Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: December 4, 2020

Documenting America's Path to Recovery by Ballotpedia

The next 72 hours

What is changing in the next 72 hours?

  • 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. Murphy is expected to announce additional restrictions on Dec. 4.
  • Kentucky (divided government): Public and private elementary schools are scheduled to reopen starting Dec. 7 if their county is not in the red zone. Middle and high school instruction will be fully remote through at least Jan. 4.

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): Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced a regional stay-at-home order, effective Dec. 5. A region must implement the stay-at-home restrictions within 24 hours if ICU capacity falls below 15%. Restrictions will last for at least three weeks after they are triggered or until a region’s four-week projected ICU capacity is equal to or greater than 15%. Newsom said four of the state’s five regions are expected to fall under the stay-at-home restrictions within days. Individuals will be required to stay home except for essential activities. Businesses like personal care services (including barbershops), indoor entertainment and recreational facilities, and bars will be required to close. Restaurants will be limited to takeout and delivery only. Hotels are prohibited from accepting reservations from non-essential, out-of-state travelers unless their stay will equal or exceed the 14-day quarantine period. 
  • Delaware (Democratic trifecta): Gov. John Carney (D) said he will issue an updated mask order that requires individuals to wear a face-covering anytime they are indoors with a member of another household. He also announced a stay-at-home advisory that encourages residents to avoid all non-workplace gatherings with individuals outside of a person’s household between Dec. 14 and Jan. 11. Carney also recommended schools pause in-person learning for the same period. 
  • Massachusetts (divided government): In its weekly report on COVID-19 transmission rates released Thursday, Dec. 3, the Department of Public Health announced that 16 new towns and cities had been moved to the highest risk level. Those communities will be required to return to Phase 3, Step 1, of the state’s reopening plan. As of Dec. 3, 97 communities are classified as at the highest risk for transmitting the coronavirus.  
  • Ohio (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, Dec. 3, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced he had vetoed Senate Bill 311, which would have limited the Department of Health’s authority to issue quarantine orders to individuals who had not been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19. 
  • Texas (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, Dec. 3, COVID-19 hospitalizations in North Texas exceeded Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) threshold that would trigger new restrictions on businesses. Restaurants and gyms will have to reduce capacity to 50%, and bars whose sales of alcohol make up more than 51% of revenue will need to close.