Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: December 1, 2020

Documenting America's Path to Recovery by Ballotpedia

The next 24 hours

What is changing in the next 24 hours?

  • Hawaii (Democratic trifecta): Starting Dec. 2, all intercounty and out-of-state travelers arriving in Kaua‘i will have to self-quarantine for 14 days regardless of whether they can submit a negative test result. 
  • New Mexico (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced the state will begin reopening from its Nov. 16-30 reset under a phased, county-by-county plan starting Dec. 2. At the time of the announcement, 32 of the state’s 33 counties were in the red phase, which prohibits indoor dining, limits gatherings to five people, and limits religious services to 25% capacity.

Since our last edition

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

  • Georgia (Republican trifecta): On Tuesday, Dec. 1, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) extended the state of emergency through January 8, 2021, and waived restrictions to allow nurses and pharmacists to administer COVID-19 vaccines.  
  • Nebraska (Republican trifecta): On Monday, Nov. 30, Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) extended the state’s coronavirus restrictions, including mask and social distancing requirements in certain businesses, through December. 
  • New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced all high-school and youth sports will be banned starting Dec. 5 through at least Jan. 2. Starting Dec. 7, outdoor gatherings will be limited to 25 people.
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the state is adding hospital capacity to its color-coded zone mitigation system. Cuomo said he will reimplement PAUSE restrictions if hospital capacity is overwhelmed.  
  • Pennsylvania (divided government): On Nov. 30, Health Secretary Rachel Levine announced people as young as 13 years old can now use the state’s exposure notification app with parental permission.
  • Rhode Island (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) announced the state is allocating $50 million in federal funding to help replace lost business revenue resulting from the state’s pause. Businesses can apply to receive up to $50,000, depending on their estimated lost revenue. Raimondo said an additional $50 million from the federal government will go to unemployment checks. Residents on unemployment will receive an additional $200 for every week the state stays under Rhode Island on Pause restrictions. 
  • West Virginia (Republican trifecta): On Monday, Nov. 30, Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced he had asked hospitals to reevaluate the surge plans they created as part of the state’s reopening plan and consider reducing the number of elective surgeries being performed. 

Lawsuits about state actions and policies

Read more: Lawsuits about state actions and policies in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview:

  • To date, Ballotpedia has tracked 1,263 lawsuits, in 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 24, we have added one lawsuit to our database. We have tracked no additional court orders and/or settlements. 

Noteworthy lawsuit:

  • Russo v. University of Delaware: On Nov. 18, a former student sued the University of Delaware, seeking partial tuition reimbursement for campus closures related to COVID-19. In her complaint, filed in the Superior Court of Delaware, Hannah Russo alleges she and her fellow classmates are entitled to refunds on a pro-rata basis for the spring 2020 term. Russo’s attorneys allege the university’s cancellation of “in-person classes and changing all classes to an online/remote format, closing most campus buildings, and requiring all students who could leave campus to do so” constituted a breach of contract. Neither party has commented on the suit to the press. The case is currently assigned to Judge Paul R. Wallace.

State mask requirements

We last looked at face coverings in the Nov. 24 edition of the newsletter. Since then, no new states have adopted a statewide public mask mandate or let a face-covering requirement expire.

Travel restrictions

    Read more: Travel restrictions issued by states in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview:

  • 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. 24, two states have modified their travel restrictions. 

Details:

  • New Jersey – On Nov. 25, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced he was replacing the state’s travel advisory list with a general request that all travelers from outside of New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware self-quarantine for 14 days. 
  • Hawaii – On Nov. 27, Gov. David Ige (D) announced he had approved a request from Kaua’i Mayor Derek Kawakami to require all out-of-state and inter-island travelers to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, even if they have had a negative COVID-19 test. 

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

  • Federal
    • One federal official has died of COVID-19.
    • Forty-three members of Congress have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • Forty-one federal officials have quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19.
  • State
    • Four state-level incumbents or candidates have died of COVID-19.
    • One hundred thirty-seven 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.
  • Local
    • At least three local incumbents or candidates have died of COVID-19.
    • At least 30 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. 24, three U.S. representatives, one representative-elect, five state representatives, one state senator, one state senator-elect, two governors, two mayors, and one city councilmember tested positive for COVID-19. One U.S. representative entered a self-quarantine. 

Details:

  • On Nov. 24, Rep. Rick Allen (R-Ga.) announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Nov. 23, Pennsylvania state Rep. Doyle Heffley (R) announced on Facebook he had tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Nov. 24, Michigan state Rep. Kyra Bolden (D) announced she had tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Nov. 25, Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R) tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Nov. 25, Arizona state Rep. Andres Cano (D) announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Nov. 25, Rep. Susie Lee (D-Nev.) announced she had tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Nov. 25, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) announced he would self-quarantine after his wife tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • On Nov. 25, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (R) announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Nov. 27, Arizona state Rep. Arlando Teller (D) was admitted to the hospital because of complications related to COVID-19.
  • On Nov. 27, Representative-elect Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.) announced he tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Nov. 27, Las Vegas City Councilmember Victoria Seaman announced she tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • On Nov. 28, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced that he and his husband had tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • On Nov. 28, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett (D) announced he tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • On Nov. 29, Illinois state Rep. Chris Welch (D) announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Nov. 29, Maine state Senator-elect Richard Bennett (R) announced he tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Nov. 30, Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) announced he had tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • On Nov. 30, Mayor of Miami-Dade County Daniella Levine Cava announced she had tested positive for COVID-19.




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