Since our last edition
What rules and restrictions are changing in each state? For a continually updated article, click here.
- Alabama (Republican trifecta): Gov. Kay Ivey (R) announced individuals age 75 and older and first responders (including police officers and firefighters) will be eligible to receive a vaccine starting Jan. 18. Ivey said the change was not a full expansion into Phase 1b. Phase 1a currently includes healthcare workers and long-term care residents and staff.
- Delaware (Democratic trifecta): Gov. John Carney (D) extended the state’s stay-at-home advisory and mask requirements until further notice. Carney allowed the 10 p.m. curfew for bars and restaurants to expire on Jan. 8.
- Florida (Republican trifecta): On Sunday, Jan. 10, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced the state had opened seven new vaccine distribution centers in partnership with local churches and worship centers.
- Iowa (Republican trifecta): On Friday, Jan. 8, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) ended limits on the number of spectators at high school sports and recreational events. Previously, no more than two spectators were allowed per athlete.
- Massachusetts (divided government): On Friday, Jan. 8, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced a pooled testing initiative that will begin next month for school districts providing in-person and hybrid learning. The initiative will involve analyzing batches of COVID-19 test samples from individual schools on a weekly basis. If COVID-19 is not detected in the batch, then everyone in the school is presumed to be negative for the virus.
- Minnesota (divided government): Gov. Tim Walz (D) is easing coronavirus restrictions on Jan. 11. Bars and restaurants can reopen to indoor dining at 50% capacity, and the maximum capacity at outdoor entertainment venues is increasing to 250 (or 25% capacity, whichever is less). Indoor entertainment venues, such as bowling alleys, can reopen at 25% capacity. Youth sports games can resume on Jan. 14 with spectators, so long as social distancing is enforced. Indoor private events (such as weddings) that serve food are limited to 10 people from a maximum of two households. Outdoor events are limited to three households or 15 people.
- Pennsylvania (divided government): Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced changes to the state’s vaccine distribution plan based on recommendations from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The changes included adding people aged 75 and older to Phase 1B (the next phase) of the plan and creating Phase 1C, which will include people between the ages of 65 and 74 and individuals with high-risk conditions (like COPD, cancer, and some heart conditions).
- Utah (Republican trifecta): Effective Monday, Jan. 11, school teachers and staff, and adults 70 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Gov. Spencer Cox (R) made the announcement Jan. 8. The state says it hopes to vaccinate all healthcare workers, nursing home staff and residents, first responders, tribal health frontline workers, school teachers and staff, and adults 70 and older by the end of February.
- Virginia (Democratic trifecta): Effective Monday, Jan. 11, the next phase of the state’s vaccine rollout begins in 11 health districts, according to a Jan. 8 Health Department announcement. The new phase allows essential frontline workers, people age 75 and older, and people living in correctional facilities and homeless shelters to receive the vaccine.
- Washington (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D) Healthy Washington plan for lifting coronavirus restrictions is effective Jan. 11. The new two-phased plan divides the state into eight regions and replaces the current county-level reopening plan. Each region begins in Phase 1, which limits capacity at gyms and prohibits indoor dining and at-home indoor gatherings with people outside the household. Phase 2 eases restrictions, which includes allowing restaurants to reopen at 50%.