Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: December 8, 2020

Documenting America's Path to Recovery by Ballotpedia

The next 24 hours

What is changing in the next 24 hours?

  • Wyoming (Republican trifecta): On Monday, Dec. 7, Gov. Mark Gordon (R) announced a statewide indoor mask requirement and a 10-person limit on gatherings when social distancing isn’t possible. Bars and restaurants will be required to close nightly at 10 p.m. each night. The restrictions take effect Wednesday, Dec. 9. 

Since our last edition

What rules and restrictions are changing in each state? For a continually updated article, click here.

  • Michigan (Divided government): On Monday, Dec. 7, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) extended restrictions on businesses and the suspension of in-person instruction at high schools through Dec. 20. The restrictions, part of a campaign called “Pause to Save Lives” that was initially scheduled to end on Dec. 7, include the closure of businesses like movie theaters and a prohibition on indoor dining. 
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced hospitals will be required to start increasing their hospital bed capacity with Department of Health assistance. The state is aiming to increase bed capacity by 25%. Cuomo also said hospital capacity will help determine future regional closures. Indoor dining will be limited to 25% capacity in some regions as early as Dec. 11 if hospitalizations continue to rise. If the hospitalization rate continues rising in New York City, indoor dining will be ordered to close in the region.
  • Ohio (Republican trifecta): On Monday, Dec. 7, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said he would extend the state’s curfew. He said he’d have more information on Thursday, Dec. 10.

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 1,286 lawsuits in 50 states, dealing in some way with the COVID-19 outbreak. Court orders have been issued, or settlements have been reached, in 396 of those lawsuits. 
    • Since Dec. 1, we have added 23 lawsuits to our database. We have also tracked an additional 10 court orders and/or settlements. 

Details:

  • Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association v. Gordon: On Dec. 2, Judge Paul L. Maloney of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan declined to block Michigan’s restrictions on indoor dining. A coalition of affected businesses and a hospitality industry group challenged the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) restrictions. The plaintiffs argued that the MDHHS order violated the state and U.S. constitutions. Maloney, a George W. Bush (R) appointee, ruled that Michigan officials had plausible reasons for targeting restaurants over other businesses. MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said, “We are happy that today’s ruling keeps in place measures that will save lives by limiting specific indoor gatherings that greatly increase the risk of COVID-19 spread.” The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association said: “While we are disappointed with today’s ruling . . . we will now transition our efforts to preventing an extension of the MDHHS Order beyond Dec. 8 and call on Director Gordon to provide clear and specific data to justify the sustained closure of restaurants across the state.” 

State mask requirements

We last looked at face coverings in the Dec. 1 edition of the newsletter. Since then, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (R) announced the statewide indoor mask mandate discussed above. The requirement is not effective until Dec. 9, so it is not yet reflected in the map or table below. 

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-four 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 forty-two 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 32 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 Dec. 1, one U.S. representative, two state representatives, two state senators, one state treasurer, one mayor, and one city councilmember tested positive for COVID-19.

Details:

  • On Dec. 1, Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Dec. 2, South Carolina State Rep. Sandy McGarry (R)  announced she had tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after Thanksgiving.
  • On Dec. 3, the treasurer’s office announced Louisiana State Treasurer John Schroder (R) had been hospitalized due to COVID-19.
  • On Dec. 3, Arkansas state Sen. Ron Caldwell (R) announced he tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • On Dec. 6, Anchorage Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson announced she had tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Dec. 6, President Donald Trump announced that Rudy Giuliani, his personal attorney, had tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • On Dec. 7, Pennsylvania state Rep. Mike Reese (R) announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Dec. 7, Fresno City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria announced she had tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • On Dec. 7, New York state Sen. George Borrello (R) announced he tested positive for COVID-19.



About the author

Ballotpedia staff
Bitnami