Happy Thanksgiving! We’ll be taking a break from our normal schedule for the rest of this week. Our next edition will go out on Nov. 30.
Welcome to Documenting America’s Path to Recovery. During this period of rapid change as states issue new restrictions, we are committed to keeping you updated on everything from mask requirements to curfews. We will keep you abreast of major developments—especially those affecting your daily life. Today we look at:
- New guidance for Thanksgiving in New Mexico
- Coronavirus restrictions in Pennsylvania
- Travel restrictions
- Lawsuits about state actions and policies
- State-level mask requirements
- 1918 pandemic story
- Diagnosed or quarantined public officials
Want to know what we covered yesterday? Click here.
The next 24 hours
What is changing in the next 24 hours?
- Maryland (divided government): On Monday, Nov. 23, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced the Maryland State Police would deploy High Visibility Compliance Units to downtown areas in several cities to help enforce COVID-19 restrictions at bars, restaurants, and venues that host gatherings. Hogan said the operation, which would include education efforts as well as enforcement, would start Wednesday, Nov. 25.
- New York (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced new Orange Warning Zones on parts of Staten Island and in areas of Monroe and Onondaga Counties. Cuomo announced new Yellow Precautionary Zones in Upper Manhattan and in parts of Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The changes are effective Nov. 25 for affected businesses and Nov. 26 for public and private schools.
- Pennsylvania (divided government): Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced additional mitigation measures. On Nov. 25 only (for that one day), restaurants, bars, and all retail food service businesses will be required to stop serving alcohol after 5 p.m. Wolf also lowered the maximum occupancy for indoor event spaces to 500 people and occupancy for outdoor event spaces to 2,500. Telework is mandatory whenever possible. Chief public school administrators will have to sign an acknowledgment stating their school is complying with updated state guidance or has transitioned to fully remote learning no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 30.
Since our last edition
What is open in each state? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here.
- Nevada (Democratic trifecta): Starting Nov. 24, capacity in casinos, restaurants, and bars is limited to 25%. The state’s gathering limit is reduced from 250 to 50. All residents are required to wear a mask both indoors and outdoors when they are around someone from outside their household. The order is scheduled to last three weeks.
- New Mexico (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) released Thanksgiving guidance and alternatives to traditional holiday activities that comply with state health orders.
- North Carolina (divided government): On Monday, Nov. 23, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) issued an executive order strengthening the statewide mask mandate. The new order requires people at restaurants to wear a mask unless they are actively eating or drinking and also requires people to wear a mask while exercising.
- Wyoming (Republican trifecta): Starting Nov. 24, indoor gatherings are limited to 25 people if social distancing isn’t possible. If social distancing is possible, then the limit is 25% capacity up to 100 people. The limit on outdoor gatherings is capped at 50% capacity up to 250 people.
Read more: Travel restrictions issued by states in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020
- Since the start of the pandemic, governors or state agencies in 26 states issued executive orders placing restrictions on out-of-state visitors. At least 14 of those orders have been rescinded.
- Since Nov. 17, three states have implemented or modified travel restrictions.
- Connecticut – On Tuesday, Nov. 17, Gov. Ned Lamont (D) added Vermont to the state’s travel list, bringing the number of states on the list to 47, plus Guam and Puerto Rico.
- Pennsylvania – Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine issued an order requiring out-of-state travelers and returning residents to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival unless they received a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of entering the state. The quarantine requirement does not apply to people coming to Pennsylvania for work or medical purposes. The order was scheduled to take effect Nov. 20.
- Hawaii – On Nov. 19, Gov. David Ige (D) announced travelers would need to upload their negative COVID-19 test results to the state’s Safe Travels website before departure beginning Nov. 24. Travelers who do not have their test results before arriving in the state will need to quarantine for 14 days, even if they receive a negative result after they arrive.
Lawsuits about state actions and policies
Read more: Lawsuits about state actions and policies in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020
- To date, Ballotpedia has tracked 1,262 lawsuits, spanning all 50 states, dealing in some way with the COVID-19 outbreak. Court orders have been issued, or settlements have been reached, in 386 of those lawsuits.
- Since Nov. 17, we have added 49 lawsuits to our database. We have also tracked five additional court orders and/or settlements.
- Maryland – Antietam Battlefield KOA v. Hogan: On Nov. 18, Judge Catherine C. Blake of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland dismissed a lawsuit over Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) COVID-19 restrictions. The plaintiffs (an array of business owners, religious leaders, state politicians, and other residents) alleged violations of their First Amendment rights. The plaintiffs said Hogan’s actions also violated their constitutional rights to equal protection and a republican form of government, as well as the interstate commerce clause and protections against uncompensated takings. In her order granting Hogan’s motion to dismiss, Blake, a Bill Clinton (D) appointee, said, “[It] is not the role of the judiciary to second-guess policy choices favoring one reasonable method of preventing the spread of disease over another.” Neither party has publicly commented on Blake’s ruling.
State mask requirements
We last looked at face coverings in the Nov. 17 edition of the newsletter. Since then, New Hampshire issued a new statewide public face-covering requirement in all places where social distancing is not possible.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia
Read more: Politicians, candidates, and government officials diagnosed with or quarantined due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020
- One federal official has died of COVID-19.
- Thirty-nine members of Congress have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Forty federal officials have quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19.
- Four state-level incumbents or candidates have died of COVID-19.
- One hundred twenty-eight state-level incumbents or candidates have been diagnosed with COVID-19
- Eighty-three state-level incumbents or candidates have quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19.
- At least three local incumbents or candidates have died of COVID-19.
- At least 27 local incumbents or candidates have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- At least 26 local incumbents or candidates have quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19.
Since Nov. 16, two state senators, one state representative, six members of the U.S. House, and one mayor announced positive test results. One state attorney general announced he was self-quarantining, and Donald Trump Jr. announced a positive test result.
- On Nov. 16, Wyoming state Sen. James Anderson (R), who represents District 28, announced he tested positive for COVID-19.
- On Nov. 17, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.
- On Nov. 17, Wyoming state Sen. Drew Perkins (R), who represents District 29, announced he tested positive for COVID-19.
- On Nov. 18, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.
- On Nov. 18, Pennsylvania state Rep. Jordan Harris (D), who represents District 186, announced that he tested positive for COVID-19.
- On Nov. 18, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.
- On Nov. 18, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson (R) announced he would self-quarantine after being in contact with someone who later tested positive for the virus.
- On Nov. 19, Betsy Price, the Mayor of Fort Worth, TX, announced she had tested positive for COVID-19.
- On Nov. 20, a representative for Donald Trump Jr. confirmed Trump, Jr. had tested positive for COVID-19.
- On Nov. 20, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.
- On Nov. 22, Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.
- On Nov. 22, Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.