advance Practice Registered Nurses. He also temporarily waived certain restrictions on financial assistance from the Texas College Work-Study program.
  • The Texas Health and Human Services Commission received nearly $54 million in federal funds to support services and programs for the elderly and people with disabilities during the outbreak.
  • HOME Tenant Based Rental Assistance funds are available for Texans experiencing housing challenges due to pandemic-related income loss. The state can help renters with security deposits, lease payments and utility bills.
  • The state received a $3 million emergency grant for aging and disability services.
  • The state received $5.8 million in federal funding to provide crisis counseling to Texas affected by the pandemic.
  • The Texas COVID Relief Fund will provide funding and resources to organizations working on the ground to support economic recovery in local communities.
  • On May 7, Abbott modified his COVID-19 executive orders to eliminate jail time as a punishment for violations. The change applies retroactively to April 2 and supersedes local orders.
  • Through the CARES Act, $5.06 billion in funding is available to local governments across the state.
  • Abbott issued a proclamation ordering early voting for the July 14 runoff primary to begin on June 29. Early voting was previously set to begin on July 6.
  • Through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program, Texas will provide more than $1 billion in food benefits to households with children who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals. The state is extending the application deadline to August 21.
  • The Texas National Guard is mobilizing Facilities Disinfection Teams to nursing homes across the state.
  • The Texas Health and Human Services Commission received more than $3 million in federal funding to provide shelter and services to survivors of family and domestic violence.
  • The state announced $3.6 million in funding for nursing facilities to purchase tablets, webcams and headphones to connect residents with loved ones during the pandemic. Nursing facility providers can apply to receive up to $3,000 per facility.
  • Abbott announced the state is extending emergency SNAP benefits to more than 900,000 eligible households for the month of June, and to more than 950,000 households in July.
  • Abbott extended the early voting period for the November 3 general election by nearly one week. It will run from October 13 through October 30.


Virginia

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • On March 30, Gov. Ralph Northam issued a statewide stay-at-home order, effective immediately, initially lasting until June 10. Phase One of the "Forward Virginia" plan began May 15 for much of the state, with residents in those areas encouraged rather than required to stay home.
  • Northam signed an executive order allowing specific localities in Northern Virginia to delay implementation of Phase One until midnight on May 28. He also granted delays to Accomack County and the City of Richmond.
  • Northam announced that face coverings will be required in public indoor settings statewide beginning May 29. Individuals ages 10 and up must wear masks in retail and personal care establishments, on public transportation, when accessing government services, inside places where people congregate and in food and beverage establishments except while eating.

Reopening

  • Northam announced that non-emergency surgeries and dental procedures can resume beginning May 1, and must adhere to safety and supply guidelines.
  • On May 4, Northam announced a three-phase plan for easing restrictions on businesses and gatherings. Each phase is expected to last at least two to four weeks. The first phase transitions the stay-at-home order to a "safer at home" guideline and eases certain limits on businesses and faith communities.
  • On May 8, Northam provided additional details about what restrictions will change in Phase 1. Social gatherings will still be capped at 10 people, those who are teleworking should continue to do so and face coverings will be recommended in public. Entertainment venues and summer camps will remain closed. Beaches will remain open only for fishing and exercising.
  • Also during Phase 1, places of worship can continue offering drive-in services and reopen at 50% indoor capacity. Nonessential retail can open at 50% capacity with masks required. Salons and barbershops can open by appointment only, strictly for services that can be done while the client and worker wear masks. Gyms can conduct outdoor classes with up to 10 people. Private campgrounds may reopen, and state parks currently accessible only for day use will be open overnight in phases. In addition to delivery and takeout service, restaurants can offer outdoor seating at 50% capacity if they have the requisite permit.
  • The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is reopening nine offices for specific services by appointment only, beginning May 18.
  • Northam announced that public beaches in Virginia Beach can reopen with restrictions beginning May 22.
  • Virginia's public beaches and racetracks can reopen on a limited basis as of May 29. Beaches are open to individual and family recreational activities, but there are still prohibitions on tents, alcohol, group sports and gatherings of more than 10 people. Racetracks can run single-day events with no in-person spectators.
  • Most of the state, except for Northern Virginia and the City of Richmond, began Phase 2 on June 5. Phase 2 continues Safer at Home recommendations for social distancing and teleworking, as well as requirements for face coverings in indoor public settings. Social gathering limits will increase from 10 to 50 people.
  • In Phase 2, restaurants and beverage establishments can offer indoor dining at 50% occupancy and fitness centers can open indoor areas at 30% occupancy. Certain recreation and entertainment venues without shared equipment, such as museums, zoos, aquariums, gardens and outdoor sporting and performance venues, can open with restrictions. Swimming pools may expand operations to indoor and outdoor exercise, diving and swim instruction.
  • Northam said North Virginia and the City of Richmond will be able to enter Phase 2 on June 12.
  • Northam announced a three-phased approach for the reopening of PreK-12 schools in the 2020-2021 academic year. Phase One allows special education programs and child care for working families. Phase Two also includes preschool through third grade students, English learners and summer camps in school buildings. In Phase Three, in-person instruction will be available to all students with strict social distancing measures in place.Schools must submit plans to the state Department of Education in order to advance to the next phase, and school divisions can choose to impose additional limits on in-person instruction depending on local conditions.
  • Northam released guidance for the state's public and private higher education institutions as they develop plans to reopen their campuses and resume in-person instruction.
  • The state began Phase 3 on July 1. Recommendations for social distancing and teleworking, as well as face covering requirements, remain in place. Social gathering limits increased from 50 to 250 people. Fitness centers can open indoor areas at 75% occupancy. Recreation and entertainment venues may operate at 50% capacity or a maximum of 1,000 people. Swimming pools can open for free swim in addition to previously-authorized activities.
  • Northam announced that existing restrictions on bars will continue in Phase Three. Bar seating and congregating areas of restaurants will remain closed except to those passing through.
  • Northam announced the adoption of statewide emergency workplace safety standards mandating appropriate protective equipment, sanitation, social distancing, preparedness plans, record keeping and other rules to protect workers "in the absence of federal guidelines."
  • On July 28, Northam ordered additional restrictions for the Hampton Roads area. Effective July 31, no alcohol can be consumed at different businesses and establishments after 10 p.m., and restaurants must close by midnight. Indoor dining is limited to 50% capacity. Public and private social gatherings of 50 or more people are prohibited.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • Northam announced that overnight summer camps will remain closed in Phase 3.

Testing and tracing

  • Virginians can now use COVIDCheck, an online telehealth and resource assessment tool, to check their symptoms and connect with health care resources.
  • Northam is encouraging essential workers to get tested, as well as individuals who are exhibiting symptoms or think they have been exposed.
  • 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.

Relief and resources

  • A $70 million grant from the federal CARES Act will be used to increase the availability of child care services for essential personnel.
  • Northam signed an executive order increasing the eligibility of nurse practitioners, out-of-state doctors and medical students to participate in Virginia's response to the coronavirus. It also allows for the expanded use of telehealth. He later extended the order for the duration of the emergency.
  • The state is receiving FEMA funding to provide hotel housing for first responders and essential personnel.
  • 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.
  • At an April 22 General Assembly session, legislators passed a bipartisan plan to pause new spending in the state budget and reconvene in the summer to make adjustments.
  • An April 23 executive order grants additional flexibility to Medicaid providers. It waives co-payments for individuals receiving coverage through the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security program and suspends pre-admission screenings for nursing facilities. This order will remain in effect for the duration of the state of emergency.
  • Northam signed a bill funding the state government through June 30 that also dedicates funds to the coronavirus response, raises pay for nursing home workers, increases child care funding and allows the Virginia Department of Corrections to release individuals whose sentences are almost completed.
  • State police are directed to continue suspending enforcement of motor vehicle inspections through July 31.
  • The Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board will use $14.6 million to create an Economic Resilience and Recovery Program for regional councils to address business needs in their communities.
  • Northam signed an executive order reinforcing liability protections for health care workers and first responders during the pandemic.
  • Northam announced the launch of StayHomeVirginia.com, a resource for individuals to navigate housing programs and services. He also signed one bill capping late fees, and one delaying rental evictions and mortgage foreclosures during emergencies.
  • Beginning May 29, households receiving SNAP benefits will be able to purchase groceries online from certain retailers and have them delivered.
  • An executive order extends the validity of driver's licenses, vehicle registrations and ID cards set to expire before July 31 until August 31, and modifies certain requirements for driver training schools.
  • Northam announced that Virginia's PreK-12 schools and institutions of higher education will receive $66.8 million in emergency education relief funding.
  • Regulators extended the moratorium on service disconnections for utility customers through the end of August.
  • Northam announced the launch of the Virginia Career Works Referral Portal, a statewide platform to connect individuals with training, education and employment services to find jobs or advance their careers.
  • Northam announced more than $14.66 million for an Economic Resilience and Recovery Program to address both immediate and long-term economic impacts of the pandemic.
  • The Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship Program will award $5,000 grants to 40 eligible visual artists impacted by the pandemic.
  • Northam announced new recovery marketing funds for tourism businesses. The WanderLOVE Recovery Grant Program will provide 50 grants of up to $10,000 each to destination marketing organizations.
  • The state will spend an additional $246 million to support the COVID-19 response efforts of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
  • Northam announced a $50 million rent and mortgage relief program to assist eligible households facing eviction or foreclosure.
  • Northam announced a $70 million economic recovery fund for small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the pandemic, with grants of up to $10,000 to be awarded to roughly 7,000 applicants.
  • The Virginia Supreme Court granted a statewide moratorium on evictions, effective Aug. 10 through Sept. 7.
  • On Aug. 5, Northam launched the COVIDWISE exposure notification app, the first in the country to use Bluetooth technology — without using personal information or location data — to alert users who have been in close contact with a confirmed case.


West Virginia

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Jim Justice first issued a stay-at-home order, "directing all West Virginia residents to stay at home and limit movements outside of their homes beyond essential needs." A new "Safer at Home" order took effect May 4, and will be modified each week in conjunction with the state's six-phase reopening plan.
  • Under the Safer at Home order, people are "strongly encouraged" to remain in their homes, especially if they are elderly or medically vulnerable. Some businesses and services can resume limited operations. Public gatherings of larger than 25 people are prohibited. The governor's office clarified that the ban on public gatherings does not apply to businesses considered essential.
  • A statewide order requiring face coverings in indoor public places took effect on July 7.

Reopening

  • Justice issued an executive order requiring that all private and public golf courses follow proper cleaning protocols and enforce social distancing measures. Updated guidelines allow the shared use of golf carts by people who reside together or who traveled to the golf course together.
  • An April 21 executive order outlines the process for hospitals across the state to apply to the Department of Health and Human Resources to resume elective procedures. The earliest procedures resumed on April 28.
  • On April 27, Justice released West Virginia's "Comeback" plan, a phased approach to reopening certain aspects of the state and its economy over six weeks. On April 29, Justice announced that the first phase of reopening would officially begin the following day.
  • Beginning in the Week 1 phase, hospitals are able to resume elective medical procedures provided they follow CDC guidelines and have plans for preserving personal protective equipment supply and responding to potential surges. Outpatient health care operations may resume in line with board and association guidance. Daycare services can resume, and testing of daycare staff will begin.
  • Since the Week 2 phase began on May 4, small businesses, personal care service businesses, outdoor restaurant dining and in-person religious services can reopen in compliance with strict guidelines.
  • Justice has issued reopening guidance for small businesses with fewer than 10 employees, restaurants with takeout service or outdoor dining options andreligious entities and funeral homes.
  • Week 3 began on May 11. Wellness facilities and drive-in movie theaters are allowed to reopen in compliance with state guidelines.
  • Justice announced that the Hatfield McCoy Trail system will reopen, with limitations, on May 21.
  • Outdoor guided fishing and rock climbing tripscan resume beginning May 15, with strict limitations.
  • Justice announced that fitness centers, gymnasiums and recreation centers can resume operations, in line with state guidance, beginning May 18. Low-contact sports training facilities, dance studios and recreational activities including cheerleading and martial arts can also resume limited operations on that date following state guidance.
  • Week 4 began on May 21, allowing the following entities to reopen in line with state guidance: indoor dining at restaurants, large/specialty retail stores, state park campgrounds for state residents only, outdoor recreation rentals, outdoor motorsport and powersport racing with no spectators and tanning businesses. Whitewater rafting and ziplining businesses can also reopen with limitations. Indoor shopping malls can also reopen in line with state guidance.
  • The executive order requiring out-of-state travelers to self-quarantine upon arrival was rescinded on May 21. The state has issued updated guidance for hotels, motels, condo hotels, rental properties and cabins.
  • West Virginia courts began the first step of a phased-in resumption of proceedings on May 18, in line with specific protocols that differ for hot spot counties.
  • Justice announced additional business and entities can open in line with guidance during Week 5, which began May 26. Museums, visitor centers andzoos can open. Bars can open for outdoor and limited indoor service.
  • Spas and massage businesses and limited video lottery retailers are permitted to open starting May 30. Swimming pools, bowling alleys, pool halls, roller rinks and other indoor amusement venues can also open as of that date.
  • Movie theaters and casinos can open beginning June 5. Bingo halls and similar facilities can also resume operations.
  • State-sanctioned middle and high school athletics and band programs can begin a phased-in resumption of summer training programs on June 8, in line with guidance and recommendations. County boards of education can choose whether to open school facilities, and all activities are voluntary.
  • Justice announced that low-contact outdoor youth sports and little league organizations can resume practices starting June 8, in line with state guidance. All remaining adult sports facilities and venues can also reopen that day. Youth sports games, outdoor sporting events and outdoor equestrian events, all with spectators, can resume June 22 with social distancing measures in place.
  • Private and state park campgrounds, as well as state park lodges and cabins, opened to out-of-state residents on June 10. They must follow guidelines including limiting out-of-state guests to stays of no longer than seven days.
  • Effective June 5, the limit on public gatherings increased from 25 to 100 people.
  • Justice announced that fairs and festivals can open with restrictions beginning July 1. All outdoor, open-air concerts can resume on that date.
  • Summer youth camps, both day and overnight, can resume operations starting June 22.
  • State officials released a multi-phased plan to resume visitation at nursing homes, with restrictions and by appointment only. Facilities can allow visitation beginning June 17 if they have had no active cases for the past 14 days.
  • Counties can hold outdoor in-person graduation ceremonies in line with state guidelines starting June 22.
  • Justice released guidelines for the reopening of government office buildings, and said plans are being developed to transition state employees back to in-person work.
  • After the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources identified the state's sixth church-related outbreak since the start of the pandemic, Justice urged churchgoers to follow safety guidelines and "be on special caution."
  • Justice announced officials are targeting September 8 as a tentative start date for schools to reopen for in-person instruction.
  • Effective July 14, the limit on social gatherings is 25 individuals, down from 100. Exceptions include weddings, religious services and business meetings.
  • On July 24, Justice issued an executive order formally allowing all of the state's public and private colleges and universities to open for the fall semester.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • Justice said on June 17 that high school proms remain prohibited.
  • The 2020 State Fair of West Virginia has been canceled.
  • A July 13 executive order closes all fairs, festivals and similar events, and prohibits indoor and outdoor concerts statewide.

Testing and tracing

  • Justice signed an executive order requiring the West Virginia Division of Health and Human Resources to "test or re-test" all workers and residents at every nursing home in the state.
  • The West Virginia National Guard says it is the first in the country to be approved by the Department of Defense to provide mobile COVID-19 tests, and has activated two mobile testing laboratories.
  • On May 6, Justice ordered testing for staff at all day cares and staff and residents at assisted living facilities and residential communities statewide, to begin immediately. Health officials announced the results of this testing on May 20.
  • On May 14, Justice announced a strategy for increasing COVID-19 testing access for minorities and other vulnerable populations. The state will provide free testing to residents, regardless of symptoms and insurance status, in ten counties experiencing higher rates of transmission.
  • On May 28, Justice said he had ordered all inmates and employees at the state's corrections facilities to be tested as soon as possible. He announced on June 12 that testing had been completed, with full results pending.

Relief and resources

  • Every West Virginia county received a $100,000 grant for purposes of awarding "hero pay" to first responders and front-line personnel.
  • The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources will issue a one-time $500 payment to current recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
  • Justice and the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources launched a free smartphone app with resources for individuals recovering from substance use disorder.
  • The state is authorized to implement Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer assistance for families with children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.
  • State parks will offer a 30% discount on lodging for all West Virginia residents from June 1 through August 31.
  • Justice announced on June 12 that $2.6 million in federal funding had been distributed to cities and counties statewide, with roughly 280 more still eligible to apply.
  • The state received $6.1 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice to support COVID-19 mitigation efforts and expand a community-based substance use treatment program.
  • Qualifying small businesses can apply for grants of up to $5,000 from the West Virginia CARES Act Small Business Grant Program.

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

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
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