Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: October 2, 2020

Welcome to Documenting America’s Path to Recovery, where we track the status of reopening in all 50 states. Today we look at California’s new equity metric for reopening, the resumption of nursing home visitations in Maryland, travel restrictions, and more. Want to know what happened yesterday? Click here.

Since our last edition

What is open in each state? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here.

  • California (Democratic trifecta): Health Secretary Mark Ghaly said the state will implement what it calls an equity metric for reopening. The rule will require counties to reduce infection rates in state-defined disadvantaged communities before they can move to a less restrictive phase of reopening.
  • Illinois (Democratic trifecta): The Illinois Department of Public Health added 11 more counties to the state’s warning level classification, bringing the total number of warning-level counties to 28. The state uses the classification system to identify counties that may need additional mitigation measures.
  • Maryland (divided government): On Oct. 1, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced nursing homes can resume visitations. A facility that registers a coronavirus case must close to visitors for two weeks. Any facility in a county with a positivity rate of 10% or more must also close to visitors. Karen Salmon, the state superintendent of schools, also announced that daycares can reopen at full capacity.
  • Michigan (divided government): On Oct. 2, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced she was moving the Upper Peninsula region back to Phase 4 following a spike in coronavirus cases. The region had been in Phase 5. Phase 4 includes a mask requirement in schools and limited capacity for retail stores.
  • North Carolina (divided government): On Sept. 30, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced the state would advance to Phase 3 of reopening on Oct. 2. Phase 3 eases several restrictions on businesses, including allowing bars to provide outdoor service at 30% capacity or 100 guests, whichever is less. Movie theaters can also reopen at 30% capacity or 100 guests. Large outdoor venues will be permitted to operate at 7% capacity. Some restrictions, such as mandatory face coverings in public, will remain in effect.

Daily feature: Travel restrictions

Every Friday, we take a closer look at the restrictions governors and state agencies have placed on interstate travelers, including a recap of the week’s travel-related news. To see our full coverage of travel restrictions enacted in response to the coronavirus pandemic, click here.


To date, 25 states issued at least one executive order restricting interstate travel. Of the 25 executive orders governors or state agencies issued restricting out-of-state visitors, at least 14 have been rescinded. Eleven states have active travel restrictions.

Weekly recap

On Sept. 22, Govs. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.), Phil Murphy (D-N.J.), and Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) announced Colorado had been added to the tristate quarantine list. Arizona and Virginia were removed from the list.