Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: February 11, 2021

Documenting America's Path to Recovery by Ballotpedia

The next 24 hours

What is changing in the next 24 hours?

  • Delaware (Democratic trifecta): On Feb. 12, places of worship and businesses like restaurants, gyms, and retailers will be able to operate at 50% capacity. Currently, most businesses are limited to 30% capacity, and retailers larger than 100,000 square feet are limited to 20% capacity.
  • Montana (Republican trifecta): Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) announced he will let the state’s face-covering requirement expire on Feb. 12. Montana will be the fourth state to lift a statewide mask order. Former Gov. Steve Bullock (D) issued the face-covering requirement July 15, 2020. 
  • New Mexico (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced the state is ending its quarantine requirements for out-of-state travelers starting Feb. 11. 
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): Indoor dining can reopen at 25% capacity in New York City starting Feb. 12. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) also announced sports and events at stadiums and arenas with 10,000-person or greater capacity limits can reopen on Feb. 23. Attendance will be limited to 10% of the venue’s maximum capacity.
  • Vermont (divided government): On Feb. 12, school and youth sports leagues and games can resume with restrictions. Teams will be limited to two games a week, and parents will not be allowed to attend.

Since our last edition

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

  • Connecticut (Democratic trifecta): Individuals age 65 and older can register for vaccination appointments as of Feb. 11. Previously, only people age 75 and older were eligible for vaccinations.
  • Illinois (Democratic trifecta): Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced people age 16 and older with state-defined high-risk conditions will be eligible for vaccinations starting Feb. 25. The state’s list of qualifying conditions includes cancer, obesity, and diabetes.
  • Indiana (Republican trifecta): On Wednesday, Feb. 10, Chief Medical Officer Lindsay Weaver announced that residents aged 60 to 65 would be next in line for vaccination, though she did not specify when that group would become eligible. 
  • Massachusetts (divided government): On Feb. 10, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced that caregivers who accompany an individual age 75 and older to get vaccinated at a mass vaccination site can schedule their appointment on the same day, beginning Thursday, Feb. 11. Baker also announced two new mass vaccination sites in Natick and Dartmouth.
  • North Carolina (divided government): On Wednesday, Feb. 10, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced that teachers, school staff, and childcare workers will become eligible for coronavirus vaccines on Feb. 24. 
  • Oklahoma (Republican trifecta): On Wednesday, Feb. 10, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed a bill allowing public bodies, such as city councils, to meet virtually during the pandemic. A similar law was in effect through Nov. 15, 2020. 
  • Tennessee (Republican trifecta): On Wednesday, Feb. 10, Gov. Bill Lee (R) announced the state would partner with Walmart to expedite the distribution of vaccines throughout the state. 

School closures and reopenings

    Read more: School responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic during the 2020-2021 academic year

  • Four states (Calif., Del., Hawaii, N.M.) and Washington, D.C. had state-ordered regional school closures, required closures for certain grade levels, or allowed hybrid instruction only.
    • 2016-17 enrollment: 7,049,065 students (13.93% of students nationwide)
  • Four states (Ark., Fla., Iowa, Texas) had state-ordered in-person instruction.
    • 2016-17 enrollment: 9,180,918 students (18.15% of students nationwide)
  • One state (W.Va.) had state-ordered in-person instruction for certain grades.
    • 2016-17 enrollment: 273,855 students (0.54% of students nationwide)
  • Forty-one states left decisions to schools or districts.
    • 2016-17 enrollment: 34,084,021 students (67.38% of students nationwide)

Travel restrictions

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


  • Since the start of the pandemic, governors or state agencies in 27 states issued executive orders placing restrictions on out-of-state visitors. At least 15 of those orders have been rescinded.
  • Since Feb. 4, one state has ended its travel restrictions. 


  • New Mexico – On Feb. 10, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced the state would end its quarantine requirements for out-of-state travelers on Thursday, Feb. 11. Instead of a mandatory self-quarantine for people entering the state from high-risk areas, the state will encourage all out-of-state travelers to quarantine before getting tested.

Federal responses

Read more: Political responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

  • On Feb. 4, pharmaceutical and medical technology company Johnson & Johnson submitted an application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of its COVID-19 vaccine.
  • On Feb. 9, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an EUA to pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly’s COVID-19 antibody treatment, which uses a mixture of two monoclonal antibody drugs.
  • On Feb. 9, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients announced the federal government would directly ship 1 million doses of coronavirus vaccines to 250 federally funded health centers around the country over the next several weeks. Zients said more doses would be shipped to more centers as supplies increase.
  • On Feb. 10, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance encouraging people to wear a mask with more than one layer after the agency found two masks reduced aerosol transmission. The CDC recommended that people wear multilayered masks that fit tightly against the face.
  • On the same day, the CDC also updated its quarantine guidance for people exposed to the virus. According to the CDC, vaccinated people who’re exposed to the virus do not need to self-quarantine, provided they completed the full dosing schedule within the last three months and are not exhibiting symptoms.