Daily coronavirus update: March 23, 2020

As part of Ballotpedia’s coverage on the coronavirus pandemic, we are compiling a daily summary of major changes in the world of politics, government, and elections happening each day. Here is the summary of changes for March 23, 2020. Monday updates include stories from the preceding Saturday and Sunday.

Federal responses

Read more: Political responses to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020, Federal, state, and local government policy changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020

  • On Sunday, President Donald Trump (R) announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency would fund the activation of U.S. National Guard units in California, New York, and Washington.
  • Negotiations between Congressional leaders and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin continued on Monday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) moved forward with procedural votes on legislation he introduced Thursday night. The vote to move to a final debate failed 49-46.
Election changes

Read more: Changes to election dates, procedures, and administration in response to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020

Overview to date:
  • Twelve states and one territory have changed state-level primary or general election dates. Four states have changed municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  • Three states have adjusted their candidate filing procedures.
  • Five states have implemented changes to their voting procedures.
  • Political parties in seven states have made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
Details:
  • California – Governor Gavin Newsom (D) issued an executive order providing for all-mail voting in three special elections: the Winchester special recall election scheduled for April 7; the 25th Congressional District special general election scheduled for May 12; and the 28th State Senate District special general election scheduled for May 12.
  • Georgia’s petitioning deadline for unaffiliated and minor-party candidates has been postponed to August 14.
  • The Democratic Party of Hawaii has announced that it will not conduct in-person voting in its party-administered presidential preference primary, originally scheduled for April 4. Instead, all voting will take place by mail.
  • In Mississippi, the Republican primary runoff election for the 2nd Congressional District has been postponed to June 23.
  • In New Jersey, the following elections have been postponed by the governor’s order: special municipal elections in the townships of Old Bridge and West Amwell and Atlantic City; all school board elections scheduled for April 21.
  • The Oklahoma state board of elections has granted localities the authority to postpone their municipal elections originally scheduled for April 7 to a later date.
  • Puerto Rico’s Democratic presidential preference primary has been postponed to April 26.
  • Rhode Island has postponed its presidential preference primary to June 2.
  • Texas’ primary runoff elections have been postponed to July 14.
  • In Wyoming, all votes in the Democratic Party caucuses are to be cast by mail. The deadline for receipt is April 17.
State legislative changes

Read more: Changes to state legislative sessions in response to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020

Overview to date:
  • Eighteen state legislatures have suspended their sessions.
  • Two states (Maine and Maryland) have adjourned early.
  • Five states have implemented partial suspensions.
Details:
  • Since our last update, no legislatures have taken further steps to suspend activity.
State court changes

Read more: State court closures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020

Overview to date:
  • Thirty-three states have suspended in-person proceedings statewide.
  • Sixteen states have suspended in-person proceedings on the local level.
  • One state, Wyoming, has not had a change to their court schedules on either a state or local level.
Details:
  • Colorado – The Colorado Supreme Court extended its March 16 order, postponing jury trials through May 15.
  • Delaware – Delaware Supreme Court ordered court facilities to be closed to the public until April 15. Courthouse staffing will be reduced for emergency and essential matters.
  • Maine – Maine courts reduced hours of operation to decrease judicial staff and public exposure to coronavirus, while still proceeding with urgent court matters.
  • Minnesota – Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea issued a statewide order, effective March 23, restricting in-person access to courthouses for the next 30 days or until another order is issued. Hearings that must occur during the coronavirus pandemic may be held remotely.
  • Missouri – The Missouri Supreme Court issued a new order suspending all in-person proceedings statewide with a few exceptions, through April 17.
  • West Virginia – The West Virginia Supreme Court declared a judicial emergency and suspended all in-person proceedings, with a few exceptions, and jury trials through April 10.
  • Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended jury trials and halted in-person proceedings in favor of phone and video conferences.
School closures

Read more: School closures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020

Overview to date:
  • 45 of 50 states have ordered a statewide school closure. The remaining states are leaving school closures up to local officials. Those 45 states served 48.4 million students during the 2016-2017 school year, accounting for 95.7% of the 50.6 million public school students in the United States.
Details:
  • Virginia –  Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced that all schools statewide would be closed for the rest of the school year. Schools were previously scheduled to close through March 27. This made Virginia the second state to end its school year in response to the coronavirus outbreak (following Kansas last week).
  • North Carolina – Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 30, was extended to May 15.
  • Maine – The Portland School Department, the largest district in Maine, along with several others, announced closures until April 27.
  • Alaska – Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 30, was extended to May 1.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians

Read more: Political incumbents, candidates, and government officials diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantined due to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020

Federal officials who have tested positive for coronavirus
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
Federal officials who have entered quarantine
  • Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)
  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT)
  • Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM)
  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Federal officials who tested negative
  • Vice President Mike Pence (R)
State officials who have tested positive for coronavirus
  • State Rep. Helene Weinstein (D-NY)
  • State Rep. Charles Barron (D-NY)
  • State Sen. Bob Glanzer (R-SD)
  • State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff (D-WI)
  • State Rep. Luz Escamilla (D-UT)
  • State Rep. Bob Glanzer (R-SD)
  • State Rep. David Bowen (D-WI)
State officials who have entered quarantine
  • Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN)
  • State Rep. Holly Schepisi (D-NJ)
  • State Rep. Wendy Thomas (D-NH)
  • State Sen. Martha Fuller Clark (D-NH)
  • State Rep. Judith Spang (D-NH)
  • State Rep. Nikema Williams (D-GA)
Local officials who have tested positive for coronavirus
  • New York City Council Member Inez Barron (D)
Local officials who have entered quarantine
  • Providence, Rhode Island City Councilmember Sabina Matos (D)
  • Winston-Salem, North Carolina City Councilmembers Jeff Macintosh (D), Dan Besse (D), Robert Clark (R), John Larson (D), and Denise Adams (D).
  • San Antonio, Texas City Councilmembers Manuel Peleaz-Prada and Rebecca Viagran.



About the author

Cory Eucalitto

Cory Eucalitto is a managing editor at Ballotpedia and can be reached at cory.eucalitto@ballotpedia.org

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