Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: December 9, 2020

Documenting America's Path to Recovery by Ballotpedia

Since our last edition

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

  • Massachusetts (divided government): On Tuesday, Dec. 8, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced the state would return to Phase 3, Step 1 of the reopening plan on Sunday, Dec. 13. Step 1 requires some businesses, like indoor performance venues, to close while limiting capacity to 40% at places like offices, retail shops, and houses of worship. Under Step 1, people planning gatherings with more than 25 people must notify the local health board, and outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people.  
  • North Carolina (divided government): On Tuesday, Dec. 8, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced new coronavirus restrictions, which he called a “Modified Stay at Home Order,” would go into effect Friday, Dec. 11. The order requires most businesses, such as gyms, restaurants, and retail stores, to close nightly at 10 p.m. The order also prohibits the sale of alcohol after 9 p.m. It also imposes a curfew between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 p.m., during which people are required to stay at home. 
  • Washington (Democratic trifecta): On Tuesday, Dec. 8, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced he was extending current COVID-19 restrictions, which include a prohibition on indoor dining and gyms, through Jan. 4. The restrictions also limit outdoor gatherings to five people and prohibit indoor gatherings with people outside of a person’s household unless they have quarantined for a week and received a negative COVID-19 test. 
  • Wyoming (Republican trifecta): New restrictions are effective Dec. 9., including a statewide indoor mask requirement and a 10-person limit on gatherings when social distancing isn’t possible. Bars and restaurants are required to close nightly at 10 p.m.

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of other federal, state, and local government activity, private industry responses, and lawsuits related to the pandemic. 

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a report summarizing Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine trial. The report said the data indicated the vaccine is safe and roughly 95% effective. An FDA advisory committee will meet on Dec. 10 to discuss emergency use authorization for the vaccine. Another meeting on Dec. 17 will consider the Moderna vaccine for emergency use authorization.